Explore North Coast takes paddling safety and skills development very seriously, and encourages new paddlers to learn basic skills. Locally, there are several ACA certified or formerly certified kayaking instructors, as well as many other longtime paddlers who have decades of experience, that are willing to share their knowledge.
There are also formal instruction and classes that ENC encourages everyone to take to further their skills. See the list below for some available resources on services. For any member overwhelmed by the cost, ENC may be able to provide some financial support for paddling skills instruction through grants to members with financial needs. Contact us to learn more about ENC grants.
Instruction and Guiding
- ACA Education Course Calendar – If you’re looking for formal instruction that isn’t available locally, this section of the ACA site will list various types of courses held throughout the United States.
- Paddlesports Safety Online Course brought to you by the ACA and U.S. Coast Guard. This FREE course covers many critical paddling topics such as equipment selection, securing a boat to your car, planning a successful paddling trip for a group, waterway hazard awareness, safety during challenging weather, and rescue protocols.
- Kayak Trinidad offers paddlesports instruction and guiding in the beautiful seaside village of Trinidad, California. Kayak Trinidad offers a variety of services for all paddling levels, including beginner friendly lessons, whale and wildlife tours in Trinidad Bay, and advanced instruction and coastal exploration.
- Humboats Kayak Adventures is located on Woodley Island in Eureka. They offer tours on Humboldt Bay, Trinidad, and more. The guides at Humboats are expert naturalist and certified instructors and will outfit you with all the boats, gear and equipment you need.
- Liquid Fusion Kayaking – Cate and Jeff, our friends to the south, in Fort Bragg, operate LFK together on the beautiful Mendocino coast. They specialize in providing fun, personal and interactive instruction, along with educational adventures that inspire appreciation for wildlife and nature.
Rentals (contact in advance for availability)
- Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center (HBAC) – Located on the Eureka Waterfront across from Woodley Island Marina, HBAC has aquatic equipment rentals (kayaks, stand up paddleboards, and canoes). The facility is part of Humboldt State University.
- Humboats Kayak Adventures is located on Woodley Island in Eureka — a dockside kayak, canoe, and SUP rental facility. They can provide you with the kayaks, canoes, SUPs, and everything needed for a paddle.
- Kayak Trinidad in addition to guiding and instruction, Kayak Trinidad offers kayak and paddleboard rentals at Big Lagoon. Call ahead for availability.
Local Outdoor Gear Businesses
- Adventure’s Edge – is located in Arcata and Eureka, and specializes in hiking, biking, paddling and climbing. They have over 30 years of experience providing service and expertise with quality equipment for all of your outdoor adventures.
- Kokatat – anyone who is really into water sports knows Kokatat. Located in our very own Arcata, this company manufactures awesome equipment, including PFDs and dry suits. They hit the mark with quality and reliability, and stand behind their goods.
- Pacific Outfitters – located in Arcata and Eureka, are outfitting specialists who hunt, fish, hike, bike, snowboard, dive, kayak, play disc golf – they pretty much do it all. They offer a wide variety of equipment and instruction.