Initial Training

All new Canton Kayak Club members attend a basic, Quick Start training class, taught by American Canoe Association-certified instructors, before they are permitted to use our kayaks and equipment.  The class lasts approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours, and the cost is included in the membership fee.  Training is required only once; members who return to the club in subsequent years do not have to train again.

Members learn the basic skills needed to get out on the water, including:  

  • Kayak and equipment terminology
  • Basic fitting and adjustment of the kayak
  • Gripping and controlling the paddle
  • Entering and exiting the kayak
  • Basic paddle strokes and kayak maneuvers
  • Safety considerations

Training is generally held on weekends at either our Fells Point or our Island View Waterfront Cafe location.  We may, on occasion, schedule weekday evening classes, depending upon demand and instructor availability.  Training classes usually begin about two weeks before the season formally opens, and continue throughout the season as needed.

Because of the need to keep the student/instructor ratio at the proper level, there are a limited number of spaces available in each class.  Each new member must be scheduled in advance for his/her class; "walk-ups" are not accepted.  New members are contacted to schedule their training; training cannot be scheduled before your membership fee and your completed application/waiver form have been received.  Those who join during the off-season will be contacted when we begin scheduling for the season; those who join after training has started will be contacted as soon as possible after the application/waiver and membership fee have been received.  (And those who attend our annual Season Opening Party, in mid-April, can speak to someone in person to schedule training.)  Our goal is to get each new member into the earliest available class that fits his/her personal schedule.

The CKC contracts with to provide our new member training.  Please note that the instructors are not club staff, and cannot take applications or membership payments. We must receive a new member's application/waiver and membership payment BEFORE training can be scheduled.

After training is successfully completed, members receive their membership card and the access codes for our kayaks and equipment, and may immediately begin enjoying time on the water!  (Members who complete training before the season formally opens will be given the access codes when the opening date is announced.)

Additional Training

The CKC works with to schedule several rescue training classes each season.  These classes are available to members who have completed our basic training, and are optional.  Members must register in advance with, and pay directly. offers these classes to CKC members at a discounted rate; the cost is not included in the CKC membership fee.

In this class, members will learn new skills such as:

  • Wet exit (exiting an overturned kayak)
  • Rescuing a kayaker whose boat has capsized (T and X rescues), and being rescued by another kayaker
  • Self-rescue using a paddle float
  • Emptying a kayak 

This course can greatly increase a paddler's confidence on the water, and we highly recommend it.

Rescue classes are generally held at our Island View location.  Classes are scheduled several times during the season, with dates announced as the classes are scheduled.


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