The Ultimate Kayaking Course

Covid-19 Update: SBP is now open to individual and small groups.  Paddling is a naturally distanced activity and great for much exercise and fresh air. We’ll maintain a 6′ distance on shore and on-water, recommended mask use on shore. All gear is always cleaned. 

The Ultimate Kayaking Course

With our The Ultimate Kayaking Course learn to sea kayak or improve your existing skills with this comprehensive 5 session course taught by our patient and safety focused ACA certified instructors.  Leave the course with solid skills and with the knowledge and confidence for paddling on your own safely in the Pacific Northwest.

Finish your last day testing your new skills in the dynamic and beautiful waters of Deception Pass!

Content can be customized to your interests and skill level.


Foundation Skills You’ll Gain

Gear and Outfitting

  • What you need to carry so you stay safe on day trips and overnights
  • How to avoid entrapment in your kayak with eliminating hazards with proper clothing and boat outfitting
  • The difference between a Greenland and Euro paddle – Choosing, sizing, high vs low angle.
  • Find out the differences between dry and wetsuits and other clothing options
  • How to outfit your kayak for comfort and safety which is essential for fun paddling
  • Which communication devices to bring, how to waterproof, use of and which to bring
  • Learn how to avoid cold water shock and hypothermia with the right gear for the conditions
  • How to lift, carry and car top kayaks. We’ll discuss racks, tying down and more!

Rescues and Recovery

  • Learn how to safely capsize and wet exit your boat you stay off the news
  • Find out how to do the paddle float rescue, an effective way to re-enter the boat
  • You should always have backups for getting in. Learn the scramble, swim rescue and other self-rescues
  • Learn how to rescue another kayaker, swimmer or paddle boarder with assisted rescues
  • Stay upright with balance and bracing which will give you more control and stability in your paddling
  • Get an intro to edging so you can not only gain additional stability but also control the boat without a rudder

Basic Strokes

  • Learn how to effectively launch and land a kayak from beaches and docks
  • With an efficient forward stroke you’ll paddle fast, straight and injury free
  • Directional control is essential for any paddling. Learn how to stop, go sideways and backwards
  • Continue skill development with edging which allows you to turn, stay stable and have more fun on the water!

Progressive Strokes

  • Learn the static draw so you can be in better control with turning especially in tight spots
  • The sculling draw will give you stability and control in rough water
  • My favorites – the bow and stern rudder will give you precision directional control
  • Low brace turns will give your bomber stability and directional skills taking you to the next level

Dynamic Water

  • Learn how to ‘read water’ so you can make smart paddling decisions on every trip
  • Find out how to handle waves so you can paddle in any conditions and even surf small waves if available!
  • By learning ferry angles, you can cross rivers and windy areas without being pushed in the opposite direction
  • Learn about the effects of wind in your boat.  Wind is fun and can help you get to where you want easier.

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.
  • Receive a complimentary copy of Rob Casey’s book “Kayaking Puget Sound and the San Juans, 60 Trips” by Mountaineers Books. 
  • You’ll able to join our Facebook Alumni Group to continue learning and for connecting with other paddlers.
  • SBP owner Rob Casey 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. 
  • Receive a Salmon Bay Paddle sticker!


Course Details:

Covid Notice – SBP is open for classes. Distancing will be followed on land and water. Recommended use of masks on shore. Equipment is regularly cleaned. 

**This is a private class for you and/or your family and friends set to your schedule.

2021 Dates – Set to your schedule, contact us for availability.  Available all year. 

Course Expiration: We recommend you complete the course in 4-8 weeks. The course will expire after 3 months of your purchase.

Duration: 4 – 3 hour sessions at your own pace.  Deception Pass is 4 hours at your own pace.  Some instruction on land as well.

Location: Ballard Elks Beach in Seattle and Deception Pass State Park.

Skill Level: Beginners thru Advanced. Content will be customized to your interests and skill level. Must know how to swim and be in good physical shape.

Boat and Clothing Rentals (see below) available or Bring your own gear

Bringing your own gear? Required Equipment: 4/3mm or 5/4mm full surfing wetsuits or dry suit. Plus hood, gloves, booties, vest PFD. Stable kayak, paddle, spray skirt.


2 Person Private Class (for both): 2,506

1-1 (Individual Rate): 2,123 – Get the most personalized instruction.

Add more people? Contact us for rates. 


  • $20 per day / per person (4 days) – Stable sea kayak, paddle, vest PFD.
  • $15 per day / per person (4 days) – toasty wetsuit, gloves, booties, hood.

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