Golden Gate Kayaking
Whether you’re looking to take your first kayaking class or looking to take your skills to the next level, Golden Gate Kayaking believes in tailoring instruction to the individual paddler. We offer introductory courses to get you started in sea kayaking, additional courses to get you out paddling on the bay and ocean with confidence, British Canoe Union trainings and assessments to help you build a strong foundation of skills that can be used on the calmest of lakes or wildest of seas, and rolling lessons to give you the ultimate self-rescue on the sea or in whitewater. Don’t see what you’re looking for below? Golden Gate Kayaking also provides customized instruction for individuals and small groups.
This class will introduce you to the basic skills necessary to paddle efficiently, be safe, and have fun in a closed-deck (“sit-inside”) sea kayak. If you’ve never been in a kayak before or if you’ve never had formal instruction in a closed-deck boat, this is the class for you! Our 5:1 student/instructor ratio is among the lowest in the Bay Area for an introductory class and ensures that you receive plenty of individual attention.
BSK covers sea kayaking equipment, the basic strokes, balancing, and edging. We’ll also practice wet exits and solo and assisted recoveries (or “what do I do if my kayak capsizes?”). Upon successful completion of this class, you’ll be qualified to rent closed-deck sea kayaks from most Bay Area outfitters.
Looking to move your boat more confidently when conditions call for it? If you've had your hands full dealing with wind, waves, and rocks, or if you're looking to get into more dynamic conditions, this half-day clinic will give you the chance to perfect strokes and maneuvers in flat water. We'll work on coordinating edging with the basic strokes as well as expanding your repertoire of strokes to make the kayak move any way you want.
Prerequisites: BSK I or instructor approval.
Tide, current, wind, swell, and lumpy water—it’s all a part of paddling where the bay meets the ocean. You’ll take your existing skills and apply them in the dynamic waters near the Golden Gate Bridge. Not only will you learn to deal with the conditions of the area, but you’ll also discover how to make various water features work for you to make paddling more efficient and fun.
Topics covered on the conditions of the day and often include reading tide charts, simple navigation, entering and exiting currents, eddy-hopping, ferry gliding, maneuvering in waves and swell, paddling near rocks, handling following seas, and bracing and recoveries in rough water.
Northern California has hundreds of miles of dramatic coastline waiting to be explored by kayak. The only thing standing in the way is the surf zone. In this class, you’ll learn how to get through the surf so you can get out there. We’ll look at reading the waves, timing launchings and landings, “punching out” through breaking waves, and bracing and sidesurfing for the ride back to shore. Not only will strong surf zone skills make you a more confident coastal paddler, but they’ll also help you handle rough water.
Prerequisites: BSK II or instructor approval.
Just inside the northern end of the Golden Gate lies Yellow Bluff. The current, wind, incoming swell, and natural features of the area combine to make this the ultimate rough-water training ground in the Bay Area. We'll get acquainted with the area around slack and practice entering and exiting the current while it's still mellow. As the current builds, we'll get into bracing and maneuvering in the tidal race, as well as rough water rescues. And when things really get cooking, we'll work on the boat control skills necessary to surf the standing waves that form in the race.
Eskimo Rolling (for both whitewater and sea kayakers)
Rolling is not only an essential skill for whitewater boaters, but it's also an extremely useful and overlooked skill for sea kayakers. As a self-rescue, the roll only takes a couple seconds compared to a minute or two of being in the water for other types of recoveries. In surf and rock gardens the roll becomes essential as traditional recoveries can sometimes be difficult or even dangerous depending on conditions. And even if you don’t imagine yourself being in conditions that require a roll, having one increases your confidence in the kayak, allowing you to edge and brace further than you thought possible!
What could be better than being able to roll? How about never having to! Come and develop the fundamental bracing skills in the comfort of a heated pool. We'll work on the "hip flick", reflex bracing, safe paddle positions for low and high braces, as well as sculling for support. This bracing clinic is a great first step before learning to roll, or if you're already working on a roll, the solid bracing skills you'll develop will help make it bombproof!
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