QUICK-START YOUR KAYAK (SAMPLE SKILLS COURSE)

Course Overview:
The Quickstart Your Kayak workshop is a brief introduction to paddling a kayak.
Students are presented with basic information on dressing to paddle safely and potential hazards and simple rescues. A minimal paddle skill set is presented and practiced, allowing students to safely and comfortably maneuver on still water.

Course Objectives:
To make available a short program emphasizing safety, enjoyment and skill acquisition for entry level
paddlers.

Essential Eligibility Criteria (EEC):
ACA courses are open to all individuals who acknowledge the ability to perform the following essential
eligibility criteria.

1. Breathe independently (i.e., not require medical devices to sustain breathing)
2. Independently maintain sealed airway passages while under water
3. Independently hold head upright without neck / head support
4. Manage personal care independently or with assistance of a companion
5. Manage personal mobility independently or with a reasonable
amount of assistance
6. Follow instructions and effectively communicate independently or with assistance of a companion
7. Independently turn from face-down to face-up and remain floating face up while wearing a properly fitted life jacket*
8. Get in / out of a paddlecraft independently or with a reasonable amount of assistance*
9. Independently get out and from under a capsized paddlecraft*
10. Reenter the paddlecraft following deep water capsize independently or with a reasonable amount of
assistance*
11. Maintain a safe body position while attempting skills, activities and rescues listed in the appropriate Course Outline, and have the ability to recognize and identify to others when such efforts would be unsafe given your personal situation*
* To participate in adaptive programs, participants must acknowledge only the first six EEC listed above.

Entry-level adaptive programs will involve teaching and practicing EEC #7-11.

Course Prerequisites:
None
Instructors: ACA Level 1: Introduction to Kayak Instructor (or higher)

Course Duration: Three hours or more at instructor’s discretion
Course Location / Venue: Calm, flat water, protected from wind, waves and outside boat traffic, with no
apparent current and within swimming distance of shore.
Class Ratio -5 students: 1 Instructor; with an additional instructor or qualified assistant the ratio can be 10 : 2

Succeeding courses: 
Level 1: Introduction to Kayaking
Level 2: Essentials of River Kayaking
Level 2: Essentials of Kayak Touring
The following is a general summary of course content for the
Quickstart Your Kayak course. The content covered and sequence of instruction should be adjusted to best fit the participant’s needs, class location and time allowance.
Note: Use of sprayskirts is not part of the QuickStart Your Kayak Curriculum

Course Content 

Introduction, Expectations, & Logistics:

  • Welcome, introductions, paperwork
  • Student & instructor course expectations and limitations
  • Course itinerary & site logistics
  • Review waiver, assumption of risk, challenge by choice, medical disclosure
  • About the ACA
  • PFD policy (always wear on water)
  • Appropriate personal behavior
  • No alcohol / substance abuse
  • Proper etiquette on & off the water
  • Respect private property
  • Practice Leave No Trace ethics

The Paddling Environment:

  • Wind
  • Waves
  • Weather
  • Water

Personal Preparation:

  • Personal ability
  • Swimming ability
  • Water comfort & confidence
  • Fitness, conditioning, and warm up
  • Safe paddle and boat handling
  • Safety and rescue considerations
  • Personal equipment (reviewed by Instructor)
  • Judgment. In addition to learning hard skills, the importance of developing personal judgment and group responsibility increases on more difficult paddling venues.

Safety & Rescue

  • Life jackets (PFD)
  • Possible Hazards:
  • Current
  • Strainers
  • 3 W’s – wind, waves, weather
  • Cold Water Shock / Hypothermia
  • Help & Huddle, appropriate clothing
  • Hyperthermia -hydrate often and early, appropriate clothing

Note: Please understand that all classes must have a minimum of 3 participants in order to be scheduled. Upon registration you will be contacted by one of our instructors in order to schedule a time and date for your instruction.  However, in the event a class can not be scheduled within the first 30 days of payment, based on our availability (not yours), you will be granted an upgrade to Private Lesson – Quick Start Program at no additional Charge