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  • Build confidence in paddling narrow and steeper rapids in colder temperatures

MACKFest Creeking Clinic

Quick Details

Clinic options:

Kayak Clinic – Friday, April 12th

Canoe Clinic – Saturday, April 13th

Meet up time:
8:30am (expect to be on the water until 4:00pm)

Meet up location:
Beaver Creek Put-in– 44° 34′ 46.6136″ N 77° 40′ 58.552″ W




The creeking clinic is designed to provide participants with a guided experience to get to know and explore the river, to build confidence in paddling narrow and steeper rapids, paddling in cold temperatures at the start of the season and explore the limits of their comfort zones in a safe and supportive setting.

The clinic takes place over the entire river run where we will explore warm-up techniques, refine basic skills and maneuvers to inspire confidence, set goals for the day, scout and dissect the more challenging rapids, encourage self-regulation and safety with our line choices, river running styles, options to walk, and explore the river in a way to inspire confidence and good decision making.

We’re really looking forward to helping build confidence and competency in low volume, highway 7 run creeking styles!

Expectations of participants: 

Instruction will take place throughout the river run, and is suited to experienced but novice-and-up paddlers looking to build confidence. Participants must have cold-immersion gear (dry suit preferred), a consistent combat roll, confidence in class III and a willingness to challenge themselves and implement coaches’ feedback.

Kayak Demo Boats:

Between Paddler Co-op and Frontenac Outfitters, there’s a pretty sweet fleet of demo boats to be tried. If you’re interested in trying one out on the clinic, let us know and we’ll get in touch with sizes and availability. We have Dagger Codes, Mambas, Nomads, Jackson Zen 3s, Nirvanas, Gnarvanas and more! Demos will be first-come first-served.

Instructor Bios

  • Ryan O’Connor (Head Coach):  Ryan’s experience and instructional expertise is second to none when it comes to diagnosing and refining technique, building confidence in paddlers and addressing the mental game, as well as breaking down skills into digestible, bite-sized pieces that are practical and applicable. Some of his accreditations are ORCKA Moving Water Canoe and Kayak level 3 (advanced) Instructor and Instructor Trainer, River Rescue Instructor and North American Whitewater Open Canoe Championships silver medalist.


  • Tony Whetham: Tony’s love for paddling and sharing the sport with others has led him and his wife Colleen to call Palmer Rapids their forever home with the river out their back door. Having paddled for fifteen years and being a Paddle Canada certified instructor at Paddler Co-op for the last eight years, Tony’s calm, cool and collected approach inspires a sense of “can-do” and confidence in his students. His combination of freestyle, river running and creeking kayaking experience, as well as tandem and solo canoe brings a well-rounded understanding of students’ journeys and a deep repertoire of instructional techniques and understanding to inspire confidence and improve competency. He’s often been called the coolest guy on the river.


  • Rianna Sterk: Rianna works, lives and plays on the river.  She has been working in the outdoor industry for 10 years now in multiple capacities but fell in love with the river and its communities 6 years ago. Rianna’s main focus is combining the development of whitewater canoeing and leadership skills on long expeditions and having people fall in love with the river.  She also teaches river rescue, enjoys kayaking for herself and easily gets carried away with too much stoke.


  • Zack Fiddis: Owner, Operator and Paddling Evangelist at Frontenac Outfitters, Zack has been honing his paddling skills, instruction in whitewater and sea kayaking, and general outdoor awesomeness and river bum lifestyling for two decades. Zack’s expertise in the retail sector of the whitewater industry paired with his passion for rivers and getting people into the sport brings a unique and exceptional dimension to the clinic with new boat demos and advice on the best gear to keep you comfortable and safe on the water. He’s also really cool.