Golden Gate Kayaking
San Francisco ~ Peninsula ~ Monterey Bay

Basic Sea Kayaking I

This all-day class will introduce you to the basic skills necessary to paddle efficiently, be safe, and have fun in a closed-deck (“sit-inside”) sea kayak. Our 4:1 student/instructor ratio is among the lowest in the Bay Area for an introductory class and ensures that you receive plenty of individual attention.

Who is this class for?

  • Anyone who has never been in a sea kayak and are curious about the sport.
  • People who have kayaked some but have not yet had formal instruction.
  • Paddlers who are looking to transition from recreational or sit-on-top kayaks to closed-deck sea kayaks.
  • People wanting to rent closed-deck kayaks from local outfitters.

What is covered in this class?

  • An orientation to the equipment, including basic kayaking terminology, boat and paddle design, paddling clothing, and getting properly fitted into a kayak.
  • Basic strokes, including efficient forward and reverse paddling and maneuvering.
  • Maintaining balance in the kayak, tilting the boat on edge to enhance turning, and bracing to recover from an off-balance position.
  • Rescues and recoveries, or what do to in the event of a capsize. Assisting a fellow paddler with getting back in the kayak, being assisted, and performing a solo recovery.
  • A short paddle in protected water to put your newly-learned skills into practice!

What is provided in the class?

  • Sea kayak and paddle
  • Wetsuit and paddling jacket
  • Sprayskirt
  • Personal floatation device
  • Bilge pump and paddle float (for practicing recoveries)

What do I need to bring?

  • Swimsuit or shorts
  • Long-sleeve fleece shirt (synthetic or wool, no cotton)
  • Shoes that can get wet (neoprene booties, water shoes, old tennis shoes, etc.)
  • Lunch, snacks, drinking water, sunscreen, and towel
  • Strap for eyeglasses ("chums" or "croakies")
  • Optional: hat, waterproof camera

What's next?

  • After successful completion of BSK I, you'll receive a card that qualifies you to rent closed-deck kayaks from most Bay Area outfitters.
  • You may want to check out the local sea kayaking clubs to find people to paddle with: Western Sea Kayakers and Bay Area Sea Kayakers.
  • The next class in our Foundation Series is Basic Sea Kayaking II, which delves into more advanced strokes and edging and may give you your first taste of open ocean paddling.
  • Our Bracing and Sculling clinic gives you the opportunity to expand on the bracing skills covered in BSK I in the comfort of a heated pool.

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