Sea Kayak Training

Sea Kayak Training

Sea Kayaking Training Opportunities ver 3.0

Course or Clinic Name



Opportunities it affords

Basic Sea Kayaking Course

Fundamentals of sea kayaking encompassing a broad variety of on-and off-water subjects


Paddle in protected waters, SKII and SKIII trips. With increasing experience allows for paddling in modestly choppy seas with some wind.

Intermediate Sea Kayaking Course

This doesn’t comprise any training but captures the consolidation of many of the following courses (shown with asterix) and clinics. It also requires some volunteer work


Results in a badge. Provides a road map for furthering your kayak skills.

 Roll Class

Taught in pool or protected water, learn to roll your boat

None (can be before Basic Course)

Fun thing on its own! And with further practice in “combat” conditions, allows righting of your boat without coming out.

Forward Stroke

An efficient forward stroke uses the legs and torso for power. What we intuitive do otherwise is “arm paddling”.

Basic Course

Gain ¼ to ½ kt of speed. Paddle farther. Ability to paddle against headwind and make appreciable headway. Ability to tow another paddler. Reduced stress on joints.

Maneuvering Strokes

Also called “Boat Control”. Learn to make your boat turn sharply and efficiently in a variety of circumstances as you magically execute body, boat, and blade combinations. Also stopping and paddling backwards.

Basic Course

Use less effort to move you boat around during the paddling day. As you progress to higher levels of paddling you will need these techniques for the demands of the environment.

Wind & Waves*

What strokes and techniques are needed for paddling in up, side, and downwind conditions

Basic Course Maneuvering Strokes

Paddle more comfortably in windy and rough conditions, and bigger seas. Be able to turn the boat and stay in control. Feel comfortable doing rescues in conditions.

Eddies and Currents*

How to successfully move your boat from back eddies into current and back again. Strategies for crossing currents and moving up current.

Basic Course Maneuvering Strokes recommended

Play in Deception Pass and other venues. Paddle in the areas with currents like the San Juan Islands.

Rock Gardening*

Learn how to paddle safely amongst rocks in surge and swell. Typically taught at Freshwater Bay in the Straits of Juan de Fuca.

Basic Course Maneuvering Strokes recommended

Play in and amongst the rocks. Paddle in coastal environments (with surf zone training)

Incident Management*

Learn techniques for avoiding incidents on shore and on the water. Learn useful features to add to your kayak to make rescues easier and to reduce incident potential. Usually taught at Deception Pass State Park.

Basic Course

Affords some confidence that you can deal with situations that might be encountered.

Surf Zone*

Here is where the sea meets the land! Kayaking in this transition area can be both exciting and potentially hazardous as there is lots of energy in breaking surf. Learn techniques for getting out beyond the “break” and back to shore again under control, and also how to ride waves for fun. Usually two days duration taught at Hobuck Beach.

Basic Course

Eddies and Currents highly recommended

The surf zone is the gateway to coastal travel and the wild places you will reach. Allows paddling both on the coast and places like the Straits of Juan de Fuca which also have breaking waves on shore. Techniques are also used to play on standing waves and to control your boat if “surfed” intentionally or unintentionally.

Open Coastal Clinic

One step above the Surf Zone, it integrates rock gardening for travel along the coastline. Reading the water. Dealing with conditions such as fog. Picking a landing site. Picking a camp site above the next high tide. Caving.

Surf Zone

Multi-day open coastal trips such as the west coast of Vancouver Island and Olympic National park.

Sea kayak navigation*

A non-GPS navigation course using charts, compass, piloting skills. Learn current prediction, tidal planning. Many techniques from land based navigation carry over to sea kayak navigation. One day in the classroom, one day on the water.

Basic Course


Prerequisite for Tacoma trip leaders. Essential skills for planning higher-end trips such as making your way through the San Juans.

Kayak Camping

Learn what to pack and how to pack it in your boat. We can take more than backpackers can carry, but we still must be space efficient.

Basic Course

Essential skill to have for multi-day trips in Puget Sound, San Juan Islands, Canadian West coast, and large lake systems.

Sea Kayak Leadership Development

Six to eight day trip whereby each participant plans and leads one day of the trip. Includes scenarios thrown in by the instructors

Basic Course

Be in the trip leader “pipeline”

Kayak Camping, Currents & Eddies. Wind & Waves recommended.

Provides higher level leadership training especially applicable to higher level trips involving more challenging conditions (such as currents).

Kayak Sailing

How to mount the sail on the boat. Sailing in increasing amounts of wind in all directional quadrants. Rescues. Limitations. Course is broken down into two sessions, the first is with a loaner boat (if needed), the second is in strong winds and your own boat.

Wind and Waves

Go faster and farther in a day! Fun all in itself.

* Part of the intermediate course.