On-the-Water Modules

A capsize recovery is the act of getting yourself upright in your kayak or getting back into your kayak with you and your kayak ready to continue on your way. It is NOT an emergency. – University of Sea Kayaking

Capsize Recovery 

This module provides instruction to help prevent capsizes (recover prior to capsizing) and a variety of self and assisted techniques to recover and get back into the cockpit and ready to paddle after a capsize: 

  • Getting comfortable with capsizes – exit practice
  • Intro to edging
  • Balance (exercises) and bracing (low) to prevent capsizes
  • Paddle float and scramble recoveries
  • Assisted recoveries

* This is a beginner to intermediate skills module.

A rescue is when you are in trouble and you need a higher level of assistance in order to survive. It is an emergency.  – University of Sea Kayaking

Capsize Rescues

We’ll go beyond the basics – what to do when someone is unable to recover (self or assisted):

  • Swimmer rescue
  • Bow rescue
  • Scoop rescue
  • Hand of God
  • Towing – contact and long tows

This module is an intermediate class requiring solid paddling and recovery skills and is an intermediate to advanced skills module.

The Forward Stroke

This module is designed to focus ONLY on the forward stroke. It’s the stroke we use most often and the hardest to perfect.

We’ll cover the concept of how the kayak moves through the water, the basic components of a good forward stroke, and work on exercises to practice on your own.

By the end of this module, you will have a more efficient and powerful forward stroke. You’ll do less work, be able to cover more ground, and be less tired/sore after a paddle.

This module can be taught using either a Euro or Greenland paddle.

Basic strokes

This module is designed around the basic paddling strokes. It’s perfect for beginners and those looking to improve their skills.

  • The forward stroke
  • Sweep strokes for turning
  • Paddling in reverse

I’ll introduce the concept of ‘blending strokes’ for increased efficiency.

Intermediate strokes

We’ll build on your boat control with more advanced strokes including:

  • Static draw
  • Sculling draw
  • Bow rudder
  • Stern rudder
  • Low brace turns
  • ‘Blended’ strokes

Greenland Paddling

For the modern sea kayaker, the ‘stick’ provides power and efficiency combined with less strain and improved maneuverability and recovery options.  We’ll cover:

  • Advantages (and myths) of using a Greenland paddle over a Euro blade.
  • Choosing the right Greenland paddle
  • Stroke, bracing, and recovery techniques.

Note: Good working knowledge of strokes, braces, recoveries, and rescues is helpful, but not required.

Introduction to Dynamic Water and Tidal Currents

This module is an introduction to paddling in dynamic conditions – tidal currents, whirlpools, boils, and more. We will work on:

  • Reading water while paddling
  • Padding in (with and against) current
  • Crossing eddylines
  • Using back eddies
  • Surfing standing waves

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

  • $275 per module (1:1)*
  • $175 per additional student up to a 1:4 ratio*
  • 10% discount for future modules 
  • Mileage fee may apply for classes outside the Tacoma – Seattle area
  • *Introduction to Dynamic Water and Tidal Currents:
    • $325 per module (1:1)
    • $175 per additional student up to a 1:3 ratio

Policies and disclaimers:

  • On-water kayak instruction modules require a signed waiver, full immersion gear with appropriate thermal protection (wetsuit or drysuit with appropriate base layers), and an approved PFD. SUP/paddle board modules require a leash. Gloves, neoprene booties or appropriate water shoes, and a neoprene skull cap are recommended. No cotton may be worn for any on-water instruction module. Helmets and/or additional safety gear may be required for some modules.
  • No gear is provided. My gear and outfitting class is recommended for beginners prior to taking on-water modules.
  • Modules (with some exceptions) are open to sit in recreational kayaks and sea kayaks (including skin-on-frame kayaks) with a minimum of front and rear bulkheads or approved flotation and SOT kayaks.
  • For pool sessions, wetsuits or rash guards are recommended. (Drysuits are not recommended for pool use as they can be damaged by chlorine.)
  • All modules require a signed waiver prior to participation.
  • Minors 14+ may participate in select modules with a parent or legal guardian.
  • Refunds are provided in full if the student cancels prior to 72 hours before module start time, or I cancel the module. Student cancellations within 72 hours of module start time are refunded at 75% unless the module is rescheduled.

COVID 19 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 necessary.
  • On land we will be wearing masks and maintaining 6’ when possible
  • If you show any signs or symptoms please cancel immediately.