Kayak School

New England’s Oldest Kayak school

Northern Waters Kayak Instructor


At Northern Waters” the best of the kayaking schools”. New England Oldest Kayak School.


In Errol, New Hampshire, we teach paddlers the techniques of paddling safely in whitewater with a sense of quality that might be called “style”. Our staff is made up highly qualified teachers chosen for their maturity, teaching ability and paddling skill. There are several course lengths offered from 1 to 3 days. These programs are designed for the beginner and advanced beginner whitewater paddlers and fundamentals are stressed. Taught in 3 hour periods twice daily on the Androscoggin River, the 1-day course usually provides students with enough skill to enjoy class II water, while 3-day course students usually can progress to class III water.


The principles taught in Whitewater Kayaking are transferable to Kayak Touring at our kayaking schools. Learning how to handle current forces, rolling, wet exits, bracing are all skill used in all types of Kayaking including Kayak touring. For those of you looking to advance your Kayak Touring skills we can place you in a class to teach kayaking to those of you wanting to be more confident in your kayak touring. The Umbagog National Wildlife area has  the most interesting environment to learn in.


Located in scenic Errol, NH, Northern Waters is set on the Androscoggin River. Our base is set along the Errol rapid making for the most convenient location of any kayak schools. Its Kayak School is one the oldest kayak schools in New England’ In the immediate vicinity are remote interconnecting rivers and lakes offering the most exciting canoe camping, outdoor recreation and whitewater possibilities in the New England.

Our center contains an outfitting store, tent campground, shower, rec. hall, and equipment rentals program. A motel, restaurant and store are nearby.

This is the place to come to learn whitewater canoeing or kayaking, or to canoe in a pristine, uncrowded setting with excellent fishing and camping, including trips into Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Area. See Things to Do

Reservations are easy for the kayak school! To make reservations call Northern Waters at (603) 482-3817.

Rates and courses offered

All Northern Waters kayak school courses include all paddling equipment, instruction, transportation and a campsite.


• 1-day Beginning Canoe or Kayak school $175


Teaching how to roll

Teaching how to roll

• 3-Day Beginning Canoe and Kayak school $525


• 1-day Roll See Private Rates

• 2-day Whitewater River Canoeing Clinic $350

• Private Lessons $175 day

If your group has more than three people PP Clinic Rates apply (See above)

• Semi Private (2 People) $275 pp/day




Instruction is scheduled to begin each day at 9:00 AM. For one-day clinics, the mornings consist of dry land lecture, and the afternoons are spent on the water. Group size is kept small, with a maximum student-to-instructor ratio of 6:1 to ensure personalized instruction. Days One and Two are described below and represent the format for the beginner clinics. The descriptions for Days Three and Four cover the format for the third and fourth day of all four-day clinics or the first and second days of two-day Advanced Beginner clinics. Remember, to be classified as an Advanced Beginner, you should be able to perform the maneuvers described in Days One and Two. Canoe clinics are taught in various types of canoes. Beginner days one and two are normally taught in traditional whitewater canoes. Advanced canoe clinics are taught in more responsive, high-performance whitewater play boats. 


The clinic begins with a fitting familiarization of paddling equipment. The longest dry land discussion of the clinic follows, covering equipment safety, emergency situations, and basic techniques. This is followed by an introduction to the water.

Canoeists begin with the basic strokes on flatwater, rapidly progressing to working with moving water. Ferrying and bracing are normally introduced. 

Kayakers will perform wet exits, learn to control the boat using the proper strokes, leans, and braces. Depending on the group’s progress, ferrying, peel-outs, and eddy-turns are usually introduced.





A more detailed discussion and demonstrations of bracing and eddying is conducted. This is followed by a discussion of the vocabulary of whitewater, presented through the use of instructional videos and blackboard illustration.Examples of holes, haystacks, eddy lines, river classifications, river-reading techniques, and river safety rules are introduced.

Canoeists will work on bracing, eddy-hopping, and ferrying. 

Kayakers will take a five-mile river trip and continue learning and practicing ferrying, bracing, peel-outs, and eddy-turns. Wave surfing is usually introduced.




Canoeists progress to heavier rapids (easy Class III) and work more on skills taught during the first two days, employing them in more powerful water. 

Kayakers will decide with instructor what area should be concentrated upon, and then either take another river trip, or work on the Class III Errol Rapid, learning about eddy-hopping. They will continue to build on the skills already acquired. Classes will continue to fine-tune skills by practicing on the Errol Rapid. As ability allows, advanced surfing and obtaining techniques will be introduced