learn to kayak in Belize

On our island in Belize we have all of the sport toys you can imagine: sea kayaks, surf kayaks, surf paddleboards, long distance paddleboards, beginner, intermediate and advanced windsurfers, fishing kayaks, surf boards, rolling kayaks, and kitesurf gear. It’s hard to say which sport is the favorite, but it might be sea kayaking. We use the kayaks to access snorkeling spots, and sea kayaks are very stable and do not tip over easily. Plus the water is 80 degrees. This is the perfect place to learn to kayak.

When you arrive on the island you get complete instruction in all sports. The sea kayaking orientation is the most comprehensive. We cover fitting the kayak to your body, operating the rudder, where to stow your snorkel gear on the deck of the boat, how to hold the paddle, forward, reverse, and turning strokes, getting in and out of the kayak for snorkeling, and rescuing your buddy if they in fact do tip over. This takes one full morning, and once you have completed this session, you and your buddy can paddle anytime you like as long as we give you the OK (occasionally we veto a plan if we feel it isn’t safe in current conditions).

Many of our guests try out many of our kayaks, we have 11 different types of boats, and report back to us that they went home and bought a kayak! Add sea kayaking to your sport repertoire this winter! This is the perfect place to learn sea kayaking.

Belize Adventure Week, our 8-night jungle/island combo trip is on sale!

Caves Branch River, Belize Belize snorkeling


January 5 – 12
January 12 – 19
Belize Adventure Week, Sat – Sat, 8 nights
10% off! $2155.50 US pp ($2395 pp regular rate)

Imitated but not equaled, Belize Adventure Week is widely acclaimed as one of the top adventure travel experiences found anywhere. We specialize in adventure sport activities led by expert guides. In one action-packed tour you experience fifteen sports in eight days!

Our adventure begins with an exploration of spectacular Che Chem Ha, where we see Mayan pottery left by shamans over a thousand years ago. That afternoon we run a whitewater river on sit-on-top boats. The next day we travel two hours to Tikal in nearby Guatemala. These impressive ruins have been expensively restored, representing the largest Mayan city every uncovered. Finally we raft and kayak the Caves Branch River through nearly five miles of caves. Navigating by headlamp, we explore hidden chambers on this unique underground journey. Midweek we transfer to our private island for three days of island sports.

One of Slickrock’s many island activities is sea kayak kite-sailing trips, where we employ special kites made to tow kayaks. When the wind is from the right direction, we often get out the kayak kites and hook them up for a down-wind run to Middle Caye. The kites still allow the kayaker to steer the boat with a rudder, although that is limited to about 45 degrees off from straight down wind. It is a challenging and exciting way to travel in a sea kayak, as one has to manage the kite, be able to steer, and reel it in when the next island is reached. But the thrill of moving under wind power in a kayak is a different experience that is always fun!

We often sail to Middle Caye when we have 15 mph winds or more (but not over 20 or it’s too hard to paddle back up!)

Click on images below to see full picture.

Learn to roll a kayakBelize kayak rollingKayak rolling lessonsHow to roll a kayakBelize kayakingSlickrock’s island at Long Caye, Belize is the perfect location to learn how to roll a kayak. We offer instruction in rolling to any guest who is interested, using river kayaks we keep on the island for this purpose.

Kayak rolling lessons are one-on-one and we fit these instructional sessions around the other activities. You can also learn a lot about kayak rolling watching someone else learn, so often a group of 2 or 3 will take turns for a few hours in the morning or afternoon. After all, once can only stand turning upside down in the water for so long.

This is a perfect place learn kayak rolling because we have students wear their snorkel mask to help them see and understand the moves. The warm clear water and our shallows off the beach provide the perfect setting to learn this skill.

After learning the roll in a river kayak, one can easily graduate up to rolling a sea kayak, or using the river kayak in our surf spot.

And then, once you have mastered rolling a sea kayak, you and your buddy then can move up to rolling a DOUBLE kayak!

I get this question a lot and I have a standard answer: at the end of the week you will probably fall to the sand and grab me around the ankles and beg to stay. This is the best island you have EVER seen. NO TIME is enough time on Long Caye. Ask Steever Price, who is joining us this season for his 14th trip! Rich Lawson hasn’t missed a winter on the island since his first trip in April of 2006!

Belize sports

There is no end of cool stuff to do. Sure we have guided tours to go sea kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, kitesurfing, windsurfing, kayak surfing, sport fishing, kayak fishing, paddleboarding, and board surfing (not to mention hammock surfing.) But there’s more. Here’s an incomplete list of island activities we pull out of our hats when looking to for other stuff to do:

-Paddling to the other islands in the atoll (from 2.5 miles to 6 miles away)
-Birdwatching with Mario (in April when birds are migrating north we often see 40 different species in a week!)
-Snorkeling to ‘the Wall’ dive site just 100 yards off the island shore
-Paddling north along the reef to snorkel from the kayaks (or just to see the north part of the reef)
-Kiteboard training
-Paddling to the ‘new island’ forming 4 miles north of NE Caye
-Snorkel (swim) all the way to Middle Caye
-Kayak slalom races
-King of the I-Dock (conquering our inflatable dock)
-Night snorkeling
-Free diving
-All About Coconuts, by MJ
-Snorkeling around the island
-Hermit crab races
-Advanced kayak instruction to cover rolling and other kinds of rescues
-Island croquet
-Downwind kayak float while snorkeling, then paddle back
-Advanced scuba diving lessons
-Snorkeling outside the reef in much deeper water north of NE Caye if it’s calm
-Moonlight paddling
-Reef low tide walks
-Reading from the library; we have over 100 titles about Belize and the surrounding area
-Coconut Olympics
-Star gazing
-Costume parties
-Paddling to patch reefs to snorkel from the kayaks

So will you get bored on our Belize sports center? Not a chance.