Basic Sea Kayaking Course - Everett - 2020 Course Canceled

Sea Kayaking Course

Basic Sea Kayaking Course

2020 Basic Sea Kayaking Course - Everett


The Everett Chapter Sea Kayaking Committee invites you to enroll in the Basic Sea Kayaking Course. This is a once-a-year offering that will provide you with a thorough and safe introduction into the world of sea kayaking.  Learn the basic paddling strokes, how to get back in if you end up out of your boat and in the water, trip planning, proper and necessary equipment, and important safety guidelines and procedures. On top of all of this you'll make new friends that you'll enjoy paddling with during and after the class.

To participate in Mountaineer-sponsored kayak trips, you must be a graduate or continuing student of this course or have received equivalency. While this class is for Mountaineer members only we'd love to have you in the class so join first then register for the course!

Course Prerequisites: Kayaking requires good physical condition, a positive mental attitude, a significant commitment of time and effort, and a complement of kayaking gear (see information about gear in "Required Equipment") .

The course is open to those who acknowledge the ability to meet the following essential eligibility criteria:

  1. Breathe independently (i.e., not require medical devices to sustain breathing)

  2. Independently maintain sealed airway passages while under water

  3. Independently hold head upright without neck/head support

  4. Manage personal care independently without assistance

  5. Follow instructions and effectively communicate independently without assistance

  6. Independently turn from face-down to face-up and remain floating face up while wearing a properly fitted Personal Flotation Device (PFD) aka “life jacket”.

The course is designed to teach the basics of SEA kayaking.  Students will be paddling in the Salish Sea in saltwater with currents and waves.  This course is for single occupant sea kayaks (minimum 13’ / maximum 19’ long), using a spray skirt to seal the paddler into the cockpit at all times.  It is not for sit-on-top kayaks, short recreational boats, or white-water kayaks.  The course is designed to teach active water paddling in currents and waves.  It is not designed to teach recreational, protected flat water kayaking.

In addition to the essential eligibility criteria listed above a student should:

  • Have adequate upper body strength and mobility to perform a minimum of five push-ups (from knees or toes)

  • Have adequate upper body strength and mobility to lift 25 lbs. over your head (with both hands if needed).

  • Have enough complete body flexibility to be able to sit upright on the floor with legs straight out in front

  • Have enough body strength, flexibility, and stamina to engage in physically demanding exercise (sea kayaking) on a sustained basis for 1-1/2 to 2 hours at a time, with occasional rest stops.

  • Be able to walk at a 2-1/2 to 3 mph pace for one hour on flat ground

  • Be able to hold your breath under water for extended periods (30+seconds) and to do so repeatedly with very short intervals between.

Students are strongly encouraged to engage in physical exercise 1 hour a day, 3-5 times per week, before and during the course (yoga, walking, running, biking, swimming, etc.). Being fit will increase your enjoyment and chance of success in the course.

Eligibility: The course is open to Mountaineer members, age 18 and over, or 16 years old when a parent or guardian is also taking the class.

Course Registration and Enrollment: Course is limited to 20 students on a first-come, first-serve basis. Payment and enrollment process is through the Mountaineers Program Center or website.  Join the Mountaineers and then sign up and pay for the course as a member.  Enrollment will close when the course fills or on 3/15/20, whichever comes first.

If the course is full and you want to participate make sure you sign up on the wait-list.  You don't have to pay until you are actually enrolled in the class.  Every year there is always a last minute cancellation (or two). That slot is filled from the wait-list in chronological order.

Graduation Requirements:

  • Attend all scheduled lectures.

  • Satisfactorily complete pool and open water sessions.

  • Satisfactorily complete two student paddles after last lecture and before September 30, 2020.

  • Earn your Low Impact Recreation Badge (on-line course).

  • Membership in Mountaineers.

  • All requirements must be completed by September 30 of the course year.

Course Structure and Dates:

Calendar (Mandatory Attendance)

  • 4/2/20- Lecture #1

  • 4/9/20- Lecture #2

  • 4/11/20-Pool Session

  • 4/16/20-Lecture #3

  • 4/18/20-Open Water Clinic

  • 4/23/20-Lecture #4

Locations and Times:

  • Lectures:  6PM to 9PM at the Snohomish PUD Office 2320 California Street, Everett, WA 98201

  • Pool Session:  4:30PM to 8:30PM at the Forest Park Swim Center, 802 E. Mukilteo Blvd, Everett, WA 98203

  • Open Water Clinic: 8AM to 5PM at Flowing Lake County Park, 17900 48th St SE, Snohomish, WA 98290

When you sign up and pay for the course you will automatically be enrolled in the required  4 lectures, Pool Session, and Open Water Clinic.

Attendance at all lectures, pool session, and open water clinic is required to complete the course, so please plan accordingly. There is no protocol for make-up sessions.

Student Paddles:

  • Student paddles are available throughout the summer at various locations in the Salish Sea.  We will schedule your first student paddle opportunity for Saturday, 5/2/20 and Sunday, 5/3/20.  Plan on one or the other of those dates, not both. These dates are not mandatory but we schedule them so you can get one of your two required student paddles completed while all the class experiences are fresh in your mind.  Please plan on participating on one of those dates if possible.  You'll find it convenient since there will be a coordinated effort for rental equipment, if you need it, delivered to the paddle site.  Paddle site is Cornet Bay, Deception Pass State Park

    • We will instruct you in one of the lectures on how to find and sign up for appropriate sea kayak trips, including the 5/2 and 5/3 paddles.  

Questions? Call Bill Coady, Basic Course Chair, at 541-880-8222(cell) or email at

Badges you will earn:

Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Additional badges needed to graduate


Required Equipment

Equipment Requirements and Costs: 

You must have access to an appropriate style and length single occupant sea kayak, paddle, spray skirt, dry suit, PFD, and assorted kayaking essentials.

IF YOU DON'T HAVE THE EQUIPMENT NOW DO NOT BUY IT BEFORE THE CLASS.  Wait to learn what you need (and don't).

Most equipment can be rented.  You are not required to own a kayak or accessories prior to taking the course. The course fee includes equipment for the pool session.  Rental or purchase of equipment for the open water session and the student paddles is additional.  Costs and options will be explained in more detail at the first lecture. If you don't have your own equipment or access to acceptable equipment then you should plan on these general rental costs:

  • Boat, gear (Paddle, PFD, Skirt, Paddle Float, Bilge Pump), and dry suit rental for Open Water Session:  Approximately $125-$135.
  • Boat, gear (Paddle, PFD, Skirt, Paddle Float, Bilge Pump), and dry suit rental for each Student Paddle:  Approximately $125-$135 per paddle. 
Course Materials
Minimum Boat Requirements for Sea Kayak Basic Course-Everett

Sea Kayaking Trip Ratings

Cold Water references

Basic Paddle Strokes Handout

Before You Leave the Dock.pdf

Useful brochure with advice and guidance for boaters about what to do before getting underway, what to remember while underway, Puget Sound Marine Highway overview and related radio communications guidance, tips to keep you afloat, important information about Puget Sound characteristics, and Web sources of marine safety information.

A Paddling Emergency Ditch Kit

article published on by Bryan Hansel

NOAA Marine Weather Seattle

Marine Zone Forecast for the northern and central Washington coastal and inland waters. Also provides a clickable map for more detailed area “pinpoint” forecasts but don’t forget the bigger picture in the zone for the overall region.

NOAA Current Predictions

Use this link to access NOAA current prediction charts and tables.

VHF Radios and Safety 101 for Sea Kayakers

Case study on the importance of reliable communication options for sea kayakers.

Navigation Bibliography and Links.pdf

A list of books and other resources useful to sea kayakers.