Touring Category

PNA/BCU Week – Trainings and Assessments

PNA Week 2016 is September 23 to October 6

PNA Week 2016

We offer 1 star to 4 star BCU training and assessments, Foundation Safety & Rescue Training andNavigation and Tidal Planning courses, and are currently the only Whitewater Safety & Rescue Provider in North America.  Many great coaches get their start during our popular coach training and education courses.  We also run PNA “Week” each October where you can combine a number of trainings and assessments over a couple weeks while paddling along the beautiful Oregon rivers and coast.

People choose to pursue BCU training and the Star Awards for a variety of reasons. They include the desire to gauge one’s level of paddling skills, the ability to adequately judge a person’s capacity to take on a given journey and the recognition of the human need to constantly challenge and improve ourselves. Our goal is to provide the tools for long term paddler development. The BCU Star awards: Training, Practice, Assessment and then on to the next level.

Click the banner above, or click HERE to register and view course listings for personal skill development as well as coaching certification!

Lumpy Waters 2015 VIDEO and Wrap Up

Lumpy Waters 2015!

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Check out some photos from the event HERE or check out the Lumpy Waters Facebook page!

Lumpy Waters is a three day celebration of sea kayaking! With coaching aimed at advanced beginners, early intermediates, and advanced level paddlers, Lumpy provides an unparalleled opportunity to improve your skills on the beautiful Oregon Coast. Top coaches come from all over the world, making Lumpy Waters the premiere instructional destination for dynamic ocean paddling.

Alder Creek Kayak & Canoe presents their 7th annual Lumpy Waters Symposium held in Pacific City, OR. This year’s event took place from October 16th – 18th, 2015. This film had a 36 hour turnaround, was shot on Friday and Saturday of the event, and was presented Saturday night for the attendants. Film by Brent Williamson of Raging River Pictures (

If you are interested in joining us next year, please check out for more information on next year’s event October 7-9, 2016!  Or, just click the Book Now button below!

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Chet Faker – Gold

Topher Mohr and Alex Elena – Stalling

Keller Williams – Vabeeotchay


Wrap-Up from Dave and Suzi:

Alder Creek would like to extend a HUGE thank YOU to the folks who make our Lumpy Waters Symposium possible!!

Every year the Alder Creek Lumpy Waters Symposium is a success due to people who make a GIANT effort.  First we couldn’t do it without the support staff who stay in Portland and run the stores, programs and work the Pumpkin Regatta!!  We have the best staff in the world and we truly appreciate the efforts made by the entire team.  Our retail staff, rental staff, guides, instructors and coaches work all year reaching out to folks with ideas and suggestions to improve their paddling skills or just more time on the water.  Paddlers encouraging other paddlers to reach for the limits and expanding their horizons by following a progression of skill building that leads a lucky group of people to Lumpy each year.

Thank you to our staff who believe!!

An ENORMOUS thanks to the coaches, staff and volunteers who are on site at Lumpy! Leading classes, assisting classes, filming, outfitting boats, loading boats, doing dishes, fitting helmets, working registration, organizing vehicles, driving shuttles, organizing students, organizing coaches, smiling, having fun and MAKING FUN happen. Endless work and Endless magic. Thank you.

A very special Thanks goes out to our manufacturers and vendors who support this event in ways too numerous to list. They truly make it possible and comfortable and certainly add a BIG FUN factor with the raffle items, beverage cups, drysuits, kayaks, hats, DVDs and endless schwag. Plus they are there to work and help which is priceless.
Thank you so much TEAM ALDER CREEK!

The Students are the MOST special part of Lumpy each year, bringing their enthusiasm and goals to the Oregon Coast with open eyes and rapidly beating hearts.
A brave bunch of paddlers putting their trust in the coach’s vision hoping for a break through moment or their first surf or improving their forward stroke or mastering that elusive roll.
Thank you for the chance to splash, cheer and laugh together.

See you next year!!

Thank YOU all
Dave and Suzi


Dave Slover

Suzi Elle

Suzi Elle


Some Positive Feedback:

My son and I both had an awesome time at our first but not last Lumpy Waters. The coaches, sponsors and kayak comunity make it impossible not to have the best learning and all-round good time of the year. Things I liked: 1. The quality of the coaches and their ability to share their skills with kayakers new to the surf environment. Fear to fun was perfect for that. 2. The venues were varried for novice and advanced paddler. Some very close to camp. I liked hearing the surf at night when going to sleep. 3. The afternoon happy hour and evening activities where a BLAST!! Thanks to the sponsors and enthusiastic coaches.
Things to improve, I would like to see fun and feed back increase to a full day. We ran out of time before we had a chance to practice some of what was taught. 2. Maps of the different venue locations. I got separated from the group due to stop lights and had a tough time finding the launch.
Thanks for a fantastic program,

Suzi, thanks to you and Paul for all the hard work you put in at Lumpy Waters. Being there for the first time made me appreciate all the logistical work behind it. I really enjoyed it and plan to return next year.
David S

Had a great time at Lumpy. Nick Cunliff was awesome. I would endorse his return.
By now you should be relaxed and relishing the accomplishment of a very successful Lumpy. You and Paul should be very proud.
Donna S

Excellent class. Chris did a great job. Thanks for making it happen.

Paul (and staff),
I had a great time at my first Lumpy. I couldn’t begin to offer suggestions for improvement. You guys have this put together so well- its an impressive experience to be a part of. Do the things you guys need to do to make the job easier on yourselves so we all can continue to benefit from such a valuable event.
The video preview was huge. Such a quality capturing of the feeling of what we were all involved in. I’m sharing it with everyone.
I look forward to many more Lumpy’s.
Thank you,
Kevin M

Thanks so much, Paul. First let me just say that Lumpy was awesome and I plan to return next year. I really appreciated the variety of options and the great venues and awesome coaches.
Again, thanks so much for all your work.

Suzi –
Just another quick shout out that I had a really enjoyable time (and learned a lot!) at both BCU week and Lumpy. Thanks to you and all of the Alder Creek team for putting on such an excellent event. I know you are recovering and have to be exhausted. I certainly appreciate all the work put in.
Thanks again for a wonderful event!

Now I can see why everyone talks about Lumpy. The entire weekend was superb–the boating, the coaches, the lodging, the food and your flawless organization.
Thanks much; hope to come back up next year.

I want to thank you for getting Jeannie involved in Sunday’s activities. She had fun.
Putting Lumpy on was certainly a high energy effort and without the energy it wouldn’t be as successful as it was. Quality of instruction and general support of participants with food and evening activities keeps all focused on why we are there. Thank you.

Hi Paul, I just wanted to take a moment to tell you how much we enjoyed our time at Lumpy Waters. An amazing staff and great organization made this event really function. On top of that, the level of instruction was superb as was the level of comraderie. My Wife Claire and I were attending for the first time and we feel we gained so much kayaking knowledge as well as a great view of what it means to be part of the kayaking community. Thanks so much to you, the owners and of course Suzi and all the staff for making it happen. We are looking forward to next year. Mike

Paul, Dave and Suzi,
I wanted to thank you guys again for including me in your event. Very impressive again this year. I personally saw a lot of folks making big progress on their personal kayak skills in a short time. Your unique idea to allow so much real time changing to different classes goes a long ways toward creating a positive feeling towards the event.
Kim G

Suzi Just a super thanks for everything !

Suzi and Paul,
Thank you for a great event. I really enjoyed it.

Hey Paul,
Great event!
I’m looking at the questions you wanted answered and honestly can’t think of anyway to improve the event. Everything from the scheduling of classes to the wonderful people there would be hard to improve on. Thanks for letting me be part of this event! I would love to come back next year if there is room.

Hey Paul!
Just wanted to say thanks for inviting me up again, I had a blast and was happy to be a part of a great event. The classes went really well, Ryan and Malcom were great to work with and you have a great crew at Alder Creek too. I heard several students comment on how much they liked having lots of instructors on each class so they could get some more individualized instruction, and I think that worked really well in each class I was a part of. The Pub Quiz and the presentation were great, and having an open happy hour was a big hit. I think you guys have the entertainment down really well, it was great to see a really good venue where everything can be contained on site. I heard nothing but good feedback from students all weekend, people were really happy. I liked the duct tape on people’s helmets so the coaches could see names and how they placed themselves as a paddler. That was super helpful. Keep up all the great work, we will keep telling lots of students about Lumpy!

Magnificent job with Lumpy 2015!

Great conference, I plan on returning.
I liked courses, instructors, attendees, beer & atmosphere.
It was great ending on Sunday, attempting to surf at Netarts.
I want to get more surfing in this winter & hope to find someone from conference to go with. Maybe more lessons?
Best coaching experiences where when the coaches would adapt the lesson plan to each individual’s skill level.
Could be better: food.

Paul, Lumpy rocked. Last year was smooth, this year was pureed smooth. Can’t wait til next year!

I loved Lumpy and I’m very excited about my new Progression.

Thanks for putting together and amazing event; this year was great! Great coaches, great students, great classes and the ratio of coaches and assistant coaches and students was pretty amazing and made the challenging conditions possible!
I had a lot of fun and paddled my butt off and was thoroughly exhausted when i got home!

Custom Ross Island Tour

Custom Ross Island Tour!

Alder Creek runs a full schedule of classes and tours year round but is always available for group trips, team building, and custom programs of all kinds.  Last Friday, top notch Alder Creek guides Malcolm Kelly, Steve Pilch, Linda Neel and I led one such trip for Rothermel Financial Services.  We were quite a site as all 37 brightly colored boats made their way across the Willamette River and down to Ross Island.  Just as we approached Willamette Park from the South, two bald eagles appeared overhead as if to show us the way.  We all picked ripe blackberries and waded in the cool, refreshing waters of the Willamette before heading back to Oaks Park for a lovely lunch.  It was another great time on the water with fun people!  It’s always rewarding to get back onto the water and out into my preferred “office”.  A big thanks to Damien and Sarah from the Rothermel Group for taking such great care of their customers and for bringing them out for a custom Ross Island tour with us. 


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Ross Island Tour

Ross Island Tour

Ross Island Tour

Ross Island Tour

Ross Island Tour

Ross Island Tour

Ross Island Tour

Ross Island Tour

Ross Island Tour

Ross Island Tour

Ross Island Tour

Ross Island Tour

Ross Island Tour

Ross Island Tour

Ross Island Tour

Ross Island Tour

Ross Island Tour

Ross Island Tour

Winter Clinics 2013-14

Join us on Tuesday evenings for FREE winter clinics!
6:30pm-8:30pm, at either our Jantzen Beach or Boathouse location.
Attendees may win a $25 gift card!
No sign-ups required.

Clinic schedule may change.  Check back to confirm topics, locations, and dates.
List last updated January 10, 2014

November 5
Car top loading your kayak/canoe/SUP!
at Jantzen Beach

November 12
Learn the Ropes of building a Pin Kit
at Boathouse

November 19
Dry Suits # 101 : Everything you want to know about dry suits you were afraid to ask
with Karl Kohagen from Kokatat
at Boathouse

November 26
Outfitting your boat (Sea, Whitewater, Canoe)
at Jantzen Beach

December 3
Welding plastic boats
at Jantzen Beach

December 10
New Visions for Paddling Photography
with Neil Schulman
at Boathouse

December 17
Mastering Light and Visual Language in Photography
with Neil Schulman
at Boathouse

January 7
Secrets of Winter Paddling
with Neil Schulman
at Boathouse

January 14
Chart Reading
with Karl Andersson
at Boathouse

January 21
Packing a Sea Kayak for Camping
at Boathouse

January 28 NEW
Stability & Mobility
with Dr. Ted Forcum
at Boathouse

February 4th  NEW
Skid Plates and Keel Strips
with David Dalbey
at Jantzen Beach

February 11
Electronic Chart and Map Tools
at Boathouse

February 18
Multi-day Trip Planning in BC
with Neil Schulman
at Boathouse

February 25
Yoga for Paddlers
with Elaine Cohn
at Boathouse

March 4
Dutch Oven Cooking
with Andrew Romanelli
at Jantzen Beach

2013 Lumpy Waters Symposium wrap-up

Coast Life. Photo by Malcolm Kelly

We are happy to report that the 5th Annual Lumpy Waters Symposium was once again a great success!  We couldn’t have done it alone.

First, we’d like to thank all of the participants.  Lumpy Waters is a testament to the strength of our paddling community.  Without the support of paddlers who are enthusiastic about improving their skill and sharing their knowledge and experiences with other paddlers, our sport could not grow or progress.  Thank you, paddlers, for supporting your community and making events like Lumpy Waters possible!

Next up, the coaches!  Like the participants, the coaches at Lumpy came from near and far.  Some of them are favorite familiar faces from the Alder Creek coaching staff while others came from as far away as South Africa!  Chasing their passion for sharing and strengthening the paddlesports community, it is their commitment to world-class coaching that highlights our growth and facilitates powerful learning experiences.

Let’s not forget about the vendors that sponsor this event!  Their expertise ensures that we get the right gear for the job.  They provide premium products that we can rely on to keep us safe.  Thanks to our vendors, we can define our limits by our skill, not our equipment.  Oh, and let’s not forget about the beer they brought us!

Last, but certainly not least: Dave Slover, Suzi Elle, and Paul Kuthe.  These are the folks that spend the whole year organizing EVERYTHING.  Without their coordination and patience, we’d be lucky to have a pile of boats, not to mention a multitude of classes that appeal to 100 individuals’ learning needs.  Five years running, Paul, Dave, and Suzi will not settle for the status-quo.  Every nuance is an opportunity to improve the program and experience.  Their passion for the paddlesports community drives them to deliver the best event feasibly possible.

Check out the list below to see some of the folks who stepped up to support this sport, this event, this opportunity.  Camaraderie, discovery, beer, making new friends, sharing, challenging yourself, memories…  It’s just what happens at a Lumpy Waters Symposium.  


If you missed the action this year, check out the official 2013 Lumpy Waters video HERE.  Then check out a snippet of the coaches’ play day after the event HERE.

Team Out of Sight, Out of Mind wrote about the event on their blog HERE.  Helen Wilson did a write-up HERE as well!  Check it out!

Jeff and Cate with Liquid Fusion Kayaking
Shawna and Leon with Body Boat Blade International
Danny with Werner Paddles
Helen with Greenland or Bust
Jamie with P&H
Jenn with Aqua Adventures
Mark with Columbia River Kayak
Matt and Sean with GGSKS
Rob A with Valley
Rowan with The Hurricane Riders
Kim with Sunrise Mountain Sports
Roger with Eskape Sea Kayaking


Saltwood Paddles
Werner Paddles
Valley Sea Kayaks
P&H Sea Kayaks
Jackson Kayak
Tiderace Sea Kayaks
White Sea Magazine

Kayak Camps for Kids – Whitewater and Sea Kayak Day Camps

The kids’ (ages 10-14) week-long day camps are something I look forward to every year as a coach.  Not only are they fun to teach, but it is great to watch these young people grow so much over the week.  Their skills grow as well as confidence in themselves and their abilities.   We structure our day camps to turn these kids into independent, well-rounded paddlers and leaders.

Whether it be the Whitewater or the Sea kayak class, we start off developing kayak skill and understanding the first few days.  As we move through a progression of skills, we develop their understanding through games instead of us just telling them what to do and having them do it.  For example, an activity called “What Floats Your Boat”: In the first day of the Sea Yak Attack we discuss different kayak designs, and then take that knowledge to the water in a variety of kayaks.  After a rousing game of “What Floats Your Boat” and a short paddle, the kids all agree that double bulk headed kayaks and long boats are the way to go for sea kayaking.

What Floats Your Boat?

After developing their understanding of boat design, we begin to focus on skills with the paddle, their connection to the kayak, and the kayak’s connection with the water.  By the end of the first 3 days, the kids truly begin to become captains of their own boats.  The 4th day, Thursday, is the journey day!  We put all of these things together, and that is when these youth really start to shine.  Thursday is always an eye opener for the kids as they start to see all of the pieces we have been working on come together.  Although we have plenty of light bulb moments all week, Thursday is a day that shines!  On the last day, we encourage the parents to come along and have the kids lead the day.  The kids prep the parents on gear and how to use it, and deliver safety chats about what hazards we should be aware of. (ww safety chat) From there they take us all on a journey down the river and through the day.

Safety chat

All of this forming and developing confidence in themselves helps them grow not only as paddlers but into healthy, young adults.  I truly love coaching these young minds and helping them better understand themselves and the world in which we live!

-Chris Bensch
(all photos by Chris Bensch)

Basic Skills Kayaking testimonial

This is my first summer working for Alder Creek, and I have taught the basic skills kayaking class numerous times. Recently I took a few friends out kayaking on the Columbia River, my friends didn’t have a lot paddling experience. One of them tried to reach for a cooler that was located a few feet away and ended up tipping his kayak. I quickly reacted by using a rescue that I teach in my classes. I ended up rescuing him and draining his kayak within several minutes. I was excited that I was able to use the same skills I taught in a real life situation.

It turns out that even the Basic Skills Kayaking class taught here at Alder Creek contains some very useful information that anyone can use!



Skeptical about the value of instruction?  Safety is no joke!  Click HERE to see other courses that we provide.

Virtual Coach – Hand of God Rescue w/Paul Kuthe

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Paul Kuthe gives vital insight on the Hand of God Rescue

Virtual Coach – Sea Kayak Self Rescue w/Paul Kuthe

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Paul Kuthe discusses the importance of kayak self rescue

Check out our selection of rescue/safety gear

Virtual Coach – Packing a Sea Kayak w/Paul Kuthe

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Learn to pack a sea kayak with Paul Kuthe. Paul has done extensive expedition paddling and knows what you need on a kayak trip and how to go about packing a sea kayak.

Lumpy Waters 2012

The 2012 Lumpywaters Symposium is happening now at the Oregon Coast. Lead by Paul Kuthe and an incredible batch of coaches from around the world, this year is proving to be the best ever. Great job team Alder Creek!

Check out the T-shirt designed by our own Andrew Romanelli.


Lumpy Waters – Jeff Laxier – Rough water safety

In the third and final installment of the Lumpy Waters Instructional Series, Jeff Laxier of Liquid Fusion Kayaking takes us through the fundamentals of being safe when the conditions get rougher. Remember to always assess the conditions and your own abilities whenever you go paddling, and have fun!

We hope that we can see you all again (and hopefully many new face as well), at the 2012 Lumpy Waters Symposium.

Music is courtesy of Sam Koch:

Kayak Lessons for Rolling and Bracing a Kayak

Alder Creek Kayak & Canoe is proud to offer a classes in Rolling and Bracing Skills. These skils are fundamental for feeling more comfortable while kayaking or canoeing. We teach group and private kayak lessons. In the winter you can normally find us Wednesdays at the North Clackamas Aquatic Park. Call for more details at 503.285.0464

Edging & Bracing Classes at Alder Creek

Full Immersion Sea Kayak Class Portland Oregon

Alder Creek Kayak & Canoe is proud to offer a comprehensive introduction to Sea Kayaking. This class involves an evening in the pool, classroom time and time on the water. We work on rescues, navigation, strokes, and general seamanship skills. Call for more details at 503.285.0464

Full Immersion Sea Kayak Class Details

Lumpy Waters Symposium 2010

Alder Creek Kayak & Canoe is proud to present the 2nd Annual Lumpy Waters Symposium!

3 days of instruction appropriate for a wide range of skill levels. Everyone from the advanced beginner to the seasoned veteran will find the challenge needed to take their paddling to the next level!

More information:

Brought to you by Alder Creek Kayak & Canoe

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