The 3-hour basic skills flatwater kayaking lesson on the Deschutes River in Bend, Oregon will equip you with the confidence to explore gentle lakes and rivers.

Tumalo Creek's 3-hour Basic Skills Kayaking Class is a fantastic starting point for those aspiring to learn the basics of flatwater kayaking.

Our expert instructors will instill the confidence you need to get out there and start exploring Central Oregon's serene waterways and beyond.

You can expect to learn comprehensive safety knowledge, fundamental paddle strokes, and maneuvering skills.

This class is primarily designed for adults; therefore, we recommend a minimum age of 15 for participants.

Class starts at the Tumalo Creek shop in the heart of Bend's Old Mill District on the Deschutes River. We provide kayaks, paddles, and PFDs (personal flotation devices / life jackets) to class participants.

You may also be interested in our Intermediate Skills Kayaking Class, designed to refine techniques and boost rescue capabilities.

For open water adventures, check out our selection of multi-day San Juan Islands sea kayaking tours!

Equipment List

Tumalo Creek Provides

  • Kayak
  • Paddle
  • PFD
  • Instruction

Participant Provides

  • River appropriate shoe
  • Synthetic top and bottom (i.e. thermal underwear)
  • Rain coat and pants (weather dependent)
  • Sun hat, rain hat, or cap (weather dependent)
  • Sunglasses with Croakies or Chums
  • Sunscreen and lip balm
  • Water bottle
  • Snacks
  • Towel and change of clothes for after class

Gear required for this trip is available for purchase at our shop.

Meeting Location

805 SW Industrial Way, Suite 6 Bend OR 97702


Tumalo Creek Deposits and Cancellation Policies:

One Day Lessons/Tours: 48 hours prior to departure date required for cancellations or date changes. No Shows, cancellations or date changes for any reason inside the 48 hour period will be subject to forfeiture of all fees.

Tumalo Creek (TC) Initiated Cancellation Disclaimer: Applies to all one day lessons, trips, tours, multi-day trips, camps and special events. TC reserves the right to cancel, postpone or reschedule one day lessons, trips, tours, multi-day trips, camps and special events within 24 hours of the scheduled date. Circumstances include but are not limited to low enrollment, weather (ex. thunderstorms/lightning), natural disasters (ex. forest fires) and events or circumstances beyond TC’s control.


You may also be interested in our Intermediate Skills Kayaking Class. This full-day course is designed to enhance your rescue abilities, refine your paddle strokes for efficiency, and equip you for navigating through wind and waves with confidence.

If you're eager to take your skills to open waters, we highly recommend exploring our selection of multi-day San Juan Islands sea kayaking tours.
Learn more at


Can I bring my own gear?

If you have your own gear and or boat you are more than welcome to bring your gear to the classes. It is always good to practice in the same equipment you will use after the class.

Can kids come to these lessons?

We have a strict age requirement of 15 for standard lessons. If you have a child younger than 15 please check out our offerings for Tumalo Kids or email [email protected] to get information on private classes.

Do I have to get on the water?

If you are taking a class we do require you to come out on the water and practice the techniques we are covering. Though we start on land most of our instruction is on the water so students can try the new skill in real time.

Do I have to participate in the self rescue?

It is entirely optional but highly recommended that you try your hand at a self rescue during class. Practice makes perfect and what better way to practice than by having a certified instructor right there with you.

Will I fall in?

It is entirely possible that you will fall in the water. We will always suit you up with all of the necessary safety gear for the discipline you are participating in, and our certified instructors are well versed in water rescues. But still, be prepared to swim.