24 May 2017
Coding, Grades & Suitability

Green - Beginner Paddlers: Flatwater, to Grade 1-2; No experience required, also suitable for paddlers with flatwater experience, or those wanting to refresh their whitewater skills or build their confidence with basic techniques.

Blue - Advanced Beginners: Grade 1-2+; Some basic experience required such as basic strokes on flatwater (forward-backward paddling, turning kayak), or limited experience in Grade 1-2 whitewater Paddling. 

Red - Intermediate Paddlers: Grade 2-3+; Familiar with use of basic whitewater strokes such as forward-backward paddling, turning kayak, eddy catching & ferry crossing techniques. Solid experience in Grade 1-2 whitewater river paddling.

Black - Experienced Paddlers: Grade 3-4+, on some guided trips up to Grade 5 possible as described in the trip profile Capable of independent Paddling in whitewater Grade 3 or 4. Knowledgable of commonly used strokes and Paddling techniques. Recommended to be capable of Eskimo Roll (at least on one-side), depending on the specific trip this skill maybe required more or less. 

*If you are unsure of your current Paddling grade or ability please contact us. We will discuss your experience and advise you of suitable courses or guided whitewater trips.


"From the beginning Thomas took a responsible approach to gently steering me in the right direction.  Thomas didn't just introduce me to the techniques required for kayaking.  He introduced me to the sport, during the training he discussed safety aspects and how to identify danger on the river.  This was an on going process and throughout every training day more and more information would come.
On a few training sessions and trips Thomas arranged his training calendar so that I received one to one tuition which on a couple of trips was a pleasant surprise.  Thomas has always preferred to work with small groups which has always insured a more catered and personal experience.  The trips organised by Thomas have been on some of the most scenic rivers I have ever seen.  I would highly recommend trips and training organised by Thomas and intend to attend more trips this year."
Dr Taqi Khan, February 2014

'"Traveling through Bosnia/Herzegovina, Montenegro & Croatia was an adventure from beginning to end. We were the only paddlers on some beautiful & remote rivers, wild camp sites in awesome surroundings with the highlight being the 2-day trip through the Tara Gorge. A unique experience. Thank you TAK." June 2011

"Learning to paddle with Thomas has been a great experience; on some stunning rivers, between some beautiful mountains and over a few seasons he has built my paddling skills, knowledge, confidence and enjoyment... and only 3 swims/capsizes throughout! I would recommend TA Kayaking to anyone wishing to get away from it all and experience outdoor adventure activities in nature in the truest sense." Miranda, June 2012

If you have paddled with Thomas Ahlers Kayaking and would like to write a testimonial/feedback please send it via our contact page. Cheers!

Rules & Recommendations
General rules and regs


- Depending on high/low water or various environmental conditions Thomas Ahlers Kayaking may sometimes need to alter the planned schedule for your course or guided trip. In the event this is necessary clear communication will detail the changes with the given reason. Changes may include a different river, section of river or a change to the location.  

- Guides of Thomas Ahlers Kayaking will assess the skill level of whitewater kayaking clients at the beginning of each course or guided trip. If the guide thinks the client is/are not appropriately skilled for the planned rivers alternatives will be suggested where possible. To avoid any misunderstandings please contact Thomas Ahlers Kayaking in advance of the course to discuss prior experience and expectations for the course or guided trip enrolling in. 

- Thomas Ahlers Kayaking will request a non-refundable deposit of 30% of the course or guided trip price, if cancellation occurs less than one month prior to the start date. This is to ensure the viability of the course or guided trip for other clients. 

- Thomas Ahlers Kayaking will maintain the right to refuse to guide clients on a river/s whom act as if, or are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This is for the safety of all clients.

- Children under the age of 16 years should be accompanied by an adult/guardian for the duration of the course or guided trip.

- Most courses are based at one location as a base camp at an official camp site. Some courses and guided trips are more like 'road trips', requiring travel to new locations and frequent overnight base changes. This can include 'wild' camping with limited facilities. To ensure the trip meets your expectations please check style of camping and travel included on the booking information sheet. 

- Camping is the main choice for accommodation during our courses & guided trips, but if you prefer a B&B/hotel option we will do everything we can to facilitate this. 

Food, Accomodation & Travel Arrangements

Accommodation - Camping or a local bed & breakfast if you prefer are the normal accommodation types during our whitewater kayaking trips. Camping prices vary from ~€10-15pp/per night depending on the location. 

Occasionally on the guided trips, which can be more remote, wild camping maybe required. Here we carry everything we need for an overnight stay, taking everything with us when we leave. 

Food - Breakfast & lunch is not provided, so please bring your own. On some courses we provide an evening meal at a cost of ~€5-7pp/per meal. This is hearty and healthy camp cooking, which always benefits from group participation; chopping, stirring, or washing-up if you have the energy left after a days paddling! Alternatively you can prepare your own meals or eat out locally. 

Travel - Drive with your own vehicle to meet us at the designated meeting point, or we can arrange to pick you up at a suitable location. For overseas trips such as New Zealand and Zambezi, or distant European locations we will meet you at the airport. Drop offs after the trip wil be at an agreed location. Too easy! 

Non-Paddling Partners Welcome!

Believe it or not you too can have fun during a guided whitewater river trip... the locations are always in nature and many times there is a path following the river for your own exercise/adventure or to follow the paddlers antics. 

Many times the areas we visit have points of interest - hiking trails, waterfalls, rafting, kletterstieg & climbing, sunbathing on the river bank, cable cars to scenic peaks, mountain biking and villages of cultural interest. If your partner is a non-paddler please advise us in advance so we can advise & support you on most locations. Please contact us for more information. 

Join us - Paddlers and Non-Paddlers for a days debriefing around the camp fire with dinner; everyones day is interesting and we always want to hear what you all did and if you found an adventure... 


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