Top Beginner Schools: The Kayak Centre
Paddle Through History in Wickford, Rhode Island
In the small historic village of Wickford, Rhode Island, you'll find The Kayak Centre (TKC).
Founded in 1995, TKC is placed perfectly in the fishing village, a quaint place that thrives on the summer tourist season. With seven miles of water in one of the most well protected natural harbors on the Eastern Seaboard, paddlers have many options to explore, from paddling past Old Narragansett Church (built in 1707) and cruising by anchored sailboats to shooting under bridges. And it's all right outside the shop's front door.
Known for teaching and providing excellent kayak services for 13 years, owner Jeff Shapiro was introduced to SUP when he attended an outdoor retail event. He realized immediately that SUP was a perfect fit for his shop.
Although they also sell the equipment, the employees treat TKC as an educational facility for kayaking and paddling. Specializing in the initial paddling stroke, efficiency and technical movements, they guarantee that you will leave your lesson with a head full of paddling knowledge.
Life-long sea kayaker and instructor Matt Bosgraaf grew up down the street and has worked there for 17 years—since he was 14.
"SUP instruction is an opportunity to get beginner paddlers to relax out on the water," Bosgraaf says. "People seem to be able to use their brain to get all parts of the body to work together to fully enjoy the time on the water.”
TKC also offers SUP yoga, private instruction and navigation classes.
With their years of experience extending well beyond the advent of SUP, the folks at TKC can help you find the right board, take your first stroke or prepare for an expedition. The shop is on its way to becoming as historic as the town itself.
Find out more information about the shop, here.
See photos and class trips on the shops Facebook.