teaching a Grand Marais kayaking lesson

We offer two introductory sea kayaking courses in Grand Marais, Minnesota. Level 1: Introduction to Kayak focuses on getting you up to speed with the basics of kayaking, whether in a recreational kayak or sea kayak. Level 2: Essential of Coastal Kayaking concentrates on the sea kayaking side of kayaking. These kayaking classes are taught by an American Canoe Association-certified coastal kayaking instructor with a minimum of two years and 1,000 miles of kayaking experience on the Great Lakes or the oceans. Our Level 1 & 2 courses take place on an inland lake near Grand Marais. Usually we use Devil Track Lake, but the location can vary based on the weather conditions.

For those interested in learning to safely kayak on Lake Superior, you have the option of doing a Level 2 course in the Grand Marais harbor and surrounding area. We provide wetsuits if you don’t own one, but we highly recommend that you buy at least a drytop before attending a Level 2 course on the big lake. Ask about this option when you book your kayaking lesson.

Description – Introduction to Kayaking Level 1

Introduction to Kayaking is a six hour course focusing on skills needed for any type of kayak. Presentations include dressing to paddle safely and potential paddling hazards. Simple rescues are demonstrated by the instructor. Students learn and practice paddling skills needed to maneuver safely and comfortably on still water.

This course is conducted on flat water and is applicable to all types of kayaks including sea kayaks, recreational and sit-on-top kayaks.

Course Outline: Introduction to Kayaking

Description – Essential of Coastal Kayaking Level 2

Essentials of Coastal Kayaking is an eight-hour course focused on learning to travel safely and efficiently by sea kayak. Students learn basic paddling strokes and maneuvering skills. And, there is more emphasis on practicing a simple rescue sequences, use of a compass (safety bearing), rules for paddling in channels with and without boat traffic, use of VHF radio and weather radio and other emergency equipment. The graduates should stay within swimming distance of shore in areas with minimal wind, waves, or current conditions. If you need an ACA card to prove you’ve taken the course, we can provide.

Course Outline: Essentials of Kayak Touring Class

American Canoe Association Level 1 and Level 2 Assessments

ACA Assessment courses are a tool to give you a clear idea of the progression of your skill development, and to provide evidence of your skill level — this is useful when signing up for guided trips or for determining whether or not you’re ready for a specific level of trip, i.e. some of our trips require Level 2 or 3 assessments or the equivalent. Before you assess, you need to be sure that you’re competent in all the skills listed on the assessment outline, which usually means having taken the corresponding level course and having practiced those skills outside the course. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to take a course and then immediately pass an assessment, unless you had prior skills and experience. Taking an assessment does not guarantee that you will pass. If you plan on doing an assessment, it’s best to put together and action plan with your instructor after you take the corresponding level course.

Upon successful completion of an assessment, we’ll submit the paperwork and you will receive official documentation of your level of skill from the ACA National Office.

Note: To receive Skills Assessment documentation, you must be a current ACA member.

2 to 5 people: $150 per person

Time: 9am to 3pm (6 hours)
Age limit: 13 and up. Must be 100 lbs.
Skill level: Beginners welcome.
Instructor to student ratio: 1:5 maximum.
Where to meet: Devil Track Lake.
Reservations: Advanced reservation and payment required.
The weather in the northland is dynamic, and if our guides determine it’s too bad, we will change locations or reschedule the class.

By arrangement. Call for availability.

We provide the follow equipment for our sea kayaking courses.

  • Kayak
  • Sprayskirt
  • Paddle float
  • Pump
  • Stirrup
  • Sample items such as tow ropes, strobes, VHF radio, flares and other safety items.

If you’d like to use your own equipment, please, discuss this when you make your reservation.