Waimakariri Gorge: First-Timer's Course
Early-bird special ends March 5, 2024
Suitable for Coast to Coast kayakers who have completed their grade 2 certification, but not paddled the Waimakariri Gorge yet, this 3-day course will provide you with 2 days of skills coaching, followed by a guided trip through the Gorge on day 3.
- Develop your multisport kayaking skills
- Experience the Waimakariri Gorge
- Prepare for your first Coast to Coast race
- 3 left available
- Please contact us to join the waitlist
Doing Coast to Coast, but haven't paddled the Waimakariri Gorge yet?
- Are you training towards your first Coast to Coast race?
- Have you recently got your grade 2 certificate, or plan to have one soon?
- Are you feeling apprehensive about kayaking the Gorge for the first time?
On Canterbury Kayaking's 3-day Waimakariri Gorge: First-Timer's Course, you’ll receive the skills coaching, preparation, and support you need to enjoy a safe and positive first experience through the Waimakariri Gorge.
Make your first Gorge trip a safe and successful one.
Most Coast to Coast athletes understand the importance of paddling the Waimakariri River before the race, but many end up falling out multiple times during their first trip through the Gorge. Without the proper preparation and guidance, kayaking the Gorge for the first time can feel intimidating and dangerous.
During this 3-day course, you’ll be able to build up to the Gorge gradually, refining your skills on easier water over two days first. On the third and final day, you’ll have the opportunity to paddle the Waimakariri Gorge for the first time with the safety support of an experienced guide who knows the river and your paddling ability.
Once you've successfully paddled through the Waimakariri Gorge, you'll be able to relax knowing you have made it down the river and you’ll feel much more prepared for your first Coast to Coast race.
How It Works
- ① Book your dates at the top of this page ↑
- ② Enjoy paddling the Waimakariri Gorge
- ③ Know your Coast to Coast training is on track
Meet Your Guide
Sam Milne is the most experienced kayak guide on the Waimakariri River and the founder of Canterbury Kayaking. Through helping over 1,000 athletes prepare for the Coast to Coast, Sam has learned that paddling the Gorge before the race gives competitors a huge advantage.
Over the years, Sam has found that single-day Gorge trips do not provide first-timers with a process conducive to success. If he continued to rush first-timers down in a single day, he knew that many paddlers would have a stressful and potentially unsafe first experience with the Gorge.
That’s why Sam created a 3-day plan to support paddlers through their first Gorge trip in the best possible way. In this course, you’ll receive skills coaching to help you feel ready for the bluffs, boils, and wave trains, then guidance down the river to ensure your first Gorge trip is safe and enjoyable.
After you complete Canterbury Kayaking's Waimakariri Gorge: First-Timer’s Course, you’ll have had positive and safe experience paddling the Gorge, allowing you to continue training towards the Coast to Coast with confidence.
What do I get with the course?
|2 days of skills preparation with Sam Milne, the Waimakariri River's most experienced kayak guide.
|1 day guided trip through the Waimakariri Gorge
|Pre-Gorge skills assessement and advice on kayak choice
|Transport and shuttle for the Gorge day
|Exclusive discount on products from our gear shop
|Option to hire a boat, paddle, spray skirt, PFD and helmet