101: Sea Kayak Essentials

Learn the Essentials for Coastal Kayakers

This full-day course introduces students to the fundamental knowledge and skills necessary to safely enjoy the sport of sea kayaking in the near shore environment (waves < 1ft; winds <10kn)

This class begins in flatwater, but participants will venture out onto the Lake Erie coast for practice in realistic coastal conditions.

This course is taught according to the standards outlined in the American Canoe Association’s Level 2 and Level 3 Coastal Kayak curriculum. 

Duration

6.5 hours

Instructor to Participant Ratio

1:6

Skills Taught

Strokes and maneuvers

  • Forward
  • Reverse
  • Emergency stopping
  • Low bracing
  • Sweep strokes
  • Pivot turns
  • Draws
  • Edging (i.e., J-leans) for both balance and maneuvering

Rescue and safety

  • How to safely enter and exit a kayak from shore
  • Deep water capsizes (i.e., wet exits with a spray skirt)
  • Assisted reentry in deep water (e.g., the T rescue and drain)
  • Strategies for solo reentry
  • Rafting for support
  • Contact towing

Meeting Location

This course meets at the 41 North Rental Center in Lakewood, Ohio.    Our class will take place on the calm and protected waters of the Rocky River, and, if weather conditions permit, will include a brief paddle on Lake Erie.   Detailed driving instructions can be found using this link, or by clicking the map below.

Upcoming Class Dates

Prerequisites

Prior Courses

None, just a willingness to challenge yourself and get wet!

Age Limits

14 and over only, please.    Participants under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.   Participants over 16 but under 18 must have a waiver signed by a legal guardian. 

Height and Weight Limits

In order to ensure your comfort and safety, participants should be between 5′ and 6’4″ tall and 95 lbs to 235 lbs.

Non-Discriminatory Essential Eligibility Criteria

In order to participate in this program, each participant must satisfy the following essential eligibility criteria: 

  • Be able to independently participate in all individual skills and activities while also maintaining an appropriate and safe body position.
  • Be able to hold their breath while under water and, while in the water wearing a properly fitted lifejacket, be able to independently turn from a face down to a face up position keeping their head above water. 
  • Be able to effectively communicate with the instructor and other program participants. 
  • Be able to manage all personal care independently, or with the assistance of a companion.
  • Be able to manage all personal mobility independently, or with the assistance of a companion.