Paddling Lessons

Many beginning kayakers have asked how to find paddling lessons in their region, so here’s some references to explore. Whether learning to paddle or refreshing your skills, you can find guidance in your area.

Area 1      AK – AZ – CA – HI – ID – NV – OR – UT – WA 

Area 2      IA – MN – MT – ND – NE – SD – WY

Area 3      AR – CO – KS – LA – MO – NM – OK – TX

Area 4      AL – FL – GA – IL – KY – MI – MS – OH – TN – WI – WV

Area 5      CT – DC – DE – MA – MD – ME – NC – NH – NJ – NY – PA – RI – SC – VA – VT 


Reading Smart-Start-Kayaking.com is like studying a driving manual. Taking kayaking lessons is like the road course portion of driving preparation – you know, to get your feet wet!

Reading about kayaking basics helps you process the “know how”. Kayak lessons help apply your reading and gain “hands on” experience and confidence.

This list is comprised of kayaking schools, kayaking clubs and some recreational equipment or outfitters who offer classes for kayaking beginners. The list is far from complete, there are lots more that can be added. So please, if you know of a location that offers lessons in your area that isn’t listed here, drop a message via “Feed Back”  so it can be included. Thanks.

What’s covered in a kayaking class? Generally, the same topics that are covered in this site (the basics) but, there is no substitute for hands-on experience. You’ll cover getting in and out of your kayak, basic paddling strokes and Kayak self rescue. More advanced classes (after basics) include such topics as weather, navigation and maritime safety.

When looking for a kayaking class, try to find one with a small number of students so you can learn as much as possible.



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