Sea Kayak: Courses & Workshops

Please note: You must be a current VCKC member in order to participate in any courses or workshops. If you are not a member, you can join online by clicking the Join Us button in the blue header at the top of this page.  

Courses dates  are published on the main VCKC club calendar and on the Kayak Events page calendar. You can also check out the club newsletter to find out about upcoming courses and workshops.

Paddle Canada Courses

 Basic Kayak Skills
Introduction to Kayaking introduces the novice to paddling a kayak in calm, sheltered water. Rescue techniques at this level incorporate the use of a paddling partner and it is essential for all Intro to Kayaking certified paddlers to travel on the water with others who have been trained in the techniques of assisted rescues.
Prerequisites: None.

 Kayaking Level 1
Level 1 provides the skill and knowledge for day long sea kayaking trips in sheltered waters (non-wilderness areas). Successful completion of Level 1 indicates competence to paddle a sea kayak within a sheltered bay in the company of one or more paddlers with Level 1 or greater skill and knowledge.
Prerequisites: Introduction to Kayaking skills or equivalent.

For information on Paddle Canada course content, please go to Paddle Canada's website and review Sea Kayak courses. 

Requirements for Training/Assessment/Participation in VCKC Courses, Workshops and Clinics:

Kayaks: Sea kayaks will be used. Kayaks must have sufficient reserve buoyancy to remain afloat and be re-entered by the paddler after a capsize and exit. You are responsible for arranging for a kayak to use during the course, either your own kayak or a loaner from a friend or the club.  You can  book a club kayak here 

If you own a kayak it is recommended that you use your kayak to gain familiarity as you learn the skills. Club kayaks are available for  course and often all 6 kayaks are used as newcomers have not yet purchased a kayak. It is also recommended that you purchase and use your own PFD, however, you may want to wait until after taking the Basic Skills Course.

Equipment: Kayak, paddle, sprayskirt, personal floatation device (PFD), sound signal (whistle), bailing device and throw rope.  If you have booked a club kayak, a paddle and all safety gear (PFD's, etc) will be provided.

Clothing: Clothing suitable for immersion (you must have a drysuit or farmer john/jane wetsuit, with a paddling jacket or dry top or windbreaker).  Both the Basic and Level 1 course includes rescue skills that require you to be in the water. Without immersion gear  you may get too cold and may not be able to complete the course.

Workshops - We offer workshops/clinics on such topics as rescues, stroke technique, braces, rolling, currents, tides, navigation, chart reading and marine weather.  These clinics are scheduled based on interest from members.  If there is a workshop/clinic you would like to see happen, please contact the program director by email here


How to Register - for courses and workshops.  Courses/workshops are open to VCKC members only.

 A master list of members interested in kayak courses is maintained by the director or designate. This list is used to ensure that courses are offered according to the date that members register on the master list and/or complete each course. Members will be preregistered when a course is scheduled and a pending email sent out.  The member then has the option to confirm the registration by paying the invoice. A waitlist is also created for each course and when members withdraw the spot is offered to the next candidate automatically. Each year an email will go out to members who have indicated kayaking as an interest area to provide the opportunity for members to update their information.

One week prior to a course open registration will be supported if the course is not full.  To register simply click on the calendar item to review the course description, then use the Register link to register and pay online.    

Suggested Clothing Options - for courses and workshops

- Farmer John/Jane wet suit or dry suit
- Paddling jacket or dry top or rain jacket (to wear over wet suit)
- Polypropylene underwear - wicks moisture away from skin (to wear under dry suit)
- Light weight and medium weight fleece tops (for layering if temperature changes)
- Neoprene booties
- Teva style sandals with wool socks
- Aqua socks with wool socks
- Fleece or wool toque
- Rain hat and rain pants
- Neoprene gloves or old ski gloves
- Nose plug
- Swimming goggles
- Shorts and T-Shirt over bathing suit (for swimming pool)

NOTE:  You will be practising rescue techniques in the water for Paddle Canada courses.  This means you will get wet!  Therefore, a wetsuit or dry suit is required.  If you don't have a wetsuit please  borrow or rent one.  Otherwise, you may get too cold and may not be able to complete the course.

Wetsuits are available to rent from Sports Rent:  250-385-7368 http://www.sportsrentbc.com/


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