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Novice Clinic

For beginning and first time whitewater canoeists and kayakers

VPC's 2021 Novice Clinic is "on hold" due to concerns
about conducting the event during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are contemplating a fall 2021 Novice Clinic.

This two day clinic will introduce beginning paddlers to the basics of boat handling, river reading, and techniques for driving a boat through moving water.

The clinic starts early Saturday morning at Waterbury reservoir, and moves to river(s) in the local area suitable to level I instruction for the afternoon and all day Sunday.

The clinics will be led by American Canoe Association certified instructors and other experienced paddlers. Many volunteers are trained in swiftwater rescue as well.

Clinics for both Whitewater Kayak and Whitewater Canoe will be offered. The cost is $90 per person and includes a riverside lunch on both days. Boats, skirts, paddles, PFDs (Life Jackets), helmets, and some river clothing will be available for loan to students.

Participants need to be reasonably fit, at least enough to manage traversing up/down often slippery/muddy paths to/from the river, and must be open to the possible need to swim to shore in moving water.

For more information, phone or email John Atherton, 802-238-8412,

What to wear / What to bring:

Although it is almost summer, expect Vermont to throw some weather at us and dress for it... We will be outside all day no matter what the weather. Neoprene is recommended. If you have some, or can beg, borrow or steal some, please do... but if not, we may have some wetsuits for loan. Neoprene booties or watershoes are also recommended.

All participants will be required to wear a helmet and PFD (life jacket). Again, if you have one or can borrow one, that would be a help. If not, we will have some loaners. Bike helmets are inadequate, and PFDs must be USCG Type III, mid to high flotation. If you're not sure about it, bring it and we will let you know if it will work.

  • Dry footwear for after your river day    
  • Warm, dry clothes for after your river day    
  • Towel    
  • Bathing Suit    
  • Sunglasses, Sunscreen    
  • Full Water Bottle    

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