Adventure: Kayaking

Kayaking Instruction by Gunter SpilhausGunter Profile pic

Born and raised in Africa, Gunter spent many years paddling sea kayaks and surfs skis on the coastal waters around Cape Town. He started his paddling career as a guide on the major rivers in Southern Africa. He led multiday expedition canoe trips on the Orange River in Namibia, as well as led whitewater rafting trips and worked as safety kayak guide on grade 3/4 water of the Doring and Tugela rivers in South Africa. While working on the rivers he also had the opportunity to paddle the mighty Zambezi in Zimbabwe.

Eight years ago a move with his wife and daughter brought them to the U.S and they settled in the Hudson Valley. Gunter spends his winters running the events team at Hunter Mountain, and his summers running his adventure based event management company, which includes mountain biking, kayaking, teambuilding events and sailing.

Gunter is a member of the American Canoe Association (ACA) with a Level 3 Coastal Kayak instructor certification, and is a US Coast Guard Captain.

“We live in a beautiful place with so many opportunities to get out and explore!

I love being on the water and paddling my kayak, and I love sharing my knowledge with folks looking to improve their skills and become safer paddlers” –Gunter S.

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Kayaking skills clinic we offer:


Kayak Rescue Training  book now
Kayak Rescue Training prepare you for safe travel by kayak close to shore, but give you an confidence to go places that are exposed to wind and waves. During this 1 hour session, you will develop and refine critical boat handling, self-rescue, and assisted rescue skills, needed for safe exploration of the Hudson River shorelines. This course will take place on the Hudson River or Roundout creek, but the specific launch site will be selected based on the conditions on the day of the course. More information will be provided after sign up. This course should be followed with a Kayak Fundimental clinic.

The Introduction to Kayaking.                                    book nowThis course is designed as a short program emphasizing safety, enjoyment and skill acquisition for entry-level individuals. This course is appropriate for all kayak craft, including traditional decked kayaks, inflatables and sit on tops. Presentations include dressing to paddle safely and potential paddling hazards. Simple rescues are demonstrated by the instructor combined with paddling skills practiced by students to maneuver safely and comfortably on still water.

The Essentials of Kayak Touring                                   book now course is designed to teach beginner paddlers to safely and enjoyably kayak on lakes, calm protected ocean environments, and other flatwater settings. We will use touring kayaks that have at least one sealed bulkhead or flotation. The course is focused on learning to travel safely and efficiently by kayak. There is more emphasis on practicing simple rescues, stroke and maneuvers, understanding tides and current, the use of a compass and a review of emergency equipment and basic rules of the road.

What to bring:

Come prepared: Please bring your sense of adventure and a willingness to learn and be prepared to step out our of your comfort zone to gain a new set of skills.

Basic required equipment for our courses includes a properly outfitted kayak with a paddle and the related safety equipment required for the course you are taking. For the Level one course we will have paddle floats, and pumps for loan during the course, but we recommend that you have your own if possible so you can practice with it.

Personal Equipment: We recommend clothing suitable for immersion. You will be getting wet during the rescue skills portion of the course. A dry wick shirt (No cotton or synthetics) and water shoes ( no open sandals) are required. If you prefer to use nose-clips or swim goggles while underwater please bring them along. In addition you should bring along sunglasses (with straps), hat with a visor, bug repellant, and a spare set of clothes to change into after. Also be sure to bring a windbreaker incase it is chilly.

Please speak with our kayaking department staff if you are looking to purchase equipment.

You should speak with your instructor before the course starts about any medical issues or concerns you may have about the course, so we can accommodate your needs during the lesson.