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  Washington Kayak Club
Fun and safe kayaking through trips, education, skill development, and conservation
HomeEventsBeginner Whitewater Kayaking Course

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Beginner Whitewater Kayaking Course

Unfortunately the course is full!

To be added to the waitlist, be sure to login, and click the "Add me to the Waitlist" button on the right.  There are only 7 spots on the waitlist available.  However, if you were able to get on the waitlist, it's important to understand if a spot comes available, it could be on short notice.  You need to be able to get all your gear together and be available for us to be able to reach you.  If we are unable to reach you we will move to the next person on the list.

Because the club is run by volunteers, we only offer this course once a year.  If you don't find your way to kayaking this year, check us out earlier.  We usually always post the class in December and open up registration on Jan 2nd and as you saw, it fills WICKED fast!  However, if you are determined to learn how to whitewater kayak, here are a couple places you can reach out to..
ACA Instructors in WAKayak Academy in IssaquahNorthwest Outdoor Center in Seattle

If you decide to take one of the courses listed above, the Washington Kayak Club is a great place to meet paddlers like yourself when you complete your instruction.  The many pool events or one of the many river trips are great places to get to know other kayakers.  you can find a list of events on our website calendar. 
(trips will be added to the calendar in February and beyond)

Welcome to the Annual WKC Beginner Whitewater Kayaking Course!

If you have been wanting to learn how to Whitewater Kayak, this course is for you!  

The course is designed for the person with no prior boating experience, but it's open (and beneficial) to those who have paddled whitewater before.  You will learn basic paddle and bracing strokes, how to roll a kayak, river hydrology, and safety, all in a relaxed and friendly environment.  We teach this course annually in late winter/early spring, with the hopes of having consistent water levels before the snow melts and the spring rains start.

Read the FULL description below to decide if this course is for you.  Use the links to learn more about the class and what is expected of our students.
This class fills very fast
(tips below to guarantee a spot)

Registration opens Jan 2nd @ 6:00 AM



1. Read the sections below labeled "2023 Schedule" & "Requirements" 
2. Still Interested?
  a.  Join the Washington Kayak Club at least a day BEFORE class registration opens.
       WKC membership is required.  The membership provides on-water trips and
       discounted pool sessions throughout the life of your membership.
       ($35 annual individual or $50 annual household membership)
  b.  When Registration opens, login with your membership information to register
        See "Tips for Registering" at bottom of this page
3.  Answer ALL questions during the registration process
4.  Pay the class fee online:  Class Cost: $375

What happens next?  You will receive confirmation or your registration. 
A WKC Instructor will contact you by email with the next steps.


The class combines 8 sessions of classroom, pool, and river instruction, held in the South Seattle area and nearby rivers (be prepared to drive, we've been known to travel East of the mountains for a more suitable river level).  Each session is a progression of skills, therefore participation in all sessions is required.  
3/4  (Sa)    10:30am - 5:30pm
   Classroom & Pool
3/5 (Su)    10:00am - 2:30pm    River
3/11 (Sa)    2:30pm - 5:30pm    Pool (roll night)
3/12  (Su)    10:00am - 4:30pm    River
3/18 (Sa)    2:30pm - 5:30pm    Pool
3/19** (Su)    10:00am - 4:30pm
3/25** (Sa)    10:00am - 4:30pm    River - Graduation Paddle!

** NOTE: IN the event of high-water, River 3 and River 4 may occur the same weekend (3/25 & 3/26)


  • Read the 2023 Basic Outline that includes information on course schedule, expectations before/during the course and equipment information
    2023 WW Basic Outline
  • Class communication is via EMAIL.  Students are expected to respond WHEN REQUESTED.  Failure to do so may lead to you being dropped from the class.
  • Have computer access for class materials including eBook, instructional PDF's, online videos & access this website to complete assigned homework.
  • Students need to be able to safely transport kayak/gear to all events (video - loading kayaks)
  • Have the REQUIRED equipment before the first day of the course, see "Gear Matrix" below
    • Supply your own equipment for the class
    • Rental options are available for students through Kayak Academy located in Issaquah (reserve early, details below on "Kayak Academy Rental Packages" link (subject to change as Kayak Academy updates their website)
    • Do not buy a kayak until you have talked to an instructor, feel free to contact us at any time, even before registration begins. The only whitewater kayak that will be allowed in class are downriver/creek style boats
           Gear Matrix   

   2023 Kayak Academy Rental Rates   

  • Review the course schedule to ensure you can attend all sessions.  This course is a significant time commitment, and each session is a progression of skills, therefore participation in ALL SESSIONS is required.  Arriving late or missing a session will impact your ability to continue with the course.
  • Good physical conditioning is recommended for your safety in completing the on-water days.
  • Meet the WKC Essential Criteria outlined below.
The WKC is all volunteer and non-profit, any income benefits our members and our community.
Use the email button below to connect with an instructor regarding equipment prior to buying something that may not work for this course.  The instructor can also answer any questions about the course.  We've had too many students show up to class with kayaks and other gear that are not good for a beginner...

Tip for Registering:
To expedite the process of registering for the class, it is recommended you join the club prior to the day registration opens, be sure to login as a member and you will then have access to the "register now" button needed for registering.  If you are part of a "household" membership with the club (1 or more members from the same house), you each need to have your own login and password, getting this taken care of in advance is really helpful.  If you have any questions, please contact the membership chair 

Saturday, March 4, 2023, 11:00 AM until 5:30 PM
South Sound and Washington Rivers
Additional Info:
Event Contact(s):
Shanna Gachen
Ross Healy
WW Class
Registration is closed - Event is full
Payment In Full In Advance Only
Cancellation Policy:
Once your course registration is confirmed, all fees are non-refundable. However, if we are able to fill your spot on the roster, from the waitlist, we will refund your course registration fees only, minus processing fees and eBook purchase.

Please note: The Washington Kayak Club and whitewater kayak instructors cannot be responsible for changes or cancellations made due to extreme weather or water conditions, which can impact class River Days. If an alternative location is not available, the River Day may be cancelled and efforts will be made to reschedule a River Day within a reasonable timeframe.
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