*Free* resources for learning?

Being new to kayaking (interested in both WW and Sea) I have been looking for ways to learn.

Taking a class is probably the fastest way to do it, but time and $$$ constraints come into play. Plus, there are + and - to learning on my own before taking a class.

So, I’ve come across several books, DVDs, and web resources. I’d appreciate if folks can post some of their own “finds”.

From local library (may need to come back and update the titles for correctness - my memory may be playing trics on me):

  • The Kayaker’s Toolbox. DVD. Beginner to intermediate instructional video covering the basics thru rolls & simple rescues.

  • The Kayaker’s Companion. Book. Some sea kayaking advice and an entertaining read. More what not to do rather than what to do and he’s omitting a lot of stuff that should have been included IMO but still valuable info in there.

  • The Animated Kayaker’s (?) Guide. Book. I think this should be a mandatory reading for WW paddlers. WW technique and very good intermediate and advanced advice (paddling, water reading, rescue, safety, hydraulics, etc.). Indeed animated with lots of facts and tons of illustration - more than text it feels!

  • The series of short one-pagers with photos by Alex Matthews. Use the pull-down to go thru the articles on braces and turns. http://www.neckykayaks.com/kayaking_adventures/paddle_with_pros/articles/high_brace_lean.shtml

  • QCC kayaks actually has some articles on their site that I found useful as well. Rolling for instance. Starts here, keep clicking “Next”: http://www.qcckayaks.com/resources/roll_intro.asp

    So, what do you got to share? My immediate desire is to learn to brace, roll, turn with edging, ride waves - that’s how I found the above link after some searching the web…

Find a local club.

Some are free. Some may have a small membership fee.

You’ll meet people of various skill levels, and varying degrees of helpfulness.

On the web, Wayne Horodowich has posted dozens of great instructional articles (with pictures) at http://www.useakayak.org.

Go to the “USK Library Page” and then to topics such as “capsize recoveries”, “bracing”, “surf and the surf zone”, each with many different articles about techniques.

It’s no substitute for getting out with a club, but if you have to start learning by playing around in your boat on your own, it’s a great free resource. And always a good break for browsing when you’re stuck at work.




Some articles
I have some articles on my site here:


Join an active club. I think over the years I learned more from other paddlers than I ever learned from lessons. You’re on the right track. Read my article “good skills take time” .

Great ideas!
Going thru them as time allows. It is interesting that many of the hints that are for instance in the forward stroke article here http://www.atlantickayaktours.com/pages/expertcenter/propulsion/forward-discovery/Forward-Discovery-1.shtml I’ve already begun to notice on my own and work on them. Think of it, most are common sense, but having someone hint you about what to look for is priceless and saves a lot of time.