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Who needs instruction? Why not just learn by doing?

For some activities, money can be saved and just as much fun had by simply "giving it a try". However, sea kayaking has some risks other activities don't and dealing with them is best learned through proper preparation, not real-life trial and error. When you understand what is happening, what could happen, and where your skills fit in relation to the big picture, then you can relax and have fun. Adventure is much more fun when you aren't worrying about the unknown.

Finding and Selecting An Instructor

Finding the right instructor for you is key to maximizing learning efficiency and minimizing cost. Certification, equipment, and instructional approach are key.

Certification: Both the BCU (British Canoe Union) and ACA (American Canoe Association) maintain lists of certified instructors and can provide you with references. While some good instructors may not be certified by either organization, your best chance of obtaining good quality instruction is via an ACA or BCU certified instructor. The BCU has been training kayaking instructors longer and in conditions much harsher than typically found in the USA, thus has a reputation of producing the top instructors. However the ACA is determined to match the BCU and in recent years has made visible strides towards that goal. ACA instructors are usually much easier to find in the USA. Before paying for any instruction question the instructor on their specific level of certification and on their experience both paddling and teaching. Ask for referrals from satisfied students.

Equipment: Any instruction should come complete with working and safe equipment that fits you and meets your goals for learning. This includes sea kayak with fore and aft bulkheads (i.e. floation), PFD (personal floatation device), paddle sized to your paddling style and boat (NOT your height), sprayskirt, pump, and other devices upon which you may be trained such as paddle floats, tow lines, etc. If the equipment is not decent your learning will suffer. Before paying for any instruction ask what equipment will be provided and either see it in advance or reserve the right to cancel the instruction if the equipment doesn't meet your needs when you arrive for your lesson.

Instructional Approach: Any decent instructor will be in contact with you prior to your lesson(s) to determine your goals and background. This should be a decent conversation, whether by phone, email, or live, that covers anything in your background related to water and sea kayaking as well as detailed discussion about what you wish to obtain from the instruction. Then a plan should be presented to you which may well include some preparation work on your part to ensure the instruction is efficient and provides you with maximum value for your dollar. Good instructors aren't cheap, but in the long run they save you a lot of money and time. Before paying for any instruction make sure you will get the instrucitonal approach you desire.

Inquire Regarding Instruction

If you would like our assistance locating an instructor please click here. Your information will be passed along to someone we believe will meet your instructional needs.