Sea Kayak Lessons in Bellingham WA - Salish Sea Kayak School (2022)

Sea Kayak Lessons in Bellingham WA - Salish Sea Kayak School (1)

Mother and Son Enjoying a “Taste of Sea Kayaking”

“Thanks again for all of your advice, I’m so glad I took your safety class…it made me way more confident going into the race”

MK, Lake Tapps WA

“Thanks for your Great Patience! I absolutely will recommend SSKS to others”

L.J. ArlingtonWA

“Each year someone drowns due to an unfortunate kayak accident. Don’t become that statistic! Take an introductory kayaking safety and knowledge course from Ted and Kelly at Salish Sea Kayak School.

As a relatively new kayaker, I highly recommend taking the introductory kayaking course [Essentials of Sea Kayaking] through Salish Sea Kayak School. Having completed their training program, I now know, and better appreciate the importance of that initial training. The introductory course covers subjects like proper fitting to a kayak, what to look for when purchasing a kayak and equipment, proper clothing, the best PFD and other essential equipment, PFD fitting, required safety equipment, how to get in and get out of you kayak safely, paddling techniques and how best to maneuver, how to react to an emergency, self rescue, or how to get back in your kayak in deep water should you tip over, and how to rescue a fellow kayaker.

Ted and Kelly are great instructors, very patient, and accommodating. They provide an expertise that is essential to learning basic skills, and will go out of their way to ensure you learn those basic skills while you enjoy a great kayaking experience.

Because of their introductory kayak training course, I am confident that I can now manage most of my kayaking experiences safely. Kayak adventures can be great fun, but it is critical that all who are new to kayaking take this course. Ted and Kelly have several kayaks from which you can learn, and I highly recommend that you take the introductory. course before you purchase a kayak. You will be amazed at what you will learn, and will have better knowledge in what to look for when purchasing your own kayak.

Don’t become an unfortunate incident waiting to occur. Give Ted or Kelly at Salish”

T.F. BellinghamWA

“Really appreciated how quickly the class could start and be completed. Also, you were very helpful with answering questions and advising me on equipment for what I want to do.”

D.W. ArlingtonWA

“The course content was compact and still extensive. The class changed my views on what to buy, where to go, what to learn more by 100%. This class was well worth the time, money, and effort.”

C.G. Lummi IslandWA

“Great Class. Love the focus on Safety and Gentle but Motivating instructors. They made it fun.”

M.G. Lynden WA

“Value WAY exceeds the price of the class!”

D.H Oak Harbor WA

“Ted is very patient. I felt very safe with my instructor.”

J.C. Bellingham

“Love the small size classes – instructor to student ration for learning and safety is great!”

L.P. Oak Harbor WA

“Ted and Kelly were my instructors – nice, friendly people, inspiring confidence in their competence and teaching style. They started by asking me what I was looking for and then evaluated where I was at….By the time we finished on the second day, I had what I had come for – an understanding of each sequential piece of the layback roll. The bottom line is that Ted and Kelly were the perfect instructors for me – what a piece of luck!”

R.S. Spokane WA

“Ted and Kelly have a wealth of knowledge and are very kind at sharing with others. I learned much…and look forward to more instruction. Very enjoyable course. Learned lots. Will do more. Will suggest that friends seek the two of you for training.”

J.L. Ferndale WA

“Thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Friendly, patient, and kind with excellent knowledge of kayaking emphasizing safety and fun.”

C.L. Ferndale WA

“Had a great time with Ted! Appreciated the emphasis on safety”

S.M. Oxford MS

“Ted is articulate, knowledgable, thorough, and won’t let you slide! :-)”

M.S. Atlanta GA

“Super fun, safe, reassuring, patient – explanations made sense!”

M.B.C Phoenix AZ

“Thanks, again, for a great lesson. It was the favorite part of our trip. We are excited to return for more fun!”

B&C.H Florence MT

“Everything was explained in a manner which makes you calm and keeps one from being too nervous.”

D.S. Camano IslandWA

“Exceeded my expectations!”

H.B. BlaineWA

“I’d recommend your class to anyone. The difference it makes in confidence level is huge. Thanks!”

T & N.R. Mt Vernon WA

“Fabulous – great paddle – couldn’t be better and just what I was looking for.”

P.B. Bellingham WA

“Had a nice time. It was a “fun paddle.”

J.W. Seattle WA

“I would like to attend another class in the future!”

D.L. Bellingham WA

“Thank you for your patience and enthusiasm, Ted!.”

C.M. Blaine WA

“Loved the class, loved the location! Easy to get to! Ted is a great communicator! Thank you!!.”

P.L. Bellingham WA

“I had just completed a 12 hour introduction to kayaking course on Lake Michigan and wanted to get some further instruction in the ocean during my visit to Washington. So, I scheduled a three hour session with Ted. He spent some time assessing my needs and comfort level with a variety of techniques and then jumped into demonstrating, observing, and coaching. He was very patient, attentive, flexible, detailed, and also observant. At the end, he provided an overall assessment and exercises that I should continue to do. We also spent a lot of time discussing kayak equipment and recommendations. My overall experience was excellent and I would not hesitate to recommend him to others seeking sea kayaking instruction!”

J.C. Chicago Illinois

“Ted, your attention to individual needs and interests was (is) over the top. Your advice and help with finding the right kayak for me was invaluable…….I’m REALLY happy with it and am now certain I will return my first (kayak) purchase. Most appreciated is your emphasis on safety. I didn’t realize how naive I was about the possible dangers of capsizing in cold water and am thankful that you “made” me practice. It also made me realize I have a lot of work ahead!”

S.M. Lummi Island WA

“Thank you for the great class! It was a huge help in regards to helping me feel more comfortable going into Ski to Sea. I never thought I was going to learn how to flip over in a kayak and have to recover. That piece alone helped my comfort level of being out there kayaking.”

K.J. Bellingham WA

“I’ll share on FaceBook and with family and co-workers!”

T.J. Camano IslandWA

“Ted and Kelly:You both are exceptionally skilled, patient, thoughtful, and kind in helping a diverse group of learners one and all gain confidence and skills in sea kayaking. I would recommend you to anyone! Best wishes!”

A.S. Bellingham WA

“On taking the 3 saturday class, sea kayaking essentials: It was a very inspiring class to understand the basics, build skill and confidence with instructors that are straight forward, safety oriented and fun! Starting up is a bit intimidating; no kayak, no gear, very little knowledge & skill and old enough to know this is something you just don’t do by yourself.I had many questions on where to start, what to look for from boat fitting & equipment to weather conditions…so many ‘what if”s’ and I felt very fortunate to have had both Ted and Kelly instructing: both able to meet me at my skill level (or lack there of) and I came away with ‘I can do this!’ Empowering. Inspiring. I would do it again.”


“I had the pleasure of working alongside Ted and Kelly for two seasons. I have always been impressed with their professionalism and passion towards sea kayak instruction. Safety is their upmost concern and they are constantly working to ensure the comfort and safety of their students. Whether a beginner or a seasoned paddler Ted and Kelly can positively contribute to the overall quality, safety, and enjoyment of your kayaking adventures. To top it off, when you are ready to buy a boat of your own, they will help you track down the perfect fit for your style, size and price range.”

K.K. Bellingham WA

“Ted and Kelly are a great balance to each other in their teaching styles. Ted is direct, detailed, and fully expects you’re going to do it – giving you time to find it (the stroke, balance, your edge) first – then giving correction as needed. Kelly also gives direct and detailed instruction but is different in that she encouraged me to accept that I wouldn’t be perfect right off (words I needed to hear). She is open and accepting, allowing you to work through emotions that come up (frustration at imperfection, anxiety over wet exits) through non-judgment and patience.My classes and continued learning from them both has been exhilarating and challenging!”

K.D. Bellingham WA

“After taking a kayak essentials class with Kelly and Ted, I felt safe and comfortable in the water and was able to enjoy the sport more because I knew some of the safety tips that are important to know. Both Kelly and Ted bring years of kayaking experience with them, and their deep understanding seems to stem from many times in the water under variable weather conditions, tide variations, and current variations. I look forward to taking another class with them as I develop more as a kayaker and would recommend them to anyone wanting to learn more about safety and techniques in the water while having fun too. Thank you Kelly and Ted for helping me on my way to many future journeys with my kayak. You guys are awesome!”

M.M. Bellingham WA

“Just a few words to tout the instructional merits of Ted and Kelly: Ted introduced me to kayaking. As an instructor, he has the rare gift of being able to explain something, demonstrate it, watch it being done, and offer suggestions to improve. I believe that is the formula for a good teacher. Ted is especially conscious of safety, explaining the reason behind each technique, and remaining in close proximity to his students while they practice — and that means within arm’s reach. Later, Kelly accompanied Ted on short jaunts with me; like Ted, she shared her experience, watched me, and suggested a few more techniques to tweak. Together, their instructions were delivered in a relaxed way that put me at ease and confident. Finally, the two of them have kept in touch, inviting me and other students for kayak day-trips. I believe they are committed to not just kayaking, but to sharing the sport with others in a secure, nurturing environment.”

E. J. Bellingham WA

“The thing that stood out the most for me was how Ted taught wet exits. I was very nervous, in fact I had cancelled a previous class because I couldn’t bring myself to go over. I felt much better when, the first time I flipped, Ted was standing next to me in waist deep water. I had thought that we were going to be in deep water and that he wouldn’t be able to help if I got into trouble. As it was, I relaxed quite a bit when I learned we first practiced in shallow water. Then, going over multiple times in the shallows was also very helpful to get me ready to wet exit in deep water. Really well done, safe.”

R.H. Bellingham WA

“Kelly was one of the instructors during my first kayak lessons. With so much to learn, I appreciated how she explained and demonstrated paddling skills and techniques. I also enjoyed her encouragement and enthusiasm for somebody new to the sport. I completed the class with confidence in my abilities and the knowledge necessary to make safe paddling decisions. Kelly and Ted also gave me great advice when looking to purchase my first kayak, and helped me select gear that was appropriate (and safe) for my paddling interests and ability. I have continued to paddle and learn from them in increasingly challenging and fun environments, and would highly recommend their classes.”

S.C. Bellingham WA

“I want to thank you for your excellent instruction in the Beginning Kayak class in the Salish Sea and the day excursions we have shared since. I have received instruction at other locations in the areaas well, but yours was the best I know to recommend for getting me –and anyone else– out there paddling! You and Kelly are extremely knowledgeable, very friendly, andprofessional. You wereadept atteaching lesson goalsin a manner individually tailored to each participant. Your knowledge and interest in helping each of us connect with further paddling resources and to locate the right personal gear at the right price is so helpful. By far the best thing is your full embrace of us new paddlersand offering to stay in touch– and really doing it!– to forge friendships, comradery, skills and fun on the water and ALWAYS with safety foremost in mind. I look forward so much to our future paddles!”

M.K. Skagit Valley, WA

“I enjoyed the class and the teamwork teaching; I was also especially grateful for all of Kelly’s patience while pulling me out of the water numerous times!”

B .B. Bellingham WA

“I’ll be recommending you to others, Ted.” CM Bellingham WA

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