Prepare for the Upcoming Season – Winter 2017 Newsletter

Yes, it’s definitely winter! Only the most hardy (or, perhaps, crazy) paddlers venture out this time of year, but it’s not too early to begin planning for a new paddling season. Inspecting your boat(s) and gear with an eye on any repairs, enhancements, or replacements and then getting the necessary supplies to “get ‘er done” are good winter tasks.


Speaking of such matters, if you plan on paddling on Lakes Whatcom or Samish, it’s time to get your Aquatic Invasive Species sticker renewed. You’ll need to pass the short on-line test, get your certificate, and make arrangements to have your boat inspected and 2017 sticker issued before you put your kayak on those lakes. Go to:   for all the information and links to the course and test.  Remember that some of our classes and Fun Paddles take place on Lake Whatcom!  Don’t wait until the last minute to get this done!


Our calendar for the first several months of classes and paddle events will be posted on the website in mid-March, so look for it then. We’ll continue to be offering a “set” schedule of various classes, along with plenty of openings for private lessons and custom schedules, should our calendar not meet your needs. No price increase is anticipated.

Now for some updates:

Ted had his shoulder surgery on Dec. 5th and was in a sling for 8 weeks. The surgery was a bit more extensive than anticipated but went well. In case you’ve ever wondered, the first month or so of recovery IS quite painful and generally uncomfortable. His torn tendon in the rotator cuff was the result of several prior injuries that caused wear and tear, and the tendon finally gave up the ghost at the end of September.  He’s now out of the sling and into physical therapy, with an excellent prognosis. He’s hoping to do some light paddling by the end of March and be ready for more extensive kayaking by May.

Kelly is in the midst of a very heavy class load and clinicals for her Physical Therapy Asst. program, and she is continuing to do very well. She’s looking forward to having some time to resume paddling, rolling, and teaching, once we get underway.


After a quick review of Craig’s List ads for boats and gear, there isn’t a wide selection of kayaks for those wanting to upgrade or add, or for friends you may have seduced into wanting to go paddling with you; but there are a few. There were, however, a good number of listings for accessories, including carts for rolling your boat from the car to the beach. If you’ve been thinking of getting one, this might be a good time.


Finally, we’ve heard of a Ski-to-Sea, recreational division, team looking for a kayaker. If interested, contact Liz Vennos at or 360-303-6665.




Spring is Here!

A note from Ted:

As I write this blog entry, it’s mid-March.  The weather has been volatile, to say the least, with hurricane force winds, blasting rain and intermittent sunny days — all in the last week!  One day will be in the 60s and the next morning down in the 30s.  Yay for Spring in the PNW!

However, all that means is that prime sea kayaking season is just around the corner, and that makes me think about scraping off the rust (figuratively speaking).  Two principal topics immediately come to mind.

First:  all those little boat and gear maintenance tasks that had been promised to be addressed over the winter are now a bit more urgently awaiting attention.  It’s time to inspect deck lines, hatch covers, rudder components, any leaky bulkheads, and so on.  Better to fix them NOW, before a problem shows up on the water!

Second:  while paddling strokes and maneuvering techniques “should” come back with some on-water time, some coaching can really help.  Perhaps more important are recovery and rescue skills, as those are easily eroded without regular practice; and they’re so vital to your personal safety while paddling!

So, consider booking one of our Rescue Practice & Refresher sessions to revisit and practice those skills.  SSKS is also happy to put together a longer session that goes over basic strokes, maneuvers, and the rescues if you desire.  Just contact us for scheduling and a price quote.

Happy Paddling in 2016!