Paddling School in VA

Hi -

I am looking for some instruction on sea/touring kayaking in Virginia. Preferably anything L2 and up (basic rescue, open water, navigation etc). I’m having a hard time finding a company that offers all those courses. I contacted CKAPCO, but had no luck with anyone returning calls or e-mails.

Does anybody have any suggestions?

Thanks and Happy Paddling

Boating Safety

The US Coast Guard, that’s a great idea!

Where in Virginia?
Bay Trails, Matthews VA., , Atlantic Kayaks, Alexandria, VA., Chesapeake Paddlers Association in the Northern VA, MD and Wash. DC area.

Just a thought - Mark

check the appomatox website
for special events. you just missed one in the tidewater area.

Wild River Outfitters
If you’re in Southeast VA check out Wild River Outfitters Touring Company – They have a bunch of classes all season, including open water, surf zone strategies, navigation, etc.

Some additional inputs
Potomac Paddlesports offers a comprehensive package but a bit expensive.

These guys offer the different ACA levels you were asking about - note they are out of Maryland but say they will offer courses in the Chesapeake in VA if enough people are interested. Depending on dates I wouldn’t mind taking some of their courses too.

You might also check out some of the outdoor wilderness instructor schools for training.

paddle safe


Adventure Challenge in Richmond
Adventure Challenge in Richmond had a sea kayak programm, but they have cut back. They have “light” white water courses. I called them (804-276-7600). They told me that they will be happy to refer you to sources in the area, including a county program. I took an excellent course with them, and the instructor was an elementary school teacher in Charlottesville. She was great, and maybe Adventure Challenge can give you her name.

Thanks to everyone
These are all great suggestions. I appreciate the input.

Off I go to call some of these places

Adventure Challenge
Adventure Challenge offers some great intro to Whitewater classes. A lot of it focuses on safety and rescue, so not so bad for the sea kayaker either. The only catch is that they only allow you to bring your own boat if it’s a whitewater boat.

However, the very helpful person I spoke to, directed me to Chesterfield County Parks and Rec, they have some intro to Touring Kayaking. It’s also very reasonably priced. It’s probably too basic for my needs, but I thought I’d pass it along as a resource for fellow Central VA paddlers.