Southern Thailand Kayak School

Dave Williams.Paddle Asia's kayaking school is operated by 34+ year paddling veteran Dave Williams. Dave has more paddling experience, both on hardcore whitewater and sea kayaking, than anyone else in Southern Thailand.

Dave is a British Canoe Union Level 2 Coach.

This course is designed to give you a basic understanding of proper kayaking technique in addition to an understanding of safety issues, weather, tides and currents, basic kayak navigation, and trip planning.

Note: Kayaking courses are only offered as part of a Phang Nga Bay or Khao Sok (standard) trip. Kayak paddling skills will be incorporated into the trip. If Dave is not on the trip, it will just be technique training, no classroom.

Kayak School course (2 person minimum):
Touring kayak.View our tour prices.

Discounts available for group bookings - Contact us.

Eskimo Roll Clinic - Paddle Asia also offers Eskimo Rolling clinics. This technique is not easy, but it is one of the most important tools in a kayaker's bag of tricks. Mastery of the Eskimo Roll takes time. This clinic is designed to give you both the understanding of 'why' you have to do certain things (such as having your head come out of the water last) as well as the science behind the required actions. This is a 4 hour course.

These courses include: local hotel pick up, lunch, drinking water, and Paddle Asia's kayaking instruction manual.

Kayak School Sample Syllabus

Eskimo Roll with a kayak.Day 1 - Morning:

Boat designs

  • Name the parts of the boat
  • Hull designs – advantages & disadvantages
  • Handling characteristics – tracking, stability, etc.
  • Various types of kayaks

Paddle design and materials

  • Hand placement
  • Oval shafts explained
  • Blade shapes
  • Feathered & unfeathered paddles (feathered paddle proper technique to avoid injury)
  • Materials


  • Life jackets
  • Helmets
  • Towing systems

Basic rescue

  • Simple self-rescue
  • Assisted rescue


  • Standard international hand and paddle signals
  • Signaling devices
    • Alerting vs. locating devices
    • Advantages & disadvantages of various devices


  • Weight distribution
  • Balance
  • Swing weight
  • Accessibility

Tides & currents

  • Tides defined
  • Tide tables
  • Rule of 12ths
  • Rips
  • Currents

Short written test

Day 1 - Afternoon

  • Proper body posture
  • Launching from the beach
  • Forward stroke
  • Reverse stroke
  • Stopping stroke
  • Sweep stroke
  • Draw stroke (basic)
  • Rescue technique
    • Self-rescue
    • Assisted rescue

Dave teaching the Eskimo Roll with a kayak.Day 2 - Morning:

Wind & waves

  • Cause of wind
  • How wind affects your paddling speed
  • Beaufort Wind Scale
  • Name the parts of a wave
  • Beach shapes

Launching and landing

  • Solo launching
  • Group launching procedures
  • Landing
    • Straight surfing
    • Side surfing
    • Chasing a wave
    • Group landing procedure

Navigation basics

  • Nautical charts
  • Chart symbols & reference manual
  • Compasses
  • Parallel ruler
  • Dividers
  • Dead reckoning
  • Piloting

Trip planning

  • Choosing paddling partners
  • Trip leader
  • Sweep paddler
  • Paddle plan notifications
  • Obtaining permission

Short written test

Day 2 - Afternoon

  • Bracing
    • Low brace
    • High brace
    • Low sculling brace
    • High sculling brace
  • Advanced draw stroke
    • Duffek
    • Bow draw
    • Cross-bow draw
    • Stern draw
  • Lnking strokes
    • Draw stroke into a forward stroke
    • Sculling into a forward stroke
    • Three stroke combination – cross-bow, rear sweep, and forward sweep

We are the most highly certified and most experienced paddler and we're certified to international safety standards.

We are the only ones who do what we do... you can do it with us!

Our sister sites:

Follow us on Paddle Asia  and view our videos on Our videos on YouTube.

18/58 Thanon Rasdanusorn, T, Rasada, Ban Kuku, Phuket 83000
Tel/fax: +66 76 241519
Dave's mobile: 081 8936558
Moo's mobile: 081 7974855

Tourism Authority of Thailand License Number 31/0204
Insurance by New Hampshire Insurance Co. of Manchester New Hampshire Policy #670158

Copyright © 1999-2015 Paddle Asia Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.
This page last updated on Thursday, August 14, 2014