Group Paddling Instruction & Guiding


Whether you have never paddled before or are a group of intermediate kayakers looking to learn some ocean skills, we can arrange custom instruction and guiding for your group. Combined with our group rental rates, you can create a wonderful learning experience and a memorable outing.

At Charles River Canoe & Kayak, our focus is education, and that’s why all our guides are also instructors. Whether you want our guide to simply accompany you on your outing, talk about the history or wildlife of the area, or work with you to build your paddling skills, our guides/instructors will do it!

Rates for Instruction/Guiding at our Four Rental Locations

Our group rate for on-site instruction/guiding at any of our locations is $145/hour or $580/day per guide. Our camp and school (K-12) rate is $95/hour or $380/day per guide. Certified lifeguards are available. See our maximum boat-to-guide ratios listed below.

Rates for Instruction/Guiding on the Ocean

There’s nothing like the experience of paddling on the ocean! Ocean trips are great for smaller groups (10 or fewer participants) who are looking for a unique and exciting outing.

For any sea kayaking trip up to eight hours in length (including travel time) leaving from our Waltham Shop and traveling to any location within one hour’s drive, see the rates below. The cost includes a full day of guiding and instruction, transportation from Waltham for groups of three or more, and use of a plastic or composite kayak for each participant.

Group Size 1 2 3-5 5-10
Total Size $450 $575 $725 $1150

Rates for Instruction/Guiding at Any Other Location

We can create customized outings to any location. We are happy to deliver boats according to our boat delivery rates. For guiding/instruction while on the water, pricing would be the same as listed above for instruction at our locations. See our maximum boat-to-guide ratios listed below.

Maximum Number of Persons and Boats per Guide/Instructor

In order to maximize the enjoyment of each of our participants, we limit the number of persons and boats that each guide/instructor can accompany on the water. Our maximum ratios are listed below.

Adult Boats Kids’ Boats
Lake or River 16 people/guide
8 boats/guide
12 people/guide
6 boats/guide
Ocean 10 people/guide
5 boats/guide
10 people/guide
5 boats/guide
  • An “Adult Boat” is any boat (canoe, kayak, etc.) with at least one adult age 15 and older.
  • Quantities shown are the maximum number of persons and boats that each guide may accompany.
  • Guides in Ten-Person Canoes cannot be responsible for participants in other boats.
  • If you do not wish to hire enough guides to cover the number of people or boats in your group, you may designate a portion of your group to be under the purview of the guide. The other members of your group may not remain in the vicinity of the guide. This option is not available on the ocean.
  • The above ratios apply only to groups hiring a guide/instructor. View our child-to-adult ratios for group outings for unguided kids’ groups.
Reservations Are Required for Instruction & Guiding
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Registration/Cancellation Policy for Paddling Group Outings

Pre-payment in full is required for all reservations (K-12 school groups and camps must pre-pay for guides, catering orders, and boat deliveries, but may pay for rented boats on the day of the event). View our Reservation & Discount Policy for details.

  • Reservations cancelled by the following deadlines receive either a refund of the pre-payment less a 10% registration fee, or a full credit to a store account. This credit is valid for 7 years and may be used for instruction, rentals, or purchases at Charles River Canoe & Kayak or Weston Ski Track.
  • Group Reservations at our locations must be cancelled 48 hours in advance (except deliveries, catering orders, and off-site guiding/instruction). Cancellations due to weather must be made at least 2 hours before the event. Small reductions in boat quantities for non-peak-hour reservations are accepted when you arrive for your event, but are subject to the 10% fee.
  • Boat Deliveries must be cancelled at least 24 hours prior to the event. Cancellations due to weather must be made by 5pm the night before the event.
  • Off-Site Guiding/Instruction must be cancelled at least 7 days before the event. Cancellations due to weather must be made by 5pm the night before the event.
  • Catering Orders must be cancelled at least 7 days before the event. The timeframe for cancellations due to weather varies by vendor -- call our group outings coordinator at (617) 965-5110 for details.
  • For all cancellations made after the above deadlines, no refunds or credits will be issued.
  • Peak-Hour Reservations begin at the designated start time, and groups arriving late will not receive refunds or credits for missed time.
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