Guided Waimakariri River Trips
Guided Waimakariri River Trips
Guided Waimakariri River Trips

Guided Waimakariri River Trips

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Come see why our reputation is so good! 

Overview

Topsport Kayaking runs guided trips through the Waimakariri Gorge from October through to February each year. 

The aim of our guided trip is to introduce you to the Coast to Coast section of the Waimakariri River and help you identify safe effective lines on race day. This paddle is not a time trial; it is a guided educational trip. Our professional team will help you gain the confidence and skills you need to race in the Coast to Coast successfully. All our instructors are qualified and highly experienced. We have been working on this section of river teaching and training athletes for more than 27 years. 

Download everything you need to know here!

Trip Info
  • Paddle on the Coast to Coast Course
  • Small group size - maximum group size of 4 
  • Qualified Experienced Instructors
  • Transport to and from Christchurch
  • Hire boats and gear available
  • Registered and approved Adventure Activity Operator
  • Coast to Coast Approved   

Trip Requirements

You are required to be fit enough to handle 5 to 6 hours of paddling in your kayak. Please ensure you are spending adequate time in your boat training so that you can get the most out of your day on the river. It is a requirement for the trip that you have completed your Grade Two Certificate and are paddling a boat to match your ability.

Weather and River Conditions

Weather and river conditions in the days leading up to and including the day of your trip are very influential. We have strict safety procedures and guidelines regarding weather forecasts and river levels. If the conditions on the day of your scheduled trip are outside these parameters we will be postponing the trip. We use the latest available information from a combination of weather and river data websites along with our experience to make their decision.

*** Note - for our trip on Wednesday the 5th we do not have boats available for hire. You must have paddled the Gorge before. If you have not paddled the Gorge before please book our two day trip. 

https://topsport.co.nz/products/februrary-athlete-preparation

Kayak Hire

Hiring a boat is perfect if you are flying in from another part of New Zealand or internationally.

NOTE - We do not have any kayaks available to hire on Wednesday the 5th of February 2025. You need to provide your own kayak for this trip. This trip is NOT for first time paddlers. If you have not paddled the Waimak before please help us keep you and our team safe and join us for our river preparation two trip. 

Click here to hire a kayak. 

Travelling Athlete Info

If you are travelling from outside of Christchurch to spend some time with us on the river or over the mountain here is some information to help plan you trip.

Download the info here.


Testimonials

Here's what some of our paddlers are saying:

"I’d already done my Grade 2 Course elsewhere in the North Island for the Coast to Coast but doing a trip down the Waimak guided by Ryan and Sam made a huge difference to my skill level and confidence. I wouldn’t do the race without having been on the river without these guys"

Brent Spicer paddling his Ruahine Intrigue November 2020 

"Thank you so much for the Waimakariri river trip and my new Ruahine Shadow. Another great experience with Topsport. A special thanks to Len for the kayak fitting and sharing so many professional tips. It has made such a difference to have the kayak and paddle adjusted by such an expert"

Kay Chapman paddling her Ruahine Shadow in January 2022

Requirements

These requirements are in place for your safety and to ensure we can fit you in one of our boats (if required)

  • You must be able to swim 
  • Weigh less than 110kg
  • Be shorter than 6'4.

Please contact us to discuss options if you don’t the fit these requirements.

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Topsport Kayaking Cancellation Policy 

Terms and Conditions

Topsport Kayaking’s cancellation policy allows clients to reschedule or cancel their booked course or guided trip provided enough notice is given. This policy ensures our small local business can continue to operate if someone cancels their space at short notice. 

COVID 19 – Our standard cancelation policy applies.

Cancelling a booking 

If for any reason (this includes illness, COVID, travel delays and injuries) you need to cancel your kayak course, gorge trip or mountain run, you will receive a refund minus our cancelation fee. This is provided you contact us at least 21 full days before your booking. We are a very small business and cannot afford to operate our business without the policy. If you cancel outside this period full payment is still required.

We have a lot of cancelations due to sickness and injury. Whilst we are always sorry to hear of an injury or illness, both are a common reality in multisport. Our business is unable to cover the cost of a missed course or trip when an injury or illness has prevented someone from cancelling within our cancelation period. This is a common occurrence for us, therefore full payment is still required. You can transfer your space to another person if you know someone and can organise this.

We deduct an administration fee for any courses or trips that are cancelled.

Our Cancelation fees for courses or trips cancelled 21 days prior to starting are as follows:

  • Grade II Certificate Course - $295
  • Guided River Trip - $95
  • Guided Run Trip - $95
  • Guided Run/River Combo - $195
  • Waimakariri Skills Course - $295

 Cancelling Part of your Grade II Course

If for some reason you are unable to attend a day or days of your kayak course we will try to rebook in with another group, if successful there is an additional cost of $250 per day. There is a no refund for the days missed.

Rescheduling a booking 

If you need to reschedule your course or trip, Topsport requires a minimum of 21 FULL DAYS notice. Any booking rescheduled outside this time period will require a new booking and new payment. 

All rescheduled trips are subject to an administration fee which is as follows: 

  • Grade II Certificate Course - $49
  • Guided River Trip - $49
  • Guided Run Trip - $49
  • Refresh with Ryan - $49
  • Guided Run/River Combo - $49
  • Waimakariri Skills Course -49
  • Two Day River Course - -$49

 Sometimes Topsport Kayaking postpones your trip

Topsport Kayaking can only operate in favourable conditions. Our trips and courses are 100% weather and river flow dependant. For this reason YOU MUST be flexible with your availability.  If you cannot commit to flexibility please do not make a booking with us.

When we have to postpone a trip it is not something we want to do. When a trip is postponed it is for your own personal safety and the safety of our Topsport staff. Your trip may be postponed due to high river levels, high wind or cold alpine conditions.

If we need to postpone your trip we will contact you as soon as possible. This may be in the days leading up to your trip or in the morning of the trip. If this happens you will be provided with a code to rebook your trip on our website at no charge on another date that suits. 

Please Note – As we get closer to race day in February the rebooking options may be limited due to the time we have left before the race. If you are unable to make a rescheduled trip a refund will not be given.  

When travelling from out of town PLEASE make sure you book flexi flights and accommodation as none of our trips are ever guaranteed to run. We can only operate our trips when weather and river conditions are safe to do so. 

In exceptional circumstances we may need to cancel your trip after travelling to the start location or even part-way through your trip as conditions change. Typically we decide prior to leaving town but sometimes we make the extra effort to make an important trip take place e.g race week and overseas clients. If this happens there is a minimum cost of $100 pp. Our standards are to cancel are trip using the latest weather and flow resources BEFORE we leave town but occasionally the forecast is incorrect and we do not know until arriving at the start location.

Cancelling your Coast to Coast Kayak Hire Booking

Topsport Kayaking will gladly cancel your Coast to Coast kayak hire booking prior to the 30th of November. A cancellation charge to the value of 20% of the original hire fee will be deducted. You will be credited back the balance through your original form of payment. If you cancel your hire outside of this time period the full amount is still payable.

 

THE TOPSPORT TEAM

Why choose us?

All of the staff here at Topsport have competed in many multisport races at a high level, including the iconic Coast to Coast. We know what it takes to get down the river safely, with the right technology while having a good time. 

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR TEAM

Don't take our word for it

★★★★★

I recently completed my Grade II Assessment with Topsport Kayaking. The service provided by the team was excellent. The email communications were clear with excellent detail. The check in app was also very easy to use. On the days, my instructors Sam and Phil were excellent, incredibly knowledgeable with a strong emphasis on safety and completing all skills to a high standard. The Gorge trip was well organized and at all times, I felt I was in safe hands. I wouldn't hesitate in recommending using Topsport for kayaking trips and/or training again the future. Thanks so much for such a positive experience team!

Bex

Grade II Assessment November 2022 

★★★★★

Just a quick note to say thank you. Ryan and Zack were excellent instructors. They managed the certification course as true professionals. It’s not easy to instil confidence, build student skills, and deal with some challenging environmental conditions. I was particularly impressed with Ryan’s enthusiasm for all-things-paddling. His passion and ability shone through. 

Richard

Grade II Certificate Course November 2022

★★★★★

Just wanna say a big thank you for a great day through the Gorge yesterday. Big ups to Len, Sam and Phil. Our guides Sam and Phil were very professional and had our safety at the forefront of their thinking in quite challenging river conditions. It was great to learn wee titbits from these two very experienced paddlers. 

Dean

Waimakariri Guided River Trip November 2022

★★★★★

Wanted to send a quick email to say thank you for the Grade II Kayak course I just attended over the weekend. Ryan and Zack did a great job, they were friendly, professional and did a great job keeping our course on track and progressing while the weather gods tried hard to disrupt things. They are clearly capable young men, but their kayaking passion, capability and knowledge were the real difference. I learnt a lot and certainly feel more confident as a novice kayaker – thank you very much.

Sandy

Grade II Certificate October 2022