“Even the shortest journeys by kayak are true voyages of discovery. It may be along a familiar bit of tree-lined coast or in and out of the jetties and moorings of some seaport town or city. Wherever it may be, you will see the world, your companions, and yourself from a completely different angle; and if you are like me, it will be an experience that never becomes jaded…
…Most of your kayaking may be done as part of coastal touring or as island hopping trips in areas familiar to you. Once in a while, however, you may be driven by a mixture of curiosity and a sense of adventure to transport your seaworthy little boat to wild, faraway, and unfamiliar coastlines. There you will find that just about anything can happen and usually does.” Derek C. Hutchinson’s Guide to Expedition Kayaking on Sea & Open Water, Third Edition
The best way to prepare for all possible eventualities is to get a kayaking lesson from a properly qualified instructor. This has always been the case but it is even more so now that everyone with a little bit of spare room in their retail space or garage has started selling kayaks. You may have seen kayaks for sale at your local service station or automotive spare parts shop. The problem with this is a lot of the sales people are not experienced paddlers and they cannot give you good advice. The sad result is that you may not only end up with a kayak that is totally inappropriate for your needs; you may have no idea about what is required to stay safe on the water.
Rohan Klopfer and the team at East Coast Kayaking specialise in helping people become better kayakers with a range of courses that have been described as challenging, exciting and heaps of fun. You may think you already have everything under control but as Rohan says “There is a lot to know. Get one thing wrong and the lemons can start to stack up. Ultimately, you can end up paying for it with your life.”
East Coast Kayaking’s popular two day Sea Starter Course is designed to give you the fundamental skills necessary to start sea kayaking safely on protected waters. With its mix of paddle skills, half day guided paddle, and theoretical knowledge, it is a great way to spend a weekend. Their instructor/student ratio is a maximum of 1:6, so you are assured of first class tuition and service. The course is designed for beginner to intermediate paddlers but experienced paddlers also gain a lot from refining and revising their current skills.
At the end of the East Coast Kayaking Sea Starter Course, you will understand:
- how to choose the right boat for your needs;
- sea kayak design and performance;
- fundamental strokes and efficient technique;
- paddling with and without rudders;
- defensive paddling skills;
- self and assisted rescues and recoveries;
- effects of tide and wind;
- basic navigation principles; and
- planning and preparation.
The East Coast Kayaking Sea Starter Course costs $300 per person. That includes the hire of a kayak, accessories, safety gear, and a paddling jacket for the duration of the course. Children under the age of 15 are free but they must paddle a double kayak with an adult. At the conclusion of the course, you will also be entitled to four hours of FREE sea kayak hire to be used in a single session. This is great opportunity to hone and consolidate your new skills.
For more information about the Sea Starter Course or to make a booking, please go to the East Coast Kayaking website.