Sea Kayaking 101, Beginning Sea Kayak Safety Skills
Beginning Sea Kayak Safety Skills FOR ADULTS
Have you capsized lately? If not, you need to take this course! Our students will tell you, "kayaking is more fun once you've overcome the fear of capsizing". Practicing how to wet exit safely and get back in a kayak from deep water are two skills everyone needs before paddling a sit-inside sea kayak or recreational kayak without a guide beside them. And those are two of the first skills you'll learn in this beginning kayak course. Our instructors are patient and well trained to help students work through their anxieties about being upside down in a kayak and getting out of it. We'll also put you on the path to an efficient forward stroke and show you how to turn and steer a straight course with and without rudders. We teach both feathered and unfeathered paddling techniques, and let you experiment to find out which style you prefer (with proper technique, it's all good.). If you are a veteran kayaker and already comfortable with capsizing and rescues, we recommend skipping this course and going directly into our school's Sea Kayaking SK102 Boat Handling or SK 115 Five-Day Kayak Training Camp.
Prerequisites: Anyone who can swim well enough to be comfortable putting their head underwater and able to swim the crawl stroke or breaststroke without a buoyancy aid can take this class, and yes we wear PFD's (life jackets) while on the water -- but you still need basic swimming skills. Minimum age--sixteen (for younger people, see our FK101 Beginning Family Class or call us about a Private Family Kayaking Lesson).
Touring kayaks are not little toy boats or improved canoes; they are specialty craft that requires unique skills that no amount of experience paddling other boats will prepare you for. Learn how to paddle a sea or rec kayak without developing bad habits or taking unnecessary risks. Whether you've: never been in a kayak before, have been paddling for years without any formal kayak training, or it's been so long since you took kayak safety lessons you feel the need to start over -- this beginning sea kayaking course is for you. Let us get you started on the right foot (or paddle blade) by learning the basics such as: indexing your grip to the paddle blade, adjusting a kayak seat and foot braces for comfort and efficiency, choosing a paddle that's the right size for you and your kayak, and what clothes and accessories you need to make your kayaking safer and more enjoyable. Along the way, you'll learn how to launch and land a kayak and use your paddle to prevent capsizes when a boat wake hits you.
Today's skilled kayakers know that wearing a dry suit speeds up the learning curve by allowing you to be in the water without getting cold and wet. The Kayak Academy is the only kayak school that gives everyone this advantage by providing FREE use of drysuits in our kayak lessons (as well as free use of wet suits when it's warm enough). You'll also benefit from the first-hand experience of learning how to put on a dry suit and wear it while swimming and paddling. Thanks to the drysuits, neoprene booties, and kayaking caps we provide, you will stay warm and comfortable while learning skills that could save your life as a beginning kayaker. The gear we provide allows you to start right out on open water -- we don't waste your time indoors or in chlorinated pools. These are some of the reasons why students learn more in our lessons.
After completing this course, recreational kayakers generally feel comfortable paddling on small lakes or near shore on sheltered, non-moving water; for sea kayakers, SK101 is just the beginning, but either way, this kayak lesson gives you the best possible start. You can also skip directly from SK101 into SK115, but this multi-day course is much more physically demanding, so if you need to take it a day at a time or your schedule doesn't allow for this course then SK 102 Sea Kayak Boat Handling Intro. is the best class to further your fun in a kayak.
Registration and Confirmation:
Determine the date that fits your schedule. Read prerequisites, liability, and cancellation policy.
Place your reservation.
Look for an emailed invoice and call to make payment. You will have a limited time to pay before we reopen the spot.
Your spot is confirmed once you pay.
Location: Tibbett's Beach, Lake Sammamish State Park (map)
Duration: 6 hours, typically on a Saturday or Sunday
When: 9 am - 3 pm (allow an hour after class to put the gear away and change clothes)
Class Size: 5 to 1 student/instructor ratio maximum
Tuition: $250 (includes free use of dry suits, booties, and skull caps)
Dry Suit Rental: No Charge - Included with tuition
Kayak Rental: $35.00 plus tax, delivered to the lesson. Rental Includes 14'-17' Roto-molded Beginner's Touring Sit-Inside Kayak, Paddle, PFD, Spray Skirt, Bilge Pump, Self-Rescue Paddle Float, and Sponge.
Parking: A Washington State Discover Pass ($30/yr.) or $10 Day Use Fee is required to drive into the State Park. Passes may be purchased from the parking machine at Tibbett's Beach or Office just after the park entrance or online at: Buy Discover Pass On-line
Please read our Cancellation/Reschedule PolicyPrerequisites: Anyone who can swim well enough to be comfortable putting their head underwater and able to swim the crawl stroke or breaststroke without a buoyancy aid can take this class, and yes we wear PFDs (life jackets) while on the water -- but you still need basic swimming skills. Minimum age--sixteen (for younger people, see our FK101 Beginning Family Class or call us about a Private Family Kayaking Lesson). If you have an inflatable kayak please check with us if it is acceptable to use in the class.
Please click here to go to and fill out our online “Student Record and Liability Release Form”.
How to sign up for classes/rentals:
Fist select the rental option and, if applicable, the lesson location. Then select the date of the lesson/rental you wish to take.
If you have moved onto the second sign-up page and are having trouble seeing all the required fields, try placing your mouse pointer over the "Additional Information" field and using the scroll wheel on your mouse. Otherwise, you can click on a visible field and hit the "tab" button on your keyboard to go to the next required field.