Why Should I Take a Kayak Class?


As a young paddler, I didn't think much about paddling technique. I wanted to get on the water... so I did. I ventured out without planning and I unintentionally put myself in many dangerous situations. While getting trained to be a kayak instructor, some of what I had learned was “unlearning.” I realized that I had formed some bad habits over time while trying to develop more advanced skills and techniques. Taking a kayak class will help to build a good foundation of proper-form that will keep paddlers paddling for years to come and without injury.

Our Approach to Learning:


Statistics show that we retain little of what we hear and see and much more of what we do and discover for ourselves. Kayak classes with Colson Kayak are designed not only to give you valuable information about how to be safe on the water but to guide you in building muscle memory and discovering which techniques to use in various conditions. We at Colson Kayak instruct classes in such a way that incorporates more of your senses to ensure that we accommodate how people learn best. Not everybody learns best by seeing, hearing or doing -alone. Colson Kayak employs an all-encompassing approach to help paddlers hear, see, and feel so that padders can discover proper techniques to ensure that the information given can provide the most benefit to the paddler.


Some of the Specific Skills Taught




Back (stopping)  

Draw  Sculling draw/brace  

Sweep (including Stern Draw)  

Reverse Sweep  


Low brace to avoid capsize



Spin: boat pivots in place  

Abeam: boat moves sideways without headway  

Forward: boat goes forward in a reasonably straight line  

Stopping: boat stops within a reasonable distance


Controlled capsize / wet exit
Swim the boat to shore (short distance)
Emptying a kayak

Deepwater exit/re-entry
Assisted Rescues
- Reenter & Pump
- T / X-rescue


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