How to Learn to Kayak in Brisbane

How to Learn to Kayak in Brisbane
Brisbane, Australia boasts miles of sandy beaches and access to the Indian Ocean. Sea kayaking on the coast is challenging due to the open coast, large ocean swells, marine wildlife and surf launches and landings. Learning how to kayak in the Brisbane area means learning how to navigate these challenges safely and with the proper technique. The region has several companies and instructors geared specifically to teaching these techniques for safe kayaking in the waters around Brisbane. Be aware that in Australia, many times kayaks are referred to as canoes.


Difficulty: Moderate

Seek Your School

Things You’ll Need:
  • Sea kayak and gear
  • Instructor
Step 1
Research the Brisbane area for accredited sea kayak touring companies and education programs. Look for schools where the instructors are certified with either Level I or Level II Australian Canoeing Sea Instructor Awards.
Step 2
Ask the schools or companies you find what they teach. Ask if they teach surf launches and landings, rolls, navigation and basic paddle strokes. Ask if they offer classes with other students and what they teacher to student ratio is. If you want private lessons, ask if they provide that service. Be sure they include the use of sea kayaks, paddles and all gear in the fees.
Step 3
Select your school or company and be sure the syllabus includes lessons in paddling surf, rips, tides and how to identify them. The Australian coast around Brisbane requires use of these techniques.
Step 4
Incorporate any knowledge or experience with surf you may have, even if it is not with sea kayaks. Use your knowledge of surfing should you come from that background. If you sail, use your knowledge of water and winds to incorporate into the kayak curriculum.
Step 5
Learn about the local marine wildlife such as sharks or other potentially hazardous species. Learn how to treat jellyfish stings and how to identify the potentially lethal species of jellies off the Australian Coast. Ask your instructor to help you put together a first aid kit relevant to the Brisbane coast regarding kayaking.

Article Written By Eric Cedric

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

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