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  Washington Kayak Club
Fun and safe kayaking through trips, education, skill development, and conservation

Headhunt on Headworks October 29th


 Washington Kayak Club volunteers at Kids' Water Safety Event


Five Washington Kayak Club paddlers helped out with the Tukwila pool's water safety event on Saturday, May 21. We provided a chance for sixty kids to paddle kayaks as part of a free two hour water safety event. The other featured guests were the Tukwila Fire department, but they did not let the kids drive the trucks. The kids, their parents, and the pool staff really appreciated our help. Nice work team! - Karl Guntheroth

Pic by Mike Grijalva


 Skagit River Recreation Flow Survey Announcement


Seattle City Light is conducting an online recreation flow survey for three river segments on the Skagit River. The recreation flow survey is part of a suite of studies associated with the relicensing process for the Skagit River Hydroelectric Project (Project). American Whitewater, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, and North Cascades National Park participated in the development of this study plan. The Project is licensed to the City of Seattle, Washington, and operated through its publicly-owned electric power utility Seattle City Light (City Light).


The purpose of this recreation flow survey is to gather information about recreation flow preferences for three river segments on the Skagit River along a 25.2-mile length from the Goodell Creek Boat Launch inside the Ross Lake National Recreation Area to Howard Miller Steelhead Park near Rockport. A map of the Skagit River delineating these three river segments is provided below (Figure 1). The river segments include the following:

·              Goodell Creek Boat Launch to Copper Creek Boat Access Site (the S-Bends whitewater section) (8.7 miles);

·              Copper Creek Boat Access Site to Marblemount Boat Launch (5.9 miles); and

·              Marblemount Boat Launch to Howard Miller Steelhead Park (the eagle viewing section) (10.6 miles).


The online survey is best viewed using a computer screen. The survey will take approximately 15 – 20 minutes to complete. Question formats are not ideal for smaller screens such as mobile devices.


Thank you for taking the time to complete the survey. Your input is greatly appreciated. Participation in the recreation flow survey is important to the success of the study. Please encourage others with knowledge of recreation flows in these three segments of the Skagit River to participate in the survey. The survey will remain open through September 2022.


For more information about the Skagit River Hydroelectric Project relicensing process please visit the Project relicensing website at For questions or comments on the recreation flow survey please contact Michael Aronowitz at Seattle City Light (


Skagit Recreation Flow Survey URL:

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 Thank you 2022 Nisqually River Cleanup Volunteers!

 I wanted to thank you for your support of the Nisqually River Cleanup that took place on Saturday, April 2, 2022 and give you a recap of what occurred. This was our third major cleanup of the river, following previous cleanups in 2018 and 2019. Now that the Covid-19 pandemic appears to be subsiding, we hope this will become an annual event.
From: Greg Provenzano


April 2021  Join Our Club
Check out our Facebook Page for additional news, trips, training, and events!

Hello fellow paddlers!


We are over two weeks into the spring season! A lot of us have been sequestered in our homes due to the pandemic and when we look into the news it’s really not that bright but hey, the sun is now out a lot more than it was just a month ago. The birds are out and many of them are into the nesting mode. Many of the flowers have started to bud and will soon be into their full glory! Boating season will soon begin and it’s time for us to get ready for it. Let’s dust off our paddles, boats, gear and get into the water! And don’t you forget your camera as paddling is one of the best ways do you get some really good springtime bird shots!


The Whitewater folks just completed a successful basic class (Thanks Shanna and crew!) and they have been going gangbusters on a myriad of trips planned by Whitewater trip leaders to accommodate old and new paddlers! Please see our events page on our website for more details. 


The sea kayaking side is starting to stir a bit. We have  quite a few events lined up for the sea kayakers primary of which is the WKC SK Basic Class which is coming up next month! Please see the notice below for all details. If you know of anyone who needs or wants to learn how to sea kayak safely, please direct them to sign up for this class.


Bob Nash and crew have been conducting monthly refresher SK classes at Sammamish Lake that have been getting great attendance! Unfortunately, Bob is undergoing rotator cuff surgery on May 2 that will sideline him for six months. Francis Han and Robert Nissenbaum will step in during his absence. Again check the Events Calendar for these classes or anything else that you may be interested in.


COVID-19 is nowhere eliminated but is somewhat at bay and Governor Inslee has removed the masking requirement in the state of Washington. However, some of us are skeptical and we on the Paddle Board are leaning on the side of caution and will leave masking to the discretion of the leaders of trips and events. It may be that only certain times during a trip or event may require masking. For example, white water paddlers may be required to mask during the shuttle. Please adhere to the WKC leaders’ instructions.


VOLUNTEERS! Through the persistence, hard work and determination of Lynn Paquette, the previous club’s president, WKC was recently granted nonprofit status — 501 (C)(4) — thanks Lynn! For those who don’t know, this is a very big deal and like any other organization in this category, the WKC relies on the work of its volunteers. I’ve been a member of the club for over a decade and everything I know about kayaking has mostly been through this club. I thank the club and the members who were here before for the training and many pleasant memories I experienced. It has and always will be a club run by its members for its members. We support ourselves and we make the club for what it is. I ask members old and new to step up and volunteer for vacant positions in the club. We still need an SK Trip Coordinator, SK Trip Leaders and a VP officer. Let me know if you’re interested!


Please, if you have any questions or recommendations, do present them. Continue to stay safe, stay healthy and I hope to see you on the water!


Tomas J Tabisola

WKC President                           

WKC Sea Kayak Basic Class

This is a 2 and a half day sea kayak course which begins Friday at 11:30am and ends on Sunday at 5pm.
You must have a drysuit and a sea kayak to participate.
The sea kayak must have either a skeg or a rudder.
You will be wearing a spray skirt.

Kayak Academy will rent you drysuit and/or sea kayak.
Please email if you require drysuit or sea kayak.

The course will begin at 11:30 am on Friday at Tibbets Beach on Lake Sammamish.  Take the first left when you enter the park and walk to the water.
Saturday and Sunday we will begin at 9am and finish at 5pm.
Please bring your lunch and snacks.  There is a PCC Market nearby and an Arco gas station if you forget your lunch or beverage.

We will have 4 groups of 5 students.  Each group will have an instructor and assistants.

Our goal is for you to be able to kayak the waters of the Puget Sound safely and responsibly.

We will cover the following skills:

Wet exit

Various Self rescues
Various Assisted rescues 
Safely lifting and carrying your kayak
Launching and Landing
Various paddling strokes
Boat Handing skills 
Basic First Aid
Basic Navigation
Group/Situational Awareness
Risk Assessment  


Covid-19 Status - Updated October 2021


Update October 2021

Advanced registration for events is required.

Leaders and participants are expected to choose trips that are conservative relative to their skillset. Extra caution is expected to reduce the risk of injury requiring hospital resources. Leaders should carefully assess participant abilities relative to the technical and physical difficulty of the trip.

Everyone is expected to comply with local guidelines for face coverings and masks. Face masks are required for everyone in public indoor spaces or anytime indoors when the vaccination status of those around them is unknown, regardless of their own vaccination status; face masks are required indoors for those who are not fully vaccinated.

Starting October 25, 2021, everyone ages 12 and older is required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to participate in indoor programs. 

Leaders for indoor programs must verify vaccination status following the Washington State Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination Status guidelines.

If you are not fully vaccinated, you should continue to wear a mask and social distance when on land. 

Trip leaders and instructors retain the right to require participants to wear masks, require proof of vaccination, and set limits on group size.  

If you have feedback on a recent trip experience, please do not hesitate to mail or the trip chair as listed on the Contact Us web page.

Check theEvents Calendarfor the latest updates on trips, training and events.

From the Prez

WKC paddlers,

This is your club.  The board is actively looking for a vice president, sea kayak trip leader, web editor, and treasurer!   For the last few years a small group of folks have been doing a lot of behind the scenes work and now we need our members to step up.   We all "just want to paddle" and time is at a premium, but without new blood, fresh ideas, and a team of folks  to breath new life into WKC, we will cease to exist.   If we get 6-10 folks to step up, it's really not that much work, about 8 hours/month. Think how much fun it would be for you and a few friends that have been active in the kayaking community to get together once a month to plan cool stuff and make sure we're on track.    I would love to hear from you. 

Tomas Tabisola
WKC President

News and Events

Pools! Pools! Pools!!! 

Pool sessions are open!
Tukwila pool is open every Sunday from 4-6pm for kayakers from now until end of May!
The shallow end will always be open for rolling and general practice. The deep end will alternate weeks between polo and general use. Check the calendar for what's happening every week.
Please register ahead online. We are requiring COVID vaccination and checking vaccine cards (photos OK) at the door for anyone using the pool this season.
More pool news coming up - check the events.
See you on the water!

Deception Pass Challenge - December 11, 2021


The Deception Pass Challenge is an epic winter paddling and rowing race through the tidal rapids of Deception Pass!  Race around three wilderness islands, under the Deception Pass Bridge twice, through turbulent tidal rapids and possibly standing waves with epic views of the Olympic Peninsula, Lopez Island and distant Victoria BC if weather permits.


Featured Trip

7 River Challenge Update

By: Kanko Iwata-Eng
October 2021

Kayaker Mary Keppler celebrated her completion of the 7 Rivers Challenge with 7-colored hair!  Mary is the sixth member who completed the challenge only after: Doug Knapp, Kanako Iwata-Eng, Bill Petty, Jim Hunter and Scott Shepherd.  The 7 Rivers Challenge is WKC’s way to encourage our members to venture out of our three staple rivers – Green, Snoqualmie and Skykomish.  The 7 Rivers include: Nooksack, Sauk, Stillaguamish, Sol Duc, Nisqually, Wenatchee and White Salmon.  All these rivers have a Class 2 section, so everyone has a chance to participate.  If you are a member, sign up for a club trip online and participate in it, you will receive each river’s sticker.  When you complete all 7 rivers, you will receive the Big 7 sticker.  Who will be the 7th boater completing the 7 Rivers Challenge???  Currently 9 members are only 1 sticker away: 

Becca Nissley, Nisqually
Bob Menard, Nisqually
Celia Parker, Sauk
Eva Bailey, Sol Duc
John Kelly, Wenatchee
Ken Stallman, Wenatchee 
Robert Schneider, Nisqually
Seton Staples,  Nisqually
William Aguilar, Nisqually


CPR/First Aid Training

With Don Cheyette of Seattle Adventure Sports, learn CPR, AED and First Aid with a special focus on kayakers' needs. Hybrid class with online homework and in-person hands-on (outdoor) portions.

AHA online course $19.50 (non-refundable)
In-person hands-on instruction $55
Trip Leader Credit -$30 (WKC member who led/leads a club trip in 2021 will receive $30 Club Express credit which can be used for future membership dues, pool sessions, skills clinic, etc.)

More Details

Looking to Buy/Sell Used Paddling Gear?

Maybe kayaking isn't your sport or you just upgraded your gear.   Need to sell some gently used gear? Looking to purchase some paddling treasure? Check out theWKC Classifieds Forum to list your items or to purchase kayaking gear from fellow paddlers. Easy to follow instructions for posting items included below:

Trip Reports

Check out theTrip Reports tab to see more WKC kayaking adventures.

Cispus River - Throw Bags and Waterskiing

By Michael Deckert
May 8, 2021
Cispus River - Throw Bags and Waterskiing

The throw bag arches over the river. The rope unfurling behind leaving a parabola marking the trajectory of the throw. As it drops over Gavin’s shoulder I congratulate myself on a perfect throw, even remembering to hang on to my end of the rope. Not bad considering it’s been a couple years since my last practice throws. Why am I now waterskiing?

Read More

"Sounders" off Jetty Island in Everett

By Randolph B. Oakley
April 25, 2021

 "Sounders" are Graywhales that make a pit stop in Possession Sound to feed on ghost shrimp before continuing North to their summer feeding grounds. We launched from the 10th St boat launch in the Everett marina. We were rewarded with good Osprey, Heron, Eagle and Seal viewing.


Sea Kayak Instructors Hit the Water

Shown Left to Right: Chris (Sea), Ross, Barry (Sea), Jose (Sea), Matt, Mike (Sea), Arieal, Jon, John (blue), and Rick (behind John). Nicole behind the camera!
By Rick Schoen

Some of the sea kayakers had a bit of river experience and some none. We brought boats and some gear for the sea kayakers. Even getting them outfitted was fun! Since they were instructors their strokes were good and they were pretty excited to do the river! We didn't spend a lot of time instructing but working on river skills like ferry and eddy turns, river features, dangers, and the differences in strokes and how they are used. Then we started working the river.

Read More


See more trips on theWashington Kayak Club Facebook Page!

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Come Play Kayak Polo! - On hold due to COVID-19. 


Come play kayak polo Sundays at the WKC pool session in Tukwila!

This a great time to try out a fun activity that is as challenging (or not!) as you want it to be, and we're open to people of all ages and abilities.

We'll try out a couple drills, work on some fundamentals, then play a couple games - should be a LOT of fun.

We'll have polo helmets and a couple polo boats and paddles to use.

Bring swim stuff, dry clothes, a PFD. WW boats are fine; sea kayaks are unfortunately too big.

Hope to see you there!

Oh, and here's a video of some fundamentals

Check events calendar for upcoming Polo dates in Tukwila and register: 

Register Here

 WKC San Juan Seven Challenge -  On hold for 2020 due to Covid-19

We love circumnavigating islands and want to encourage more paddlers to join the fun, so we have launched the San Juan Seven Challenge. 
The seven islands selected for the San Juan Seven challenge are San Juan, Orcas, Lopez, Cypress, Guemes, Lummi, and Stuart

You can circumnavigate the islands in any order that you like and can take as much time as you need or want to circumnavigate each island. To qualify for badges you need to circumnavigate the island during a WKC trip that has been announced on the WKC website.

Upcoming WKC Trips:

Contact Steven Exe for more information.

San Juan Seven Challenge

WKC Seven Rivers Challenge (7RC)

WKC members who participate in club trips to the seven designated rivers will receive collective paddle/boat stickers designed by a whitewater kayaker and artist Zeus Rudner.
Challenge yourself to get all seven stickers! When a member completes all seven rivers, he/she will receive a finisher’s sticker. To make it easy to keep track, participants must register for the club trip online.

The designated rivers and in Seven Rivers challenge are: Nisqually, Nooksack, Sauk, Sol Duc, Stillaguamish, Wenatchee, and White Salmon

Upcoming WKC Trips:

Check Events Calendar for more dates

If you have any questions or suggestions about the Seven Rivers Challenge program, contact: 
Kanako Iwata-Eng

Copyright 2014 Washington Kayak Club

President: Tomas Tabisola
Vice President: Open
Secretary: Karl Guntheroth
CFO: Kanako Iwata-Eng
Editor: Open


WKC Calendar

Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events