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Open Water Skills Development

May 18, 2022 - May 20, 2022

Surfing a wave

The Open Water Skills Development Course is designed for paddlers wanting to learn and improve their skills in the Coastal Ocean Environment. Surf zone skills, rocky shorelines, navigation, rescues & towing, and efficient paddling skills for these environments will all be covered during this course. We will actively seek out areas to challenge and excite you while allowing you to learn and grow as a paddler.

Sea Kayaker in front of a cliff with breaking waves
Coastal Kayaking


The course will be based entirely around Cape Disappointment State Park and Long Beach, WA.

We will meet at the parking lot for Waikiki Beach in Cape Disappointment State Park. You will need a Discover Pass for parking if you are not planning to camp at the State Park. Meeting location is subject to change based on conditions, and we will send updates leading up to the course.


Start time is 10am on May 18

We’ll end by early afternoon on May 20th to try and give everyone enough daylight to drive home.


There will be an opportunity (not mandatory) for interested participants to assess for either ACA L4 Skills or British Canoeing Coastal Sea Kayak Award.

If you are interested in either of these opportunities, please let us know. You will need to have an active membership with the organization(s) and meet the requirements of the award during the course.

Content Covered:

  • Surf Zone Skills
  • Launching & Landing
  • Self/Assisted Rescues & Towing
  • Traversing Rocky Shorelines
  • Navigation
  • Risk Assessment
  • Having fun on the Coast!

Specific activities will be dependent on conditions of the weekend and are subject to change.


Cape Dissapointment State Park offers the closest camping option. This is where the coaches will be staying.

There are many RV parks, Air BnB, and Resort options available in Long Beach, Ilwaco, and Ocean Park. There are also options in Astoria, which is about a 30-minute drive.


  • Sea Kayak with adequate floatation & deck lines
  • Paddle
  • Immersion Wear (Drysuit or 3-5mm wetsuit)
  • Spray Deck
  • PFD
  • Helmet
  • Towline

If you do not possess any of the required equipment we are able to provide them with enough notice.

Kayak Rental: $30/day (includes skirt, pfd & paddle if needed)

Drysuit Rental: $25/day (includes footwear if needed)


Your Coaches will be Body Boat Blade’s new owner Alex LaLonde, our new Full-Time coach Ryan Hayes, and Special Guest Todd Wright visiting from Vermont.


Paddlers on this course should have equivalent to ACA L3 Skills or British Canoeing (BCU) Sea Kayak Award (3 star) skills.

Other Events in the Area!

We will be hosting a SOLO Wilderness First Aid course in Long Beach, WA on May 21-22. If anyone is interested in attending from this course, we will offer a 15% discount on the WFA fee. Please contact us if you’re interested!


May 18, 2022
May 20, 2022


Cape Disappointment
244 Robert Gray Dr SW
Ilwaco, WA 98624 United States
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