The Nitty Gritty...
Whether you're looking to learn the basics or take your river exploring to the next level, there's a course for you. With our Packrafting 101 we'll start from the ground up and teach you good practice to shape you packrafting habits. We'll also cover a range of simple and effective solutions to common problems, helping you to build your rescue toolbox.These course are a great way to try before you buy a packraft too. Far better to ask instructors questions and try different rafts than to shell out your hard earned cash on the wrong one.
Our Intermediate Courses are designed to progress already confident paddlers looking to really push on with their packrafting. The expectation is that you have a basic knowledge of rescues, throw ropes and can safely and confidently run grade 2+ Whitewater already.
Whilst every course we run will vary slightly to meet the needs of our students and the conditions we have on the day, there is a uniformity of content that we deliver that has since become the curriculum for the Packrafting Association of New Zealand.
Whilst there is always scope to ask questions and discuss other topics that come up throughout the course, our packrafting introduction courses include but are not limited to:
- An introduction to hydrology, river features and hazards
- An introduction to packrafting equipment
- Internationally adopted river signals
- Swimming in river
- Swimming with gear
- Packraft inflation and tempering
- Forward paddle stroke
- Steering paddle strokes
- Catching eddies
- Leaving eddies
- Crossing currents
- Scouting and identifying a line
- River running tactics
- Catching mid stream eddies and more boat control work
- Rescue priorities and principals
- Throw bagging
- Recoil and second throws of throw bags
- Self Rescue (deep water re-entry)
- Peer Rescue (assisted deep water re-entry)
- More scouting and line execution
- Boat scouting
- Setting boat based safety cover
- An understanding of more complex risks such as foot entrapment and boat pins
- Any other areas of paddling that people are keen to spend time on developing (skill development is about repetition, repetition, repetition)
For intermediate courses, it is expected that you have all of the above skills dialled, that you are cable of paddling in complete control on grade 2 and are keen to move on to more serious whitewater. There is not much room in the format to revise and re-visit all of the skills outlined above although we will revisit some of the perishable rescue skills to ensure we are going to be safe on the water together. Areas of focus include:
- A revision of boat based safety (self and peer rescue)
- Some warm up runs to get everyone comfortable on the river again
- Making easy water difficult by introducing more difficult moves and mid-rapid eddies
- A focus on contact management (interacting with features with a sense of purpose and control- the genesis of boofing)
- Scouting and line identification for more demanding rapids
- Rolling cover
- Communication (use of river signals to communicate line choices or river running tactics)
- Breaking rapids into chunks/moves and tackling the one problem at a time
- Putting all the skills into practise on a river trip
Intermediate courses can be put on at any time with a minimum of 4 people so get in touch if you want to upskill your crew!
Departures and Timings:
- From Queenstown (meet your guide on Duke St, opposite the Sofitel) at 8am. You can meet us in Glenorchy or alternatively self drive (self driving is a necessity under Level 3)
- Allow three full days on the water
- Private Courses can be put together for groups of 4 as a minimum.
- Private tuition can be booked at a rate of $50 per hour to work on specific skills or have some private coaching.
- Our 3 day courses in Murchison are run in conjunction with the NZ Kayak School and include accomodation and video analysis.
Fitness and Experience Levels:
- Our Packrafting 101 are perfect for newbies or people who are in the first couple of years of packrafting and are suitable for all levels of fitness.
- Specific Rescue courses are available on request and/or subject to minimum numbers.
- The Intermediate course is aimed at picking up where the Packrafting 101 course stops. Therefore participant should be ready for a course that will include grade 3 whitewater.
What to bring:
- A towel and swimwear
- Your personal river/rescue gear
- Sturdy footwear (that you don't mind getting wet as we cross rivers)
- Suitable hiking clothes for the weather
- Bug Repellant
- Your own Packraft if you have one
What we provide:
- All specialist packrafting equipment
- Knowledge and experience
If getting hold of specific packrafting or rescue gear is problematic, let us know and we'll do our best to provide gear for you.