Whitewater Kayaking Courses at Malabar River Festival

Whitewater Kayaking Courses at Malabar River Festival

The Malabar Festival 2014 is right around the corner and with the monsoons picking up steam across the country we are eagerly looking forward to really big water levels on the festival’s rivers. As part of the Malabar Festival experience we are happy to bring you a whole range of whitewater kayaking courses that will be running throughout the week leading up the festival. So whether you are novice kayaker or an expert looking to raise the bar a notch, we have something for everyone. Here’s you chance to sharpen your skills and train with world-class expedition paddlers and play boaters from around the world. To signup for any of the courses mentioned below please email info@malabarfest.com

I. Learn to Kayak + Learn to River Run (Level: Beginner).

Dates : 19-20th July.

Course Instructors : Joe Rea Dickens and Dan Rea Dickens (UK)

Max Participants : 8

About the course:

Day 1 (6 hours)

learn to kayak

The first day of the course is meant to get you familiar with the basics of the sport. You will be taught and made to practice the following skills in a section of a river that is fairly still .

  • River safety protocol
  • Swimming in the river
  • Gear familiarity and boat control
  • Basic paddling strokes, forward, backward, side and turn strokes
  • Self rescue and eskimo rescue technique

Day 2 (6 hours)

learn to river run

In this session you will be taught to negotiate currents and we will introduce you to handling your kayak in moving water. You will be taught the different whitewater kayaking skills that are essential to maneuver the kayak down the river.

The last 3 hours of this session we will guide you down a class II river section where will you have an opportunity to test your newly acquired paddling skills. While kayaking down this section you will experience the true beauty of a wild jungle river, breathtaking views of the gorge along with the taste of adrenalin rush that is part and parcel of whitewater kayaking.

Instructor Profile

Team Pyranha Paddlers with first descents in Meghalaya, Kenya and Venezuela.
[vimeo https://vimeo.com/40594442]

Costs. Rs. 7000 (Kayak + Gear Rentals included). Travel, Food and Accommodation extra and can be arranged upon request


  1. Must be above the age of 12
  2. Must not suffer from any medical or physical condition that prohibits the participant from partaking in strenuous physical exercise
  3. Ability to swim 10 minutes unassisted, with the use of a PFD (Personal Flotation Device)

II. AWT- Advanced Whitewater Techniques (Level: Advanced)

creeking AWT

Dates : 22nd July.

Course Instructors : Joe Rea Dickens and Dan Rea Dickens (UK)

Max Participants: 8 - 12

About the Course:

Refine your whitewater skills alongside world-class expedition paddlers.

This course is dedicated to students that have completed LTK-LTR drills and can paddle classIII whitewater. A reliable combat roll is required.

This course will focus on:

  1. Boof and flare technique
  2. Making tight and technical moves and eddies
  3. Group dynamics and communication
  4. Identifying dangerous river features
  5. Handling powerful hydraulics
  6. Practical go-to whitewater safety techniques

Venue: class III rapids on Iruvanjipuzha and Chalipuzha. (Depending onthe overall group skills class IV rapids may be attempted)

Course duration: 1 days

Course cost: Rs 2500 (gear rental, boarding and lodging not included)

III. Whitewater Rescue Technician (Level: Intermediate - Advanced)


Dates : 19th - 21st July.

Course Instructor : Dai Chandra Ale (Nepal)

Max Participants: 8 - 12

About the Course:


This course is designed specifically for professional rafters, kayakers, private boaters, and others who work or play on or around flowing water. Students will benefit from this intensive, hands-on course and will learn to use techniques and simple equipment to assess and perform river rescues. The emphasis is on speedy, low-tech, and improvised rescue techniques that are effective and require minimal equipment.

Students who complete this course successfully get a Rescue 3 WRT certification badge and ID card that is valid for 3 years.

Instructor Profile:

Chandra Ale has been living and working in outdoors sports for more than two decades, predominantly in the adventure tourism sector in Nepal. In 2001, Chandra was awarded a scholarship to be trained at the 'National Outdoor Leadership School' (NOLS) in Wyoming, USA. He returns there regularly to instruct students at the school and to update and improve his own skills.

Venue: class III rapids on Iruvanjipuzha and Chalipuzha

Course duration: 3 days

Course Costs: Rs. 12000 (Boarding and lodging not included)

IV. Step it Up Class III+ (Level: Intermediate)

intermediate  river running

Dates : 22nd July.

Course Instructor : Darren Clarkson King (UK)

Max Participants: 8

Prerequisite : Completed Learn to River Run (Class II) and a decent kayak roll.

About the course:

This course is designed for intermediate paddlers looking to raise their game on a Class III river section. An intensive full day work out on moving water Darren will teach you the essentials required to style your river running skills. In this course we will focus on how to cross obstacles like waves and holes, how to make sure we can follow our line, and how to change our line when things do not go according to our plan. Back ferries, power strokes, duffecks, braces, S-turns and more... You will be busy applying in the river all of these techniques, and much more!

River Reading: The more we progress in river running the more it becomes crucial to take quick decision while choosing a line or when placing our blade into the water. To do that is essential to comprehend the flow of the water, in every aspect, and to anticipate the features of the river. This is river reading. This is what we will practice on this course, from the shore, while scouting, and form the boat, while paddling.

Instructor Profile:


Darren Clarkson-King is a writer, extreme kayaker, expedition provider, river consultant, mentor and inspirational speaker. Darren has taken part in some truly epic expeditions including a solo descent of the Dudh Kosi and Arun in Nepal –Riding the tears of Everest along with co author of the iconic Whitewater Nepal (3rd edition), with Peter Knowles. A true adventurer.

Venue: class III rapids on Iruvanjipuzha and Chalipuzha

Course duration: 1 days

Course Costs: Rs. 2000 (Boarding and lodging not included, kayaks available for rent at extra cost)

V. Style it on that Wave (Level: Intermediate-Advanced)

kayak roll instruction

Dates : 23rd July.

Course Instructor : Max Benetton (Italy)

Max Participants: 6

About the Course:

Italian freestyle champion Max benetton is coming down to Malabar to teach us how to close some serious tricks on the waves of Ledges, on Kuttyady River, close to Kozhikode, Kerala.

This workshop is dedicated to all paddlers who want to learn more about freestyle kayaking. Minimum level required is class II skills and a solid combat roll. Basic ability of side surfing on a standing wave/hole is highly recommended.

Instructor Profile:

max benetton

Max Benetton, also known as “la Bomba”(meaning “the bomb”in Italian) is the strongest freestyle kayaker Italy has ever produced. A 5-time Italian freestyle champion and with 30 years of paddling hard in almost every discipline of the sport, he is still enjoys the never-ending search for the perfect trick on the wave.

Venue: Kuttiyadi River

Course duration: 1 days

Course Costs: Rs. 3000 (Boarding and lodging not included, kayaks available for rent at extra cost. Local transportation from Kondenchery to Kuttiyadi included )