Basic Sea Kayaking Course - Everett - 2023

Sea Kayaking Course

Basic Sea Kayaking Course

2023 Basic Sea Kayaking Course - Everett

The Everett Chapter Sea Kayaking Committee invites you to its Basic Sea Kayaking Class. This is a once-a-year offering that will provide you with a thorough and safe introduction into the great 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 meet a great bunch of 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 members only we'd love to have you as a Mountaineers member so join first then register for the course!

Course Prerequisites: There are no formal prerequisites, however, kayaking requires good physical condition, a positive mental attitude, a significant commitment of time and effort, and a compliment of kayaking gear.

Physical Capabilities:

The course is designed to teach the basics of SEA kayaking.  It will teach active water paddling in currents and waves and involve paddling in the Salish Sea.

The course is open to those who acknowledge the ability to meet all the following requirements:

  • Breathe independently (i.e., not require medical devices to sustain breathing).
  • Independently maintain sealed airway passages while under water.
  • Independently hold head upright without neck/head support.
  • Manage personal care independently without assistance.
  • Follow instructions and effectively communicate independently without assistance.
  • 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”.
  • 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.
  • Have enough complete body flexibility to be able to:
    • From a standing or sitting position, bend at the waist and touch your toes.  Bending the knee is OK.
    • 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 swim two - 25-yard lengths back-to-back in a pool without a PFD or other swim aid.  Any style of swimming is acceptable.  The Pool Session begins with this simple swim test.  It is not a race and no time records are recorded.
  • Be able to lift yourself to the edge of the pool and get out without a ladder.
  • 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.  In certain situations we may consider allowing 16 or 17 year olds to attend with a parent. Contact course leader if you would like to discuss.

Course Registration and Enrollment: Course is limited to 16 students on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Join the Mountaineers, complete  application form and then sign up and pay for the course.  Enrollment will close when the course fills or on March 15, 2023, whichever comes first.

Graduation Requirements:

  • Attend all scheduled course meetings including in-person and on-line.
  • Satisfactorily complete pool and open water sessions.
  • Satisfactorily complete two student paddles after last lecture and before September 30, 2023.
  • Complete Low Impact Recreation Badge requirements (free online course).
  • All requirements must be completed by September 30 of the course year.

Course Structure and Dates:

  • The course is a combination of in-person and on-line learning. 
    • In-person lectures and activities are:
      • In Person Lecture which will include:
        • Intro to course and appropriate details
        • Demonstration/explanation of gear including boats, paddles, pfd's, appropriate clothing and paddling essentials
        • Introduction to paddle strokes
      • Pool Session will include:
        • Instruction, demonstration, and practice in capsizing the boat, getting out, and getting back in using self-rescue and assisted rescue techniques
      • Open Water Session will include:
        • Self and assisted rescue practice
        • Instruction and practice in paddling and boat handling techniques
    • On-Line Lectures
      •  We will be using Zoom for the lectures.  You will need a computer with internet access.  Links will be sent prior to each on-line lecture.
      • Topics will expand on the On-Line Learning Modules, review homework assignments, and answer general questions from students regarding the On-Line Learning modules
    • On-Line Learning
      • Will be a series of self-paced computer modules that you'll work through at your own pace over the course of four weeks.  The modules will cover navigation, trip planning, safety equipment, cold-water/hypothermia causes and prevention, Leave-No-Trace etiquette and skills, and other critical sea kayaking information.   The link to the On-Line Learning modules will be sent to you about one week before the In-Person Lecture. 
  • In Person Lecture Date is:  April 6, 2023,  6PM to 9PM at Snohomish PUD, 2320 California St., Everett
  • 2 Zoom Lecture Sessions on April 13 and April 20, we will begin at 6PM.  Duration will vary but will be no longer than two hours.
  • Pool Session is April 23, 2023  from 4PM to 8PM at Lake Stevens HS
  • Open Water Session is April 29, 2023, 8AM to 5PM, Lake Sammamish State Park
  • Student paddles are available throughout the summer.  We will provide a list of qualifying student paddles during the course and explain how to find them on the Mountaineers website.

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

Questions? Call Cathie Frizalone at 425-829-8505 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 a sea kayak, paddle, spray skirt, dry suit, PFD, and assorted kayaking essentials. You are not required to own a kayak or accessories prior to taking the course.


Most equipment can be rented.  If you rent you will need to be prepared to transport the kayak to the launch site for the paddle.  (You will NOT need to transport a rented kayak to the Open Water session at Lake Sammamish.)

The course fee includes equipment for the pool session.  Rental of equipment for the open water session and for your 2 student paddles is additional and is done with a 3rd party.  Costs and options will be explained at the first lecture and 2023 Prices from Kayak Academy is $165 for both kayak and drysuit day rental.

Course Materials
Minimum Boat Requirements for Sea Kayak Basic Course-Everett

Student Paddle Prep form

This form should be filled out prior to any student paddle you go on. This will help you remember what conditions are important to be aware of before going out on the water.

Basic Paddle Strokes Handout

Cold Water references

Sea Kayaking Trip Ratings

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.

A Paddling Emergency Ditch Kit

article published on by Bryan Hansel

Navigation Bibliography and Links.pdf

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

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.

VHF Radios and Safety 101 for Sea Kayakers

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