When it comes to paddling, many beginners may think they don't need to take kayak lessons or that they can get better without a professional kayak instructor. In this article, Lee Richardson explains what you will gain from kayak training courses, whether you need kayaking classes, and expands on how our kayak instructions can drastically change your paddling experience. It is important to note that kayak training courses are not only for beginners; most kayak lessons are formulated depending on the level of kayaking experience, the level of difficulty (such as sea kayaking courses), and your desired personal goals. But most importantly, kayak training courses can help you get fit and healthy while keeping you safe and efficient on the water.
At BestCoast Outfitters, we provide a range of kayak lessons and kayak training courses in multiple locations near Victoria, BC, and unique spots all over Vancouver Island. Our classes are designed to prepare you with professional sea kayaking skills, safety and survival techniques, and paddling in new playgrounds such as currents or among rocks.
Kayak training courses are designed to get you out paddling safely. Training courses teach you to pick appropriate lengths of paddles, conditions and paddling partners. There is an emphasis in the courses on providing the information participants need to make good decisions and be confident going out on the water. Kayak training courses cover the safety equipment you need to be successful and prepared. Most kayak classes also cover communication, risk assessment and management, group management and hygiene while paddling. It is the goal of every program to get people out on the water with the right kayaking instruction to enjoy paddling safely.
Take a look at BestCoast's collection of paddling safety gear and equipment:
2. Life-long Skills
Kayak training courses are not just about moving a kayak around in a graceful, efficient way, they also give you knowledge about the environment, weather, navigation, tides and currents, and seamanship. These kayak instructions and skills transfer into other parts of day-to-day life in the marine environment. In our kayak training classes you also learn about communication and planning trips into the wilderness, the skills can often be applied to other pursuits, including but not limited to boating, hiking, ski touring, biking and running. Trip planning is a bit of an art and the skill can be used throughout your life.
3. Meeting Paddlers With Similar Interests
One of the best things about kayak classes is meeting other paddlers near you. I have been paddling for over a decade and I still paddle with 3 people that were part of my very first course. They have become part of my paddling foundation and support. It is so exciting to see them develop and watch them grow alongside you as you increase your paddling skill set and grow as a paddler. It is something that we look forward to every year meeting up with each other and going for a paddle. It is amazing to reflect on how far we have come since we first met years ago on a kayak training course. The people you meet in paddling classes are often like-minded and can become great friends in the future.
Getting out on the water for a kayak instruction course is always a good way to stay active. The course keeps you moving and learning. The great part about it is that it is a fun way to tire your body out. Some of your best sleep will come after a day in sea kayaking courses. There is so much diversity and learning happening that you often do not even realize how active you are while taking kayak lessons. It is easy to get your daily exercise in during kayak classes. Our instructors will have you leave with skill-building activities and little drills you can do on your own in your daily life to help you be a better stronger paddler.
5. Learning to Protect Your Body
In our kayak courses, we cover risk management, hygiene and repetitive motion injury prevention. Risk management is a critical part of paddling and we discuss different techniques and principles that can help you minimize the risks of paddling. Knowing how to keep things clean, and our bodies in good shape and minimizing the risk of infection is an important part of paddling. These topics are part of the kayak instructions we provide in order to ensure you are as safe and prepared as you can be. Paddling requires repetitive motions and being conscious of what it takes to minimize the risk of repetitive motion injury is an important part of protecting your body while on the water.
6. Weather Interpretation
Learning about marine weather is imperative to being a safe kayaker and it is fascinating to learn about. In our courses, we will teach you how to interpret marine weather. Training courses cover where to look for weather predictions, the current condition and how to make decisions based on the information you collect in kayak classes near you. Weather interpretation is an important part of sea kayaking and also plays a role in our daily lives. Kayak instruction will allow class participants to learn how to use the tools they are shown in a kayak class and how to get weather forecasts in remote places.
7. More Efficient Strokes
Moving a kayak through the water can be hard work, learning to do it efficiently will make it easier and more enjoyable for you. Kayakers often want to be able to go further faster and to do that having efficient strokes makes it easier to achieve your goals. Efficient strokes usually look effortless and smooth. Kayak lessons and training courses will help you become smoother and faster. Kayak training courses will polish your strokes, making you more confident and efficient.
Knowing where you are and where you are going is a big part of paddling especially if you are into sea kayaking. From reading charts to planning distances for paddles, our kayak training courses take a deep dive into navigation ensuring that you can pilot and dead reckon, go from the compass to chart and chart compass, find your way through the fog and pinpoint the islands near you as your paddling destination. Being confident in not getting lost and making the right decisions at the right times is imperative in being a confident paddler. You will leave our kayak training classes feeling more confident with the navigation skills you need to paddle in the ocean environment.
Find professional kayaking navigation tools at BestCoast Outfitters:
9. Tides and Currents
Knowing what to expect at beach landing and avoiding going against the current are important skills to learn to make sea kayak paddling successful and stress-free. sometimes we even use the features current creates for play and excitement. On the flip side, many hazards in the ocean are related to current and if the current is against a paddler, it can make the time it takes to do a paddle significantly longer. With the right kayak instruction and training program you can manage your paddling in tides and currents.
10. Fun and Easy to Learn
Kayak classes are fun! There is lots to learn and challenges to overcome. It is a reward experience to achieve a re-entry or roll a kayak. Participants usually leave with a significant smile on their faces from all that they achieve in a day of kayak classes. It is fun to gain confidence and play with kayaks in a way that has the participants understand what the kayaks can do and what the limitations are. Leaving a kayak training session with confidence and having input from instructors that are experts in the field makes it fun and easy to learn.
11. Living a Healthy Active Lifestyle
Being healthy and active is important and a kayaking training course can help you maintain your healthy active lifestyle. This article covers some of the health benefits of paddling. Just being out in the water in nature is great for your body. Playing out in nature takes it to a whole other level. It gets us out of our houses, out with our friends and connecting with nature. All of these things are not only good for our mental health but also our physical health. Kayak training courses offer an opportunity to get kayak lessons, play and have fun while living a healthy active lifestyle.
12. Environmental Protection
Kayaking connects us with nature, many of the places we get to go in kayaks people cannot get to with any other craft. Our kayak courses include lessons, tips and tricks to leave no trace and to have a low impact on the environment. We include managing groups' waste, packing and having fires in the marine environment. Our instructors will also share with you the products that experts use to ensure that we are protecting our group and the environment. In our kayak courses, we embrace and teach the concept of leaving no trace.