GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY
School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism
PRLS 173/5P1– Core Coastal Kayaking Skills 74215 (2) Credits
DAY/TIME: 4:30-5:45 , Fri, 9/04/09 LOCATION: to be determined
1:00-5:00, Fri 9/11 /09 Lake Audubon
8:30-5:30 S/S 9/12,13,19, River sections
INSTRUCTOR: Mike Aronoff,ITE EMAIL email@example.com
OFFICE TBD PHONE 703-264-8911
OFFICE HOURS: By Appointment FAX NUMBER: 703- 716-8560
COURSE FEE: $150 paid to CKAPCO by check or credit card for kayak, paddle, pfd, safety rescue gear,
This course is designed to provide students with the core skills and knowledge necessary to safely paddle
sea/coastal kayaks and execute trips on non whitewater rivers and coastal environments. This course will
include instruction in, but not limited to, boat handling, terminology, kayak design, trip planning, marine
hazards and safety, rules of the Nautical Road, weather and tides and environmental ethics. There will be
several trips within 50 miles of GMU.
At the completion of this course students should be able to:
1. Properly fit & adjust their kayak for effective control and comfort.
2. Safely portage their kayak to the water.
3. Attach their sprayskirt.
4. Properly & safely enter and exit their kayak from shore.
5. Safely & effectively wet-exit their kayak.
6. Demonstrate proper use & control of the paddle.
7. Perform basic strokes and maneuvers. (Stroke list attached).
8. Perform a T- and Paddle Float Self-Rescue.
9. Explain and demonstrate use of essential safety equipment.
10. Describe the influence of weather and tides on the coastal kayaker.
11. Identify marine hazards & safety concerns and explain strategies for dealing with them.
12. Demonstrate Rules of the Nautical Road.
13. State their personal limitations and skill level
Wyatt, J. Michael , Kayaking : Basic Essentials SEA KAYAKING a Falcon Guide
Skill Competencies (40%): will be required and evaluated each class session.
Written Exam (20%): Written exam on coastal safety topics.
Final Exam (40%): Practical evaluation on paddle strokes and maneuvers in moving water.
Students will be evaluated on the following skills:
1. Properly adjust foot braces and attach spray skirt
2. Safely enter & exit their kayak from shore
3. Perform a wet-exit with comfort & control
4. Maintain good posture and balance in the kayak
5. Perform the basic strokes, maneuvers & rescues with efficiency
6. Identify common coastal/marine hazards
7. State their physical abilities & limitations
8. Explain when it is safe & appropriate to paddle
A = 100-90
B = 89-80
C = 79-70
D = 69-60
F = 59 and below
Physical exertion on this course is considered moderate to strenuous. Students (in pairs or independently) will
be responsible for carrying kayaks weighing up to 65 lbs. There are required supervised wet exit capsize
drills as part of the course where the student will be completely immersed. Accidental capsize is always a
Properly sized & outfitted sea kayaks with front and rear flotation and related paddling & safety
equipment (i.e. paddles, PFD’s, sprayskirts, paddle floats, bilge pumps, slings $ $150 fee.
All students are required to pay an additional $150 to cover equipment (wetsuit not included), if they do not
have their own acceptable equipment.
Contact Mike Aronoff for approval of personally owned kayak and gear.
Sea Kayakers Handbook by Shelly Johnson,
Location: Teaching conditions will be classroom, a protected freshwater lake, river with class one rapids and a
marine environment where waves do not exceed 1.5 feet, winds do not exceed 15 knots, and the
groups no more than 1 mile from shore.
1. Introductions & Expectations
Welcome & introductions
Student & instructor expectations
2. Dryland Presentations
Personal clothing & gear
PFD’s, wetsuits & sprayskirts
Safety equipment (i.e. pump, paddle float, sling)
Kayak nomenclature & terminology
Basic boat design (hull shape, length,
beam, rocker vs. keel, initial vs. secondary stability)
Boat fit & adjustment
Individuals get sized to boats
Sprayskirt attachment & use
Wet-exit explanation & dryland practice
Parts & design
Sizing, indexing, relaxed grip
Feathered vs. non-feathered, paddle control
Concept of torso rotation.
3. Launching & Landing/Wet-Exit Practice
Carrying kayak to and from water
Proper entry & exit of boat from shore or dock
Boat control/stability exercises (supported boogie-woogie, j-leans using partner’s bow for
Demonstrate & practice wet-exits (one-on-one supervision by instructor)
Allow students to get oriented/familiar with their kayak
4. Introduction to Basic Strokes & Maneuvers
Sweep strokes (forward & reverse, spins)
Forward touring stroke
Reverse stroke & stopping
Draw stroke (draw-to-the-hip w/ in-water recovery)
5. Lunch Break/Discussion
Signaling & safety devices discussion/show & tell
6. Introduction to Basic Rescues
Demonstrate & practice T-Rescue (w/ & w/0 stirrup)
Demonstrate & practice Paddle Float Self-Rescue (w/ & w/o stirrup)
Reenter and roll with and without paddle float.
7. Group Safety Talk
Paddling as a group
What to do in the event of an emergency
8. Actual tours
Continue to develop good forward stroke technique
Discuss & practice course correction techniques for windy conditions
Observation & explanation of on-water hazards
Observation & explanation of tides & currents (if applicable)
Observation & explanation of weather, wind & wave dynamics
Listen to NOAA weather radio
Discuss current wind speed & direction concerns
Discuss knowing personal and group limits.
9. Additional Stroke & Skill Development
Low & high braces (w/ hip snap development/lower body boat control)
Low brace turns and bow draw turns.
Low brace support underway for looking behind you
Rafting up for support demonstration & practice
Reinforce the idea of paddling with a partner/group
10. Conclusion/Course Wrap-up
Load boats showing proper tie-down techniques
Provide individual feedback if possible
Group debrief of how course went
Explain what is next in their learning progression
All students are held to the standards of the George Mason University Honor Code
University policy states that all sound emitting devices shall be turned off during
class unless otherwise authorized by the professor
Students with disabilities who seek accommodations in a course must be registered
with the Disability Resource Center (DRC) and inform the instructor , in writing, at
the beginning of the semester [See www.gmu.edu/student/drc]
For additional School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism information, please visit
the website at http://rht.gmu.edu