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

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April WKC Newsletter

Published on 4/13/2017


April 2017 Join Our Club
Check out our Kayaking Resources tab: One stop for all the information you need to go paddling!

From the Prez

By Mike Germani
Hey all,
Welcome to spring!With the fantastic snow season and now seemingly endless rain, we should have plenty of water to play on this summer.  Join us this month on a sea kayaking/photography trip to enjoy the spring Vendovi Island Flower Show, or racing the Bull Run Slalom in Sandy, OR, or developing happy hour skills Thursday Evenings in Gig Harbor, or enjoying the last weekend of Polo in Tukwila.

Congratulations 2017 Beginner Whitewater Kayaking graduates!  Welcome to the club.  Check the calendar for the latest whitewater trips, events, and classes.  We look forward to seeing you on the water!

There are two more great training opportunities happening this month;

Nigel Foster is teaching his Directional Control Class at Golden Gardens. This is a full day of watching a master teach his craft.  It's a wonderful experience and you will be amazed to learn how to paddle a sea kayak on edge, in circles, backwards, sideways (and not upside down!).
- And world-renowned swift-water rescue instructor Casey Garland will teach River Safety and Rescue Course.  A great opportunity for whitewater paddlers of all skill levels to learn how to use rope and rescue techniques, and develop trip planning and leadership skills to stay safe in difficult situations.

We need more SK TRIP LEADERS!  As an incentive, we are offering a GearLab carbon fiber Greenland paddle to one lucky leader this August at the WKC Luau (Details Here)!  This is generously donated by WKC trainer extraordinaire, Rhonda Schwab (Thanks Rhonda!).
NorthwestPaddlefest is coming up - May 12-13. Volunteers are needed!See details in Events section below.

See you onthe water!

Featured Trip

Vendovi Island Flower Show - April 22

Join us for a pre-season paddle to Vendovi Island. We will enjoy its rugged shoreline, established coniferous forests, and the floral richness of its rare indigenous prairie plant communities. The focus of this trip will be to enjoy the spectacular views of this part of the San Juan Islands and photograph early wildflowers. We hope to find the lovely white fawn lily redolent in its full floral splendor. Since many plants are early this year, mid-season beauties such as camas and paintbrush may also be in bloom.

When: April 22
Where: Young's Park on N Guemes Island
Organizer: Linda J Cooley

Total distance to be covered is about 8 nm. This paddle involves a 2.3 mile crossing with considerable fetch. Immersion wear is required.

Register Here

See our Events Calendar for more upcoming trips!


River Safety and Rescue with Casey Garland: April 22 - 23

Casey Garland, swiftwater rescue technician master instructor, will again present a course on river safety, rope utilization, and rescue techniques. Team leadership and rescue planning will also be covered to achieve the best results in a rescue effort.

2-day class (Sat/Sun); Max 12 participants:
3/22 (Sa) 8am - 5pm
3/23 (Su) 8am - 5pm

Lectures will be held at Mike Grijalva's house Saturday morning before heading to the river. River work will likely be on the Cedar River, Landsburg site.

Register Here

Directional Control with Nigel Foster: April 29

In the Directional Control class, Nigel will explain some of the physics of how the kayak works in water and then, how it responds when the element of wind is introduced.

This class covers basic edging, turning and padding in wind. It is suitable for all levels of paddlers, except, perhaps, first timers. Nigel has something for everyone and will give you the information that you need at your level. Nigel’s teaching style is relaxed. He breaks things down into small manageable steps and slowly works up towards mastering a technique.

The class is being held in Seattle at Golden Gardens. It meets at 9:00 for a 10:00 start and gets off the water about 4:00.

We are aiming for a class size of 6 to 8 people in each class. This seems to be a good number for learning and for having fun on the water.
The cost is $175 per person.

TO RESERVE YOUR PLACE, please contact Kristin, 206 790 3301
Or Nigel

For those of you wishing to study ahead of time, pick- up Nigel's NEW BOOK, "The Art of Kayaking."  It was JUST RELEASED this month!  It’s a comprehensive kayaking manual with detail and nuance for basic strokes, leading step by step through dry-land skills (chart work, buoyage etc), safety up to how to apply and adapt skills for surf, current, open water waves, wind and rock gardens.

Order Here

WKC Basic Sea Kayaking Class 2017: June 2 - 4

Join us for a weekend of FUN and ADVENTURE as you develop your techniques and skills on the water!

This course will provide beginners with a safe and fun introduction to the sport of sea kayaking. You will develop, refresh, and improve basic skills which are essential to paddling:

- Effective Paddling Skills
- Safety and Hazard Awareness
- Capsize Recovery Techniques
- Navigation, Tides and Currents
- Gear, Equipment and Clothing

Register Here

Level 2 / 3 / 4 Surf Kayak Clinic: June 10 - 11

Photo credit to Gary Luhm
This Level 2-4 Surf Kayak Clinic is designed for a new or advancing surf specific paddler seeking improvement in surfing skills and comfort in paddling out, taking off, surfing down the line and surf maneuvers.  Surf specific Sit-On-Top, Surf Kayak or WW boat required, some loaners available. Clinic will be in conjunction with an ongoing Surf Instructor Update clinic and prospective students will be taught by experienced instructors as part of their continuing education process.

When: June 10 - 11
Where: Hobuck Beach, Neah Bay

WKC Pool Sessions: Tukwila, Shoreline, and Tacoma

Continue to build your skills at weekly pool sessions offered by WKC in Tukwila, Shoreline, and Tacoma.
The fee for weekly pool sessions is $10 for WKC members and $15 for non-members.

Check the Event Calendar for upcoming dates:

If you have any questions about pool sessions:

News and Events

Congratulations 2017 Beginner Whitewater Class Graduates!

By Rick Schoen

The 2017 Beginner Whitewater Kayak Class was a success! Our students progressed greatly during the course - 7 weekend days in March. Three pool sessions, one lake/ gentle current day, and 3 river days. From learning wet exit, to roll practice, and to learning in- current boat control. And we suspect there will be quite a few who continue their river adventures!

Congratulations and see you on the water!

Read More

Wild & Scenic Film Festival in Seattle: April 19

Join Washington Water Trust and special guest emcee, Ashley Ahearn for happy hour, conversation and an evening of eye-opening films!

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival entertains, motivates and inspires people to explore our natural world and actively contribute to the protection of water, air, and wild places. This year’s theme, At the Edge, explores the precarious ecological precipice we face, as well as the innovators and activists spurring solutions around the world.

The Seattle Festival takes place on Wednesday April 19, 2017 at the SIFF Cinema Uptown in the Queen Anne neighborhood.

Event Details

Join Us for Kayak POLO - Tukwila & Portland

Kayak polo is at the Tukwila pool - every other Sunday starting in January!

Tukwila Pool
4414 S 144th St
Tukwila, WA 98168
8:45-10:45 am


Event Details

ALDER CUP kayak polo event is April 30 in Portland. It’s part of Alder Creek's Spring Paddle Festival.  We’ll be playing polo Sunday on a full-size 50m pitch. Players of all abilities and boat types participate. We play no-push to help encourage new people to try it out!

Contact Chris Brubaker for details and carpooling.

Alder Creek 25th Annual Spring Paddle Festival: April 29 - 30

Enjoy two full days of paddling, clinics, races, demonstrations, tours, fishing, and catch the spring sale at Alder Creek!Event is located at Vancouver Lake Park.

All events at the Spring Paddle festival are FREE and open to the public!

Event Details

Freya Hoffmeister Begins Her 10 Year Journey Around North America

By Tomas Tabisola

Freya Hoffmeister began her epic sea kayaking journey around North America or "The North Island" on March 25, leaving from Seattle to begin a trip she states will take 8-10 years to complete. The northern route from Seattle to NYC will take 5-6 years. She will then return to Seattle to start the southern route which will take 3-4 years and again end in NYC.

Details Here

To date, Freya is about half-way up the west coast of Vancouver Island, meeting fellow kayaking powerhouse, Justine Curgenven, for a few days of adventure together.

You can follow Freya's trip on Facebook, where she is journaling her progress.

Freya on Facebook

Bon voyage, Freya!

2017 NW Whitewater Slalom Cup Dates Now Available

The NW Whitewater Slalom Cup continues with highly valuable points awarded at each race and the best 8 out of 10 race results are totaled for fabulous awards in each.Come out and compete or just learn some slalom moves and have some fun!

Upcoming Slalom Events:
April 1 - 2: Chilliwack River Slalom
April 29 - 30:Bull Run
June 3 - 4: Salmon la Sac
July 15 - 16: Chilliwack

Race Calendar

Northwest Paddling Festival: May 12 - 13 *Volunteers Needed*

For expert paddlers or those looking to dip their oar in the water for the first time, NMTA’s seventh annual Northwest Paddling Festival is the largest event of its kind in the Pacific Northwest.

During the course of this two-day celebration of paddle sports, attendees can shop the latest in gear and accessories from more than 60 paddle sport businesses, get introduced to paddling of all kinds, take kayak tours, attend seminars, and compete in the Northwest Paddling Challenge.

The event is free for the public to attend, but most of the on-water activities cost $10 for the day.

Event Details

The Northwest Paddling Festival is in need of VOLUNTEERS!

The Northwest Paddling Festival has succeeded these past six years in large part because of the awesome volunteers. Members from various clubs have volunteered as safety boaters, tour guides, in registration and with logistics. There’s a position for everyone - and this year, we need even more volunteers!!

Please contact Joan Collins for details.

Volunteer Here

contactBill Porter if you are interested in participating in "SEA KAYAK CAMPING IN BEAR COUNTRY" at the event.  Bring your own bear...

contact Barb and George Gronseth to help teach beginners"Intro to Kayaking."

Volunteer Here

SSTIKS is Open for Registration: June 2 - 4

South Sound Traditional Inuit Kayaking Symposium (SSTIKS) is the Northwest’s premier event devoted to traditional kayaking skills and culture. SSTIKS is held in June every year in Twanoh State Park on the beautiful Hood Canal in Washington. It is a family-friendly event featuring some of the best mentors in Greenland-style kayaking. SSTIKS is a volunteer run event. This helps us keep ticket prices down and helps build the qajaq community.

SSTIKS is now open for registration. Tickets book quickly!

Register Here

WKC San Juan Seven Challenge

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:
April 7-9: Lopez Island
April 29: Lummi Island
May 12: Stuart Island

Contact Steven Exe for more information.

San Juan Seven Challenge

WKC Seven Rivers Challenge

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:
April 29: SF Stilly III
April 29: Nisqually II/III
May 27: Sol Duc Weekend

Contact new Whitewater Trip Chair
or 7RC Cheerleader

Looking to Buy/Sell Used Paddling Gear?

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

Schedule forACA and PNA (formerly BCU) Paddler Certifications

Thinking of taking your paddling skills to the next level?  Become ACA or PNA (formerly BCU) certified this season. Special awards signify specific paddling, safety and leadership skills at different levels and in various craft. These awards provide a way to track your own progress as a paddler, and give others a reliable indication of your preparedness for trips and further trainings. Improve your skills or become a certified coach and lead others on the water:
ACA Certification
Founded in 1880, The American Canoe Association (ACA) is a national nonprofit organization serving the broader paddling public by providing education related to all aspects of paddling.River, coastal, and surf kayaking certifications offered.

PNA Certification
Paddlesports North America (PNA) was formed in 2013 to provide access to British Canoeing (formerly known as the British Canoe Union or BCU) paddler awards and coaching certifications in North America, including canoe, kayak and stand up paddleboard.

Recent Trip Reports

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

Team Petty Adventure - Dungeness

By Kanako Iwata-Eng

After heavy mid-week rain, the Dungeness was higher than we liked on Friday, February 17, 2017. Changing plans, Bill, Doug, Pete, John T from Canada, and I ran the Park to Riverside section of the Sol Duc. John had to leave, but the rest of us camped there and drove back to the Dungeness on Saturday, February 18. Claire, Lora, and Josh from Poulsbo joined us at the Dungeness Hatchery.

Read More

Team Petty: New Year's OP 2017

By Kanako Iwata-Eng

This fall/winter season, the Olympic Peninsula hasn’t been very cooperative. Jon Almquist’s Humptulips and SF Calawah trips had to relocate, as well as Team Petty’s Thanksgiving Humptulips trip. This trip wasn’t an exception.

Read More

Team Petty Adventure: Thankgiving OP 2016

By Kanako Iwata-Eng

When the Team finished the annual Thanksgiving Day Lower Green Gorge run, Captain Bill Petty decided to change the plan. We were originally supposed to meet at the Humptulips and run the Narrows section, but it had been raining and was forecasted to rain a lot more...

Yampa and Green River, Utah

By Mike Grijalva

In mid-July of 2016, at the very end of the runnable water level, a group of friends and family floated the Yampa River for 6 days in sunshine. The Yampa is on the eastern edge of Utah, is free flowing, and joins the Green River to become the Green through Dinosaur National Park.

New WW Run: Middle Fork Snoqualmie

By Mike Grijalva

The paving of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie road has added a new pleasure to our local outdoor access. The road that used to be ugly with potholes, is now a smooth paved slide glide upstream. A few different access points for put-ins are present, but there are few.

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Copyright 2014 Washington Kayak Club

President: Mike
Secretary: Bill Porter
Treasurer: Jackie Brown
Editor: Brenna

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