Course Details

Sea Kayak Surfing

Surfing sea kayaks is incredibly fun, and even more so we you can stay in control and surf the wave, rather than being surfed.  Our sea kayak surfing classes teach you how to identify and select the right wave in the lineup, positioning on the wave and boat/body/paddle inputs that result in maximum control.  If you want to look graceful and in control while surfing sea kayaks, this is the course for you.

L-4 Open Water Skills

Transition your flat water and intermediate paddling skills to open water environments.  We’ll teach you boat control skills, awareness, the ability read conditions and adapt to changing environments, and most of all, how to be safe and have fun in open water conditions.

Tidal Currents

Tide races, wave trains, eddies and more are a key part of paddling in tidal currents and areas where there is a lot of water moving around or between bottom and land features.  This course gives you the fundamental knowledge to understand and predict how the surface conditions change based on tides and currents, and also the kayaking skills to paddle safely in areas of strong current and serious consequences.


The L-5 Advanced Open Water instructor certification is the highest coastal kayaking certification available for ACA instructors.  It’s a pretty big step up from L-4 instructor status.  Venue requirements are higher, So a bigger bag of trick is needed in your coaching toolbox to keep higher level students engaged in a range of conditions. When conditions are significant enough to compromise communication, coaching may become more like managing a learning experience than anything resembling instruction. Leadership decision making becomes even more important.   If you’re ready to challenge yourself and teach students in advanced conditions, inquire about our L-5 IDW/ICE opportunities.  Note, this is a serious award for instructors with bomber skills and significant teaching experience.

The Fine Print

Insurance and liability for courses:

SKUSA works within the American Canoe Association guidelines for specific course insurance. This insurance provides third party liability coverage for participants as well as for the coaching staff employed. You’ll need to be an ACA member or pay $5.00 for a temporary membership on each course taken.

Sea kayaking can be dangerous. You must be willing in all ways to accept responsibility for your decision to participate (physically, emotionally and financially).  We care about your safety. We want to help you maintain it and to assist you in learning how to manage risk on your own, when we’re not there. However, risk managed is still risk. We can do a lot to reduce the odds, but we can never eliminate the possibility of mishap. If that’s a possibility that you’re not ready to accept and take personal responsibility for, then you should delay your participation until such time as you are.


Bookings and Refunds

Many if not all of the programs we run have minimum and maximum participant requirements for ACA certification. Housing must be rented, boats and coaches committed. Other participants have to schedule time off and commit to travel expenses. Air fare deals are often best when purchased further out. All of this shapes our policy of requiring early payment and almost no refunds. Our standard is 20% non-refundable to reserve a slot, with the rest due six weeks out. We will refund your entire amount if we have to cancel (due to insufficient commitments for the course to make). In the event of a Hurricane or other disaster, acts of terrorism, transit strikes etc., we’ll most likely offer a re-do at a future time, but we will have had housing, visiting coach costs etc., to cover ourselves. To cover your lost travel costs, such as of air fare, we strongly suggest trip insurance policies. Our experience has been that they are cost effective and reliable.