Open Water Workshop


The best way to become a competent and proficient open water kayaker is our two-day Open Water Workshop that combines flat-water skills with an open water experience. We have taken our two most popular beginner classes and paired them together to do just that, at a significantly discounted rate.

Day one features our Kayak Strokes and Rescues class where we’ll introduce you to the fundamentals of kayaking on flatwater while focusing on efficient strokes and effective rescues. In the afternoon we’ll spend some time getting wet while working on our assisted and self-rescues. These skills will prepare you for the dynamic environment of open water and the challenges that await you.

On day two we take your freshly acquired skills and apply them to open water with wind, waves and current. In our Ocean Motion and Movement class we introduce open water skills as well as navigation, towing and general seamanship. As the day progresses you’ll learn to link your strokes and use your lower body to maneuver your kayak with improved power and efficiency. Rescues become more challenging in wind and waves, but your steadily improving skills will enable you to perform them with balance and control. Throughout the day your instructor will help you understand tides, currents, and the challenges they pose to general navigation. After lunch we’ll role-play on some common open water rescue situations such as towing and rafting for support. During the latter part of the day we will play with our braces, Eskimo rescues and rough water paddle float re-entries. We will launch from URI Bay Campus in Narragansett and paddling takes place on Narragansett Bay.

Note: Groups classes require a minimum enrollment of three people. If you are booking alone for a class, your reservation is subject to change up until the last day if the minimum enrollment is not reached. If you have a flexible schedule and you do not mind being matched with other paddlers for the day, joining a class is a great option. For private lessons please call 845-668-2030.

COVID update:  Due to current restrictions, we are not running the group course listed below.  We are running private instruction out of our rental facility in Lake Pearl, Massachusetts, and we may be able to travel to RI for private lessons/tours.  Please call us at (845)668-2030 for availability.

Course Details

Course Length Cost (pp) Location Dates
Open Water Workshop two days URI Bay Campus
Gear List

Directions to Meeting Locations

See below for directions. If you are traveling from out of state and are looking for a hotel, we recommend the Holiday Inn Express on Tower Hill Road in South Kingstown.

From Providence and points north take 95 south to RI-4 south (North Kingstown). RI-4 south will turn into US-1 south/ Tower Hill Road. Look for Bridgetown road on your left. This will be approximately 12 miles from the intersection of 95 and RI-4. Turn left onto Bridgetown Road for 1.5 miles through the intersection onto South Ferry Road (look for big sign URI Bay Campus). Follow South Ferry Road to the very end. Beach area is where we meet. Approximate drive time from Providence is 40 minutes (30 miles).

From New York and points west take 95 north towards Providence. After entering into Rhode Island take exit 3A and merge onto RI-138 east/ Kingston road. Follow RI-138 for 15 miles to the intersection of US-1. Cross over US-1 onto Bridgetown Road and follow for 1.5 miles through the intersection onto South Ferry Road (look for big sign URI Bay Campus). Follow South Ferry Road to the very end. Beach area is where we meet. Approximate drive time from New York City is 3 hours (170 miles).


Groups meet promptly at 9am for each day of the course. See detailed directions above. In the morning you will meet your instructor, sign a waiver form, and get fitted with paddling equipment for the day. Each day will be spent outside so please dress appropriately for the weather. You should also bring enough food and water for the entire day (feel free to bring a small cooler to leave in your car for lunch on day one). Water shoes are required for your feet (no sandals, please). Classes end around 4pm.

Included/Not Included

Paddlers will be outfitted with all paddling equipment for each day, but you are welcome to bring your own equipment (boat, paddle, PFD). Equipment provided includes appropriate kayak, paddle, and PFD. Paddlers will be expected to arrive dressed appropriately for the weather and provide their own meals for each day. See gear list for complete list of items you will be responsible for bringing. Meals, lodging, and transportation are not included.

Cancellation Policy

Payment is due in full at time of reservation to secure your reservation. Events run rain or shine. Eastern Mountain Sports Schools reserves the right to cancel or reschedule events for low participation, weather or safety concerns at any time. We will try to give as much advance notice as possible, but may not always be able to give much advance warning, especially for weather cancellations. Cancellations or schedule changes 14 days or more prior to the event start date will be fully refunded or credited with no penalty. Within 14 days of the start date courses cannot be refunded, but changes to reservations may be granted up until 7 days of the start date. Reservation changes of any kind within 7 days of the event start date will not be refunded and you will not be allowed to carry over deposits to future events. Advanced courses are open to those 18 years and older.  Families with younger children, please reach out for a private lesson.  If you have any questions please call 845-668-2030. We will be more than happy to review our cancellation policy with you.




Gear List