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


Thanksgiving 2020  Join Our Club
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From the Prez

Thanksgiving Wishes TurkeyThanksgiving


Whether you’re a member as a white water enthusiast, a sea kayaker, or into water polo, I hope you are doing well in what is now a very historic period in our lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I hope you are handling it as best as you can. Be safe and stay healthy.

While thankfully there are just a few club members directly affected, I daresay all of us are affected indirectly. The overwhelming majority of us know someone who has gotten sick or has died from coronavirus. While this is a sad commentary, I find myself being overwhelmingly more appreciative of friends, family, and acquaintances. I think it is this associativeness that is most important to us as humans — the need to be with someone. This is very true for paddlers. While there is that individual who prefers to paddle by himself, most of us want to do this with someone else, and often, the more the merrier. It is for this reason that this club, Washington Kayak Club, was formed — the need to paddle with someone else and to enjoy it with as many as possible in a similar endeavor. We want to share what we see and experience, whether it be the peaceful beauty of the Salish Sea,  the endorphins generated by slaloming down river rapids,  or competing in water polo. We all have our  unique ways that we all enjoy our club.

Looking at the calendar, it is evident that we don’t have any trips scheduled on either the sea kayaking or the whitewater sides of the house. This is directed by the regulations that have been placed upon us. Some of you have been making informal trips in small groups: I applaud you for this. I’m sure they are enjoyed by all the participants. This is currently what we have to do until such time that this pandemic is over. 

There is good news by the pharmaceuticals that new vaccines are on the way.  We hope for distribution in the next month or two. Optimistically speaking, we  probably will not realize the benefits until springtime. To that end, we have extended the memberships for everyone for one year total. The club is solvent enough to be able to do this. Let’s at least be thankful for that!

You all have your individual reasons for being thankful during this Thanksgiving season, but if I may, I’d like to share this. We still have each other. If I have one regret, it is that I have not gotten to know you alI.  I look forward to those days when we will be able to paddle together again safely. 

Happy Thanksgiving,
Tomas Tabisola
WKC President

Covid-19 Status -November 16 to Dec 14th Restrictions

WKC trips possible.In most cases, this will mean a practical limit of 5 participants outside the leader's family.

Due to increasing COVID-19 numbers, Governor Inslee has issued additional restrictions. While most of these restrictions apply to restaurants, theaters, etc., we do need to bump down the number of participants to trip leader plus 5 participants.

All members participating in WKC events will be required to electronically sign aCovid-19 Waiveracknowledging additional risks inherently assumed during this pandemic. Trip leaders and participants will need to follow aprotocolwe hope minimizes those risks.

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.

Stay healthy. Stay safe.

News and Events

Private instructors and more

While club-sponsored trips and instruction are currently on hold, the club has numorous ACA certified instructors who may be able to help you develop skills.   

Kayak Instructions

Featured Trip

Watch this space.

If you have trip you'd like to see, please contact


WKC Pool Sessions:Tacoma and Tukwila - On hold due to the Covid pandemic

Sadly, we were notified in June 2020 that the Shoreline pool is closing due to desperately needed repairs and lack of funding.

We are hopeful that once it is safe to do so, we will once again be able to offer you the ability to build your skills at weekly pool sessions offered by WKC in Tukwila and Tacoma.

\he fee for weekly pool sessions is$10 for WKC members and $15 for non-members.

**Please use the ONLINEREGISTRATION to sign-up and pay.**

Check the Events Calendar for upcoming dates:

If you have any questions about pool sessions:

WKC Beginner Whitewater Kayaking Course: 2021 Dates TBD

The e 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.

Last year this class filled in less than two 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.

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.

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

Blake Island Weekend

By Julia Otani

The October 4th – 6th Blake Island weekend trip began with partly sunny skies and variable winds. Tina, Julia, Jim and Gail met at the Southworth Ferry launch site at 9:30am, packed our kayaks, and by 11am began our 1 NM crossing to Blake Island. Adding excitement to the beginning of our trip, we unintentionally launched our kayaks while a series of wakes approached the shoreline. Water poured over the sterns of our kayaks filling our cockpits with water. Emptying the water out, we quickly got into our boats paddling away from the shoreline. The wind kicked up creating a bumpy paddle to the campsite.

Read More


By Kanako Iwata-Eng

In the late August, while Washington rivers are trickling, thumping glacier rivers in British Columbia start to calm down. I drove for 10 hours to join the Vancouver Whitewater Club’s Chilko River trip over the Labor (or Labour, as Canadians spell) Day weekend.

We camped at the Chilko-Taseko Junction Recreation Site, our take-out and camp site. It is where the Taseko River pours bluish white water into the green water of the Chilko. Even in the Google Maps, you can see the magnificent view. (52°00'29.7"N 123°40'42.7"W)

Read More

Deschutes Self Support

By Kanako Iwata-Eng

On August 20, Bill P, Bob S, Mary K, Larry G, Scott S and I launched on the Deschutes River from the Trout Creek Campground, near Maupin, Oregon. We were to boat 42 miles over 3 days. As any other multi-day trips, it took us longer to pack and leave in the first morning. We left the camp around 10 am, and the sun was already high and hot. The river was mostly flat at the beginning but moving pretty fast. We soon started noticing squeaking ospreys and their nests on top of the man-made platforms. Some made a minimal nest on the platform, while some built a gigantic mansion using colorful plastic materials.

Read More

Turn and Shaw Island

By Tina Marie

Mark, Amy and I all camped out at Washington Park Thursday preceding the trip where we watched an amazing sun setting over the San Juan Islands. Friday we launched near the Lopez Village on the end of the ebb. We crossed over San Juan channel to Turn Island were we camped at site 4.

Read More

Cispus River: Kayak Camping Adventure, Self-Support Primer Trip

By Erika Baxter and Michael Deckert

Rain poured down. Darkening skies beat back against an optimistic forecast for a sunny day and a drying trend in the weather. The steady drumbeat of rain on the windshieldsounded like a winter rain settling in for a prolonged period of liquid sunshine.

Read More


By Kanako Iwata-Eng

On the misty morning of Sunday, May 26, 2019, Jim H and I started scouting the Chiwaukum Creek, near Leavenworth. Camping at the Chiwaukum Creek Trailhead the night before, we were tempted to run the small creek not listed in the Bennett book or the American Whitewater website. Walking up a little, there was a log jam...

Read More


By Kanako Iwata-Eng

The Jarbidge (a Shoshone word meaning “monster” or “devil”) is a privilege, primarily for self-supporting kayakers with solid paddling skills and willingness to portage fully loaded boats through the land of poison ivy and rattlesnakes. The stunning deep narrow canyon through the Southwestern Idaho desert, combined with the exciting whitewater, made the four-day Jarbidge/Bruneau trip priceless.

Read More

Team Petty Adventure – Statlu Creek & Chehalis River

By Kanako Iwata-Eng

On March 30, 2019, twenty-eight boaters gathered at the Chehalis River Campground in British Columbia. One third of the group was the WKC crew, and the rest were the Vancouver Whitewater Club (VWC), to which I also belong.

Read More

See more trips on theWashington Kayak Club Facebook Page!

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 WKC 2021 Trip Planning Parties

'Tis the season to start thinking about 2021 kayaking trips.  What would you like to see on the calendar next season for sea and whitewater kayaking trips?  Do you have a favorite trip you would like to see included, or lead, or imagine would be cool to join if someone else led?  We are looking for ideas for the upcoming trip planning parties.  Send along suggestions to and we will get the 2020 list started.

Whitewater Trip Planning Party

When: TBD 
Where:Paddle will be at a class 2/2+ which is TBD for conditions & party afterwards will be at Jenefer and Bram's in Preston

Register Here
Sea Kayak Trip Planning Party

Jan date TBA! 
Check back for registration details.

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
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