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Sea Kayaking Program

Family Sea Kayak Course (Level 2)

Sea kayaking skills for families with children aged 10-13. Parents will be participating with their children.

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers course.

Who can take the course:  Parents (or other parent-approved adults such as grandparents) who are either current Basic Sea Kayak students or graduates, and their children or relatives between the ages of 10 - 13 years.    All participants must be Mountaineer members (including children.) 

Children must be able to swim and be comfortable with putting their head under water. 

What is the Family Sea Kayak Course?  This is a family-based sea kayak program for Mountaineers kayakers who have children or other young relatives and would like to have those children participate in and grow into an interest in kayaking.  The course includes age-appropriate initial kayak safety training for the family unit and follows up with paddles specifically set up for families.  Parents or other adult relatives will be in charge of supervising their children during the course and on subsequent paddles.  Paddle leaders will be in charge of the group.

 After taking the initial kayak safety training and going on one family student paddle (which is done on the same day as the course), each member of the family that took the course would receive their Family Sea Kayak Course age-specific badge.   At that time, they would be eligible to go on subsequent Family Sea Kayak paddles (but not on regular Mountaineer Sea Kayak paddles.)  As long as one parent has the Family Kayak badge, and both parents are currently Basic Kayak Course students or graduates, then both parents can go on a Family Kayak paddle. 

As the children become older, they would take the next Family Sea Kayak course level, based on age, so that they can learn the new kayak skills they will need to grow as a sea kayaker. 

This course would be tailored for the 10 - 13 year age group with these goals:

  • Have fun plus an introduction to strokes and re-entries
  • 4-5 hours total time (course and student paddle, held same day)
  • Learn the names of kayak parts and kayak equipment
  • Learn how to be a responsible paddler when going on group paddles
  • Be comfortable with wet exit and modified re-entries – how to use a paddle float and pump (if child is big enough) -- spray skirts if comfortable with wet exits – larger children may be able to assist with a rescue – paddle in single sea kayak if interested and parent thinks they can handle that, otherwise paddle in a double with parents –introduce the basic forward, reverse, turning and side strokes kayak strokes – introduce low brace
  • Learn how to empty a kayak
  • Kayak games
  • Go on a 1 to 2-hr student paddle (2-3 miles)  

Instructors:  All of our instructors are Qualified Youth Leaders and have experience as either Sea Kayak leaders or assistants.  They may or may not have children in this program but they are all dedicated to helping your family kayak together in a fun and safe environment! 

Date:  Sunday, July 7

Location: Vashon Watersports, 8900 SW Harbor Drive, Vashon Island (inside Quartermaster Harbor.)  Kayak rental available at this location.

Program Requirements

This program has no scheduled activities.

Required Equipment


Children 8 years old should be in a double kayak with their parent.  Children between 9 and 13 can be in either a single or in a double with their parents, depending on what their parents think will work best for that child. We will be locating our Family Sea Kayak Course and subsequent paddles at locations that rent kayak equipment (singles and doubles) for those families that need this option. 

If families have their own equipment, it must include:  Sea kayak with flotation on both ends, foot pegs and deck lines, PFDs of the appropriate size for their children (with attached whistles), kayak paddles, pump and paddle floats.   

If families are renting their kayak equipment, it generally includes:  sea kayak with flotation PFDs with whistles, kayak paddles, pump and paddle floats.  We encourage families to purchase their children’s PFDs, to ensure a good fit. 

Wet suits and water shoes are required -- family members must provide their own or make arrangements to rent them.  If your family prefers to use dry suits instead of wet suits, that is definitely OK, too! 


Program Materials

There are no materials for this program.