• Introduction

Learn to Sea Kayak

This Learn to sea kayak course is 3 hours and gives you the basics of the sport of sea kayaking.

The course is set up for paddlers who have never had any formal instruction. The aim of this class is to give you a good foundation in the knowledge and skills essential for safe and enjoyable paddling. Single kayak, paddle, Personal Flotation Device (PFD), spray deck, pump and splash jacket are provided.For public courses please click on the book now below or we run custom courses for 4 or more people.

During the lesson you will learn about:

  • kayak equipment
  • kayak design
  • what to wear
  • maneuvering your kayak (forward, reverse, side ways, turning and steering)
  • support strokes
  • “wet-exits” and recovery from a capsize

The aim of this course is to give you a good foundation in the knowledge and skills essential for safe and enjoyable paddling.

Below are a few things that this course will cover.

How to adjust your kayak

  • Snug your butt firmly against the seatback
  • Place the balls of your feet on the footpegs; then check to see if you have a slight bend in your knees.
  • Make sure your bent knees are in firm contact with each side of the cockpit.

How to Launch Your Kayak
How to Hold Your Kayak Paddle
The Basic Kayaking Strokes
The Forward Stroke

  • This is the stroke you do most of the time, so good technique pays dividends

The Reverse Stroke

  • This is the basic braking stroke. It can also move you backward if your kayak is already stopped. It’s the exact opposite of a forward stroke: You immerse the blade next to your hip; the push is done with your lower hand; and you slice the blade out of the water when it nears your feet.

The Sweep Stroke

  • This is the basic turning stroke. If you do repeated forward strokes on the same side of the boat, you’ll notice that the boat slowly turns the other way. The sweep stroke simply exaggerates this effect.

Using Rudders

  • If your boat has a rudder, it sits at the back of the boat, and you use your foot pedals to control whether the boat moves left or right. Push the foot peg on the right and your boat will turn right (and vice versa on the left).


Enquire Now  Vouchers

Tour Cost


$155 per person (minimum numbers required) click here to enquire.



3 hours

Start location

Start Location

Boat Ramp at 384 Tamaki Dr, St Heliers. More

Tips for Your First Time Kayaking

  • Choose a calm body of water like Mission Bay.
  • Find a gently sloping sandy beach to launch. Steep, mucky and rocky shorelines will be more challenging
  • Go on a low wind day, mornings are best. You’ll keep complications low and comfort high.
  • If it’s breezy, start out by paddling into the wind. Paddling into a headwind on your way back is a struggle; paddling with a tailwind is, well, a breeze.
  • Plan on an outing, not an expedition. For an optimum fun to fatigue ratio, keep your paddling time under three hours.

What you need to bring

This tour has the option to be fully catered so please inform us if you have any dietary requirements.

What is provided?

Essential kayaking gear provided by Auckland Sea Kayaks

  • Coastguard-approved PFD (Personal Flotation Device) that fits properly
  • Paddle (make sure they check that it’s the right size for you)
  • Bilge pump
  • Spray skirt
  • Spray Jacket
  • First-aid kit
  • Dry bags (for things you don’t want to get wet)

What to bring?

  • Swimwear or shorts (noncotton and nonbinding)
  • Short- or long-sleeve rashguard top (any noncotton top will work)
  • Footwear you do not mind getting wet
  • Sun-shielding hat
  • Lightweight fleece jacket or vest (weather-dependent)
  • Plenty of water
  • Snacks for energy
  • Sunscreen, lip balm and sunglasses (with a retainer)

Course Start Location

These courses start from the St Heliers Bay central boat ramp located at 384 Tamaki Drive, St Heliers. There is lots of free car parking around St Heliers.

Meeting point
St Heliers Bay boat ramp
(Tamaki Drive, St Heliers, Auckland)
– Get Directions

Free city centre pick up if requested on booking form



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