Kayak Instruction at Southeast Sea Kayaks

Learn from the experts. Greg Thomas has been teaching kayaking in Ketchikan for over 20 years.

Whether you are an experienced kayaker looking to brush up on rescues or a novice paddler hoping to gain new skills, Southeast Sea Kayaks' small classes are designed to teach the essential skills for paddling safely in Southeast Alaska. 

Self-Rescue Pool Session

$60 per person

Quick start your kayaking season with self-rescue practice in the pool. This class covers the basics that anyone should know before venturing out on the waters of Southeast Alaska. The first hour is theory: we will cover setting up your kayak, safety equipment, paddle technique and posture. The second hour will be spent in the pool practicing self-rescue techniques including cowboy rescue, paddle float rescue and, if time allows, assisted T Rescues.


We provide kayaks, paddles, spray-skirts and life-jackets. Please wear a bathing suit and bring a towel. Goggles are also helpful if you have them or can be borrowed at the pool.

Who should take the pool session? 

Anyone who is interested in kayaking is welcome. The pool is a great place to practice and learn without worrying about wearing dry-suits and the cold ocean.    

Lessons include time learning theory and on water practice.


Sea Kayaking Basics & Self-Rescue

5 hours

$119 per person - 2016 dates TBA

Too many people venture out in kayaks on the ocean in Alaska without knowing what to do if they capsize. Suit up in a cozy Kokatat dry suit and learn the essential skills for sea kayaking here in Southeast Alaska. Our goal for the basic lesson is to make sure that every participant becomes competent in at least one self or assisted rescue technique. We won't learn to eskimo roll in this lesson but we will learn wet exit and re-entry techniques including a scramble rescue, paddle float rescue and assisted t-rescue. We also practice getting in and out of kayaks from docks and beaches and work on improving our forward and reverse strokes.

We wear Kokatat dry-suits for our lessons on the ocean.


Lessons can be scheduled most Saturdays during the summer. We need a group of at least 4 to run a lesson. Call or email us to sign up. Participants must wear warm layers: dry-suits keep you dry but do not add any warmth. We recommend long underwear, a mid layer and a fleece layer to wear under our dry-suits. Please bring a water bottle, snack and a towel (your head and hair will get wet), a beanie is also helpful.

Who should take the basics lesson?

Our basics lesson is designed for anyone with good physical fitness who has kayaked at least once or twice before. If you have never kayaked, we recommend that you attend a few Locals Paddles or Diva Paddles before taking the lesson. The basics lesson is also suitable for experienced paddlers who need to brush up on self-rescue skills or have never practiced rescues in cold water. Lesson groups are small and we try to group together paddlers of similar abilities. Due to size restrictions on our dry-suits, we have a weight limit of 225lbs for our lessons. Even in dry-suits, practicing rescues in cold water can be physically demanding if you have questions about your ability to participate, please call or email us. 


Practicing bracing and wet exits.