CKAPCO Trainers are getting the 2019 season underway

CKAPCO River and Coastal Kayaking Instructor Trainer Larry Ausley began his teaching season last weekend on the James River in Richmond, providing a whitewater kayaking skills polishing course. The level and the day were perfect for everyone to have a great time. FUN was the order of business.

Check out Larry’s 2019 spring newsletter including training he already has scheduled for the upcoming year. Images courtesy Randi Kruger.

2019 is here! We are off and leaving a wake


Greetings! It’s been a while, but we are back and excited about the New Year. I am starting off by spending time in Islamorada, in the Florida Keys, doing short kayak trips to the little keys like Indian, Lignumvitae and Shell, plus some Instruction; all to order. Come on down!

Otherwise, we are off with a schedule of instructor certification classes starting this month in Coastal Kayak, River Kayak, Canoe, River Rescue and Stand Up Paddleboard. These all cover the training, assessment of skills, knowledge and ability to teach. Aside from certification, they are a super way to gain, or develop skills and knowledge as a paddler.

Our courses are mostly in the DC Metro areas of Maryland and Virginia, as well as North Carolina (Larry Ausley), Pennsylvania and Florida. Course duration is 2 - 6 days, depending on level of training (L 1 - L 4). See the ckapco.comwebsite and/or contact Mike, or Larry for NC.

Our venues are some of the best in the USA:  Potomac, Rappahannock, Shenandoah, Youghiogheny, Salmon plus several rivers in NC, creeks all over, several bays and the Atlantic.

Our skills courses are going to mainly be to order; for 1 to 10 folks for training in whatever paddlesport, for whatever level including flatwater, easy whitewater, intermediate or advanced. We love to lead day and half-day trips. Watch for our annual week-long Idaho Salmon River trip (sign up) and most years, a Costa Rica whitewater course as well. We have done trips all over, including many western and southeastern rivers plus Croatia, Cuba, South Island New Zealand, etc. If you have a few folks who want to travel afar, we can likely help.

So whatever you would like to do for skills or trips; please just ask. We do this full time, 7 days a week, as many months a year as possible. Please stay in touch and please email, text, or phone.



Where's your next adventure?


As summer winds down and folks start looking forward, we're getting contacted about upcoming opportunities for adventure with CKAPCO. As you can see by the testimonials on our 2017 Salmon River Trip , Idaho's Main Salmon River is a crowd favorite and accommodates a wide range of paddling experience. The 2018 trip is already scheduled for August 13-18, 2018 on the river and most will meet in Boise, ID on August 12. We'll finish in McCall, ID and be back in Boise on the 19th. See a few more details on the website of our trip-partner: Action Whitewater Adventures on the page dedicated just for our CKAPCO trip (Password: Mike). Folks are already looking at this trip, so be sure to sign up early and reserve yourself a spot! Even if you want to look at other dates for this trip, let us know and we can get you some great deals on the Salmon.


CKAPCO Instructor Trainer Educator Ben Morton is leading trips to the warm weather and whitewater rivers of Costa Rica this winter from December 9-17, 2017. Costa Rica is world-famous for its diversity (and beauty) of whitewater and unparalleled ecological diversity. It's common to run across blue Morpho butterflies, howler monkeys, toucans, iguanas and tree sloths during your paddling days and to sit and watch colorful poison-dart frogs during lunch breaks in the lush bromeliad vegetation riverside. See Ben's trip description here and contact him directly with interest.

Looking for a laid-back winter getaway in the United States' tropical paradise? The Florida Keys is a great warm weather vacation with paddling trips to local Keys and or instruction; plus opportunity to snorkel, SCUBA and/or bike in the Keys and Key West. Mike will host guests in the Keys from January 1 through Jan 30, 2018. If you can bear the thought of a warm, relaxing vacation in the Keys (and who can't?), give Mike a call at (703) 850-1257. 


2017 Salmon River Trip

2017 Salmon River Trip

CKAPCO exists for fun. We do our best to have fun classes and trips and when it comes to trips, our Idaho river trips are my favorite. I have been doing them for 27 years and am as excited now as on the first one. This year we had sixteen folks along with us: one from CA, two from PA and the rest; DC Metro folks. I knew all but one from the start, but in no time at all, it was a big happy family. I've never had a better trip; never had such a great group.

Nailing the Forward Canoe Stroke

Single Bladers,

As the weather continues to warm up we will all be spending more time on the water, preferably in open boats.  In doing so, you must do your part to uphold the image of open boaters.  I wanted to share some thoughts on how to ensure your forward stokes are efficient and effective.

Here are five suggestions to help you nail the forward stroke:

1) Keep your paddle shaft vertical.  It is natural for a forward stroke to move the boat to the off-side; however, less correction is needed when we have a vertical paddle shaft as seen from the front of the boat.

2) Engage your "big" muscles.  No matter how impressive your guns are they will eventually tire after a day on the river.  Your torso muscles are much more efficient and powerful.  Use torso rotation to unlock maximum power in your forward strokes.

3) Stop the power at your knee (definitely not past the hip).  Applying force past the knee results in your blade pulling up on the water.  This results in extra drag and a noisy boat.

4) Dial up the power.  If you begin the stroke with maximum effort your paddle will begin to slip.  It is better to gradually increase the juice throughout the power phase.

5) Pull the boat to the paddle.  It may seem counter intuitive, but you need to understand that the paddle is not being pulled through the water.  You want to stick the paddle in one spot and pull the boat and yourself forward toward the catch point.

If you need any ideas for drills, a quick lesson to work on a troubled stroke, or just want to paddle, contact us.  I hope to see you rocking the river this summer!

Mike's Heading for the keys (& we're left in the cold) :-(

While Mike is heading for the Florida Keys (where you could be joining him!), we're left here in the more northern climes talking about what a great time winter is to paddle; if you're prepared. Check out our December Newsletter for CKAPCO tidbits. Enjoy some pix Mike took with the group that joined him last winter on his annual Florida Keys trip!