Courses + Workshops

AO staff are Leave No Trace Master Educator certified and American Canoe Association (ACA) Level I and II River Kayak Instructor certified. As our paddling and backpacking community grows, we're excited to offer courses and workshops to pass along what we've learned over the years. Our paddling courses are small, with one instructor for every four participants. Below you'll find our new courses and workshops for 2018!


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DNA of a River Workshop

Duration: 1 hour, Cost: $5

Our waterways are always changing. This workshop will focus on what makes up our local creeks and river, how water reacts to those things, and how to decipher and recognize the safest path. Utilizing our "river in a bag", we'll have a hands-on discussion covering how water reacts to river features (downstream and upstream V, eddy, eddy lines, hydraulics, holes, seams and standing waves, etc); and  hazards - both natural (sweepers, deadheads, strainers), and man-made (bridges, low-head dams, dredged areas). We'll focus on how these affect the paddling experience and how they change at different water levels.

2019 Dates:

  • Tuesday, June 4th, 5:30pm

  • Tuesday, June 11th, 5:30pm

  • Wednesday, June 26th, 5:30pm


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Beginner SUP Lesson

Duration: 1 hour, Cost: $45

Date: June 14, 2019; 5:30-6:30 pm

This Stand Up Paddle class will introduce you to the sport of SUP. Covering water safety, proper stance/positions, paddle technique and more. Our instructor, Kelly Denny-Wright from Peace, Love and Wellness, holds dual certifications in PaddleFit and Stoked Yogi SUP, and will provide you with the fundamentals of SUP to keep your future paddling endeavors fun and safe! You will need to be comfortable in the water as well as be able to swim. You do not need to have prior paddling experience to take this class.

Class will meet at Allegheny Outfitters new facility at 36 Clark Street in Warren, PA at 5:30pm on June 14th. Includes all equipment needed. Space is limited to keep a comfortable instructor-to-student ratio.

To sign up, click here.


SmartStart Paddling Orientation

Duration: 2 hours, Cost: $50 ($30 if you purchased your kayak at AO)

The SmartStart Paddling Orientation will expose participants to basic kayak safety and paddling skills, covering the paddling environment, personal preparation, getting in and out of your boat, and basic strokes and maneuvers. This course is great for brand new paddlers that have not spent a lot of time in a kayak. Class size limited to three participants.

2019 Dates:

  • TBD


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Introduction to Kayaking - Level I

Duration: 5 hours, Cost: $65

The Introduction to Kayaking course is designed as a program emphasizing safety, enjoyment and skill acquisition for entry level kayakers. We'll cover personal equipment (types of kayak, paddle and PFD), effectively using a throw rope, kayak carries, loading and unloading from vehicles, basic terminology, land and water etiquette, launching/landing from land and dock, controlled capsize/wet exit, and emptying a kayak. Maneuvers include spin, abeam, forward and stopping. Strokes include forward, back, draw, sculling draw, sweep, reverse sweep, rudder and low brace.

Dates: 2019 Dates TBD


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Introduction to River Kayaking

Duration: 7 hours, Cost: $95

Our Intro to River Kayaking course will focus on understanding the features of a river (downstream and upstream V, eddy, eddy lines, hydraulics, holes, seams and standing waves, etc) to better "read the river" while paddling. Participants will leave with a better understanding of US Army Corps of Engineers outflow from Kinzua Dam, monitoring those levels, and how they affect the paddling experience. Participants will also fine-tune strokes and maneuvers learned in the Intro to Kayaking course.

Prerequisite: Intro to Kayaking

Dates: 2019 Dates TBD