Basic Skills Kayak Class 

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The Basic Skills Kayak class establishes the foundation that all paddlers need. In the classroom we discuss paddling safely, local destinations and equipment. On the water, we introduce the basic skills and concepts needed to efficiently move a kayak through the water in every direction. We encourage students to practice a deep water wet exit and an assisted re-entry which is a safety skill every paddler should own!  Don't worry, we provide everything you need to feel warm and comfortable practicing this skill along side a trained professional. Basic Skills Kayak Classes are offered every weekend year round and Thursday through Sunday in the late spring, summer and early fall.

 No previous experience required!

Portland, OR, United States

-Introduction to basic equipment

-Launching and landing from a dock

-Introduction to how body, boat and blade work together

-Basic body mechanics and efficiency of stroke

-Forward and reverse paddling

-Sweep strokes

-Draw strokes

-Turning on the move

-Edging while turning

-Wet exits

-Deep water assisted re-entries



Meeting Place/Directions:
Basic Skills Kayak Classes meet at our Jantzen Beach Store in Portland.
Please arrive 10 minutes early to fill out paper work.

200 NE Tomahawk Isl Dr. Portland, OR 97217

From the south: Take I-5 exit 308 (Jantzen Beach) get in the right lane and go east on Tomahawk Island Drive .7 miles, we are on the right. As you come off the exit the Safeway is on the right and the Chevron is on your left.

From the North: Take I-5 308 (Jantzen beach, the first one in Oregon)get in the left lane off the exit, turn left at the stoplight, follow the road around the bend to the left as it passes under the freeway and comes around so the Safeway is on your left. At the stop sign turn right on Tomahawk Isl Drive and go .6 miles, we are on the right.

If you have any questions about what to bring please contact us.

Call for more information or if you are lost or late!

Portland: 503.285.0464

Customers have the option to use their own gear with approval.  (Boats need to have secure buoyancy in the stern and immersion wear must be worn most of the year). 

If you are un-able to bring the items listed below please let us know as we can provide them if needed.  We typically provide immersion wear in the form of either a neoprene wetsuit or nylon drysuit with latex gasket seals and neoprene boots.  Only in the hottest summer months do we run courses without some form of immersion wear.  The water is cold year round.   

- Sunglasses with retention device (i.e. Croakies, Chums, etc)

- NO COTTON Synthetic top and bottom (thermal underwear, heavier wt. for cooler weather)

- Nylon shorts and/or swimsuit for warmer days

-Hiking style wool or synthetic socks

- Water bottle and small snack (like a power bar...)

- Towel and change of clothes for ride home

Optional Gear:




-River shoes or booties



-PFD's, Life Jacket
-Wet or Dry suit
-Our great instructors!

Gratuity:  It's NEVER expected but always appreciated.  If you feel your coaches / guides have done an exceptional job and made your experience a memorable one, then you can certainly show your appreciation by giving a tip. The amount is totally up to you. Many people believe that anyone in a service type of job (like restaurant and hotel employees, hair dressers and dog groomers, etc.) should get between 10-20% of the total cost of the service. That is not to say that’s what we suggest, but that’s what most people tip when they do tip. So, for instance, if your trip was $200.00, and your guide made your experience a memorable one, a $20-$40 tip would be generous and greatly appreciated!

If your coach / guide was so exceptional that you want him or her to be your guide on all future trips, simply request them at the time you make your reservation.  While we cannot promise he/she will be available, we will do everything in our power to accommodate your request.

-We do not provide food or drink

The Pacific Northwest is a dynamic and often unpredictable environment. All activities are run/fun rain or shine. All programs are conditions dependent and may change at any time at our discretion. In order to keep our programs affordable a minimum number of participants may be required. If we are unable to fill a program to a minimum requirement level we reserve the right to cancel the program. A full refund will be provided in the event of a cancelled or re-scheduled activity upon request. Please allow 48 hour notice for any cancellations or changes in your reservation. Give us a call at 503-285-0464. Cancellations within 48 hours of the program are NOT refundable.  To re-schedule a class you have cancelled within the restricted 48 hour period we will gladly credit you 50% towards the rescheduled class.  Thank you for signing up!  Please let us know if you have questions about this or any other policy here at Alder Creek.