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Washington Kayak Club
Fun and safe kayaking through trips, education, skill development, and conservation


April 2018  Join Our Club
Check out our Facebook Page for additional news, trips, training, and events!

 From the Prez

By Mike Germani
Hope you are all enjoying the spring thaw, carefully watching water levels, avoiding storms, and planning your next kayaking trip.  

While you in the throes of spring cleaning - don't limit this work to your house.  JOIN US this month as we team-up with Washington Recreational River Runners, Trail Paddle Canoe Club, the Nisqually River Council, and other partners, including American Whitewater, American Rivers and more - to clean-up the Nisqually River.  Earn a 7RC sticker while you are at it - stay overnight and play on the water the next day.  

Welcome new members from 2018 Beginner Whitewater Kayaking Class! Hope you enjoy the course.  We look forward to seeing you on the water!

There are more great training opportunities happening this month:

- World-renowned swift-water rescue instructor Casey Garland will teach River Safety and Rescue Course. A great opportunity for whitewater paddlers of all skill levels to learn how to use rope and rescue techniques, and develop trip planning and leadership skills to stay safe in difficult situations.

- Nigel Foster is teaching Kayaking Finesse at Golden Gardens. This is a full day of watching a master teach his craft. Learn how to get the maximum effect from the minimum effort. You will be amazed to learn how to paddle a sea kayak on edge, in circles, backwards, sideways (and not upside down!).

- Demonstrate you can perform a proven set of best practices through the ACA Coastal Kayak Instructor Development Course & Certification Exam, then you will be qualified to teach others what you learned.

- Body Boat Blade is teaching a one day Incident Management Class at Deception Pass. On any given trip, you may be forced to deal with scenarios such as: sea sickness, dislocated shoulders, a heart attack, holes in boats, broken paddles, lost equipment, hypothermia, capsizing while towing, VHF radios with dead batteries, and flares that fizzle. Learn how to deal with the situations that arise!

Northwest Paddlefest is coming up - May 12-13. Volunteers are needed! See details in Events section below.

Don't miss the next WKC Speaker Series on April 12: Circumnavigating Vancouver Island with Calvin Croll - an epic winter journey never before documented by man...

See you on the water!

 Featured Trip

7RC Nisqually River Clean-up - April 21

The Washington Kayak Club, Washington Recreational River Runners and Trail Paddle Canoe Club invite you to join us to help clean up the Nisqually River. We are undertaking this cleanup with support from the Nisqually River Council and other partners, including American Whitewater, American Rivers and more.

By undertaking this Event, we hope to (a) heighten awareness and appreciation of the Nisqually River; (b) celebrate the river's unique attributes; (c) foster stewardship of the river; and (d) promote the Nisqually River Water Trail Plan and Recommendations.

Participants receive 7RC sticker! 
Stay to April 22 and enjoy an after clean-up river paddle with the group!

Eventbrite Registration
When: April 21st from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm

Where: We will be cleaning up two sections of the Nisqually River:
1) McKenna Park to Nisqually Park (aka Yelm Hydro Plant) - Class II-III - 9 miles; and
2) Nisqually Park to the 6th Avenue S.E. WDFW Water Access Site - Class I-II - 8 miles.

Contact: Jenefer Monroe

Please register via Eventbrite link AND at McKenna Park or Yelm locations: 

Register: Clean-up from McKenna Park 

Register: Clean-up from Yelm


 ACA Coastal Kayak: Instructor Development & Certification Exam

For almost 40 years, the American Canoe Association (ACA) has been the leader in paddlesports education. The ACA's National Paddlesports Instruction Program is widely considered the "Gold Standard" in the U.S. and abroad. Through the certification process you will learn a specific and proven set of paddlesports best practices. 

Coastal Kayak Instructor Devel L2/L3: April 6-8

Register Here

Coastal Kayak L2/L3 Instructor Certification Exam: April 28-29

Register Here

 WKC Beginner Whitewater Kayaking Course: April 7-28

If you have been wanting to learn how to Whitewater Kayak, this course is for you!

The course is designed for the person with no prior boating experience. You will learn basic paddle and bracing strokes, how to roll a kayak, river hydrology, and safety, all in a relaxed and friendly environment from certified kayak instructors.

We teach this course only annually in March, before the spring rains and the snow melts.


Register Here

 River Safety & Rescue with Casey Garland: April 14 - 15

Casey Garland will again present a course on river safety, rope utilization and rescue techniques. Team leadership and rescue planning will also be covered to achieve the best results in a rescue effort.

This class is great for a beginning whitewater kayaker or even a kayaker looking to tune up their rescue skills.

2-day class (Sat/Sun); Max 12 participants

4/14 (Sa) 9am - 5pm
4/15 (Su) 9am - 5pm

Lectures will be held at Mike Grijalva's house Saturday morning before heading to the river. River work will likely be on the Cedar River, Landsburg site.

Register Here

 WKC Basic Sea Kayaking Course: June 1-3

Join us for a weekend of FUN and ADVENTURE as you develop your techniques and skills on the water!

This course will provide beginners with a safe and fun introduction to the sport of sea kayaking. You will develop, refresh, and improve basic skills which are essential to paddling:

- Effective Paddling Skills
- Safety and Hazard Awareness
- Capsize Recovery Techniques
- Navigation, Tides and Currents
- Gear, Equipment and Clothing

Register Here

WKC Pool Sessions: Tukwila, Shoreline, and Tacoma

Continue to build your skills at weekly pool sessions offered by WKC in Tukwila, Shoreline, and Tacoma.
The fee for weekly pool sessions is $10 for WKC members and $15 for non-members.

The pool sessions are typically available on alternating mornings and weekdays.  Be sure to check the schedule - and thank your pool coordinator for volunteering their time to make the pools available!

If you have any questions about pool sessions:

News and Events

 WKC Speaker Series 3: Circumnavigating Vancouver Island w/Calvin Croll: April 12

WKC has scheduled a series of four speaker presentations this season.  Please join us for the third evening in the series:

Series 3
On January 1, 2018 Calvin Croll left Orcas Island in a solo sea kayak returning 47 days later having completed the first documented winter circumnavigation of Vancouver Island. This was a journey of over 700 miles through the coldest, darkest, and windiest part of the year on the Pacific coast.

Calvin will share his story, photo’s and some of the steps he took to get himself physically and mentally prepared to take on a journey of this magnitude.

Time 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Date: April 12th 2018
Location: Odin Brewing Company, 402 Baker Blvd, Tukwila WA 98188

Read More

 Free Online Viewing of "The Kayak Roll": April 13 - 15

We are teaming up with Kent Ford and Performance Video again to offer this free showing of The Kayak Roll (part I) to not only our WKC Beginner Whitewater students, but to the whole membership!

If you're only going to buy/watch one roll video, this is the one! Kent Ford, Mary & Phil DeRiemer and Dan Crandal take you step-by-step through what you need to learn for an effortless sweep roll.

View Here

Baja Kayak Fest: April 13- 19

Sea kayak symposiums are designed for those wanting to take their skills to another level, in challenging ocean conditions.  

This is a rough water event for experienced sea kayakers. You don't have to be a super star, but you should be comfortable paddling 10-15 miles in a day and are well-practiced at capsize recovery techniques. You should be comfortable in small surf and bumpy water. Our location is a rocky peninsula that juts into the Pacific Ocean and provides the perfect playground for kayakers! We will offer day trips for pure fun and rock-garden play, as well as skills development courses. Top coaches from the Pacific coast will mentor groups of 4-6 paddlers at a time!

Details & Registration

Other fantastic regional Kayak Symposiums

Bay of Fundy Sea Kayak Symposium
Storm Gathering

 Kayaking Finesse Class with Nigel Foster: April 14

Saturday, April 14th, Golden Gardens Seattle

Learn how to get the maximum effect from the minimum effort. Learn how to make efficient turns and improve your forward stroke.

This class covers basic edging, turning and padding in wind. It is suitable for all levels of paddlers, except perhaps first timers. Nigel layers key details one easy step at a time so you can gain a comprehensive understanding of how paddle strokes work. Each small manageable step leads toward finessing your technique.

Contact Nigel or Kristin for details at

 Wild and Scenic Film Festival in Seattle: April 18

Wednesday, April 18th | SIFF Cinema Egyptian

Join Washington Water Trust for happy hour, lively conversation and an evening of eye-opening films! The Wild & Scenic Film Festival entertains, motivates and inspires people to explore our natural world and actively contribute to the protection of water, air, and wild places. Festival-goers can expect to see award winning films about nature, community activism, adventure, conservation, water, energy and climate change, wildlife, environmental justice, agriculture, and Native American and indigenous cultures.

Purchase Tickets

Paddling Film Festival World Tour: April 20

Since 2006, the Paddling Film Festival World Tour has been showcasing the very best paddling films. The World Tour screens in more than 120 cities around the world. Don't miss this year's best paddling films. You'll be inspired to explore rivers, lakes and oceans, push extremes, embrace the paddling lifestyle and appreciate the wild places.

Date: Friday, April 20, 2018 07:00 PM
Venue: American Legion Post 160 - 3618 
SW Alaska St, Seattle
Ticket Price $ 15.00

Hosted by Mountain to Sound Outfitters

Purchase Tickets

Incident Management Course with Body Boat Blade: April 21/22

WKC is hosting a one-day Incident Management Class, taught by Body Boat Blade. On any given trip, you may be forced to deal with scenarios such as: sea sickness, dislocated shoulders, a heart attack, holes in boats, broken paddles, lost equipment, hypothermia, capsizing while towing, VHF radios with dead batteries, and flares that fizzle. Learn how to deal with the situations that arise!

Register Here

 2018 NW Whitewater Salom Cup Race Dates

The Northwest Whitewater Slalom Cup continues with the best whitewater slalom races west of the Rockies. Come out and compete or just learn some whitewater slalom moves and have some fun!

Upcoming Races:

April 7, 8 - Bull Run Slalom Spring, Sandy, OR
April 21,22 - Rich Weiss Slalom, Chilliwack, BC

Event Dates

 26th Annual Alder Creek Spring Festival: April 28 - 29

Join Alder Creek Kayak at Vancouver Lake Park for two days of SUP & Canoe Demos
100+ boats on the beach ready to try!

All Events at the Spring Paddle festival are FREE and open to the public!

Event Details

 Northwest Paddling Festival / Call for Volunteers: May 11 -1 2

The largest event of its kind in the Pacific Northwest, the festival brings paddle sports retailers, manufacturers and athletes together in one location! Attendance is free to the public!

Featuring more than 60 paddle sports businesses offering canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, paddling equipment, accessories and gear, the Northwest Paddling Festival is a can’t-miss event for any paddling enthusiast.

Event Details
Call for Volunteers:

Experienced Kayakers Needed!!

The Northwest Paddling Festival is just around the corner. Once again, they are looking for experienced kayakers willing to volunteer:

Interested in teaching dry or in-water Intro to Kayak, Contact Barb Gronseth –

Have what it takes to be a Safety Boater? Contact Andree Hurley –

General Event Volunteers can sign-up directly:

General Volunteer

or by emailing Joan Collins –  

Thank you for volunteering your time to make this a successful kayaking event again this year!

 SSTIKS 2018: June 8-10

South Sound Traditional Inuit Kayaking Symposium (SSTIKS) is the Northwest’s premier event devoted to traditional kayaking skills and culture. SSTIKS is held in June every year in Twanoh State Park on the beautiful Hood Canal in Washington. SSTIKS is a family-friendly event featuring some of the best mentors in Greenland-style kayaking. SSTIKS is a volunteer-run event.

Registration is NOW open! 

Register Here

 Following Freya: Circumnavigation of North America

Last year Freya Hoffmeister began her legendary circumnavigation of North America in Seattle, kayaking north to Kodiak, then returning to Seattle and paddling south to Oregon. This month, she resumes her trip.  She plans to paddle south for three months to California before returning to Alaska and continuing through the Northwest Passage.  She will repeat south and north legs yearly, until she arrives in New York.

Follow her progress here:

Follow Freya

Bon Voyage, Freya!

Kayak Polo is Back!

Kayak Polo is starting again at the Tukwila pool!

WKC's NEW kayak polo chair, Chris Brubaker, has been kind enough to organize dates and invite people to come down and try it out - every other Sunday!  Check event calendar for dates:

Tukwila Pool
4414 S 144th St
Tukwila, WA 98168
8:45-10:45 am

Cost: $10 for WKC members, $15 for non-members.

Looking for members to join the team in a tournament in San Leandro in April!

 WKC San Juan Seven Challenge

We love circumnavigating islands and want to encourage more paddlers to join the fun, so we have launched the San Juan Seven Challenge. 
The seven islands selected for the San Juan Seven challenge are San Juan, Orcas, Lopez, Cypress, Guemes, Lummi, and Stuart

You can circumnavigate the islands in any order that you like and can take as much time as you need or want to circumnavigate each island. To qualify for badges you need to circumnavigate the island during a WKC trip that has been announced on the WKC website.

Upcoming WKC Trips:

Contact Steven Exe for more information.

San Juan Seven Challenge

 WKC Seven Rivers Challenge

WKC members who participate in club trips to the seven designated rivers will receive collective paddle/boat stickers designed by a whitewater kayaker and artist Zeus Rudner.
Challenge yourself to get all seven stickers! When a member completes all seven rivers, he/she will receive a finisher’s sticker. To make it easy to keep track, participants must register for the club trip online.

The designated rivers and in Seven Rivers challenge are: Nisqually, Nooksack, Sauk, Sol Duc, Stillaguamish,Wenatchee, and White Salmon
Upcoming WKC Trips:
April 21: Nisqually River Clean-up
May 25-28: Sol Duc Weekend
Check Events Calendar for more dates
If you have any questions or suggestions about the Seven Rivers Challenge program, contact:
Kanako Iwata-Eng


 Looking to Buy/Sell Used Paddling Gear?

Maybe kayaking isn't your sport.  Need to sell some gently used gear?  Looking to purchase some paddling treasure?  Check out the WKC Classifieds Forum to list your items or to purchase kayaking gear from fellow paddlers.  Easy to follow instructions for posting items included below:


Schedule for ACA and PNA (formerly BCU) Paddler Certifications

Thinking of taking your paddling skills to the next level?  Become ACA or PNA (formerly BCU) certified this season. Special awards signify specific paddling, safety and leadership skills at different levels and in various craft. These awards provide a way to track your own progress as a paddler, and give others a reliable indication of your preparedness for trips and further trainings. Improve your skills or become a certified coach and lead others on the water:
ACA Certification
Founded in 1880, The American Canoe Association (ACA) is a national nonprofit organization serving the broader paddling public by providing education related to all aspects of paddling.  River, coastal, and surf kayaking certifications offered.

PNA Certification
Paddlesports North America (PNA) was formed in 2013 to provide access to British Canoeing (formerly known as the British Canoe Union or BCU) paddler awards and coaching certifications in North America, including canoe, kayak and stand up paddleboard.

 Recent Trip Reports

 Check out the Trip Reports  tab to see more WKC kayaking adventures.  

Lake Union Argosy Lighted Boat Parade: Dec 23

 By Mike Greengo 

Twas the eve of the eve of Christmas in 2017, when the Argosy Cruises of Seattle, Washington were featuring their finale event, the 68th Annual Christmas Ship Festival, leaving Kirkland at 7 PM and arriving at Gas Works Park at 8:45 PM. The Argosy boats would embark from Kirkland, up north on Lake Washington, and then head west through the Montlake Cut, taking a half hour break in Portage Bay, before continuing onto Lake Union, the finale point with stopping at Gas Works Park, before heading back to Kirkland.

Read More

 Team Petty Adventure: Humptulips

 By Kanako Iwata-Eng

The Olympic Peninsula is known for its rain, but whenever I go to the Humptulips Narrows (Class 3), it is sunny, and my fourth visit to this river on November 18, 2017 was no exception. Captain Bill Petty, Bob Metzger from Olympia, and I launched around 12:30 p.m. under the bright sun.

Read More

 Team Petty Adventure: British Columbia 2017

 By Kanako Iwata-Eng

This is our fearless leader Bill Petty’s 40th year of paddling. He has been leading annual whitewater road trips to British Columbia almost every year for the past 28 years, and BC continues offering endless rivers he has never run. To paddle unknown rivers again this year, the Team headed to the northern capital of Prince George this time.

Read More

 Three Sport Loop: Lake Chelan

 By Rich Feffer

Rich and his wife recently completed a loop trip in the east and north Cascades -  kayaking from Manson (near Chelan) to Stehekin, hiking through to Highway 20, and then cycling back to the start. Mileages were 46, 21, and 105 respectively, totaling 172 over 8 days. They enthusiastically recommend this trip if you like to combine multiple sports and get a good weather window (especially for the paddling portion).  Beautiful scenery as you watch the landscape change from desert to mountains and back.

Read More

 Fall in the Wall for First Timers

By Shanna Gachen

Shout-out to one of our lifetime members, Jon Almquist, who never stops volunteering his time to help others adventure and experience our beautiful rivers. Whether it's helping out with the whitewater class, heading up skill builder trips right after class, leading adventure trips to the beautiful Olympic Peninsula or pushing any level paddler to their next level - he's always game!
Thanks Jon for all your guidance!

Read More
See more trips on the Washington Kayak Club Facebook Page!

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Copyright 2014 Washington Kayak Club

President: Mike Germani
Secretary: Bill Porter
Treasurer: Jackie Brown
Editor: Brenna McVety

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