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Sea Kayaking Course

Basic Sea Kayaking Course

Sea Kayaking Basic Course Equivalency Test - Seattle

The goal of this equivalency evaluation is to ensure that paddlers have knowledge, skills, and equipment necessary to be a safe participate on Mountaineers kayak trips.  We are looking for experience equivalent to our Basic Sea Kayaking Course badge.  This is beginner level kayaking but includes important skills (such as rescues) that all leaders expect every trip participant to have.  


  1. "Apply" to join this class ("Apply" button to the right)
  2. You will be asked to fill out an application detailing your paddling background.
  3. If that looks good, you may then register ("Register" button to the right).  Registration includes paying a $25 non-refundable fee.

You'll then join an equivalency assessment outing.

Assessment Outing

You'll join a day trip some place suitable for assessment of these skills:

1) Written test demonstrating understanding of tides & currents, navigation, weather and other issues we may encounter.

2) Demonstration of paddle float self rescue (if you have a roll we will still ask that you perform this rescue as we are all between swims). 

3) Demonstration of assisted rescue (swimmer and rescuer)

4) Basic paddle strokes e.g. forward, sweeps, edging, stern rudder, draw strokes, reverse strokes and stopping.

5) Journey of at least 7nm (this may be on a different day depending upon scheduling).

Equivalent Training

If you have recently taken one of several classes that we are confident cover the essential skills, the assessment outing may be waived.  Examples of these are:

  1. ACA Level 2 or above certification, or equivalent from another agency
  2. Have taken a multi-day kayak  class from Washington Kayak Club, or another recognised kayak instructor.


Once we have established that you have the necessary knowledge and skills, you'll be graduated, granted the Basic Sea Kayaking Course badge, and can then join mountaineers sea kayak trips.

Badges you will earn:

Course Requirements

This course has no scheduled activities.

Required Equipment

  The equivalency candidate must show up on time for the equivalency test with the following items:  Sea kayak with flotation at both ends and with deck lines around the perimeter of the kayak, kayak paddle, spray skirt, Coast Guard-approved PFD, paddle float and pump, and wearing either a  dry suit or clothing appropriate for immersion in the water where the test will be administered.

Usual equipment for a sea kayak day trip including the 10 essentials.

Course Materials

You must register for this course to see course materials.