The Kern River Alliance is a volunteer-run non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of California's Kern River and its white water sports. Our mission is to create opportunities for kids to experience kayaking through education and supervised adventures, while building confidence and self esteem.
The Kids’ Program is based on a program founded by Tom Long, developmental coach of the USACK Junior Team and owner of Cascade Raft and Kayak Company in Idaho. The initial learning takes place at the McMurtrey Aquatic Center beginning the first week after school is out in June. Quick drying rash guard shirts, board shorts or trunks, and water shoes are necessary.
Our kids learn about balance, entering and exiting a kayak, basic forward and sweep strokes, rescue techniques, and the Eskimo roll. Upon instructor approval, the students are taken to the lake or a flat section of the river for additional instruction on basic stroke and learning to paddle straight. Before going on the river, kids learn river safety, which includes safety swimming, identifying and understanding river features, and river terminology. The kids also learn to respect the river.
The next step is putting to use the skills learned. Whitewater slalom is a perfect way to develop kayaking skills. Program participants have the opportunity to attend slalom clinics, river races, surf kayaking, and attend recreational paddles on weekends. Some of our students are encouraged to participate in the Junior Olympics.
Donations need to be made by participants in order to use equipment. Insurance waivers also need to be signed.