Alaska Sea Kayaking Season Arrives; Instructional Sessions Announced in Whittier, Alaska

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Introductory and intermediate sea kayaking skills instruction is being offered May 21-22, June 4-5 and June 18-19 in Whittier, Alaska, with the arrival of the sea kayaking season on Prince William Sound. The time is perfect for any kayakers, or aspiring kayakers, to hone or develop their skills

Alaska Sea Kayakers is offering two-day courses in sea kayaking skills in Prince William Sound, Alaska, beginning May 21 to people interested in 'testing the waters' of sea kayaking as well as experienced paddlers looking for some fine tuning of their sea kayaking technique.

Formalized instruction is a resource that can provide adventurers with a great day on the water while improving their skills and knowledge of open water sea kayaking. The primary goal is to maximize enjoyment of sea kayaking in Alaska by aiding in the development of the skills and awareness that make an efficient, safe, and capable paddler. The course offerings teach all skill levels ranging from senior citizens who have never sat in a kayak to strong and experienced sea kayak guides.

Sea kayaking on Alaskan coastal waters can be one the most fulfilling backcountry experiences. Cold water immersion issues, variable wind and weather conditions, significant tidal movements, and hypothermia management are critical issues to be understood prior to any sea kayaking trip on Alaskan waters. Sea kayaking skills instruction will help all paddlers be able to manage the hazards and issues that will be encountered while paddling in Alaska.

The first day of sea kayaking skill instruction will be devoted to general boat control (strokes and maneuvers), safety, hypothermia and clothing, rescues and recoveries, and group awareness. Those skills will be all put together on a day trip around Whittier on the second day. Trip planning, safe carrying, launching and landing, essential gear, effective strokes and maneuvers, safety equipment and procedures, rescues, towing, ocean play, navigation, and more.

Previous sea kayaking experience and confidence in wet exits are desirable, but not essential; the courses are for beginners to advanced sea kayakers. Paddlers should be willing to learn and to get wet (even while wearing a dry suit).

“Your personal skill and knowledge of sea kayaking (equipment, conditions, and skills needed to travel safely) are critical aspects of unsupported sea kayaking trips in any waters,” said Tom Pogson, owner of the Alaska Kayak School in Whittier. Pogson, an American Canoe Association Sea Kayaking Instructor who is certified by the British Canoe Union as a 5-star sea kayaker and a 4-star sea coach, recommends beginners take a class or series of classes taught by professional instructors and then practice in a safe environment.

“The choice of appropriate equipment and the knowledge to use it as well as the development of sound judgment and proficient sea kayaking skills will promote your safety and the safety of your paddling companions," Pogson said.

The sea kayaking classes cost $295 and run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, May 21-22, June 4-5 and June 18-19 at Alaska Sea Kayakers, in Whittier, Alaska.

To register, call Alaska Sea Kayakers, 877-472-2534.


Peter Denmark

Alaska Sea Kayakers - Purveyors of Fine Alaska sea kayaking adventures, Prince William Sound Tours and Alaska sea kayak rentals.

PO Box 729

Whittier AK 99693

(877) 472-2534, toll free

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