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Introduction to Sea Kayaking Course

5 days Arisaig You choose Group size up to 6

What to Expect A beginner sea kayaking holiday, featuring five full days of kayak trips in the heart of the Highlands. If you are keen to find out what the West Coast of Scotland has to offer then look no further - wild lochs, remote beaches and offshore islands are all there to be explored and we’ll show you how - you’ll learn new skills and journey with a bunch of like-minded adventurers.

Trip Highlights   A five day kayak trip, suitable for beginners, exploring some of the finest coastline around, focusing on journeying and learning skills in sea kayaking.

  • Journey in the Arisaig Skerries, Loch Ailort and Loch Sunart - three classic Scottish sea kayaking destinations.
  • Learn to sea kayak whilst exploring Arisaig coastline
  • An instruction only course - choose accomodation that suits you.

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Dates and Prices

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Course Content

Having Fun! -

An Introduction to sea kayaking course simply wouldn't work if we didn't show you how to have fun in a sea kayak.

We'll complete 5 day trips as part of this course, each day exploring a different part of the coast with new experiences.

Throughout the course we'll aim to work with you as individuals  -

We would usually introduce a new skill or challenge to the whole group, but work with individuals or part of the group to develop things further.

If you simply want to enjoy 5 days of sea kayaking then that's always possible.

Launching, Landing and Basic Control -

We'll show you how to launch and land on almost any coastline without damaging your kayak or falling in!

We'll also begin by showing you some basic strokes to help you control your sea kayak. Over the 5 days we'll help you develop these strokes to make them more powerful and effective and we'll experiment with applying these strokes to different situations and challenges to help you develop control of your sea kayak.

Controlling a Sea Kayak in Wind and Waves -

We'll encounter challenging situations that we'll help you overcome through the right tactics - applying the right strokes at the right time and choosing our route around the coast carefully.

Any challenges we encounter will always be progressive - helping you build confidence is just as important as developing your skill and knowledge.

Tactics for Sea Kayaking -

It's rare to have any 2 days the same on the West Coast of Scotland. We will take full advantage of the different conditions we'll experience over the 5 days and help you develop a better understanding of how to go sea kayaking in different weather and sea conditions.

Most of the learning will come from being transparant and open about our process for choosing where to paddle and if you are really keen to learn then we can involve you in that planning process. Likewise if you want to just concentrate on paddling and let the guide do all the planning then that's no problem!

We won't spend any time in a classroom - we'll get out on the water each day.

What to do if you Capsize -

The word 'rescues' is commonly used to refer to techniques for helping a kayaker back into their kayak if they capsize.

We'll run through a range of rescues and you'll learn that capsizing and swimming is really not anything to be worried about - it can actually be a lot of fun!

You can also learn by watching others and running through things on dry land, so a lot can be gained without swimming, but if you want to be a kayaker then at some point you'll end up swimming!

Progression -

Clients join this course with a diverse range of motivations for taking part and everyone learns at different rates and in different ways.

We don't seek to set out a fixed outcome from an introduction to sea kayaking course - it could be seen as the start of a journey with sea kayaking or it could be a stand alone holiday experience.

We are happy to advise on progression with sea kayaking - equipment choices, how to find paddling partners, how to go about paddling independantly, how to join a club, which expeditions or courses to join next.

Trip Information

Accommodation No accommodation is included. There is a selection of accomodation available in the Arisaig area

Food No food is included.

Start and Finish Meet at Arisaig at 09.30. Trip ends at Arisaig 16.30.

Group Up to 6 people with one guide.

Kit List Our kit list applies to this trip. All specialist kayaking equipment can be provided.

Trip Grade This is trip is open to any level of experience, but is best suited to those who have little or no experience of sea kayaking and want to learn more or just want to experience sea kayak day trips exploring some beautiful coastline. If you have experience in other paddle sports then this trip can also be a good way to convert that knowledge and skill to sea kayaking.

Dates and Prices

Location

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Frequently Asked Questions 

Individuals, couples or small groups of friends.

This trip is suitable for families with kids age 12 and above. Double kayaks can be used or if they have kayak experience or are sporty and confident then it could be possible to paddle single kayaks. Generally single kayaks would be used for kids from roughly age 14 upwards, or whenever they are strong enough to keep up with adults paddling by themselves.

A lot of learning about sea kayaking comes from experience and is best done as individuals on the move and in context. We won't spend time on long instructional briefings or static group skills practice but will give you hints and tips on the journey to make it easier for you and suggest improvements to your technique as we go along. We'll help you develop your knowledge and sea kayak handling skill throughout the trip but also allow plenty of time simply to enjoy the journey and the experience of sea kayaking.

The weather on the West coast of Scotland can vary through the course of the season and from area to area - Scottish islands and coastline can see dramatically better weather and more sunshine than more mountainous areas inland. The wind speed and sea state are the primary factors that affect the trip - if the conditions are difficult then we will seek out a more sheltered section of coast to run the trip. You should note that it is very rare that we have to stay off the water on multi-day trips and the vast majority of trips run as planned. For full terms and conditions see the link below. You can read more about the weather/cancellation/booking on our FAQ page.

Midges are most active during mid summer, although it only takes a light breeze or direct sunlight to keep them away and they don't venture out onto the sea so most of the time they are not something we experience a problem with. However, they can be present in mid-summer in still and overcast conditions so bringing a midge head net and some repellent such as smidge (no DEET products allowed) is a necessary precaution.

A 25% deposit is required at the time of booking, the balance is due 6 weeks prior to the trip, for cancellation policy please see our full terms and conditions.

We have a much larger FAQ page that covers all aspects of sea kayak trips with us.

Other Trips to Consider

Full list - Wilderness coast sea kayaking courses and holidays