Recommendation for Beginning Instruction

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by Thetraveler, Oct 4, 2019.

  1. Thetraveler

    Thetraveler New Member

    Sep 14, 2019
    Fresno, California
    Ok, so I realize that because this is an “area specific” type of question I am limiting the individuals that will be able to respond. But anyone who has firsthand knowledge feel free to jump in. I am looking for your recommendations for beginning Kayak instruction. My long range interests lean toward Sea Kayaking; touring, Rock Gardening etc. I live in Central California and spend a great deal of time in SF Bay Area and the North Coast as far south as Monterey. If you are able could you tell a little bit about why you like them.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
  2. Peter-CKM

    Peter-CKM Paddler

    Dec 1, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    For the intro to sea kayaking class, you can go just about anywhere. California Canoe and Kayak is always a good option. Lots of good instructors there.

    I am an instructor at Sea Trek in Sausalito. I am not currently scheduled to instruct an intro class in next few weeks, but the others who do it are all good if you wanted to make the trip to Sausalito. Classes most every weekend day.

    But really, that first class can be taken just about any place.

    Above intro level, the classes get a bit more limited. Some places only teach the first class. Sea Trek has an intermediate class and then a tides and currents class (we call it Angel Island crossing - what you need to paddle to Angel Island in the bay). CCK also has similar additional classes.

    Joining Bay Area Sea Kayakers, Sacramento Sea Kayakers, and/or Western Sea Kayakers would provide opportunities to paddle with other people in the area, helping you get experience. The clubs have paddles of all sorts f levels most weekends (and some week days). BASK is largest, so if you wanted to join just one, that may be it.

    To go beyond this, into surfing, rock gardening, etc., there are a few options. You'll want to have taken the basic classes and gotten significant time on the water before you do any of these (and have boat, gear, appropriate clothing, etc.).

    Mike Kowalsky runs Pacific Paddling. Here is his Facebook info -
    Trying to get outside of FB info to send you.

    Sean Morely (famous guy in kayaking world - first to paddle around all of British Islands, held speed record for circumnavigating Vancouver Island, etc.) has recently started "coaching" - long-term development of paddlers - under the name Progressive Paddlesports

    Paddle Golden Gate 3-day symposium next February.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2019
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