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 2 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.

This is a private class for one or two people. Contact me to discuss your goals and booking info. 

Your Coach:

Robert Nissenbaum 

    I recommend you continue to Level 2 where you’ll continue to progress your skills towards becoming an experienced kayaker in the Pacific NW.  Next steps are our Kayak Rescue and Kayak Rolling classes to prepare you for surfing, our Deception Pass class and/or trips.


    • Shilshole Bay in Ballard
    • Alternative locations ok upon request. Travel fees for outside of Greater Seattle.

    Core Skills You’ll Gain

    • 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:

    • Private Classes Only, contact me to chat about your goals and booking info
    • Class Size: 1 – 2 people.
    • Location: Shilshole Bay in Ballard / Seattle
    • Duration: Two 3 hour sessions. Learn at your own pace.
    • We don’t cancel for rain.
    • Instructor to Student Ratio: 1:1 / 1:2

    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 consult on paddling gear, find places to paddle and help you get to your next level.
    • Receive a Salmon Bay Paddle sticker!



    Kayak Level 1 is two 3 hour sessions

    $559 each for 2 students | $769 for 1 student

    Rental Gear at No Cost for Seattle Classes Only: 

    • Stable Sea kayak, paddle, pump, paddle float, spray skirt, PFD (life vest)
    • Full 4/3mm or 5/4mm wetsuit, booties, hood, gloves
    • 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 me to schedule a class

    Skill Prerequisites: 

    • Beginner level. You have had no or limited kayaking experience
    • You should have basic swimming skills
    “Telling you what I am sure you already know…. Robert is an amazing instructor. We learned so much and throughly enjoyed.
    – Sherry. (Sept 2022)
    Erin L

    “Just wanted to tell you we had an AMAZING time in our lessons. We both loved it. We plan to get some practice in and would love to do more lessons. Amazing teacher!!! “
    (Instructor was Robert Nissenbaum) 
    Erin L

    “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