Sea Kayaking 101, Beginning Sea Kayak Safety Skills
Beginning Sea Kayak Safety Skills
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 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 technique, 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 Part 1 SK111 Paddling Strokes & Rescue Techniques course or SK 115 Five-Day Kayak Training Camp.
Prerequisites: Anyone who can swim well enough to be comfortable putting their head under water and able to swim the crawl stroke or breast stroke 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 Youth Kayak Camps or call us about a Private Family Kayaking Lesson).
Touring kayaks are not little toy boats or improved canoes; they are a specialty craft that require 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, 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 a good 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 you 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 than anywhere else.
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. And we have a bonus for those who continue in our lesson progression, $50 of your SK101 tuition may be used as a credit toward our SK 102 Sea Kayak Boat Handling Intro., SK111 Paddling Strokes & Rescue Techniques, or SK 115 Five-Day Kayak Training Camp lesson. You can skip directly from SK101 into SK111 or SK115, but these multi-day courses or physically demanding, so if you need to take it a day at a time or your schedule doesn't allow for these courses then SK 102 Sea Kayak Boat Handling Intro. is the best class to further your skill, safety, and fun in a kayak.
Location: Tibbett's Beach, Lake Sammamish State Park (map)
Duration: 6 hours, typically on a Saturday or Sunday
Class Size: 10 maximum with 5 to 1 student/instructor ratio maximum
Tuition: $170 (includes free use of dry suits, booties, and scull caps) -- $50 of this tuition may be used as credit toward SK 102, SK111, or SK 115
Dry Suit Rental: No Charge - Included with tuition
Kayak Rental: $30.00 plus tax, delivered to the lesson. Make Rental Reservation (14'-16' Roto-molded Beginner's Touring Kayak, Paddle, PFD, Spray Skirt, Bilge Pump, Self-Rescue Paddle Float, 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 machine at park entrance or on-line at:Buy Discover Pass On-line
Please print out our Liability Release Form and bring it to the class.
Please read our Cancellation/Reschedule PolicyPrerequisites: Anyone who can swim well enough to be comfortable putting their head under water and able to swim the crawl stroke or breast stroke 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 Youth Kayak Camps or call us about a Private Family Kayaking Lesson).