VHF Marine Radio Basics for Paddlers

VHF Marine Radio Basics for Paddlers with Robert Nissenbaum

This is a pre-recorded webinar (1.5hrs / 2/16/22) with paddler Robert Nissenbaum who talks about VHF Marine Radios – benefits of, how to use and other perspectives on marine communication for paddlers.

Learn the benefits of VHF marine radios, how to choose a radio and proper speaking protocol for placing and receiving calls.

Find out what all those buttons are for and how to use each!

You’ll also get additional VHF resources, links and in-depth details on everything covered in the webinar.

Learn from experienced paddlers how VHF radios have benefited them in real world situations.

Also learn about other effective methods of on-water communications.

Your host Robert Nissenbaum is an ACA and BCU certified kayak instructor and SUP coach for Salmon Bay Paddle in Seattle. He holds additional certifications in on-water communications and related topics.

Core Skills You’ll Learn:

Learn about VHF radio parts (buttons), basic operation and how to choose a radio for your type of paddling, rowing etc. 

– A versatile tool, find out about all the different benefits of a VHF and how each can work for you

Find out when to use a VHF for making calls whether to check marine traffic, contact another boat or make an emergency call

Learn how to make a call using proper radio communications lingo so your calls will be more effective

Read about real world scenarios where VHF radios were of assistance and how they were used for paddling and marine emergencies.

– Get additional insight from Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary member and Paddle Canada instructor Adrian Lee

– Q & A with students in Robert’s webinar students with additional tips from Adrian Lee.  


Purchase Pre-Recorded Webinar Here:

$47 for the webinar pre-recording (Recorded 2/16/2022) Duration: 1 hour, 30min.


Contact me for any questions


About Robert..

An adventure seeking coastal sea kayaker, Robert has paddled much of the Puget Sound, kayaking and camping year-round, navigating tidal currents, wind, rough water, and large, open-water crossings. He is a ACA and BCU certified instructor, an instructor and trip leader with the North Sound Sea Kayaking Association and Washington Kayak Club.

He is a member of Qajaq USA (Greenland paddling) and holds the ACA Advanced Communications Instructor Endorsement enabling him to work with students with vision impairment or blindness, hearing impairment, deafness and speech impairments. Robert is a Brand Ambassador for Turning Point Boatworks and the Petrel Play

“I want to send a shout out to Salmon Bay Paddle and Robert Nissenbaum for presenting VHF Radio Basics instruction via live webinar.  As a new paddler, excited to start to venture out more on our local waters, I appreciate straight forward tips on how to select a radio and other equipment, make critical calls in the event of an emergency, how to let boat traffic know you’re in the area, and communicate with paddlers in your group.   The instructors and guest speakers are local and paddle the same waters that I am learning to navigate. 

Attending the live webinar, I was able to ask specific questions.  Living in North Puget Sound it was a bonus to Adrian Lee‘s experience with VHF  communications the Canadian Coast Guard to the discussions.

Until I gain more real experience communicating via my VHF radio, it will be nice to review and refresh with the access to the webinar before I head out for my next paddle.  I loved the tip of doing radio checks with your paddling group before you launch to ensure equipment is ready to go and everyone is comfortable communicating.  

Now I know what the Digital Select Calling (DSC) actually is and how it might assist in getting help in the event of an emergency. Thank you again Salmon Bay Paddle for another great event.  Looking forward to the next webinar!”


- Sue R

“I bought the course and while I live in TX, I found great value in the entire content. Now when I get to paddle the gulf, I will use this information on the water. Great job Robert Nissenbaum and thanks Rob Casey for putting it on..”

- Bob R (Texas)

“Nice job, Robert! I learned a ton! I think this will be a great resource for those who are looking to choose a radio to use on club trips and to many of us who have radios but have had few occasions to use and learn the protocols and practices.

I think the course has the added benefit of reflecting the local knowledge like the channels to use in different parts of the sound. While I’m sure the slides are great, i was able follow everything just listening to the audio while driving 👍 I think Adrian and Rob had great color commentary!”

- Graton G

“Just listened to the recording – this is excellent and full of info I needed! Thank you!.”

- Ariel P

“Robert’s zoom meeting on vhf radio was informative and detailed on marine radio use and protocols.”

- Scott D

Robert Nissenbaum
Robert Nissenbaum
Robert Nissenbaum
“Rob is an expert in SUP and offers even more relevant training and helpful information because of his background in kayaking. His skill, knowledge and expertise exceeded my expectations. He presented the information and training in a very clear and concise manner; adding many various tips throughout his instruction. Rob is encouraging, patient and practical – all very important traits when teaching a subject. The course more than met my needs – I learned a lot and as a beginner – I have a lot to learn. I will continue to turn to him as my ‘go to’ resource in all matters SUP. I’m extremely glad I chose Salmon Bay Paddle and Rob for my first professional training in SUP. I felt safe and confident with him the whole time.”
- Leah R

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