Pool Practice For Kayakers
Kayak Academy hosts its own winter kayak pool sessions at Hazen High School Pool in the Renton Highlands (3 miles south of our shop). These pool sessions are mainly an opportunity for you to practice on your own in order to stay fit for rolling and sharpen your existing skills. George and Barb Gronseth and/or some of the K.A. staff will be there and are willing to assist you with some free tips, but don't expect to get a rolling lesson unless you sign up for a lesson separately in advance. (for begining roll lessons at the pool, click here: rolling lesson at pool)
Pool sessions are great for hip-snap exercise, building repetition of your rolls, and practicing rescues. In the summer K.A. offers some free weeknight sessions at L. Sammamish State Park for this purpose, but in the winter it gets dark too early and heated pools start looking attractive. There is always a shortage of pools for kayak practices.
If you want to use your own kayak at these pool sessions, you must clean it obsessively before coming to the pool. Many pools won't rent to kayakers because kayaks bring in sand and debris which are hard to for the pool maintenance people to remove, and the extra work isn't worth it from the pool's perspective. The Hazen HS Pool is one of the best pools we've seen for kayak practice. It's easy to get to, there's plenty of parking close to the entrance, it's easy to get boats in and out of the pool, and the locker rooms are clean. We've worked a long time to get this opportunity, and we can't afford to loose it because someone didn't clean their kayak well enough.
You can give your kayak a second rinse on the deck area inside the pool, but this is not the place to get a month's worth of leaves and sand out. Plan to spend at least a 15 minutes at home cleaning your kayak, then put a cockpit cover on it to keep leaves etc. from getting in and store it where it will stay clean between the time you wash it and when you go to the pool. Problem areas for cleaning are under the seat, around foot and hip braces, up near the front bulkhead, under the deck, and in hatches. If you have airbags in your kayak, pull them out before cleaning so you can get dirt out that is trapped under and behind them. It is best to have two people when cleaning a kayak so you can rock the kayak to swish water under the seat etc. Rinse, swish, spill out, sponge clean, and repeat until there's no sign of sand or debris. If that is too much work, rent a clean kayak from K.A., just call us in advance to make arrangements and remember we need time to clean our boats too so call ahead to reserve a rental kayak.
We encourage everyone to use short kayaks, i.e. river kayaks if just practicing rolls and touring kayaks under 16' if practicing rescues. Four river kayaks can practice in the same space required for one 17' sea kayak. So be considerate of others and bring or rent a short boat. Note: KA has river kayaks available for rent and we can deliver them to the pool.
Click link below to reserve a rental kayak package delivered to the pool site
Location: Hazen High School Pool
1101 Hoquiam Avenue Northeast, Renton, WA 98059
Time: 5-7pm (please arrive 15 minutes early)
Pool Fee: $15
Kayak rental $15 plus tax., please add rental item to your shopping cart click link below to reserve a rental kayak package delivered to the pool site
Please print out our Liability Release Form and bring it to the pool.