LEARN TO KAYAK - Level 1 - 3 Hour Class

Covid-19 Update:  SBP is open to individual and small groups to 4 people. We follow current Covid guidance. All gear is always cleaned. Instructors are vaccinated. 

The Class..

Learn to kayak so you can get great exercise with a view, find a perfect escape after work and explore our inland waterways and coastal areas throughout the year.

Puget Sound is home to the Cascadia Marine Water Trail which has over 75 paddle-in campsites and the NW has tons of lakes, rivers, and estuaries to explore.

This single 3 hour session class will prepare you to paddle on your own and will give you the skills to wet exit, re-enter a kayak, stay stable, turn on a dime, go over boat and wind waves and paddle efficiently and injury free. You’ll also learn about kayaks and accessories including clothing.

After completing this class, we will send you a follow-up of skills learned in this course as well as things for you to work on plus essential padding resources to continue your learning. By joining our FB Alumni Group you can connect with other paddlers and start exploring PNW waters!  You will also receive alumni discounts going forward.

Instructor Bios – Robert Nissenbaum, Kristy Guterrez and Scott Dahlquist

We recommend you continue to our 2 session Level 1 and Level 2  classes where you’ll get more in-depth instruction to continue to progress your skills towards becoming an experienced kayaker in the Pacific NW.  Next steps are our Kayak Rescue and Kayak Rolling classes.

Contact me if you want a custom class covering specific skills.  Open all year.

Location: Shilshole Bay in Ballard. or Custom locations like Kitsap Peninsula. Alternative locations ok upon request. Travel fees for outside of Greater Seattle. Available all year.

Check out my bookKayaking Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands, 60 Trips

Core Skills You’ll Gain in Level 1

  • Learn about kayak equipment and clothing
  • How to outfit your kayak for better fit and comfort
  • How to launch and land a kayak
  • Find out how to turn your boat with sweep turns
  • Use draw strokes to go sideways for better control
  • Learn how to wet exit and re-enter your boat solo and with another paddler
  • Get boat handling skills so you can go where you want
  • Learn a powerful forward stroke requiring minimal effort to paddle further easier
  • Learn bomber stability skills to stay drier in rough water
  • Find out how to paddle on Salmon and Shilshole Bays in Seattle

Class Details:

Class Size: 4 – 5 people.

Location: Shilshole Bay in Ballard – Seattle / Kitsap Lake, etc

Duration: One 3 hour sessions. Learn at your own pace.

We don’t cancel for rain.

Schedule: Contact me to schedule.  Available all year.

Instructor to Student Ratio: 1:1 / 1:5

After Class Extras

  • Instructor Follow-up After Class – We’ll send you a summary of skills you learned in your lesson as well as our favorite marine weather and tides apps.
  • You’ll able to join our Facebook Alumni Group to continue learning and for connecting with other paddlers.
  • SBP owner Rob Casey or your instructor is always available to help you find paddling gear, find places to paddle and help you get to your next level.
  • Get a 20% discount from Mountaineers Books for any title. Or get Rob’s book: ‘Kayaking Puget Sound.’
  • Receive a Salmon Bay Paddle sticker!



This Kayak Level 1 Class is one 3 hour session.  

1 Person (1-1): 499

2 Person Rate: 239 per person

Group Class (3-4 Students): 189 per person

+ Add Rental Gear:

  • Stable Sea kayak, paddle, pump, paddle float, spray skirt, PFD (life vest) – ($30 per person)
  • Full 4/3mm or 5/4mm wetsuit, booties, hood, gloves ($30 per person)
  • Bringing your own gear? *Required Fall-Spring: Drysuit or full 5/4mm wetsuit, winter booties, gloves, hood, vest PFD, sprayskirt for closed deck boats, paddle, kayak with floatation or bulkheads.

Contact us to Sign Up!

Skill Prerequisites: NONE

Beginner level. You have had no or limited kayaking experience. You should have basic swimming skills and be able to speak and understand english.

“I can’t speak highly enough of Scott Dahlquist as a kayak instructor through Salmon Bay Paddle! I had two excellent level 1 lessons this past weekend and I learned SO MUCH. I also learned that there is much to learn! I was very nervous about self-rescues but Scott was super supportive and coached me through 3 of them.
Icing on the cake was that the class came with a bonus herd of seals! Thanks to this group for the excellent recommendation. I’m excited to practice what I’ve learned and keep the momentum going so it’s time to buy a kayak! “
Anna M

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