PE 181 Paddling Fundamentals

Course Objective

The objective of this course is to provide students with the opportunity to develop fundamental knowledge and skills for planning and participating in flat and moving water situations with the use of kayaks, canoes and/or rafts.  

Course Description

Students will gain knowledge combined with hard and soft skill practice necessary for safely participating in water environments from calm water up to Class III rapids. Technical skill topics will include the following: overview of safety equipment (helmets, PFDs, paddles, throw bags, floatation and whistle), reading moving water, hazard identification, wet/dry exit and recovery techniques, whitewater self-defense skills and basic haul systems. Group leadership topics will include basics of group dynamics, communication styles, loading/unloading and transportation of equipment, required components of a pre-trip safety speech ("Paddle Talk") and basic environmental hazards (lightning, entrapment, flora/fauna).

Course Requirements

Students must be able to swim and expect cold, swift moving white water handling themselves appropriately. Any unexcused class absence will result in a failing grade.  Please dress for the water conditions everyday- swimsuit and warm/dry clothes to change into afterward. Wetsuits, booties and gloves, and all other required equipment will be provided. Students will be expected to participate in paddling in a variety of weather and water conditions. Topics will be covered as needed based on both water level and temperature conditions and equipment availability.