The Chesapeake Paddlers Association has over 600 members and is primarily a sea kayaking club. Our training sessions are open to everyone and all kinds of boats, however, we do not supply boats or equipment. The ones that are not free are run at cost (all cancelled this year after our introductory SK101 classroom course in early March due to the pandemic). We have made several attempts in the past to open up to people with rec and other types of boats, but could never get enough people to form a critical mass to be self sustaining. We finally decided to stick with sea kayaks. For beginning sea kayakers we are more than willing to accommodate them and offer informal training at most of our weekday weekly gatherings and other trips. Again, in a normal year.
We are an all volunteer non-profit. Unfortunately, people have only so much free time and our trip leaders find it hard to devote themselves to paddles that would be often limited to very short distances, a relatively slow pace, and limited to protected water to accommodate the limitations of many boats that are not sea kayaks. To run a trip safely you have to limit it to the lowest common denominator. My wife and I have led several beginner trips on local reservoirs that we had to limit to 5 miles or less. These were open to any boat as long as it had adequate flotation and the people agreed to wear a PFD with a whistle.
While, in a normal year, we have a couple of people that may run a true beginners trip, these are few and far in between. It’s unfortunate that owners of rec and similar boats had not gotten together to start a Meetup or other group more geared to their needs.