Women’s Whitewater Kayaking Clinic | Hope, AK: July 30th – August 1st

Have you been dreaming about whitewater kayaking? Have a bit of experience but want to sharpen up your skills? Maybe you’ve taken a class before but want a refresher to help you get back on the water? Been packrafting for a while and want to see what this kayaking business is all about? This beginner clinic is being put on by women for women, and is focusing on maximum fun and fostering a space where we can learn and grow together on the river in a non-intimidating setting. We will introduce or re-introduce you to the joys of being a whitewater kayaker in a safe and supportive environment. Each day will be spent learning paddling skills on the water, starting out with some skill-sharpening on flatwater, and working our way onto gentle sections of Six Mile Creek. We will cover river equipment, paddling skills, basic river hydrology, safety – and primarily, we will focus on having heaps of fun!

Introducing (or re-introducing) You to Whitewater –  We’ll cover techniques to help you balance and control your kayak, review or introduce self-rescue and safety fundamentals while learning to navigate rapids up to Class 2. We progress at a safe pace to ensure you have a great time learning on the river and want to come back for more!

Beginning Whitewater – You’ll be re-acquainted with being in a river kayak. We’ll go over the basics, including the essential paddle strokes needed to effectively maneuver your kayak, basic hydrology and reading the water. Progressing up to Class 2 rapids, we’ll give you the tools to have fun and feel excited about being back on the water!

We have tailored this course primarily for the below types of paddlers – please read through and determine if you believe this is a good fit for you!


  • Some prior whitewater instruction—knows how to wet exit and self-rescue
  • Basic understanding of paddling fundamentals—eddies, edging, boat control, etc.
  • Do not have the “roll”


  • Comfortable paddling and maneuvering in Class I and II whitewater—eddy turns, ferrying, basic river reading
  • Working on the roll though not rolling yet


  • Comfortable making harder moves in Class II whitewater and navigating Class III
  • Ability to roll in Class II and III rapids, most of the time

Still have questions about if this course is for you? Feel free to contact your instructors with questions. Read more about them below!

Your Instructors – Meet Lydia and Hailey!

Lydia Blanchet (right) grew up rafting and paddling on rivers around Alaska. She currently lives in Futaleufu, Chile, where she works in water quality and enjoys kayaking the world-class rivers in her backyard. She has taught kayaking throughout the US and Chile, and loves getting after whitewater in her home state.

Hailey Thompson (left) grew up competing in whitewater kayaking and is a former US National Team member and World Championship medalist in whitewater slalom. Hailey now splits her time between Anchorage and Valdez, Alaska where she works as an artist and a ship driver, and paddles every Alaskan river she can get onto. She has taught kayaking for the past 14 years, and loves paddling with fellow lady shredders!

Additional Information:

The cost of the clinic includes instruction. Please bring your own kayaking equipment (Limited equipment is also available to rent from Turnagain Kayak). The gear you’ll need will include: whitewater kayak, paddle, personal flotation device (PFD), sprayskirt, helmet, drysuit or wetsuit and dry top, kayaking shoes, and a throw rope.