National Safe Boating Week Kayaking 101

5/18/2024 | Cuivre River State Park | Troy, MO

ACA Paddlesports logoSummer is right around the corner, and kayaking is a great way to enjoy Missouri's beautiful outdoors! Missouri State Parks and the American Canoe Association are teaming up to get you started!

As part of National Safe Boating Week, nationally certified ACA kayak instructors are volunteering their time to offer you a special opportunity to take this class for just $15. Typically, this same class would cost between $75 and $150! Class size is limited to 15 participants, so sign up now! Kayaks, paddles and life jackets will be provided as needed, but you are encouraged to bring your own equipment if you have it.

If you are new to paddling, looking to meet paddling friends, or have had a bad experience and want to learn a better way to go about it, this class is for you. Please reach out to contact us with any questions.

Class topics:

  • Trip planning, preparation and safety
  • What equipment you should carry
  • Parts of the boat, parts of the paddle
  • Understanding how bulkheads and flotation help make you safer
  • How to properly carry/transport your boat
  • Basic posture for full-body paddling and boat control
  • Basic paddling strokes
  • How to properly get in and out of your boat
  • How to reenter a kayak if you capsize in deep water (multiple methods for self- and assisted rescue)
  • How to empty a swamped boat
  • How to tow a swimmer

What to bring:

  • Camp chair
  • Life jacket* (You will be required to wear a life jacket at all times while on the water.)
  • Paddle*
  • Kayak*
  • Plenty of water to drink
  • Sunscreen or hat
  • Strap for your glasses
  • Lunch and snacks (We will break for lunch, but we will all eat together and then resume the class, so we all need to bring our lunches.)

*Life jackets, paddles and kayaks will be provided for those who do not have them.

What to wear:

Keep in mind we will be paddling and practicing skills for what to do if you capsize, so you will get wet. Quick-drying fabrics and shorts are better for paddling than is cotton clothing, as cotton will just keep you wet and cold all day. Please do not wear flip-flops. Closed-toe river shoes or sneakers are perfect. You need shoes that attach at your ankles and provide some amount of traction.


If you are concerned about the weather forecast, you should know we are already prepared for the class to convene rain or shine so that you can at least get the benefit of on land education. Your nationally certified ACA lead instructor will make appropriate determinations about if or when to get on the water, and you will always have the option to decide about your level of participation. So, plan to join us even if Missouri weather is not totally cooperating!!


Registration is $15, and there is a maximum of 15 participants. Registration opens Monday, April 22, and is required. 

Use the "REGISTER HERE" link below to register. When you get to the registration website, you will need to select the event date from the calendar in the “Choose Date” box and then click "Search Activities." From there, click on the green “Show 2 sessions available” button below the Kayaking 101 listing. Then, click on the green “Sign Up!” button next to the appropriate session.

This same class is also being offered at Finger Lakes State Park on the same date, so if the Cuivre River class is full, you may still be able to participate in Kayaking 101. To register for the Finger Lakes class, follow the same steps outlined above.

Register here

For More Information:

If you have any questions about the class, please contact Rebecca Young with Missouri State Parks at 573-751-9264 or

Click here to read the news release.

Cuivre River State Park is located at:

678 State Route 147, Troy, MO | 636-528-7247

Associated activities

  • Canoeing/Kayaking