Video title

Basic kayaking Course

Learn Kayaking in just 4 Days - For Absolute Beginners

Available Batches

Location: Uttrakhand
Altitude:340 m
Duration:4 Days
Kayaking is an experience to feel the freedom, an opportunity to become one with the flow of nature, and a key to unlocking your true self. It is a unique individual sport that offers different flavors of adventure for everyone. You don't have to be a competitive athlete; you don't have to be a water enthusiast and you don't even have to be a swimmer. We wanted to introduce a course that is safe even for beginners without having to compromise on the thrill and excitement the sport offers. Our Basic Kayaking Course for Beginners is designed keeping in mind all the safety measures after studying the problems and concerns a beginner might face engaging with the sport for the first time. In our experience, first-timers perceive kayaking as a once-in-a-lifetime indulgence, much like any other extreme sport such as sky diving or paragliding. However, after a first brush with kayaking, we've also noticed this perception giving way to the sport becoming a positive addiction for the adrenaline rush that it offers of riding through the waves. A short time in the water measures up to a complete sense of satisfaction which lasts a long, long time.

After much research and deliberation, we concluded that Rishikesh, the adventure capital of India, is one of the best places to learn kayaking – one because it is easily accessible and two because the currents of Ganga provide for all kinds of rapids perfect for giving a first-timer their real taste of the sport. Nestled at the foothills of the Himalayas, the olive-green holy river Ganga flows through Rishikesh with scenic views of culture, forests, and mountains. The flow of the river Ganga is surprisingly versatile. It has class 2 rapids, followed by calm waters with exciting twists and turns. Can you imagine kayaking solo under the famous bridges – Ram Jhula, LakshmanJhula, and JankiSetu? It is enthralling, to say the least. So, if you are looking for a way to stay cool this summer, kayaking in Rishikesh is worth considering – the class 2 rapids here make it a perfect haven for beginners to pick up on the skill.

The best season to learn kayaking in Rishikesh is from March to May and September to October. At the Basic Kayaking Course for Beginners, we offer a 4-day dedicated training in white-water kayaking. We've carefully planned the course to equip you with basic techniques of kayaking so as to create a strong foundation of knowledge for you to take up this sport. Some of the things that we believe will help you warm up to the sport and equip you enough to advance to higher levels – like getting familiar with water currents, learning about all the equipment used, and handling yourself in different situations in the water - have been included in the course. The trainer-trainee ratio is kept at 1:2 so that each trainee can learn at their pace with individual attention from the instructor – we wouldn't want you to get lost in the crowd. Since it is a four-day course, each day is intensive, with you spending 5-6 hours in your kayak. Overall, at the end of 4 days, you will be confident enough to cross a class 2 rapid in style. We also provide certification of completion at the end of the training program.

Stay on this page for more information on the Basic Kayaking Course for Beginners in Rishikesh.

Read more
Day 1

An Intro to Basic Skills

Duration: 5 hours (9 AM to 2 PM)

The course starts today! The drive from Dehradun – the closest airport – to Rishikesh is short but pleasant. For the first 20 minutes, the roads take you through the cityscape of Dehradun. As soon as you cross the highway and enter the hills, the roads gain elevation and bring you into the forests filled with pristine pine trees. About another 30 minutes into the journey, the hill roads widen and land in Rishikesh. The drive should take up to two hours at max. We advise you to please book your hotel near tapovan area on the Badrinath highway, so that you can easily walk upto the pickup spot. We provide pickup from only one spot. In case you have any doubt please discuss with our team before booking your hotel. 

If you are reaching Rishikesh on the same day please plan in such a way to reach your hotel by 8:30 AM. Once you settle down and freshen up, you can meet the rest of your course mates at the pickup spot. Your kayaking instructor will pick you up at 9 AM and take you to Neem Beach, a sand settlement on the shores of Ganga. After a 10 minute ride to Neem Beach, we offload our kayaks and walk towards the assembly point. This is followed by a proper briefing session. We kick start this adventure with some essential theory - our introduction to the world of kayaks and kayaking! This session is extremely important for it will lay down the foundation for what we learn over the next couple of days – pay close attention and take notes if you need to! We also get a demonstration, so we know what to do with our kayaks and ourselves in and outside the water.

Now, let's break down the topics for the day. The first lesson, to begin with, is knowing your kayak. Knowing your kayak means understanding the different parts of a kayak and its functions. Just like learning the functions of your own body, learning about a kayak's parts will help you learn faster and perform better. The second essential skill the instructors teach is how to attire for white-water kayaking. It involves wearing a wet suit, splash jacket, helmet, footwear, and a spray deck. Never forget your floatation device (Life Jacket – it’s called this for a reason!); it is the main part that will keep you afloat on water. This is followed by a series of "how to" methods:

  • How to sit inside a kayak
  • How to launch your kayak on the water
  • How to paddle
  • How to get out of a kayak on shore
  • How to drain water from a kayak

The above steps are the DNA of kayaking – the very basic elements that the sport is made of. Initially, beginners tumble, slip or even fall. It's okay; maximum fun and faster learning come from falling and getting back up on the waters. Kayaking is an intuitive sport. The instructors make you practice the steps for four hours until the basics become a part of your muscle memory. Imagine riding a bike or a cycle; your body naturally handles the mechanism with practice. Likewise, your body will be automatically tuned to paddle in any condition with enough practice. The friendly instructors of the kayaking course are hand-picked professionals trained to teach you in the best way possible. So, all you have to do is focus on having fun and leave the rest to the instructors.

After basic practice, the other interesting topics we learn are balancing a kayak, wet exit, safety protocol, and rolling in the water. Once you sit inside a kayak, it becomes the extension of your body. When the lower part of your body is wholly set inside the kayak, it enables you to control the entire boat. As soon as you glide into the water, the instructors make you rock the boat by shaking your hips. You know that it is perfectly balanced if it swings in tandem with your movement. Rolling a kayak is learning to flip the boat and going underwater. This might sound daunting, but the feeling of being underwater is one of the most exciting experiences of the course. Feeling the fresh water flow brush through your skin is refreshing and revitalizing to say the least. The rolling is done to practice wet exits. A wet exit is a technique done to release yourself underwater and then resurface. The final lesson for the day is in regards to safety protocols which are as follows:

  • Always take the 5 primary gears – Helmet, life jacket, spray deck, kayak, and paddle
  • Don't compromise on comfort
  • Never panic underwater – there are ways you can control your fear
  • Go kayaking under a professional supervision
  • Follow the line or follow the rule (Rule – never stop paddling)
  • Keep yourself hydrated
  • Never ignore the itinerary

These points are not just for the course. If you plan to go kayaking again in the future or take it as a hobby, remembering and following the protocols will keep you safe in any form of natural water.

Finally, after all the practice and theory sessions, we end the day on a high note with an 8 km river run from Neem Beach to JankiSetu bridge, crossing a class 1 rapid called Hill-Turn.

Now, in case you were wondering what a rapid is - itis a section on the river where the main stream flows with extreme force creating mixed currents and wild waves. According to their intensity, they are classified from class 1 to 5 and above. The river run refers to cruising for long distances on white-water rivers.

Imagine going solo on a mix of glacial streams and traveling under the iconic bridges LakshmanJhula, Ram Jhula, and JankiSetu. It is a ride to remember. Don't worry; class 1 rapids are easy to handle. The instructors paddle close to you and guide you throughout this journey. You start with a quick revision of paddling strokes, balancing a kayak, and slowly entering the river's mainstream. The waters are calm and tranquil for the first 2 km. Observe the wild trees and boulders dipping their feet on the river's shores. At the end of 2 km, you see and hear the waves roaring from a distance. That's the rapid we spoke of earlier and this one’s called Hill-Turn. You notice the grand turning point of the stream near a small quaint hill. The wild waves lift and rock your kayak. It might be scary for beginners. Just keep your lower body tight and never stop paddling. The force from the kayak will pierce through the waves to help you move ahead. While paddling, you can recollect techniques you have learned in the past 4 hours, like how to balance, how to paddle, the purpose of the wet suit, etc.

After crossing the Hill-Turn rapid, you enter the region under the iconic bridges LakshmanJhula, Ram Jhula, and JakniSetu. Look up and wave your hands to the tourists cheering from the bridge. The flow of water gets softer and slower near JankiSetu. We stop at an exit point here, get out of the water, and travel back to our hotels around 2 PM.

Day 2

Introduction to the White Waters

Duration: 9 AM to 2 PM

Today is less theory and more practice. The objective is to practice the techniques taught the previous day- again and again until we get a hang of it. We will continue our lessons on the Class 1 Rapids today. The objective is not speed but to get a sense of how the Kayak responds to your movement in the water- how to balance, how to paddle, leaning techniques, t rescues and ferry glides

Do not be discouraged if you don’t pick up on a particular technique right away. As the saying goes, every sport takes a day to learn and a lifetime to master.

By the end of the day, we will also introduce you to the basics of Eskimo Turns which is what your intermediate kayaking course delves into.

Once you are done for the day, ensure you get ample rest for tomorrow, we have something exciting and demanding waiting for us- Stepping into the Class 2 Rapids of the Ganges.

Day 3

Getting into Class 2 Rapids 

Duration: 9 AM – 2 PM

Today is the day we step up and progress to Class 2 white-water rapids. This means stronger currents, bigger waves, heavy splashes, and more fun. The rapids from class 2 and above define the true freedom of white-water kayaking. It is called so because of the pearl white splashes the water produces when the currents and waves crash. The names of the rapids are Initiation (Class 2) and Double Trouble (Class 2).

Class 2 rapids are sections of the river with wider space, fast currents, minimal rocks, and moderate waves. They fall under the easy to medium category ideal for beginners to practice and gain experience. The waves are easy to read, and a kayaker can comfortably maintain a line.

The instructors pick us up at 9 AM and take us to Brahmapuri, 8 km away from Neem Beach. The day starts with us revisiting all the fundamentals of wearing the attire, entry & exit techniques, paddling strokes, and safety protocols. We practice everything from scratch for the first two hours and then learn new techniques. 

On the first day of the course, we learned how to paddle with the flow of water. Today, we learn how to paddle upstream against the flow of water. The paddling techniques are the same for this, but the frequency of the hand motion has to be faster and continuous until we reach the calm section. The exciting part is learning some advanced techniques like T rescue, ferrying, and river features. T rescue is a unique method where a different kayak approaches you when you flip over. You are trained to stretch your hands underwater, reach another kayak's front side, and snap your lower body to resurface. This process is confusing in the beginning. But, after practicing a few times, the fear of water tends to vanish helping you resurface like a pro. Ferrying is crossing a stream from one side to the other by using water flow; pro kayakers use it to enter and exit a rapid.

Theory session of the day introduces you to river features like rocks, waves, and currents. It is an extremely essential skill since it helps kayakers read the river by observing the river features before planning a route map for the river run. Once we get familiar with the features, we can quickly identify the route and maintain our line.

After practicing for 4 hours, we warm up our bodies with a few strokes near the shore and follow the instructors into the rapid. The size of the waves and the force of currents can be overwhelming in the beginning. Don't panic, and don't lose your focus. The techniques are the same as yesterday. Just maintain your line and balance, like your experience in class 1 rapids. Enjoy the sheer force of the water and feel the raw adrenaline rush. Even if we roll over, we can wet exit and body surf with the help of a life jacket. Keep calm and keep paddling and let the force take care of the rest. After an exciting initiation, the waters slow down, and the river trail gets wider. Relax and feel the breeze. Around 4 km into the river, we get into the surprising turf of Double Trouble. Just like the name, it has two sections of rapids. As soon as we cross the first one, a second one will quickly sneak up and surprise us with its big waves. Just paddle and enter the calm zone, which takes you to the shores of Neem Beach.

Day 4

River Run through 4 Rapids

Duration: 5 hours(9 AM to 2 PM)

The fourth day is the most exciting and adventurous day of the course. Today, we go deeper into the stream starting from PhoolChatti, 4 km away from Brahmapuri. Here's an interesting fact - the origin of water sports in Rishikesh started from PhoolChatti. Locals say that around 50 years back, renowned river guides from abroad and India came to PhoolChatti to explore the waters of the Ganga. The point where it all began - could there be a more exciting place than this on your last day of the course – almost like going the full circle!

Today we meet two more massive class-2 rapids. This is where the skills we learned in the last two days are truly tested as we cross not one, not two, but FOUR fun rapids over 12 whooping kilometers.

Names of today's rapid:

Rapid 1 – Club hose (Class 2)

Rapid 2 – Cash flow (Class 2)

Rapid 3 – Initiation (Class 2)

Rapid 4 – Double Trouble (Class 2)

For the first two hours, we practice strokes, techniques, and rescue methods near the shores of PhoolChatti. The instructor gives one last demo on how to get into a rapid, paddling & turning techniques, snapping, and more. Splash as much of the cold water as you can on your face. The refreshing water helps rejuvenate your senses and resets your mind. Be attentive and check your gears. A golden tip is following the line or following the rule. Following the line means following the instructor. If you lose balance and cannot follow the line, keep paddling through the waves, that's the rule. Clubhouse and Cash Flow are the short and wild rapid sections that present you with utmost thrill and adventure. After crossing these, Initiation and Double Trouble no longer seem daunting. You will slide and glide through them with ease and grace. Finally, when we reach Neem Beach, a sense of accomplishment eagerly awaits your arrival on the shore.

Quite a power-packed 4-day course, isn't it? Kayaking is a one-of-a-kind water sport that makes you live in the moment with complete focus and experience the feeling of truly being alive. It's not an activity to strike off your checklist; it is a routine and a taste that will linger longer, making you come back to it over and over again. In the 4-day Basic Kayaking Course, you gain a strong foundation in basic techniques, usage of the gears, and the confidence to learn more. We are excited to see you start your kayaking journey on the white and wild waters of Ganga. In case of any doubts, feel free to reach us.

What's Included
  • Experienced team having appropriate training and certifications for whitewater rescue and wilderness first aid.
  • Local transfers for kayaking.
  • Use of non shared exclusive kayaking gear ( kayak, spray deck, wet suit, neoprene booties, paddle, helmet, PFD ).
  • Instructions, river guides for safety/rescue support, all necessary rescue equipment.
  • River permits, Forest/National parks entry fees/permits, inner line permits, all necessary legal paperwork & documentation.
  • Comprehensive first aid kit.
What's Not Included
  • Train/Air fares up to and from the starting and ending points.
  • Accommodation and meals.
  • Insurance of any kind.
  • Expenses of personal nature.
  • Anything not mentioned explicitly in the schedule/program.

Packing List

  • Quick drying clothes/Swimming costume
  • Waterproof floater kind of sandals with secured back strap
  • Retainer strap for shades or Prescription glasses
  • Sun protection cream
  • Moisturiser
  • Extra clothes to wear after Kayaking
  • Towel
  • Toilet kit

Frequently Asked Questions

15 Years

You should have a basic level of comfort in the water. By knowing how to swim does increase your confidence of being in the water. If you are able to swim 25 meter laps without stopping & float on water for 2-3 minutes, consider yourself eligible for this course.

Basic level of fitness is enough to enjoy kayaking. Your body weight should be in normal BMI category. In case of chronic illness, past ailments, and any medical conditions, please refer a doctor first.

85-90 Kgs

This course is for beginners

It's 1:2 - one instructor for two students

Kayaking is one of the safest water sports you can experience. The kayaks are made of sturdy waterproof materials, and the sport involves using a personal floating device, a life jacket which keeps you from drowning.

It's good for the heart, reduces stress, and brings you closer to nature.

Professional kayakers with several years of experience will teach you personally.

Yes, e-certificates will be provided at the end of the course.

5-6 hours

A dedicated kayak & personal gear for the duration of the course, a personal instructor, accommodation, transport from the hotel to the river site and a course completion certificate.

In summers March to May are the best months whereas the best months before winters are September and October before the water gets really cold.

You don't need anything except swimming or sports briefs to wear inside the wet suit; we will provide for everything else.

Yes, we offer comfortable accommodations in Tapovan, Rishikesh. However this is optional. Please select this add on while making your booking in case you would like to book your accommodation through us. We will update the details a few days before your arrival.

During summers, the waters are pleasant and bearable. Plus, the wet suit we wear during kayaking is specially designed to keep you warm.

No. We offer stay and vehicle only in Rishikesh during the course.

No, we only provide healthy refreshments during the course.

Why Bikat?

Impeccable safety record


Capability to run trips in remote and difficult regions


State of the art equipment

Eco-sensitive approach

We conduct our courses in an eco friendly manner


Very competent, committed and cohesive team

Personalized experience to guests

1:2 ratio between Instructors & Students - One instructor for two students

Cancellation Policy
Cash refund

Cancellations up to 30 days prior to departure date

Cancellations between 30 days to 15 days prior to departure date

Cancellations within 15 days prior to departure date

Voucher refund

Cancellations up to 5 days prior to departure date

Cancellations within 5 days prior to departure date

Please Note:
  1. Cash refund is applicable only in case of bookings made without using any promotional offer code or vouchers
  2. This is only a brief of cancellation terms. For finer details please refer Detailed Cancellation Policy.
Kayaking is an amazing way to get out of home and beat the heat. It is a unique water sport to experience fun and thrill while moving through the pristine waters of nature. The sport has something for everyone – there are various kinds of kayak...
Read full
In the world of water sports, kayaking is a mystery box filled with facts and stories. Curious beginners surf through different blogs and articles to know more about the itinerary and the techniques taught in kayaking courses. While researching this ...
Read full
Know How
How to Attire for White Water Kayaking
Looking for ways to experience nature from the front seat? If yes, kayaking is your answer. However, before you decide to jump into the waters, the most important thing to learn is what to wear. Right clothing and right accessories ensure safety and ...
Read full
Know How
Rolling over is very common in the sport of kayaking. Specifically, when it comes to white water kayaking, we use sit-in-kayaks designed to keep us warm and dry. Only pro kayakers know advanced techniques like Eskimo roll, enabling them to roll back ...
Read full
Know How
Getting out of a kayak is slightly different from getting into one. Almost all beginners fall on their first attempt, which may not look graceful. But it’s okay. Even pro kayakers lose their balance and fall once in a while. Falling is fun here...
Read full
Know How
After learning how to attire and how to sit, the third step you will learn in the basic kayaking course is how to launch a kayak in water. The term ‘launching’ means, smoothly entering the kayak into the river from land. Once you get fami...
Read full
Know How
Paddling is the primary motion that lets a kayaker move freely on different kinds of water. The techniques and the strokes of paddling are the same in all forms of kayaking like white water, recreational and flat water. Mastering the art of paddling ...
Read full
Know How
Getting inside a kayak is not a complex task. Beginners tend to tumble and fall in the beginning. But, it’s only a matter of getting proper guidance and practice. Kayaking is a sport of balancing. The sitting position maintains the center of ma...
Read full

Similar Adventures