Our Kayak Beginners Course is the perfect introduction to the sport of kayaking. We start the first day getting our confidence, learning the basics, forward and backward paddling, edging and bracing. Once we have mastered the basics we head off onto moving water on one of our local rivers. All set in some of the most picturesque scenery the Austrian Alps has to offer!
Kayak Course details
We usually meet at the bakery in Schnann around 9.30 in the morning, grab our lunch and then head up to a small lake situated high up in the mountains. The lake is the perfect spot, sheltered, warm water and with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and hanging glaciers. You will be given your modern personal kayaking equipment for the duration of the course consisting of a wetsuit, kayaking jacket, spray deck, buoyancy aid, helmet and sturdy wetsuit boots. Then it is the hardware, a modern state of the art kayak and paddle. We spend time making sure that the kayak fits to our individual bodies by adjusting the foot brace and back band, then putting in the right amount of foam and hip pads enabling you to have great boat control and perfect fit. Next are some warm up exercises and dry land practices with our paddle and sitting in the kayak. The Kayak School Instructors will give you a full safety briefing including demonstrations. Now it is time to get onto the water! We spend a while getting used to our kayaks, gaining confidence and balance turning the kayaks and then learning to paddle forwards.
After the lunch at the lake we will start with some practices from the morning session followed by learning more basic techniques such as paddling backwards, easy edging and light bracing (to help us from tipping over if we lose our balance). Throughout the day our Kayak School Instructors will have all sorts of goals, games and activities to help you progress with your newly learned skills.
In the morning we head back to the lake where we first go over what we learned the day before. We now start to learn specific skills for the river such as edging, leaning downstream and boat control. Firstly we explain about moving water and how this affects our kayak and how we can use the water to our advantage, next is all about river terminology. This is all done on the bank in our sand pit. We head back onto the lake to get a feeling for the techniques we will be using on moving water. Finally we do a few safety drills and even practice rolling over the kayak and self rescuing using a friend, partner or the instructor. Lunch is taken again by the lake.
In the afternoon we head to one of our local rivers, the Rosanna - a great little river with class I-II moving water. Here we will be heading down the river getting used to the speed and effect moving water has on our kayak and how we can control our kayak. We will work on turning our kayak, moving from one side of the river to the other, basic edging, leaning and not forgetting to take in where we are and all of the surroundings.
On our final day we head to the picturesque valley of Lech. A beautiful area with outstanding scenery all set in a National Park with one of the Alps last free flowing rivers! The Lech Valley is just one over from our base and to get there we will go over two mountain passes and past one of the best gorges in the Alps. We spend the whole day journeying down the River Lech. Throughout the day we put into practice the techniques we have learned over the past two days and we now start to learn how to eddy in and out of the river. We will also have plenty of action with waves and rapids to run.
Lunch is taken by the side of the river with the views of the mountains, alpine meadows and flowers all around. Do not worry about your lunch though, we will carry that for you in one of our waterproof dry bags. All you need to take is your water bottle!
After lunch we continue downstream learning to cross the river and keeping our kayak on the right course using edge and boat control and positive paddle strokes. Throughout the day we will explain the line down the rapid and you will be following one of our Instructors along the way. One rapid we will get out to scout our line, a class III, that is the culmination of everything you have learned and developed over the past three days. Again one of our Instructors will be in front to show you the line (in case you forgot) and from now on we make the most of the waves, currents and other rapids downstream. When we arrive at our take-out you will be amazed at just how good kayaking is.
Instructors / Coaches
All of our instructors / coaches are fully qualified and have a wealth of experience teaching kayaking not just in Austria but all over the world. They will tailer the course to your individual needs which enables you to learn at your own pace and with the utmost of professionalism your kayaking skills will progress extremely fast.
Kayaking is a dynamic sport. Though you do not have to be an Olympic athlete, an active lifestyle will certainly help. We will be kayaking for around 4-5 hours each day.
We work on a maximum ratio of 1:3 on our Beginners Course. Our average ratio over the past 5 years has been 1:2.
Kit to bring
Throughout the course you will need: a thermal top, swimwear, suncream, towel, water bottle, change of clothing and a sense of adventure!
Accomodation & Food
You are spoilt for choice here in the Arlberg. The region offers camping, bed and breakfast, holiday flats and of course hotels. If you would like help searching for your ideal place to stay just drop us a message. Our partners offer great prices if your are coming here to kayak.
Throughout the season you have plenty of options when it comes to restaurants. Be it a Tyroler Groestl, Wiener Schnitzel, steak, Thai food or vegetarian, there is something filling and tasty in our local restaurants.
If you do not have your own vehicle we can organise transfers, pick-ups and drop-offs. If you need any answers about vehicles or getting here then just drop us a message.
Dates & Prices
We have Beginners Courses planned on the following dates:
25-27 May 2019 (3 Days)
08-10 June 2019 (3 Days)
15-16 June 2019 (2 Days)
12-14 July 2019 (3 Days)
13-20 July (1 Week)
27-28 July 2019 (2 Days)
07-08 August 2019 (2 Days)
17-18 August 2019 (2 Days)
30 August - 01 September (3 Days)
14-16 September 2019 (3 Days)
No date to suite your plans? Just let us know through the contact form. We are pretty flexible here at the Kayak School giving you the best opportunity to see the region from a different perspective.
2 Day Group Course: EUR 280 per person
3 Day Group Course: EUR 370 per person
4 Day Group Course: EUR 490 per person
1 person: EUR 200
2 persons: EUR 170 per person
3 persons or more: EUR 150 per person