Essential Sea Kayak Skills


Essential Sea Kayak Skills - Lake Washington

Develop essential kayak rescue and towing skills.

  • Easy
  • Pace: 2.5 kts

Meet at Concrete Beach on Lake Washington.  Be geared up and ready to start the clinic at 9 a.m.  The clinic will be from 9 a.m. to noon.

Individual Kayakers on a paddle are expected to be ready to self-rescue, perform assisted rescues and help with towing.

We will walk through a number of rescues and towing situations on land. Some rescues and tows we will also practice on water. Dress for immersion.


On land rescues scenarios will include T- rescue, paddle float rescue, injured paddler (scoop) rescue, bow or side rescue, re-entry roll with or without paddle float, scramble, Hand of God and roll. T-rescue, scoop, bow or side rescue and Hand of God are assisted rescues.

For rescues on the water, we will practice T-rescues and some kind of solo rescue at fits the paddler.

 There are many variations on the T- rescue. Practice a fast T-rescue given the situation. The swimmer should be an active swimmer who follows the rescuer’s direction.

Everyone needs a solid solo rescue even though paddling solo is not a good idea. Solo rescues happen regularly in a group setting.


On land towing scenarios will include contact tow (w and w/o short tow line), single in-line, rafted tow and paddle float tow. There are also swimmer tows including back deck carry, bow carry and stern tow.

For towing on the water we will practice single in-line tows, swimmer tows, and contact tows.

There are many reasons for towing a paddler that include tired paddler, injured paddler, keeping group together, wind impacted paddler or making a deadline. Don’t be offended if a leader hooks you up to a tow.  


Conditions of wind and waves, boat traffic, air and water temperature, skill of paddler will impact how a rescue or tow is carried out. Be ready to consider options.

Bring paddle float, plump. If you have regular tow rope and short tow if you have one. We will have extras.

Neoprene caps and neoprene gloves are advised. We will have extras

Consider reviewing videos on YouTube and Kayak safety books for information on rescues and towing.

Basic competence in these on the water skills will boost your confidence to paddle competently on a variety of trips. Each clinic will focus on one area of skills. You can take all sessions, or as many as you feel you need. These are introductory clinics, but all levels are welcome. You must be a Basic Sea Kayak student or graduate, or have club equivalency status. Proof of full vaccination will be required.   

Other clinic dates:


Lake Washington

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

Sea kayak essentials

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