canoe/kayak instruction

I have a new Native Watercraft Ultimate 14 and I have taken it out multiple times the last few months on local lakes and on the intracoastal waterway and lagoons near Perdido Key, FL. I grew up sailing on the Chesapeake Bay, and I am very cognizant of safety issues and not getting myself into trouble, especially at the coast. I want to take a class, but I am not really sure where to start. My kayak is really more of a canoe/kayak hybrid, but the initial searching that I have done here near Athens, GA and at the GA coast has turned up kayak specific instruction that would be more pertinent for a person interested in true sea kayaking or white water kayaking. Would the ACA/BCU based instruction have classes applicable to my type of craft and my planned type of kayaking (i.e. flat water, slow rivers, and coastal “backcountry”; no plans for open water or whitewater at this point)?

thanks for your help,


Others may disgree, but you probably
want instruction from someone familiar with canoes and canoe safety. Native may call the Ultimate a kayak, but it looks and paddles like a canoe. It has the same safety and re-entry issues as a canoe.

Things to think about

– Last Updated: Aug-16-08 9:05 PM EST –

If you are going to be using a double-bladed paddle you likely want to stay with "kayak instruction" since canoe instruction is usually single blade oriented. I think you might want to find a course geared for sit-on-top kayaks. I know that sounds odd, but in the Ultimate you will not be able to do the kinds of edging and bracing that paddlers in SINKs can do. However, you will be in basically the same seating and body control position as most SOT paddlers.

Look into the ACA courses. I think they have a course for SOT paddlers. If not listed that way, one of their "Introduction to Kayaking" courses is often recommended to SOT paddlers in my area.

I agree with the other post that you may need to take a canoe oriented course to get an idea on the safety issues involved with the Ultimate.

Good luck.


You might just need
the advice of a veteran paddler.

Paddlin’ ain’t rocket science.

Paddlin’ on


Don’t know what boat it is, but
if it is a canoe, then just get a canoe paddle.

Go out yourself in some protected place like a small pond and teach yourself like the majority of beginning canoe and kayak paddlers do.

Pick up a basic canoe book and then the more you learn, the more you can ask.

Each time you meet a fellow paddler; pick their brain.

Before you know it you’ll be a “intermediate” like the rest of us.

If you meet up with someone calling them self a “expert” make sure you shy away from them. They generally are BS artists.



It’s a bit further but…
you should consider the East Coast Canoe and Kayak Festival in Charleston, S.C. Great instructors. The website is:

on the other hand
you can find a reputable instructor and take a lesson from him/her—best bet is to check out your local YMCA