Course Descriptions

Flat Water Courses

Getting Started

Introduction to Paddling

If you’re looking to learn the basics strokes and rescues of sea kayaking, river kayaking, or packrafting without a lot of commitment this is the course. We will explore how the most basic strokes can be used in any of the the 3 different crafts to: propel yourself forwards and backwards, stopping your momentum, move sideways, spin 360 degrees in one place, turning, and support strokes. You’ll also learn how to dress for immersion, practice wet exits- capsizing, and solo and assisted reentry.
Course is 7 hours

Introduction to Sea Kayaking:  ACA Level 1

This is very similar to the Intro to Paddling course, but craft specific.  We will use sea kayaks to: learn how to propel yourself forwards and backwards, stopping your momentum, move sideways, spin 360 degrees in one place, turning and support strokes.  You’ll also learn how to dress for immersion, practice wet exits- capsizing, and solo and assisted reentry.
Course is 7 hours

Balance, Bracing, and Rolling

Learn a variety of ways to practice the low brace, high brace, sculling for support and rolling
4 hour session
venue flat water

Sea Kayaking Fundamentals:  ACA Levels 1-2

Take it up a notch:
This is our 2-day comprehensive beginners class. We will cover everything from the 1 day intro courses, but go into more depth.  We’ll also discuss boat anatomy and basic design, considerations for launching and landing, tides and weather forecasts, and signaling devices and basic rescue equipment.  By the end of the course you should have reasonable control of your sea kayak in calm conditions as well as a list of what to have with while on the water.
Venue: Flat Water

ACA Coastal Kayaking Day Trip Leader Course:

Not just for aspiring guides but for aspiring paddlers!
This is an ideal course for anyone interested in learning how to look after yourself and/or your friends, and/or clients on sea kayaking journeys, whether it’s day trips or extended trips.  Here again we see the model of absorbing the lower level course and building upon it.  We will embrace everything from the 2 day Sea Kayaking Fundamentals course, and spend more time working with each of the strokes, maneuvers and rescues, go into more detail about tides, currents and weather forecasts, and add navigation, trip planning and leadership skills.

 Introducing Conditions: Wind, Waves, and Current

Beyond the Fundamentals:  ACA Level 3

Refining your skills and taking them into conditions.  Once you’ve mastered the basics, take it up a notch!  Spend some time in the classroom learning about how wind, current and waves affect your kayak.  Take the theory from the classroom and learn how to blend strokes for more complicated maneuvers and rescues while managing minor wind, waves and or current.  Learn what strokes allow you to move most efficiently in these conditions.  Work on bow rudder, stern rudder, hanging draw/ side slip, sculling draw, sculling for support, forward stroke, ferry glide, ferry angle, breaking in and out of eddies.

Introduction to Current

This is a current specific course.  Current is a great teacher.  The lessons are made easier when there is a coach/instructor to help you understand the dynamics behind how the water will affect your kayak, and how you can either embrace it and have fun or fight it.  Bracing, edging and boat control are essential to a successful outing.  We will spend time on land analyzing the dynamics and anatomy of current and eddies, then get geared up and do some flat water drills to get our heads in the game.  We’ll then go to the predetermined location and at in the apply our classroom discussion to what we see in “real time”.  We will then get in the boats and work on maneuvering in current, breaking in and out of eddies, ferry angles and glides and assisted rescues and self-rescues.
This will all be done in gentle current.

Balance, Bracing and Rolling:

This course is similar to the flat water course with the exception of the flat water!  We will begin with some warm up drills to get our head and mind set, then take our pre-established skills to a venue with some slight conditions.  Again we will work on edging, low and high braces, sculling for support and rolling via the set up position, sweeping, and the finish position.

Embracing Conditions: Wind, Waves, and Current

Intermediate Current: including balance bracing and rolling

Like the Introduction to Current Course we blend theory and on-water practice.  There are a few locations that we can guarantee the perfect venue for faster flowing water.  We will work on all the same skills as the introduction course, but in more dynamic conditions.  This requires a strong forward stroke, sharp boat control skills, commitment to your edge and bracing, good understanding of eddies, good rescue skills and team work.  We will walk through the theory of the dynamics of current and eddies, of rescues and team work, then warm up by working on skills prior to getting in the current, and then head out for our session in the current.

Level 4 ACA Coastal Kayak Open Water

Level 4 ACA Coastal Kayak Tidal Currents