Basic River Kayak course Colorado Springs, Co, April 10-13

ACA level 2 SUP instructor workshop and certification.
Durango, Colorado

April 21-23

ACA Level 2 SUP instructor workshop and certification.
Chicago, Illinois

May 2-5

ACA level 4 WW Kayak instructor workshop and certification. Glenwood Springs, Colorado
May 6-9

ACA level 3 SUP instructor workshop and certification
Glenwood Springs, Colorado

May 14-18

ACA level 3 SUP instructor workshop and certification
Buena Vista and Salida, Colorado
May 21-23 and May 26-27

ACA level 2 SUP instructor workshop and certification
Durango, Colorado

May 29 -May 31

clinics and camps


Classes Every Week
Half Days: Saturday and Sunday or  Monday and Tuesday
(half day lake and half day river sessions)
Full Day: Friday - Full day River trips class  1 and 2 rapids
Class Times: 9:30 –12:30 and 1:30 –4:30 pm 
Private Lessons:
Everyday: 9:30 am to 12:30 and 1:30 –4:30 pm

KIDS KAYAKING (9-12 yr olds)


June 17 and 24 Kids Camp (pool sessions at the ARC)

June 20 and 21  for half day river sessions

June 22 and 28 for the full day river sessions


July 15 and 22 Kids Camp (pool sessions at the ARC)

July 17 and 18 for half day river sessions

July 19 and 26 for full day river sessions

KIDS SUP SESSIONS(9-12 yr olds)

June 26 and 27: half day sessions from 10:00 am –12:30

July 31 and August 1: half day sessions from 10:00am –12:30

$320.00 includes two half days, one full day and lunches.

First Clinic: July 24, 25, 26

Second Clinic: August 7, 8, 9

Third Clinic: August 21, 22, 23

Fourth Clinic: Sep 18, 19, 20

A new passion for the Academy is the sport of stand up paddling (SUP) in the river.  Charlie started SUP in Fiji in ’03 on his honeymoon and soon brought a surfboard and paddle to the rapids of Colorado.  Now using specialized shorter, thicker and wider boards, with the help of C-4Waterman based in O’ahu, Hawai’i, the Academy is now offering instruction in SUP on the river!  It is an amazing thrill and an incredible core workout as well.

We offer state of the art equipment designed to help you progress as easily as possible.  Kayaks from Jackson, Liquid Logic, Dagger, Wave Sport, Prijon and Pyrahna allow you to comfortably enjoy the river.   Paddles from Werner and Pohaku for propulsion; while wetsuits, fleece, paddle jackets , booties and helmets provide you with comfort and safety as you experience Aspen from a new perspective.

We offer private and class instruction, half day, full day and multi-day lessons.  We also guide 6 day trips down the Green River and 2 week trips down the Grand canyon. American Canoe Association certification courses are also offered if you are interested in becoming a kayak instructor.

Basic courses are offered either weekend or weeklong, and provide training in strokes and maneuvers in flat water, class I and II rivers.


Welcome to the Aspen Kayak Academy. Located in the central Rockies, we offer friendly guides, high level instruction and superb rivers in and around the incredible, historic town of Aspen.  Kayaking has over 50 years of  history in Aspen with many expedition, creek, squirt, freestyle and slalom racers living in the valley.

Our office is the Nature Preserve on the Roaring Fork River 5 minutes above town. We take students on three beautiful sections, each slightly more challenging. They provide a perfect progression for the novice paddler and quick and easy access for a workout or roll session for intermediate and advanced paddlers.

Advanced paddlers enjoy the Slaughter House section of the Fork 5 minutes downstream from Aspen. Intermediate kayakers play in the Toothache rapids 15 min. from town.  We also have access to 4 more sections of the Fork and the Colorado River. 

Charlie MacArthur is the founder of the Aspen Kayak Academy. With over twenty years of teaching experience, Charlie has taught hundreds of people to safely become kayakers.  Charlie has paddled many rivers as well. Paddling first descents on the Roaring Fork, Crystal River and rivers in Hawai’i, he also has many first place finishes in extreme downriver races on the Gore section of the Colorado river and has raced a surf ski in the prestigious 36 mile open ocean Moloka’i Channel race. Charlie also paddled in and filmed whitewater videos ; “Meltdown Madness” and “Paddlemania” and “Paddlemania Worldwide”. 



Draw Stroke

River Etiquette