2017 Sea Kayaking Programs: Early Birds get the…

 The 2017 Alder Creek Program Calendar is out and you can get an early bird deal!  It’s looking like another GREAT year!!!

At Alder Creek we strive to offer the very best sea kayak coaching available to local and international paddlers looking to become more precise, confident, and have more FUN on the river at every level!  Check out what we have to offer this year and please feel free to email me suggestions, questions, and special requests.  Let us customize an experience for YOU.  Private and group classes and trips are available.  Email Programs@aldercreek.com

 Book by the end of January for a 2017 class or trip and receive 17% off! 

*Use Promo Code:  EarlyBird17

Lock in the low price now!  Need to switch up dates later?  No worries.  We can do that!  

Alder Creek Sea Kayak Programs: Click each link below for more info and to sign up.  (Don’t forget to use the Promo code)

FYI  Don’t see a date that works for you?  Feel free to request additional dates on the calendar.  It takes 3 students to make a class so grab a couple friends and pick some dates.  Then just email me at Programs@aldercreek.com.  Get it booked in Jan and we can give you the deal!

NEW Sea Kayak Incident Management Course: This full day class will be a mix of coaching and applied learning through scenarios run throughout the day.  The class will be held in open water with wind up to 15 knots but will not likely require any surf conditions or experience.  You will discover how to apply all of your flat water safety and rescue skills in a dynamic exposed environment.  If you are unsure of your skills, simply check in with us and we can help recommend the right fit.  This class is a great option for anyone that has already practiced some basic rescue techniques in flat water and wish to learn more about staying safe if the waters get rough and how to deal with an incident should something go wrong.

Dates: June 11,   Aug 5

NEW Oregon Wine Kayak Tour: Explore the famous wine country of Oregon by kayak or canoe!  First, this guided day tour will have you paddling your own kayak or canoe downstream through the cool refreshing waters of the Willamette River Valley.  Enjoy a catered river side lunch provided by Roth’s Fresh Markets part way down.  Go from water to wine as you continue down the designated Watertrail to the award winning Acrane Cellars Winery where you will take in a delicious wine tasting including crackers and select cheeses all included!  It doesn’t get any more “Oregon” than that!!

If you are looking for a full day adventure that combines the best of what Oregon has to offer perfect for friends, families, and private parties then get ready for the Oregon Kayak Wine Tour!  It makes for a great “trip with a sip” for the whole gang.

Dates:  Jun 17, Jun 24,  Jul 08,  Jul 16,  Aug 13,  Aug 19,  Sep 09,  Sep 10

(NEW) Tipping without Flipping: The best roll is the one that never had to happen!  Having a roll is great, but not capsizing in the first place is even better.  Alder Creek has expanded and improved one of its most popular classes.  Every paddler on the water should take this class. Edging and Bracing are crucial skills for paddlers of all levels. Tipping without Flipping will have you improving balance, edging, and learning to keep your cool if you ever tip over.  It is also a critical building block on the way to a solid roll.  We run the Tipping without Flipping class in Oregon’s largest wave pool!  Put your new skills straight to use.  We start off slow building the fundamentals and by the end you’re carving up the waves and surfing in STYLE.

Dates: Feb 1,  Mar 1,  April 5,   May 3,    June 7,    July 5,    August 2,    October 4,    November 1,   December  6

(NEW) Learn to Whitewater Kayak I-K Class: The Learn to Whitewater Kayak Course is a fun filled 2 days of coaching on easy whitewater.  Learn to paddle some of the Northwest’s finest rivers in just one weekend!

Do you enjoy whitewater rafting but always thought it would be fun to paddle your own boat?  Maybe you’ve never been on a whitewater river before and want to see what it’s like without the commitment of buying lots of gear and taking class after class.  Perhaps you’ve always wanted to try whitewater kayaking but just aren’t sure it’s for you.  Maybe you know you’ll love kayaking the river but don’t want to bother with learning to roll.

Our super stable and open topped inflatable kayaks let you feel the thrill of the river without worrying about what happens if you flip.

This is an excellent 2 day class for anyone looking to explore the river and be the captain of their own boat!

Dates:    April 22-23,      June 24-25th,      July 29th-30th

(NEW) Canoeing River Currents: The Canoeing River Currents Class is for anyone that wants to take a canoe down a river.  We will discover ways to successfully negotiate swift current and small rapids in open canoes with either one or two paddlers.  The Pacific Northwest has many spectacular rivers but most have strong current and can be tretcherous without the right skills.  Let us teach you the fundamentals of river canoeing by starting out with some review of flat water techniques and strokes.  After that we head down the river putting all your skills to use on a fun and enjoyable local trip.

Dates:  June 17-18th,   July 1st-2nd,    August 19-20th


Moonlight Paddle: Our VERY popular evening paddle in the moonlight.  Paddle north to the Columbia River. Experience the magic of the setting sun and the rising full moon. Pack food for a beach dinner. All levels welcome. 3 hour guided paddle, must be 12 years or older. Reservations needed.
Cost: $60/person (includes kayak, gear and guide)

May 12,  May 13, June 9,  June 10,  July 7,  July 8,

Aug 4,  Aug 5,  Sept 3,  Sept 4,  Sept 8

Columbia River Water Trail Wildlife Kayak Tour: Come paddle through the winding waterways of the Columbia River Water Trail looking for inhabitants of the National Wildlife Refuge! We will focus on easy paddling areas with the best chances to see beavers, muskrats, deer, ducks, eagles, cormorants, tundra swans, herons, and soo much more!  A variety of birds and wildlife are often seen as we slip around the puzzle pieces of land and explore paths once traveled by native tribes and Lewis and Clark.  This 3 hour flat water tour is a terrific way to experience the beauty of the river even if you haven’t paddled much before.

ALL summer long at our Ridgefield, WA location starting in May!

Kid’s Sea Yak Attack Camp: This five-day course for kids 10-14 provides instruction in safety, paddle strokes, bracing, rescues, rolling, and hydrology. Days one, two, three and four take place on calm water near our shop at Jantzen Beach and in the pool behind our shop. Day five is parent day and is conducted at a suitable location either in the Gorge or on the lower Columbia towards the coast. We invite you to come out and enjoy paddling as a family, the exuberance and natural learning ability of kids never fails to keep the instructors’ creative juices flowing (and Challenged).

Dates: June 26th – July 1st 

Rolling Lessons: With private instruction you have the opportunity to work on the skills you need help with. This is an opportunity for close examination of the physical techniques and mental requirements needed to progress as a paddler and master the skill of rolling.  We feel working in pairs or one on one with a certified instructor is the best way to learn to roll your whitewater or sea kayak or canoe!  We also offer 2 : 1 roll coaching so you can split the session with a friend.  With private lessons you have the opportunity to get  personalized feedback and close personal attention.  Alder Creek can arrange private instruction & guiding from any of our stores in Portland .  We usually use area open pool sessions for rolling in cooler weather.


 Combat Rolling Class: The combat roll is an elusive but crucial skill that will open many doors and improve your confidence immensely.  Explore and practice the physical and mental techniques needed to pull rolls off EVERY time you need them.  We will discover how variation, bi-lateral repetition, and contextual interference can better ingrain the fundamental movements needed for rolling in dynamic water.  We will begin rolling in The North Clackamas Aquatic Park wave pool then move into more and more challenging rolling situations on day 2!  We are all between swims, but hopefully this clinic will make those swims less frequent and far less likely.

Dates: April 19th/ 22nd     June 1st / 4th     Aug 10th / 12th

Full Immersion Sea I:  By getting you on the water two and a half days in a short period of time you will learn more and absorb a higher number of concepts. Optimum retention of knowledge can be achieved when you have more opportunity for reinforcement. A clear progression of classes translates to greater paddling skills and increased enthusiasm for the sport!  Take the leap and jump in with both feet.  Become immersed!




Start Date: ·  Mar 16th,  April 5th,  May 11th,  June 8th,  July 20th,  Aug 24th,  Nov 2

 Full Immersion Sea II: Full Immersion Kayak 2 picks up where Full Immersion Kayak 1 leaves off. By getting you on the water 2.5 days in a week you will learn more and absorb a higher number of concepts. Optimum retention of knowledge can be achieved when you have more opportunity for reinforcement. A clear progression of classes translates to greater paddling skills and increased enthusiasm for the sport! This class starts off with pool time during the week and ends with a day at the Oregon Coast !

Dates:   April 13-16,  June 22-25,  August 31-Sept 3

 Full Immersion Sea III / BCU 3 Star Training: Learn and practice essential skills needed by all sea paddlers.  This 2 day course is a great continuation of our popular Full Immersion Series.  It can also be taken as preparation for the British Canoe Union 3 star sea assessment. This is a great opportunity to take your new skills to the ocean! No BCU qualifications needed to participate, but some pre-requisite skills are required.

Dates: May 6-7th,    July 1-2nd


Strokes & Maneuvers (aka Sea Kayak S&M;): The Strokes and maneuvers class, held on sheltered water, provides the student with a repertoire of useful strokes and boat maneuvers. The key cause and effect relationships involved in boat control are introduced and students learn to perform paddle strokes and maneuvers safely and efficiently. The class covers efficient forward and reverse paddling, a wide variety of strokes for turning, the use of edging to assist turning, rudder strokes for maintaining a course and draw strokes for moving sideways. We also refine and practice low and high brace strokes for preventing capsize.

Dates:   Feb 18, Mar 11, April 1, May 28th, June 17, July 8th, Aug 6th, Sept 9th, Dec 2 

Short Boat Surfing Clinic: We will cover topics such as reading the surf, selecting a break, launching and landing on the beach, positioning in the group and on the wave, bracing and rolling, and surfing (forwards, side, and backwards, bottom turns, cutbacks, etc…) Students in this class should have a reliable roll and should have some rough water experience.  If you are unsure about what is appropriate for your skill level, please send us an e-mail and we can help guide you to the right class.  Gear can be provided upon request.  We will be using whitewater and surf specific craft for this class.

Date: August 20  & September 10th

Forward Stroke Clinic:  A good Forward Stroke takes concentration, practice, and a keen understanding of cause and effect as it relates to your body, boat, and blade.  We will spend 3 hours pouring over your stroke in an effort to make you safer, stronger, faster, and more efficient!

Dates: Mar 25,  April 15, May 7th, May 29th, June 11th, July 30th, Aug 12, Sept 4th



Navigation Fundamentals:  This 1.5 day course is designed for those paddlers carrying out coastal journeys. The aim of this course is to give the student the tools to enable them to plan and navigate effectively on coastal journeys.  During class we will, Interpret sources of information including maps, charts, coastal pilots and tide tables.  Also Navigate on the water using visual references and simple pilotage techniques e.g. transits, dead reckoning and a compass.  You should Be able to source, interpret and apply a weather forecast to the marine environment, understand tides and currents, and become aware of the range of resources required to plan trips by the end of class.  We take your new skills to the water for a half day of practical application too!

Dates: Mar 31,4/2   May 12-13,     June 9-10,     Aug 11-12


Sea Kayak Rescues:  The Sea Kayak Rescues Class is a half day experience that covers the essential skills needed for kayaking in deep open water.  Even flat water lakes and rivers can pose a risk to those that are not preparred.  Especially in cold water, speed and skill are important and can be the difference between a fun adventure and miserable tale.  There are many techniques one could learn.  We focus on teaching a few that work almost anywhere including when the water gets rough.  We will be working in the Columbia River in mild conditions for this introduction to solo and assisted re-entries and towing sklls.  Be sure to check out our new Incident Management Class for more beyond this class…

Here is some of what we cover!

  • Practice efficient assisted and solo rescue scenarios
  • Wet re-entries
  • Comfort under water waiting for a rescue
  • Panic free wet-exits
  • Swimming with gear
  • Re-enter and roll with a paddle float (only if students are ready and comfortable underwater)
  • On water time to practice rescuing others
  • Towing
  • and much much more!

Dates: March 4,  April 2,  May 27,    June 24,    July 9th,     Aug 5


Paddling in Conditions This full day class introduces the skills and knowledge needed to paddle in wind and waves. The class will be held in open water with wind up to 15 knots. You will discover how to apply all of your flat water strokes and maneuvers in a windy environment. You will learn how to make use of a skeg or rudder to balance your direction in a cross or down-wind scenario. You will gain experience paddling in head, side and following seas, and will apply your self and assisted rescue skills in the kind of environment where they are likely to be needed!

Dates: July 29th,   Aug 19,    Sept 9th


Surf Zone Skills: This full day class will introduce students to paddling in ocean surf, which is a core element of Oregon coastal paddling. The class will be held at the coast in a location with non-dumping surf up to 4 or 5 feet.  You will learn about the anatomy of a surf beach, including how to recognize spilling, plunging and dumping waves, long shore and rip currents and the effects on surf of swell height, direction and period, beach shape, tide height and wind speed and direction.  You will learn how to read wave sets and windows, and how to launch, land and hold position, under control in surf, i.e., without being surfed. We will cover broaching and side-surfing with correct use of edging and low and high braces. The emphasis in this class is on how to safely negotiate a surf zone during launching and landing at the beach

Dates: June 25,  July 30,   Aug 20,  Sept 2

-Custom and private surf sessions are VERY popular too!  Email programs@aldercreek.com to set it up.



Rocks, Caves & Waves!:  This full day class will take students paddling off the Oregon Coast !  We will look for rocks, caves, and waves to explore and play.  Depending on conditions we may be able to paddle into some of the most amazing caves on the Oregon Coast !  If the waves are too big for caving we will learn to play and manage the surf zone with more skill.  This is a fairly advanced level sea kayaking class so please make sure you are up to the challenge.  Email us at programs@aldercreek.com if you are not sure about your skills.  Having a roll and good rescue skills are pretty essential to the success of the class.  You will learn about the anatomy of a surf beach, including how to recognize spilling, plunging and dumping waves, long shore and rip currents and the effects on surf of swell height, direction and period, beach shape, tide height and wind speed and direction. In the rocks we will look at safely paddling where the sea meets the land.  We will work on planning, positioning, patience, water reading and wave selection.  If we have small enough swell we may be able to check out some sea caves and learn how to safely enter and operate in some of the most amazing places on earth!  Places almost no one else ever gets to see!!

Dates: July 29th,   Aug 13,   Sept 3rd

-Custom and private rock sessions are VERY popular too!  Email programs@aldercreek.com to set it up.


Bachelor Island Circumnavigation : Come paddle through the winding waterways of the Columbia River Water Trail. We can experience a variety of conditions on the Columbia River in which we can practice our paddling skill. A variety of birds and wildlife are sometimes seen as we slip around the puzzle pieces of land and explore paths once traveled by native tribes and Lewis and Clark. The exact route will be based upon the skill level of the group and river / weather conditions.

Dates: Mar 5,  Apr 9,  May 29,  June 24,  July 29th,  Aug 27th,  Sept 4th


San Juan 5 Day Expedition Training: Learn to expedition paddle.  Experience the beautiful San Juan Islands while paddling for 5 days by single kayak. Learn how to use tides and currents and navigate from camp to camp while paddling 5 to 15 miles per day.  On the San Juan 5 day kayak expedition you are challenged to rise to a new level of kayaking expertise.  Navigation, efficient boat packing, group management, boat control, paddle technique, personal meal planning & preparation and practicing rescues are all part of the itinerary.  If you are ready to take your sea kayaking to an exciting new level there is no better way than by participating in this 5 day expedition full of leadership training and paddling experiences.

Dates: July 26-30,   Sept 13-17th


San Juan 4 Day Tour:  Explore local islands, traveling by kayak, while taking advantage of tidal currents. Distance touring of 4- 10 miles of paddling per day.  (more is available during evening paddling)  Start to develop the tools needed to complete a multi-day tour on your own.  Experience boat packing, menu planning, navigation, group safety, paddling in wind and waves and practicing boat handling skills.  We paddle in single kayaks unless you request a double. You get to be the captain of your own vessel!

Dates: July 13-16,  Aug 10-13,   Aug 31 – 9/3


PNA “Week”:  Every year Alder Creek flies the very best coaches here to the Pacific Northwest for an event unlike any other.  British Canoeing offers some of the highest quality   courses and trainings, and skills assessments available in the world.  Typically you would have to fly to the UK or other European destination to take part in many of these programs.  Alder Creek bring the programs right to your back yard here in Oregon / Washington !!!  Don’t miss this annual opportunity to train with the very best no matter what level your paddling is at.  There is something for EVERYONE.  Whitewater, canoe, sea kayak, coaching, training, certifications, etc… The full schedule will be released this Spring.

(No Discounts Available)

Dates: Sept 23- Oct 5


Lumpy Waters Symposium:  Lumpy is a three day celebration of rough water 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.  Whitewater paddlers welcome!!!

(No Discounts Available)

Dates: October 6-8th 2017    Already 1/3 FULL.  Don’t wait!!!


We also offer trips and classes for Stand Up Paddling, Canoeing, Rafting, whitewater, and much much more…


Learn to kayak, canoe and stand up paddle at Alder Creek. We offer world class coaching, guiding, and instruction from highly skilled and certified coaches. Our staff maintains the most current, best practice and employs the most up to date teaching techniques.  We have both ACA certified Instructors and British Canoe Union Certified Coaches on staff.  Paddling a boat is easy. Mastering the sport is a challenge. What are your goals?


At Alder Creek our aim is to help you reach your goals by assessing your skills and providing you an educational program that is suited to your needs. Every program has been developed and refined to provide you with the skills needed to learn to paddle safely and effectively. Our FUN learning progressions are the key to solid skill building and will help you reach your goals at every level.
See you on the water this year!!!