Introduction to River Paddling Skills and Safety Class



Online registration for Introduction to Paddling Skills and Safety Class
Course cost is $300 for Fairbanks Paddlers members* / $400 for non-members

(Participants should be 18 or older by start of course.)

(*Fairbanks Paddlers annual membership is $10 per person / $15 per household, or $100 for lifetime membership. fairbankspaddlers/join)

Course Description:
Participants in this introductory course will spend two full (and fun) days learning, practicing and refining new skills for paddling on moving water. These skills build the foundation for intermediate and advanced paddling and safety classes. This course will be tailored to meet the needs of participants in varied paddlecraft suitable for river travel: packrafts, whitewater kayaks, solo canoes, inflatable kayaks, or SUP’s.

Course content includes the following:
• Appropriate equipment and gear
• River types and classes
• How to locate information about local rivers
• How to choose an appropriate river
• Introduction to hydrology
• Safety and rescue techniques
• Strokes and maneuvers

Venue: Lake and class I-II river features – Specific locations TBD

Required Equipment: Drysuit, PFD, paddle, helmet, appropriate paddlecraft.

Additional costs – Participants will need to either be American Canoe Association (ACA) members ($40 per year), or join ACA with an event membership ($10 per 2 day class). Rental gear is extra. Participants may need to drive to the venue or share transportation costs with others. Depending on the selected venues, there may be day use parking fees.

Need gear? Equipment may be available at an additional cost. Please let us know during registration. The instructors may be able to work with you to provide rental gear through Turnagain Kayak.

SKU: N/A Category:



Additional Information:

Fairbanks Paddlers is bringing professional paddlesports instructors to the Fairbanks area to provide two paddling skills and safety classes in June. Each class will be two full days. One course will focus on beginning level skills for paddling on moving water. This class will be open to participants with packrafts, river-specific kayaks, inflatable kayaks, solo canoes, and SUP’s. The second intermediate level class is intended for those who completed the first course, or paddlers with equivalent river skills. Because of the more specific skills focus, this class is for targeted to packrafters and kayakers with closed cockpit river-specific kayaks. Each class will be limited to 10 participants with two instructors. Participants need to be age 18 or older.


Patrick Higgins

Patrick Higgins will be the lead instructor for both classes. Patrick offers classes through Turnagain Kayak Adventure Center based out of Hope, Alaska. Patrick was the first to be certified by American Canoe Association (ACA) as an instructor for their newly introduced discipline of Packrafting. He is also a certified instructor for Whitewater Kayaking, Whitewater SUP, Swiftwater Rescue, and Sea Kayaking. He was recognized as the Instructor of the Month for September 2022 by ACA. Patrick is the new Chair for the American Packrafting Association (APA) Alaska Chapter.


Maggie Harings will assist in instructing both classes. Maggie is also an ACA certified packrafting instructor and recently transitioned out of serving as Chair for the APA Alaska Chapter. Maggie lives in Fairbanks where she studies Pacific salmon and has an outdoor photography business. Before moving to Alaska in 2017, she spent several years rafting big water in Idaho and the mountain west.


Additional information


Course Registration Fairbanks Paddlers Member, Course Registration Non-member


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Event Details

Date: June 21, 2024

Start time: 09:00 AKDT

End time: 06:00 AKDT

Venue: TBD