Poudre Paddlers Canoe and Kayak Club Fort Collins Loveland Windsor Colorado

Instructional Program - 2017   

Primary Contact: Eric Hermann 970-482-8339

Poudre Paddler classes teach strokes and skills for levels from beginning paddlers through river enthusiasts. All class participants must have their club dues current to begin classes. You must have or rent your own boats and gear. You must be a competent swimmer!


Small (400x300)
Large (800x600)

Click an image to enlarge:

Poudre Paddlers Instructors (with ACA certifications)

Eric Hermann 970-482-8339 Whitewater Canoeing - Tandem & Solo
Debbie Hinde 970-669-6247 Whitewater Canoeing - Tandem
Mike Koliha 970-226-0426 River Canoeing - Tandem & Solo
Richard Ferguson River Canoeing - Tandem & Solo

Other Poudre Paddlers Instructors

Will Golson 970-207-1010 River Canoeing - Tandem & Solo
Randy Knauff 970-663-4598 Sea Kayaking, Camping
Mike O'Brien 970-222-2325 General Canoeing
Karen Roth 970-482-4360 River Kayaking, Camping

To Sign Up for Poudre Paddlers Classes

Our 2017 Introduction to Canoeing Class has already been filled.

Check fees and insurance in the listings below. Many classes are free. To sign up for a class:
  • Contact the instructor. You must contact instructor at least 7 days before the class and send fees to Eric Hermann at least a week in advance. Otherwise, classes may be cancelled due to a lack of sufficient students. Registration is by instructor approval. He or she can help you select the class to fit your learning goals and skill level. The instructor can also offer preparation details, directions to the training location, and suggestions for the class.
  • Send a check made out to Poudre Paddlers to Eric Hermann, 722 Whedbee St., Ft. Collins, CO 80524 at least 7 days before the class. Include both class fees and updated Club dues. Refunds are not given if you don’t show up. Include in the check:
    • course fee
    • ACA insurance fee if applicable for the course ($10 for each non-ACA member)

Training Schedule

Tuesdays on the Pond

(April, when the snow melts! Stay tuned to the calendar on the website for further notice) No Fee

At Riverbend Ponds on Timberline. Parking lot is just north of the Timberline Road Bridge over the Poudre. Folks just practice and play—strokes, jokes, braces, maybe rolls—in kayaks and canoes. See calendar on website.

Weeknight on the Poudre

(Will start sometime in May) No Fee

Informal gathering of river boaters in Poudre Canyon. Mentoring possible if you call leader ahead of time. We run Filter Plant (Class II, with a Class III rapid) and Bridges (Class III). Helmet, pfd, flotation and adequate clothing required. See calendar on website.

Introduction to Canoeing (Flatwater) and Basic River Canoeing

Date/Time: Saturday, May 6, 9AM - 1PM - Pond session only and Sunday, May 7, 1:30 – 4:30 (or possibly longer). Sunday, May 13, 1:30 – 4:30 (alternate day for weather etc). You may attend for the first day only. However, for day two, day one is a prerequisite. Sign up with Eric or Debbie by April 1st to be sure of a spot.
Location: Riverbend Ponds (May 6 & 7) & Poudre River
Instructors: Debbie Hinde, Eric Hermann, Mike Koliha
Contact Eric Hermann

The first day is Basic Canoeing, including strokes to be used in lakes or rivers: forward and reverse strokes, turning strokes, side-slipping, stability, and safety, as well as equipment choices. Your strokes will be refined through demonstration, practice, individualized feedback and instruction. Communication and coordination between tandem partners will be discussed.

The second day will build upon the flatwater class. The basic strokes will be applied on moving water (up to Class I+). Eddy turns, peel outs, and ferries will be introduced and practiced. Boat tilts and other methods that also help you stay upright will be discussed and demonstrated.

We may opt for more time on flatwater if conditions and student preferences/abilities suggest it.

Beginning River Rescue and Safety Class

Date/Time: TBD
Locations: TBD
Instructors: Debbie Hinde (970-669-6247) & Randy Knauf (970-663-4598)
Fee: Free
Description: Safety and rescue skills are essential for any paddler. This class is for Poudre Paddlers wanting to run rivers. Fundamental safety equipment, preparation & planning, appropriate clothing, basic boat rigging for safety, understanding and recognizing hazards, reading rapids, self-rescue skills, and on-shore rescue of swimmers will be covered. Other safety and rescue issues may be addressed including: minimizing the risk of capsizing, safe boat entry and exit, and boat-to-boat rescue.

If you attend this class, you will get wet! Please wear suitable clothing and bring extra dry clothing too. Consider renting a wet suit or dry suit.(RMA 970 493 4005)

ACA Kayak Level 2: Essentials of River Kayaking

Not developed yet—depends on intstructor availibility

Whitewater Canoeing - Late June, water level permitting.

If the river is too high, this may be postponed. Admittance first to those who wanted it in 2015. Prerequisites: Solid skills demonstrated in previous Club classes, as noted by the instructors. Must be ready physically and mentally for self-rescue swims in class 2 rapids. Students will be interviewed, seeking a resume of previous river paddle in challenging places. Required: pfd, helmet, cold-water swim wear, standard boat flotation.

Course Overview: (This is from ACA) The Whitewater Canoeing course is for canoeists interested in learning the skills required to efficiently paddle on rivers with Class I and II rapids by catching smaller eddies, making sharp peel outs and effective ferries. Participants at this level aspire to attain a higher level of canoeing skills, improve the quality of their strokes and maneuvers, and increase their river rescue knowledge. This course is appropriate for properly outfitted whitewater tandem and/or solo canoes. It can be taught tandem, solo, or both.

We will start in Class 1 water and move up to Class 2, likely on the Poudre.

Cost is $20 per paddler and $5 fee for any non-ACA members to cover insurance. The $20 cost is for the day one class only. Day 2 is free, due to permitting restrictions in the national forest.

Site enhancement by Genesis Web Group LLC