On-Water Instruction

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.

Capsize Recovery – Oru Kayaks

This module is the exact same curriculum as the standard Capsize Recovery but designed specifically for students with an Oru Bay or Coast model. In addition to the standard material we’ll:

  • Discuss (and test) the limitations of the Oru models
  • Learn my recommended outfitting

* 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, long, and anchor tows

An advanced version of this class in current and bigger sea states is available.

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

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
  • Draw stroke – static

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

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

Intermediate Strokes (Kayak Maneuvering

  • Sculling draw
  • Draw on the move & the side slip or hanging draw
  • Bow draw
  • Bow & cross bow rudders
  • Stern rudder (draw and pry)
  • Low & high brace turns
  • ‘Blended’ strokes

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

Intro to 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
  • Strokes, bracing, and recovery techniques.

This class is a mix of theory and content taught in a classroom setting followed by time of the water for practice.

Introduction to Dynamic Water

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

Incident Management for Trip Leaders

This module will walk through common scenarios trip leaders might encounter.

Incidents will be be staged and spontaneous to provide students a chance to handle situations with each followed by a debrief covering what worked, what didn’t, and what could have been done (if anything) to prevent the incident.

The goal here isn’t a planned response. It’s about the thought process and problem solving in a safe environment to be prepared for the real thing.

*As this is a trip leader class, solid paddling and recovery/rescue skills are a prerequisite for this module.

Pool Sessions

Avoid the cold water!

These small group sessions are perfect for practicing rescues, recoveries, and rolling during the winter.  Students can work independently with assistance as needed or choose full instruction.

ACA Modules

These are structured modules designed for those looking to earn their ACA assessments and certifications.

Modules follow the ACA remit requirements and skills checklist.

Module pricing

  • Beginner to Advanced Modules (2 hours):
    • $245 for private instruction
    • $175 per person for groups of 2-5 students
  • Introduction to Dynamic Water and Tidal Currents (half day):
    • $425 per person private instruction
    • $265 per person for groups of 2-4 students
  • Pool session
    • Pricing varies based on pool location

Classes locations vary and can be arranged for no extra cost in your area*

– Discounts available for clubs and organizations.
– Larger groups can be accommodated by request for some modules.

*Some restrictions

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, Trak, and Oru 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. (Exceptions can be made for younger students and for older students without a guardian present for some modules.)
  • 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 Health and Safety Protocols:

  • Please feel free to bring/wear a mask.
  • If you show any signs or symptoms (regardless of the nature of the illness) please cancel immediately.