Kayak Instruction

In the winter and spring I offer Kayak Classes through the Brainerd Community Education Guide. When it is cold we use the high school pool to get started and then finish up on a lake when it warms up. In the summer months I have small group classes on a private beach on White Sand Lake. Usually on Saturdays. For those that have taken my "Intro to Kayaking Class" I also offer free instruction every Wednesday at 6 PM on Gull Lake. If your interested in either a group class or a private class by arrangement please contact me. I am available in the summer seven days a week to teach kayaking skills.

Private Classes

For one paddler I can provide instruction, gear and equipment for $75 a half day & $150 for a full day. Contact me for rates for more than one person. I can also cater a day trip down a river or a tour of a lake by arrangement.

Wednesday Skills Classes - Free - $30 if you need to rent a kayak and gear

These sessions are for those students who have taken one of my classes and now want to practice and develop their skills further. It is also a good way to try different types of kayaks that I sell as well. This helps you determine which boat will best fit your needs. Often you change your mind after two or three skill sessions which boat you want to end up with. As your skills grow you might want a kayak that you can grow into. Two or three skill sessions can save you from having to buy a second boat after you find the first one did not meet your needs.

Each Wednesday we do several skills as a group and then break down into smaller groups and handle individual needs. Beginners in one small group and more advanced paddlers in another. Usually we have about 8 paddlers at a Wednesday night session.

This first class will provide the training and awareness that will make your future paddling enjoyable, safe and exciting. I will also show you the proper way to carry a kayak to and from the water and the proper way to load and unload a kayak from your car. At the end of the day you will have some free time to paddle and try different types of kayaks. I will also give you some boat buying basics that will help you get the right equipment the first time out so that you won’t have to buy things twice.

Kayak Class - Level One (Introduction) - $100.00

This class follows the ACA (American Canoe Association) guidelines and is a solid introduction to the sport of Sea or Touring Kayaking. The class is designed both for first-time paddlers and for those who already own their own kayak. All equipment is provided. We will start with a short video about kayaking and then introduce you to all of the basic equipment that you will be using for the day. Basic safety skills will be worked on next. You will learn balance skills and how to get out of your boat if you should capsize (a rarity). This technique is called a “wet exit” and is fun and easy to learn.

Once you master this skill I will teach you how to get back into the boat by yourself. Learning these two basic skills early in the day will put aside any fears you might have about kayaking and relax you for the rest of a very fun day. Then we’ll move on to efficient forward and turning strokes, low braces to keep you upright in those sticky situations, and how to do self and group rescues. Along the way, we’ll discuss strategies for dealing with wind, weather, and waves. You’ll also learn the basics of boat fit and design-which will help you to understand why a kayak does the things it does.

This first class will provide the training and awareness that will make your future paddling enjoyable, safe and exciting. I will also show you the proper way to carry a kayak to and from the water and the proper way to load and unload a kayak from your car. At the end of the day you will have some free time to paddle and try different types of kayaks. I will also give you some boat buying basics that will help you get the right equipment the first time out so that you won’t have to buy things twice.

Kayak Class - Level Two (Advanced Strokes & Maneuvers) - $100.00

You have taken the Level One Course, you have been out paddling a few times on area lakes, but you feel you need more before you take on the bigger water. So what comes next? This course takes you to the next step. First we will do a quick review of the basics you learned in the first class. Then we move on to more advanced techniques such as high and low braces, J-leans, sculling draws, low brace turns, towing, Eskimo assists and more rescues. We will work on your all important forward stroke, showing you how to get more power and less stress on each stroke you take.

We will discuss paddling in wind and waves, cold water paddling considerations, and compass navigation.

At the end of the day we will video tape your stroke, show it to you, and give you feedback on how you are doing and what you need to work on. You will have some free time at the very end to play with the different models of kayaks and paddles. You may find that some of the boats fit you better than others. You now have the knowledge to test these differences.