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

Unfortunately the course is full

Because the club is run by all volunteers, we only offer this course once a year.  If you don't find your way to kayaking by next year, check us out earlier.  We post the course January 1st and this year it filled in 22 hours.  However, if you are determined to learn how to whitewater kayak, here are a couple outfitters in the area we recommend.. Kayak Academy & Northwest Outdoor Center.  If you decide to take one of these courses, the club is a great place to meet paddlers like yourselves, at the pool or one of the many river trips, which are offered throughout the year.

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.  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. 
Last year this class filled in 3 days!  In order to expedite the sign-up process, you can register to be a member of the club beforehand and then register for the course on Jan 1st.
Registration opens Jan 1st.  

2019 Schedule:
The class combines 8 sessions of classroom, pool, and river instruction, held in the South Seattle area and nearby rivers.  Each session is a progression of skills, therefore participation in all sessions is required.
3/9  (Sa)    11:00am - 5:00pm
   Classroom & Pool
3/10 (Su)    10:00am - 2:30pm    River
3/16 (Sa)    3:00pm - 5:15pm    Pool (roll night)
3/17  (Su)    10:00am - 4:30pm    River
3/23 (Sa)    3:00pm - 5:00pm    Pool
3/24** (Su)    10:00am - 4:30pm
3/30** (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 (3/30 & 3/31)

More Information:
Detailed information regarding the beginner course can be found in the Student Handbook
2019 Student Handbook
WKC (Washington Kayak Club) membership is required; WKC membership provides on-water trips and discounted pool sessions throughout the life of your membership ($35 annual individual or $40 annual household membership)
  • Students need to be able to safely transport kayak/gear to all events.
  • Students need to supply their own equipment. Rental options are available for students through Kayak Academy located in Issaquah - click below.
          Kayak Academy Rental Packages
  • Required equipment below is needed by first day of course, use the email button below to connect with an instructor regarding equipment prior to buying something that may not work for this course. Do not buy a boat until you chat with an instructor.
  • The 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 completing on-water days and also for your safety.
  • Be prepared and organized for each day of the course.  Read the referenced pages from your textbook or PDF reading assignments and online video viewing mentioned throughout the student handbook. 
  • Meet the WKC Essential Criteria outlined below
Gear Matrix:


( X ) Required Equipment - needed by first weekend of course
( R ) Recommended ( O ) Optional ( n/a ) Not Applicable
Pool River 
Kayak Equipment
X X Whitewater Hard-Shell Kayak (creek/downriver style kayak only - no play boats will be allowed!!)
Float bags for back of kayak (front also if long)
O X Whitewater Style Helmet 
X X Whitewater Paddle 
X X Whitewater Sprayskirt (needs to fit your kayak) 
X X Whitewater PFD (personal floatation device) 
n/a X Drysuit (strongly recommended) or Long-john Wetsuit/Drytop Combo 
X Booties 
X Paddling Gloves 
O Nose Plugs 
Pool River Misc Equipment
n/a  X Waterproof bag (needs to attach inside boat, holds lunch)
n/a  X Discover Pass ($10 per river day, $30 annual pass)
Pool  River Clothing
R Helmet Liner/Hat (for warmth)
X Socks (wool / synthetic)
n/a  X Wicking base layer (capilene, polypropylene, wool, fleece)
n/a  X Wicking insulation layer (capilene, polypropylene, wool, fleece)
n/a Pool wear (ideas include: swimsuit, shorts, wicking top, neoprene, rash guard, booties)
The WKC is all volunteer and non-profit, any income benefits our members and our community.
Please reach out to an instructor with any questions about the course, or before you buy a boat/gear to prepare for class. We've had too many students show up to class with boats and other gear that aren't 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.  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 9, 2019, 11:00 AM until 5:00 PM
Classroom @ SeaTac Community Center / Tukwila Pool / Washington Rivers
Chad Coker
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.

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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