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Kayak Essentials and Rolls & Rescues Classes

Class and Kayak Discovery Information


Register through the YMCA websites.

Our 2020 classes begin in early January and continue through April with one additional class beginning in late July. Dates and times for all classes are posted at the right. We offer indoor Kayak Essentials classes at the Broadview YMCA in Green Bay, the Fox West YMCA in Greenville, and the downtown Appleton YMCA. We offer Roll and Rescue classes at the Broadview and downtown Appleton YMCAs. Our outdoor Kayak Essentials class is held at Erb Pool in the City of Appleton.

You do not need to be a member of the YMCA or NEWP, Inc. to participate in our classes - all you need is your swimsuit and a smile!

YMCA of the Fox Cities

Green Bay (Broadview) YMCA

Appleton Recreation Department (Summer 2020)

Learn basic paddling skills, bracing strokes, rolls and rescues from our American Canoe Association-certified instructors. Kayaking in waves or rapids is serious business, so you need to know the proper techniques and use the necessary equipment to keep you and your group safe. Those who complete the class may join a summer student outing. We offer:

Kayak Essentials: Comprehensive class for people who have not had prior kayak skills instruction. Each of the four three-hour sessions is split between classroom and pool. Focus is on skill development and safety, including wet exits, bow rescues, basic strokes, bracing, solo and assisted rescues.

NEWP Kayak Essentials Course Outline

Rolls & Rescues: Participants must first complete the Kayak Essentials class or have equivalent training approved by the instructor. This class teaches a variety of boat re-entry or rescue techniques and Eskimo roll skills. Rolls and Rescues Outline.

Student Outing: NEWP caps off its indoor class season with an opportunity to practice your new skills on "real" water the first weekend in June! These events are for participants in NEWP classes in the current year and all other current club members. We offer both a whitewater outing and a coastal outing (on Lake Michigan).  Student outing details

Class Fees: Fee information is available at the Fox Cities YMCAGreen Bay YMCA and City of Appleton Recreation Department websites. The fee you pay is split between the host organization to cover the cost of the facility use and lifeguards, and by NEWP to purchase and maintain boats and other equipment. All instructors and assistant instructors provide their time and talent on a voluntary basis. The club currently maintains a fleet of nearly 50 whitewater and sea kayaks, plus all the assorted support equipment required to go with the boats.

How to Dress: Swim wear, aqua socks or appropriate footwear. A synthetic T-shirt or lightweight neoprene is optional for comfort in the pool. Shorts or leggings are recommended over regular swim suits that are "bikini style" to avoid abrasion from climbing in and out of the boats. Nose clips will be available to use, or to purchase for a nominal fee. Boats, paddles and all other gear required for the class are provided by the NEWP.

Registration: Available online through the host YMCA or City facility, as listed for each class. The classes are open to both YMCA members and non-members - all are also encouraged to participate in the classes.

Open Pools: TRDemo2010_200x133Available at the downtown Appleton YMCA for NEWP members and students on the same Sundays as when classes are scheduled at that location. Open pool sessions may also be scheduled in Green Bay. Current-year students are entitled to free open pool participation. Other current NEWP/ ACA members may participate for $5 (Appleton) or $10 (Broadview) per session.

NEWP boats and gear are available for use or participants may bring their own boats and gear into the pool if it is clean and free of debris. These general guidelines must be followed during open pool sessions:

  1. Paddlers who are socializing or resting should either leave the pool or move to the side to allow other paddlers room to practice.
  2. Be aware that the host facility life guard has ultimate control of the pool area; lifeguard instructions must be followed immediately at all times.
  3. Personal boats and gear brought into the pool must be clean prior to entry, which includes removal of float bags for the pool session.
  4. Boats must be in the water when entered, not "seal-launched" off the pool deck.

2020 Classes

Discover Kayaking Opportunity

  • Fox Cities YMCA (Appleton) - Saturday December 14,2019 - Noon to 2 PM
  • Fox West YMCA (Greenville) - Saturday December 21, 2019 - Noon to 1:30 PM

Kayak Essentials

Fox West YMCA (Greenville): 6:30-9:30 p.m. Wednesdays, January 8, 15, 22 and 29, 2020. Lead Instructors are Jeff Mazanec and Bill Merrick, with support from other ACA certified instructors and assistants. Class size limited to 12. Winter Session I; registration opens in mid-December.

Fox Cities YMCA (Appleton):  2-5 p.m. Sunday afternoons, February 2, 9, 16 and 23, 2020. Lead Instructors are Bill Merrick and Jeff Mazanec, with support from other ACA certified instructors and assistants. Class size limited to 15. Winter Session I; registration opens in mid-December.

Broadview YMCA (Green Bay): 3:30-6 p.m. Sunday afternoons: Session 1 - February 9, 16, 23 and March 1, 2020, (class size limited to 12); Session 2 - March 8, 15, 22 and 29, 2020 Class size limited to 6. Lead instructor is Ken Braband with support from other ACA-certified instructors and assistants.

Fox Cities YMCA (Appleton):  2-5 p.m. Sundays afternoons, March 1, 8, 22 and 29, 2020. Lead Instructors are Bill Merrick and Jeff Mazanec, with support from other ACA certified instructors and assistants. Class size limited to 15. Winter Session II; registration opens mid-February.

Erb Pool - City of Appleton Recreation Department: Meets four times, 6:30.-9:30 p.m., on Monday and Wednesday evenings, dates pending in 2020. Lead instructor is Jeff Mazanec with support from other ACA certified instructors and assistants. Class size limited to 15. Registration is available through the City of Appleton website. Search for "kayak" to find the Kayak Skills Class.

Rolls & Rescues

Fox Cities YMCA (Appleton): 2-5 p.m. Sunday afternoons, April 5, 19 and 26, 2020. Winter Session II; registration opens mid-February. Class size limited to 12. 

Broadview YMCA (Green Bay): 3:30-6 p.m. Sunday afternoons, March 8, 15, 22 and 29, 2020 available for students desiring an extra session. Class size limited to 6.

Open Pool

Fox Cities YMCA (APPLETON): 2-3:15 p.m. on Sundays in February, March and April when classes are scheduled above. The open pool coordinator is Scott Thomson. (NEWP provides whitewater kayaks, sea kayaks and associated gear for all class and open pool participants.)

Fond du Lac YMCA (FOND DU LAC): 1-2 p.m. on Saturdays - dates pending

Broadview YMCA (GREEN BAY): Presented by Badger State Boating Society. $10 plus ACA membership required.

  • 2020 dates pending