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 30-June 1

clinics and camps


TEENS KAYAK summer camps (13-18 yr olds)
Thursdays (9:30 am to 4:30 pm) 

June 20th through August 8th, Eight sessions @ $525.00/person for the summer which includes all gear and transportation and two pool sessions.

KIDS KAYAKING (9-12 yr olds)


June 18 and 25 for pool sessions (6:00 pm-7:30 pm at the ARC)

June 21 and 22 are half days 10-12:30 am

June 23 and 28 are full days 10- 3:30 pm


July 23 and 30 for pool sessions (6:00 pm-7:30 pm at the ARC)

July 26 and 27 are half days 10-12:30pm

July 28 and August 2 are full days 10-3:30 pm

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

First Clinic: June 21, 22, 23

Second Clinic: July 26, 27, 28

Third Clinic: August 22, 23, 24

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