Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have any Kayaking classes?
Where are the LCCC classes offered?
What's the time frame? I go clubbing on Saturday nights.
I've been canoeing rivers, including class 2 or even some class 3 rapids, for years but I've never had any instruction --- I'm self-taught. I want to take the whitewater class. Can I get the class organizer's permission to do that without taking the Flatwater/Moving Water class first?
I have knee problems and I can't kneel in a canoe, or I can't kneel for very long. Can I still take the classes?
I have a beautiful, sleek fiberglass boat that the catalog said is good for all-around paddling, including whitewater. Is that OK for the whitewater class?
Well, then, what are the best boats for the classes?
I have to go to a wedding (or whatever) on Saturday and I can only make the second day of the class. Is that OK?
Does it make sense to take the class twice?
Who are these instructors? Are they ACA-certified?
If the instructors aren't paid, where do the fees for the class go?
Why do we have to have ACA insurance? Is this dangerous?
Who takes the classes?
What's the student-teacher ratio?
Capsizes?
What if the weather's bad?
I sent my check in and then I wrenched my shoulder. Or my mother decided to visit. Or somebody cute invited me to this great crawdad festival ... Can I back out and get my money back?
I took the first day of the class, and can't take the second day or the weather's bad and I don't want to take the second day. Can I get half my money back?
I'm taking the class and I'm not clicking with my instructor or the group seems too advanced/not advanced enough for me. What should I do?
Help! I still have questions!


Do you have any Kayaking classes?


This year we are offering an IK class as it is becoming a popular sport that interests more and more club members. We welcome kayakers in our club, and many of them paddle with us on our club trips, but we do not offer specific instruction because that is available through many other clubs in the area. The Alder Creek Canoe and Kayak store at Jantzen Beach and in Bend are good sources for hardshell kayak lessons.

Where are the LCCC classes offered?


The first day of the Flatwater/Moving Water class is typically at Lacamas Lake in Washington, about a 40-minute drive from Portland. The location of Day 2 is up to the lead instructor of each group, but is typically the Dabney to Lewis and Clark run on the Sandy River (gentle current with a few riffles) or the Oxbow to Dabney run on the Sandy (faster current with a couple Class 1+ or 2- rapids). Day 1 of the Whitewater Class is typically on Oxbow to Dabney on the Sandy or a Class 1+ or 2- run on the Clackamas. (All are about 45 minutes or an hour from Portland.) Day 2 is often Barton to Carver on the Clackamas or, more commonly, part or all of the Mill City to Mehama run on the North Santiam (solid class 2). The North Santiam is about an hour and a half drive from Portland. More advanced groups can tackle more difficult runs at the instructors' discretion.

What's the time frame? I go clubbing on Saturday nights.


For the Flatwater/Moving Water class, meet at the lake and be ready to paddle at 9 a.m. on Day 1 (Saturday). Instruction lasts till 4 p.m., with a good lunch break (bring your lunch), and the instructors will be available after 4 p.m. for special requests if anyone wants to keep working. Lead instructors set the finish time for Day 2 but the goal is to be off the river by 4 p.m. In the Whitewater Class, the suggested time frame is similar but will depend on where you go. If you have time constraints, ask your instructor about it.

I've been canoeing rivers, including class 2 or even some class 3 rapids, for years but I've never had any instruction --- I'm self-taught. I want to take the whitewater class. Can I get the class organizer's permission to do that without taking the Flatwater/Moving Water class first?


If you've never had instruction, the best thing you can do for yourself is have an instructor critique and help you refine your strokes in the Intermediate Flatwater/Moving Water class. Efficiency, powerful strokes and boat control are key in whitewater. Self-taught canoeists have often taught themselves some bad habits that keep them from progressing. If you have taught yourself by carefully studying instructional videos and reading about technique, you might be able to skip the prerequisite. But in many ways, the flatwater critiques are the most important part of the curriculum we offer and can benefit canoeists of all levels. When ski instructors are working on your technique, they put you on an easy hill, not the hardest hill you can ski, so you can fully focus on learning new body mechanics. Even if you have had formal instruction before, the Flatwater/Moving Water class is where we will focus on refining stroke mechanics, and you are expected to have good command of that for the Whitewater Class.

I have knee problems and I can't kneel in a canoe, or I can't kneel for very long. Can I still take the classes?


This isn't a problem for the Flatwater/Moving Water classes, though it might mean that you want to be in a group that chooses a particularly gentle river section for Day 2. Please let us know if you prefer to paddle sitting or kneeling for the flatwater/moving water classes. For the Whitewater Class, you must be able to kneel. If kneeling is painful for you, kayaking may be a better bet for you in running whitewater than canoeing. You might consider taking our Whitewater IK course if you have bad knees.

I have a beautiful, sleek fiberglass boat that the catalog said is good for all-around paddling, including whitewater. Is that OK for the whitewater class?


Well, no. We hate to see you bash up and scratch your beautiful boat on river rocks. And the sleekest boats aren't the easiest for maneuvering on rivers and can easily become pinned or damaged when making more difficult maneuvers in rapids. But we can help you find a different boat to paddle for the classes, whether through a loan or rental.

Well, then, what are the best boats for the classes?


Typically good flat-water/moving water canoes, sometimes called recreational or touring canoes, range in length from 15 to 18 feet, depending on if they are paddled solo or tandem. Canoes can be made of ABS, Royalex, polypropylene, fiberglass or Kevlar. One of the fun things to learn about canoeing and paddling is that there are many kinds of boats to paddle and they each have advantages and disadvantages. Also keep in mind that you can reasonably expect a canoe on a river to get scratched and scuffed up sliding over shallow spots or bumping rocks and other obstacles, or simply being pulled up a river bank. Call and ask if the boat you plan to use would be workable and practical for the second day on the river where we will be maneuvering around rocks and obstacles. People who take the solo version of the Whitewater Class are typically in more specialized whitewater boats with foam pedestal seats, thigh straps and lots of rocker. In the tandem whitewater classes more specialized whitewater boats offer a lot of advantages and it is essential that you have knee pads and thigh straps for kneeling. If you have any concerns or questions please discuss that with the clinic organizer

I have to go to a wedding (or whatever) on Saturday and I can only make the second day of the class. Is that OK?


No. The second day of the course builds on the skills developed on the first day. You must attend the first day to participate in the class on the second day.

Does it make sense to take the class twice?


Absolutely. Or more than twice. There is much to learn, Grasshopper. And we can put you in more advanced groups.

Who are these instructors? Are they ACA-certified?


Some of our instructors are ACA-certified and are simply great instructors with a lifetime of experience paddling and teaching paddling. Our lead instructors in each group have lots of experience teaching our classes and are expert canoeists. In the whitewater class, your lead instructor is someone who is comfortable on class III to IV water and has safety training. Most of the assistant instructors have lots of teaching and canoe experience as well. Our instructors are all volunteers. The only pay they receive is mileage for driving their vehicles and the joy of sharing their passion for canoeing and hoping it spreads. All the instructors share a great love of boating. Many of them have had advanced instruction and coaching from Bob Foote and/or other national experts.

If the instructors aren't paid, where do the fees for the class go?


We pay the instructors the federal mileage rate (about 50 cents a mile), and that chews up a good part of the money. Part of the money goes for supplies (buoys, a Basic Canoeing Book for the beginning class). Last year, the classes just about broke even. Any money that's left over goes into the club treasury, which funds some instructor training and safety-class scholarships for members.

Why do we have to have ACA insurance? Is this dangerous?


Any water sport carries risks. We'll teach you some of the safety basics of the sport, but if you feel uncomfortable or fearful at any time in a class you should tell the instructor. Our club has a great reputation for being safety-conscious, but the waivers you sign specifically state that you take responsibility for your own safety.

Who takes the classes?


We've had students of all ages from 10 to sixtysomething, and all fitness levels. If you're an aggressive learner, we'll aim to put you in a like-minded group. If you want to take it easy, we’ll put you in a mellow group. In general, the sport of canoeing offers everything from beautiful, placid lakes to roaring class V rivers.

What's the student-teacher ratio?


It's excellent and you'll get lots of personal attention. Typically, we'll have two instructor boats per four student boats in each group, though the size can vary. In the whitewater classes, depending on the group or the difficulty of the run, you may have extra safety boats along as well to help in case of capsizes.

Capsizes?


Yes, once in a while even people canoeing on a lake flip when they're focusing on a drill. Capsizes are pretty much part of the sport, especially in whitewater. Bring a spare set (or two) of warm, dry clothes.

What if the weather's bad?


We'll keep paddling, so dress warmly and dryly. Bring extra clothes! If it's miserable, you can quit. It's not boot camp.

I sent my check in and then I wrenched my shoulder. Or my mother decided to visit. Or somebody cute invited me to this great crawdad festival ... Can I back out and get my money back?


We hope that once you register that you will be able to attend the clinics. However, if an emergency arises, you may cancel up to a week in advance and get a full refund.

I took the first day of the class, and can't take the second day or the weather's bad and I don't want to take the second day. Can I get half my money back?


Nope. Our policy is no refunds once the class has started.

I'm taking the class and I'm not clicking with my instructor or the group seems too advanced/not advanced enough for me. What should I do?


We might be able to switch you into a different group for the rest of the day or for Day 2. Talk to your instructors or the class organizer.

Help! I still have questions!


Contact the class organizer:
Karl Koenig
22260 White Peaks Drive
Bend, Oregon 97702
541-388-1640
Email: karlkoenig@bendbroadband.com