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Learning How to Paddle

Dennis Stuhaug, editor of Canoe & Kayak magazine, tells you where to find out more about canoeing or kayaking before getting on the water.

Paddling Clubs

Paddling clubs are a good way to get your feet wet. Those looking for a club close to home should call:

The American Canoe Association
The largest paddling association in the country, it sets instructor certification tests and general water safety standards. 703-451-0141

North American Paddle Sports Association
Also covers kayaking. Can put you in touch with a club near you. 414-242-5228


Be sure the outfitter has a trained staff, a clean safety record, and is affiliated with a national paddling organization such as those above. To locate one near you, call:

America Outdoors
Lists recreational opportunities with premier backcountry outfitters on public lands and waterways. 615-472-2205

National Assoc. of Canoe and Livery Outfitters
A professional organization that will put you in contact with members. 606-472-2205

Paddling Schools

For those who prefer to have some easy experience on the water before embarking on a more challenging trip with an outfitter. Canoe and kayak retailers sometimes offer classes and can also be good sources of other information, including local water conditions. For schools near you refer to:

Canoe & Kayak magazine
$3.99 per issue, $17.97 per year (6 issues)
All the news you need, and useful listings and ads from a variety of outfitters and schools. 800-692-2663

We've started a library of "Living Footnotes" for this section, and welcome your suggestions and your URLs to make it more useful. Use our customized Lycos search to linkthink your way around the web, or feel free to consult the experts about the above topic.

Living Footnotes

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Updated on April 10, 1996