HOW TO BOOK A LESSON
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KAYAK & PADDLEBOARD LESSONS
Portland Paddle offers kayak and SUP classes for all skill levels, from complete beginners to experienced paddlers who'd like to master a roll or learn to surf a kayak. All courses are taught by American Canoe Association-certified instructors who are also Registered Maine Guides. Rates include use of a kayak or SUP and all necessary gear, but you are also welcome to bring your own.
Intro to Sea Kayaking
3 hours. 9:30 -12:30, Saturdays
This three-hour lesson is the course to take if you are new to sea kayaking and are thinking about getting into the sport. You will learn all the basics of sea kayaking and leave with the skills and knowledge needed to kayak safely on protected seas with other paddlers. We'll start onshore with a brief talk about boats and gear, and then we'll fit our kayaks and head onto the water to learn the essential strokes of the sport. We'll take a brief paddle around the bay and practice strategies for safe paddling in open waters. Your instructor will customize the lesson to work with each students' goals, experience level and interests. This course typically has six or fewer students. $48
Intro to Stand-Up Paddleboarding
8:30 - 10:30, Saturdays & Sundays at the East End Beach
ALSO offered at 1:00 PM on Sundays at Riverbank Park in Westbrook
This two-hour course teaches you the basics of stand-up paddleboarding, a fun sport that's great both for exploring waterways and getting a core workout. We'll start on shore learning proper paddle grip, paddling posture and techniques for getting on and off a paddleboard (usually referred to as SUP). Once we're on the water, we'll cover board balance and strokes that help you move swiftly and maneuver effectively. We'll also go for a brief paddle. Once you've completed this course, you'll be prepared to confidently venture out onto Casco Bay -- or a lake or river -- on a SUP. Please visit this page if you would like to book a lesson on the Presumpscot River in Westbrook. $45
Portland Adult Education courses
We are offering three multi-session courses this year through Portland Adult Education: one in sea kayaking, another in paddleboarding and another in SUP yoga. Read this blog post for more information.
SEA Kayak Rescue Clinic
3 hours. 10:00 - 1:00, Sundays
(Skills taught in this course required for rentals)
Getting back into a kayak after a capsize is more difficult than you might expect -- but only if you're not prepared. That why it's important to be familiar with some techniques that enable you to rescue yourself and fellow paddlers if someone accidentally goes for a swim. This course, for kayakers of all skill levels, will give you a chance to learn and practice some of the most tried and true kayak rescues. Portland Paddle (and most outfitters in the U.S. and Canada) will require you to have the skills taught in this course before letting you rent a sea kayak for use on the ocean. The course is focused on rescue techniques, but you'll also have opportunities to work with your instructor on other paddling skills and knowledge. As with all our courses, your instructor will customize the course to meet with each student's goals and interests. Wetsuits and all necessary gear are provided. Plan to get wet! $48
Go to our SUP Yoga page for more details.
INTERMEDIATE TO ADVANCED LESSONS
These courses are open to any paddlers looking to build on skills they've developed on their own or through other lessons.
Bracing & Edging
2-3 hours. Saturdays, 3:00-6:00 PM.
Sea kayaks can be incredibly agile, swift and responsive when they are used with proper technique. This course, designed for intermediate paddlers with basic rescue experience, introduces techniques such as bracing, edging and sculling. You'll learn to have greater control of your kayak and you'll become much more prepared for paddling in strong winds and large waves. This course, which usually has five or less students, is taught by Portland Paddle's most experienced ACA-certified instructors. Your instructor will also provide opportunities for you to learn about other advanced paddling skills. $52
2-3 hours. Sundays 2:00 - 5:00.
This course will teach you how to roll a kayak -- an invaluable safety skill that's also endlessly fun. We'll spend most of the time in the water mastering a series of techniques that will lead to an actual attempt at the roll. If you haven't rolled by the end of the course, you'll leave knowing what you need to do to get there. This course, which usually has five or less students, is taught by Portland Paddle's most experienced ACA-certified instructors. $52
Our expert instructors are available for private lessons. A two-hour lesson, which tends to be the best length for many students, costs $95 for one student. Please call us to learn about rates for lessons with different lengths and more than one student. Our kayaking and SUP instructors are qualified to teach lessons covering a wide range of paddling knowledge -- from advanced skills like surfing and seamanship to more basic skills like how to choose the right vessel and how to turn your boat or board effectively. We love sharing our knowledge of paddling and working individually with students to progress their skills.