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newbie needing help

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my wife and I are new to the sport, and I am looking for a list of things would should/must have with us on an average trip.

we will be doing day trips only (at least for the first year)

also where should we start, as far as classes go?

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Well, I would say the best place to start is right here on this web site. For equipment list check here [http://www.nspn.org/play-what-to-bring.html] For information about NSPN sponsored classes check here [http://www.nspn.org/learn-classes.html] also keep an eye on the calendar for classes as well as organized NSPN trips. The forum is a great place to get specific info as well as getting together with others with similar skills for show-and-go excursions. Also there are several outfitters from RI to ME that offer classes. My favorite place is "MIkCo" located on Peaks Island in Casco Bay Maine. Not only is is a spectacular place to paddle, but the staff and instructors are first rate.


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You can get a list of some area outfitters that teach classes on our Links page. See the "Links" link above and look for "Local Outfitters, Education Centers and Kayak Resellers".

In addition to MIKCO, outfitters on the links list that have been recommended strongly in the past by club members include Charles River Kayak (Newton, MA) and Osprey Adventures (Westport, MA).

Some other major centers for instruction (in Maine and Rhode Island) that are not on the links list include:

H2O Outfitters http://www.h2outfitters.com/index.html

MaineSport http://www.mainesport.com/

The Kayak Center http://www.kayakcentre.com/

All the centers mentioned tend to be full service centers with certified instructors offering ACA or BCU instruction as well as their own curriculum. Other outfits offer instruction, but these are the ones you hear club members recommend over the years. You can't go wrong with any of them.

NSPN does not have a regular program of instruction for newbies. Rather, the club offers practice sessions with informal instruction and sponsors outside instructors at the intermediate and advanced levels. Occasionally, the club offers formal classes at the beginner level.

Paddlers seeking a good base of paddle technique and safety invest in instruction by certified teachers. Other just learn by doing, by picking up technique from fellow paddlers or by reading books and kayaking magazines. You can learn a lot from fellow club members but it is generally not systematic.


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