Adirondack Paddling Symposium

Classes and Tours

Kayak Beginner Track

Self assessment can be challenging, so if you need help deciding if you are best suited for the Beginner or Intermediate Track, give us a call at 518-524-4117.  Assuring that you are on the correct Track not only helps you get the most out of the classes, but also helps the entire group move at a similar pace.  Please know that we have an excellent team of instructors, so no matter the Track you take you are getting great instruction.  If you are thinking you are a Beginner, you should have little to maybe no experience with formal paddling instruction.  This Track is going to assure we break any bad habits you may have formed and make sure you have a solid knowledge of the foundation skills needed to take your paddling to the next level.

  • Forward Stroke 1.0
    Arguably the most important of all strokes, as we all want to be more efficient as we travel in our kayaks.  This class is designed for those with little to no training in forward stroke technique, building towards Forward Stoke 2.0.  We will start with paddling styles and blade shapes.  Progressing to how and where to hold onto the paddle.  The forward stroke needs to be built on a tier system, so once we are comfortable the first two skills are covered, we will work on building the foundation of a more efficient stroke.  Participants should leave this class being able to get the most energy out of their paddle, reducing the risk of hand, wrist and shoulder injuries and using less small muscle groups to paddle.
  • Boat and Body Control 1.0
    Throughout the Symposium we will introduce and reinforce boat and body control to be more efficient in turning your and maneuvering your kayak.  This class is intended for beginners with little to no experience in body control and maneuvering strokes.   First, we will work on proper body positioning in your boat and make sure all points of contact are correct.  From there we’ll work on maneuvering and turning strokes, with correct boat and body control.  Students should leave this class with the skills to more easily maneuver and turn their kayaks, and have developed a strong base on which to build on.
  • Wet Exits and Self Rescue 1.0
    Building confidence in a controlled environment is what this event is all about and we’ll set you up for success when that “oh no” moment occurs.  This class is intended for paddlers who have never flipped in their kayak or have and did not have a good experience when they did. This is very personal and different for every paddler, so we will have a coach to student ratio that offers a lot of one on one work.  We will work on capsizing without and with spray skirts.  Once swimming around outside your boat, we will work on basic self-rescue skills to keep you safe when you are out on your next adventure.  This class will require multiple immersions and lengthy periods of time in the water.  If you are not sure what to wear to stay warm, click HERE for more info.  

Kayak Intermediate Track

Kayak Intermediate Track- Self assessment can be challenging, so if you need help deciding if you are best suited for the Beginner or Intermediate Track, give us a call at 518-524-4117.  Assuring that you are on the correct Track not only helps you get the most out of the classes, but also helps the entire group move at a similar pace.  Please know that we have an excellent team of instructors, so no matter the Track you take, you are getting great service.  If you are thinking you are an Intermediate paddler, you most likely have some formal paddling instruction.  You should be competent in remaining upright in your boat and have the stamina to paddle 4-6 miles easily.  You are comfortable capsizing and exiting your kayak.  

  • Forward Stoke 2.0  
    This class is intended for those that have taken Forward Stroke 1.0 or a similar class.  At this level of paddling, breaking bad habits tends to be the initial goal.  So, using video analysis we capture current paddling technique and then evaluate in a group setting.  From there we establish base goals for each individual.  Using the foundation that was built in Forward Stroke 1.0, we will work towards adding in skills to build toward a more efficient stroke.  To wrap up the class, we will shoot video again and see how we have progressed.  Students should leave this class with a “to do list,” of on water practice as well as on land exercises for at home.  Students should have a solid understanding of the 3 stages of the forward stroke and the different building blocks that go from Forward Stroke 1.0 to an advanced level of forward paddling.
  • Boat and Body Control 2.0
    This class is intended for those that have taken Boat and Body Control 1.0 or have taken turning and maneuvering classes in the past.  With the foundation of proper stroke technique and body rotation it is time to add in edging and playing with trim.  The goal of this class is to leave with the understanding on how to most effectively maneuver your boat.  The likely hood of capsize is increased in this class, so students should be dressed for immersion.  If you unsure of what to wear, click HERE for more info.
  • Rescues 1.0
    This class is intended for those who have a reasonable comfort level capsizing and swimming from their kayak.  In this class we will work on variations of both self-rescues as well as variations of team rescues.  Students should walk away from this class with the confidence in knowing that they have the skills to practice and eventually be competent in self-rescuing and rescuing other paddlers.  This class tends to take exertion and we suggest planning this for the afternoon, so all you have to look forward to is a shower and a lawn chair.   This class will require multiple immersions and lengthy periods of time in the water.  If you are not sure what to wear to stay warm, click HERE for more info.  
  • Bracing and Rolling development.
    This class is intended for intermediate paddlers who have strong edge control and have been introduced to the concept of bracing (“Boat Control 2.0” would be a great prerequisite.) Students must have a solid competency for capsizing and exiting their kayak, with a spray skirt on.  The goal of this class will to have students walk away with a solid low-brace and a strong understanding of how to and when to use a high-brace.  Those that show competence in both these areas will learn the correlation between bracing and the Eskimo roll and then play with the first steps in righting your boat after a capsize.  This class will require multiple immersions and lengthy periods of time in the water.  If you are not sure what to wear to stay warm, click HERE for more info.   Nose plugs or a swim mask is suggested for this class.
  • Open Water Adventure  
    This class is intended for those who have intermediate skills and are comfortable with edge control, bracing and rescues.  This class also will take place over the course of a 4-6-mile paddle, so consider your stamina level.   The goal of this class is to take what you have learned in the past and at the Symposium and put it to the test.  While on our adventure, a series of scenarios will test self and group management skills along with a variety of paddling skills.  We intend to also introduce some new skills to add to your tool box, for when you are out on longer group journeys.  Students will be required to have sufficient water and food to make it through this class, as we will not be close to shore.  This class tends to take exertion and we suggest planning this for the afternoon, so all you have to look forward to is a shower and a lawn chair.   This class will require multiple immersions and lengthy periods of time in the water.  If you are not sure what to wear to stay warm, click HERE for more info.  
  • Rolling
    This class is intended for intermediate paddlers who have strong edge control and bracing skills.  (“Bracing and Rolling Development” would be a great prerequisite.) Students must have a solid competency for capsizing and exiting their kayak with a spray skirt on.  The goal of this class is to work one on one with students to have them go through the entire rolling process.  This is a challenging skill, needing stroke efficiency and body control, all while performing under water.  We ask students to understand that many do not succeed in rolling initially. However we are certain you will walk away with a better understanding of the skills needed and leave with homework to work on to increase your success rate. This class will require multiple immersions and lengthy periods of time in the water.  If you are not sure what to wear to stay warm, click HERE for more info.  Nose plugs or a swim mask is suggested for this class.

Canoe Beginner Track

  • Forward Stroke 1.0:
    Arguably the most important of all strokes, as we all want to be more efficient as we travel in our canoes.  This class is designed for those with limited to no training in forward stroke technique.  We will start with paddling styles and blade shapes.  Progressing to how and where to hold onto the paddle.  The forward stroke needs to be built on a tier system, so once latter two skills are covered, we will work on building the foundation of a more efficient stroke.  Participants should leave this class being able to get the most energy out of their paddle, reducing the risk of hand, wrist and shoulder injuries and using less small muscle groups to paddle.
  • Boat Control 1.0:
    Throughout the Symposium we will introduce and reinforce boat and body control to me more efficient in turning your and maneuvering your canoe.  This class is intended for beginners with little to no experience in body control and maneuvering strokes.   First, we will work on proper body positioning in your boat and make sure all points of contact are correct.  From there we’ll work on maneuvering and turning strokes, with correct boat and body control.  Students should leave this class with the skills to more easily maneuver and turn their canoes and have developed a strong base which to build on.
  • Capsize and Self Rescue:
    Building confidence in a controlled environment is what this event is all about and we’ll set you up for success when that “oh no,” moment occurs.  This class is intended for paddlers who have never flipped their canoe or have and did not have a good experience.  This is very personal and different for every paddler, so we will have a coach to student ratio that offers a lot of one on one work.  Once swimming around outside your boat, we will work on basic self-rescue skills to keep you safe when you are out on your next adventure.  For those students that want to progress their skills, we will work on variations of both self-rescues as well as variations of team rescues.  Students should walk away from this class with the confidence in knowing that they have the skills to practice and eventually be competent in self-rescuing and rescuing other paddlers.  This class tends to take exertion and we suggest planning this for the afternoon, so all you have to look forward to is a shower and a lawn chair.   This class will require multiple immersions and lengthy periods of time in the water.  If you are not sure what to wear to stay warm, click HERE for more info.  

Canoe Intermediate Track

  • Advanced Strokes and Boat Control:
    This class is intended for those that have intermediate canoeing skills.  (Forward Stroke 1.0 and Boat Control 1.0 would be great prerequisites.)  Students should walk away from this class with a better understanding of the finer points of boat control and all strokes with efficiency being the ultimate take away.  As we push our limits the likelihood of multiple immersions and lengthy periods of time in the water becomes more of a possibility.  Be dressed for this and if you are not sure what to wear to stay warm, click HERE for more info.  
  • Open Water Adventure:
    This class is intended for those who have intermediate skills and are comfortable with edge control, bracing and rescues.  This class also will take place over the course of a 4-6-mile paddle, so consider your stamina level.   The goal of this class is to take what you have learned in the past and at the Symposium and put it to the test.  While on our adventure, a series of scenarios will test self and group management skills along with a variety of paddling skills.  We intend to also introduce some new skills to add to your tool box, for when you are out on longer group journeys.  Students will be required to have sufficient water and food to make it through this class, as we will not be close to shore.  This class tends to take exertion and we suggest planning this for the afternoon, so all you have to look forward to is a shower and a lawn chair.   This class will require multiple immersions and lengthy periods of time in the water.  If you are not sure what to wear to stay warm, click HERE for more info.

Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) Track

  • Intro to Stand Up Paddling:
    This class is intended for beginner paddlers who are looking to fast track learning essential skills and looking to be safe out on their board.  One of the greatest things about stand up paddling, or SUP, is how easy it is to get on there and enjoy the water.  But taking your skills from a beginner level to a more advanced paddler, is going to mean a greater enjoyment of your paddling time, using less energy and avoiding potential dangers.  Sure, you could most likely figure some of it out on your own, but why wait… when we have the Adirondack Paddling Symposium.  We’ll teach and help you perform our “Top Ten Tips” to improve your stand up paddling.  We’ll cover safety, stroke efficiency and incorporating footwork for improved balance and board control.  If you are already into SUP, or planning on getting into this great sport, this is one class you should be registering for.  You will be required to wear a leash and have your coast guard approved PFD with you.  This class will require multiple immersions and lengthy periods of time in the water.  If you are not sure what to wear to stay warm, click HERE for more info.
  • SUP Forward Stroke:
    This class is intended for intermediate paddlers who have good balance skills on their board.  (Intro to Stand Up Paddling, would be a great prerequisite for this class.) Arguably the most important of all strokes, as we all want to be more efficient as we travel on our boards.  We will start out with how and where to hold onto the paddle.  The forward stroke needs to be built on a tier system, so once we have the basics covered, we will work on building the foundation of a more efficient stroke.  Participants should leave this class being able to get the most energy out of their paddle, reducing the risk of hand, wrist injuries, keep their board tracking straighter and using less small muscle groups to paddle.  With any SUP class, the likely hood of falling off your board is always present.  Be prepared to be dressed for multiple immersions.  If you are not sure what to wear to stay warm, click HERE for more info.
  • SUP Turning and Bracing:
    This class is intended for intermediate paddlers who have good balance skills on their board.  (Intro to Stand Up Paddling, would be a great prerequisite for this class.)  Improved maneuvering and bracing skills will be most effective for most paddlers, in dealing with the dreaded wind!  Initially an enemy to all stand up paddlers, with our exposed center of gravity.  However, with a better understanding of how to control and stabilize your board, the wind could become a friend.  For those who paddle in current or on larger bodies of water with waves, this class is a must to register for.  Students should walk away from this class with the skills to more efficiently turn their board and stay upright more easily in wind and waves.  With any SUP class, the likely hood of falling off your board is always present.  Be prepared to be dressed for multiple immersions.  If you are not sure what to wear to stay warm, click HERE for more info.

Pack Boat Track

  • Forward Stroke:
    Arguably the most important of all strokes, as we all want to be more efficient as we travel in our pack boats.  This class is designed for those with limited to no training in forward stroke technique.  We will start with paddling styles and blade shapes.  Progressing to how and where to hold onto the paddle.  The forward stroke needs to be built on a tier system, so once latter two skills are covered, we will work on building the foundation of a more efficient stroke.  Participants should leave this class being able to get the most energy out of their paddle, reducing the risk of hand, wrist and shoulder injuries and using less small muscle groups to paddle.
  • Boat Control:
    Throughout the Symposium we will introduce and reinforce boat and body control to me more efficient in turning your and maneuvering your pack boat.  This class is intended for those with limited to no experience in body control and maneuvering strokes.   First, we will work on proper body positioning in your pack boat and make sure all points of contact are correct.  From there we’ll work on maneuvering and turning strokes, with correct boat and body control.  Students should leave this class with the skills to more easily maneuver and turn their pack boats and have developed a strong base which to build on.
  • Capsizes and Rescues:
    Building confidence in a controlled environment is what this event is all about and we’ll set you up for success when that “oh no,” moment occurs.  This class is intended for paddlers who have never flipped their pack boat or have and did not have a good experience.  This is very personal and different for every paddler, so we will have a coach to student ratio that offers a lot of one on one work.  Once swimming around outside your boat, we will work on basic self-rescue skills to keep you safe when you are out on your next adventure.  For those students that want to progress their skills, we will work on variations of both self-rescues as well as variations of team rescues.  Students should walk away from this class with the confidence in knowing that they have the skills to practice and eventually be competent in self-rescuing and rescuing other paddlers.  This class tends to take exertion and we suggest planning this for the afternoon, so all you have to look forward to is a shower and a lawn chair.   This class will require multiple immersions and lengthy periods of time in the water.  If you are not sure what to wear to stay warm, click HERE for more info.  

Whitewater Kayak Track

  • Intro to Whitewater Kayaking:
    Not everyone wants an adrenalin rush from their kayaking experience and you may be surprised to know that those who do are a very small percentage of whitewater paddlers.  But when you consider the amazing rivers to be explored and taking on the challenges of navigating them, paddling a kayak down whitewater may be something you want to look into.  (Especially when you have the beautiful Moose River near by and talented instructors to show you the way.) This class is intended for those that have intermediate forward stroke, boat control and bracing skills on flatwater.  Candidates to register do not have to Eskimo roll, but must be competent in wet exits with a spray skirt and be a strong swimmer.  Students should walk away from this class with a better understanding of river features and the dangers they pose to kayakers.  We will introduce maneuvering in river currents and self-rescues and team rescues for when that does not go as planned.  We will progress into scouting rapids for dangers and safe passages and eventually paddling through a rapid.  Due to the distance to travel to the river and the length in which each element of instruction takes, this will be an all day class.  Students should have the snacks, water and lunch to be away from Old Forge for 7 hours. This class will require multiple immersions and lengthy periods of time in the water.  If you are not sure what to wear to stay warm, click HERE for more info.   Due to the fact that many flatwater paddlers will not have whitewater gear, rentals are available.  Students will need a whitewater kayak, whitewater paddle, PFD, kayak helmet, neoprene spray skirt and sturdy footwear.  

Tours

  • The Adirondack Park is one of the most sought after destinations by paddlers in the World.  But we hear from so many folks we talk to, it’s SO big!  Well, we agree.  It would seem like to paddle all the places you want to go, in the short season we have, you would need to be playing a lot of hooky or hit one hell of a lottery.  But, we can pick it apart little by little. For you, what better chance to see a lake, pond or river you may not have gotten to on your own, than with the staff from the Adirondack Paddling Symposium?  We challenge you to put your new skills to the test and join us for “Tour Monday,” and see something new and amazing while you are here.  Stay tuned, Tour descriptions to come.