Classroom-Based Modules

7 Modules Now Available!

Tides, Currents, & Weather

Tides, current, and wind are the essentials to how water moves and determining how we move through the water.

Understanding these forces will help you make smarter decisions in trip planning and while on the water in Puget Sound and beyond.

We’ll cover:

  • The basics of each, how they are interrelated and impact us and our plans.
  • Resources and tools for finding tide, current, and wind data
  • The Rule of 12ths, the 50/90 Rule, and the Rule of Thirds
  • Using the data to plan a trip
  • An introduction to charts

*This module is a prerequisite for Practical Navigation.
*Recommended printed materials are available at a discount when registering.

Practical Sea Kayak (SUP) Navigation

This course is an an introduction to navigation for trip planning and open water crossings. It’s designed to provide simplified methods using less math – covering the needs of the average paddler.

  • Reading nautical charts
  • Finding bearings
  • Ranges and transits
  • Plotting a course to steer

*Tides, Currents, & Weather module is a prerequisite.
*Recommended printed materials are available at a discount when registering.

Packing a Sea Kayak

Even a day trip means carrying and properly stowing gear. What should you carry with you? Where should it be packed?

Planning an overnight trip? Things get more complicated as we add more gear.

This module will cover:

  • The gear you’ll need
  • Gear you’ll want to consider (adding or skipping)
  • A primer on how to pack everything properly
    • Weight distribution
    • ‘Trimming for sea states
Robert Nissenbaum holding an NRS paddle float with a sea kayak on the beach

Gear and outfitting

Having the right gear can make the difference between having fun and struggling (or even completing a trip).

We’ll discuss:

  • Required and recommend gear
  • Outfitting your kayak for comfort and safety
  • Choosing the right paddle 
  • Cold water shock, hypothermia and hyperthermia
  • Communication on the water
  • Transporting kayaks
  • First Aid and kayak repair kits
  • And more

You’ll leave this class with a better idea of what you need to carry for your trips (day and overnight) as well as WHAT to carry for each kit.

Deck Rigging (hands-on)

Need or want to redo the rigging on your kayak?

This is the perfect class for you! Bring your self and your kayak – everything else will be provided for you:

  • Static perimeter line – black reflective and non-reflective 5 mm (Other colors by request)
  • Shock (bungee cord) – multiple color options
  • Clear tubing
  • All necessary tools

Audible and Visual Communication

We’ll discuss:

  • Advantages and disadvantages of each method
  • Means of communication available for each methods
    • Hand signals
    • Paddle signals
  • Best practices and procedures for using them

We’ll walk through real-world scenarios and participants will be provided a list of recommended devices and resource links after the class.

VHF Radios & PLBs

Everything you need to know from choosing a VHF to basic operation including:

  • Choosing a VHF radio and PLB
  • Setting up the VHF radio
  • Which channels we use to make calls
  • The language we use when making calls
  • How to call – with easy to follow scripted scenarios

Module scheduling

Rather than working off a set calendar, modules are scheduled when the student (or group) signs up. This includes the date, time, and class location. 


Customized scheduling offers great flexibility – learn at your pace on your schedule.

On occasion, pre-set dates and locations will be made available to supplement your learning or for those looking to work on a specific skill.

Each instructional module is available year round. 

Module pricing

Classroom (in-person):

  • As these are group classes and vary in length with some including resources or materials, pricing varies. To get a quote, please contact me with the class you are interested in and the number of people attending.

Classroom (Online – COMING SOON):

  • Starting from $35 for non-members
  • Free for members

Not all classes will be available online.

COVID 19 Health and Safety Protocols:

  • All modules require proof of vaccination. (Exceptions MAY be made on a per case basis).
  • Please bring a mask that can be quickly worn when/if necessary.
  • If you show any signs or symptoms (regardless of the nature of the illness) please cancel immediately.