Paddle Up a Level!

An online course to improve boat control


Paddle up a level!

Learn to packraft Class II/III water and how to respond when things go wrong. 

Do you want to be a more confident packrafter?

Many people seek instruction after a scary experience—a bad swim or not knowing how to help a capsized partner. Paddle up a level will help you avoid swimming in the first place—and provide a skillset to assist your partners when in need.

"Paddle up a level" refers to using Class III technique on Class II water, which allows you to build skills in a lower consequence setting.

What makes this course unique:
  • Expertise: Luc Mehl is a leading expert in packraft instruction with fifteen years of packrafting experience—from remote trips in Alaska to hucking waterfalls in Mexico. Luc is the author of The Packraft Handbooka 2021 National Outdoor Book Award winner.
  • Top-tier instruction: "Luc is, by far, the most thoughtful and conscientious instructor I've ever had the pleasure of working with. He is able to explain things in a way that makes sense, and he cares as much about the experience of his students as he does about their safety. -Eric C."
  • Online platform: The online format allows you to work at your own pace, locally. Search videos for keywords, replay content, and attend live Q&A sessions.

Designed to accompany award-winning The Packraft Handbook


Recognizing the limitations and safety concerns of your equipment will help you choose appropriate objectives.

We'll discuss the "personal protective equipment" that you should wear as well as outfitting your boat to minimize entrapment hazards.

Swimmer and equipment recovery

Most rescues are routine and low-stress with practice: help a swimmer, grab the boat and paddle.

This module includes the tried-and-true recovery strategies that I teach in my rescue courses. Practicting these techniques at a lake or pool will help you react reflexively on the river.

Paddle strokes and edge control

Effective paddle strokes make a big difference in boat control and safety. But they require practice! This module presents techniques and safety considerations including:

  • Forward and reverse strokes
  • Sweep strokes
  • Draw strokes
  • Low and high braces
  • Edge control

Boat control

My strategy to improve boat control is to "paddle up a level." For examples, using Class III technique on Class II water enables you to expand your comfort zone. Mistakes are part of the learning process—learning on easier water allows you to make mistakes with lower consequences.

The boat control module focuses on three skills: ferrying, peeling out, and catching eddies. With these tools in your kit, you can get your boat where it needs to be.

Online course: Paddle up a level

$195 USD

  • Registration is open 
  • Unlimited access for the life of this program
  • Complete at your own pace/schedule
  • Seasonal office hours for Q&A
  • Membership in an online forum community
  • Discounted purchase of The Packraft Handbook
  • Save $100 as a package purchase with in-person courses
We start May 10th—register now!

Repeat customer? Contact me for a 100$ discount on your third course!

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