Writes Life Academy Principal Erik Rice:

"Our students start the kayaking program with a combination of excitement and anxiety. Most of them do not know how to swim and have not had access to kayaks or other water sports. I have watched students go from being scared of the water to jumping in at the end of class. I have watched students who were normally very quiet become vocal leaders on the water. I have watched students step out of their comfort zones and try something different. In addition, our teachers have indicated a much higher level of focus from students in the classroom on days that they had previously gone kayaking. It is rare for students from our demographics in East Oakland to have access to such an exciting resource. In the last few years the Jack London Aquatic Center has been one Life Academy's most impactful partners."




Many of the new small public high schools in Oakland do not have the on-site space in which to hold their own P.E. classes. Life Academy and MetWest high schools both outsource their P.E. classes by having their students learn to Kayak at the Jack London Aquatic Center.

If you are a student, teacher or administrator at an Oakland school and are interested in working with us, please contact us.

Scholarships: Please do not let money stop you from joining our programs. JLAC's goal is to include all youth who have a genuine interest in water sports. Partial scholarships, payment arrangements, and work exchange are available. Please contact Kenny Purser at 510.208.6060 or email [email protected].


Friday Twilight Kayaking
Need a healthy way to unwind after a brutal workweek? What better way than to come down and paddle on the Estuary with us! We will explore parts of the Lake Merritt Channel and the Estuary. JLAC provides kayaks, equipment, PFDs, a guide, and inspiration! Some of the best kayaking in the Bay Area.

What to bring: Sunglasses with straps, a brimmed hat, extra clothes, some water and a snack.

What to wear: You'll get a little damp from drops of the kayak paddle. If you have synthetic pants/shorts and a windbreaker you'll be comfy. If you wear cotton, make sure to bring a change of clothes and a towel. We have showers for you to clean up after the paddle.

Please arrive as close to 5:00 p.m. as possible to get started.

Cost: $25 per session 

August 6, 2010
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August 13, 2010
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August 20, 2010
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September 3, 2010
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September 17, 2010
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September 24, 2010
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October 1, 2010
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Groups are more than welcome!  Please email Jordan Gill at [email protected] if interested.  

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Private Twilight Kayak

Looking for an activity for you work group, or want something to do with family and friends. A Private Twilight Kayak is a great option for those wanting an active alternative to your group event. Please call 510-208-6060 or email [email protected] to book your own event. 

Introduction to Sea Kayaking 

This one day class focuses on traveling safely and efficiently.  Paddling strokes, braces, rescues and recoveries, tides, currents, and boat maintenance will be covered - all according to American Canoe Association guidelines.  Upon passing this class, participants can venture out in sea kayaks independently with a small monthly contribution to help fund JLAC youth programs.  Participants under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.  Course starts at 9 AM and ends at 3:30.

If you would like to schedule a class, you only need two students. If you have already taken a basics class and would like to improve your skills, you can schedule a class for that, also. E-mail Mark at [email protected]. To sign up, please click on the link below, call 510.208.6060 with any questions.  

Click here to register for Intro to Sea Kayaking!

Cost: $85 per participant  

2010 Session 7:

August 29, 2010 
 Start time: 9 AM  8 spots open
2010 Session 8:

September 26, 2010 
 Start time: 9 AM  8 spots open
2010 Session 9:

October 10, 2010 
 Start time: 9 AM  8 spots open
2010 Session 10:

November 14, 2010
 Start time: 9 AM  8 spots open 

Kayak Partner Program

JLAC now offers a three month kayak partner program. Members have access to the sea kayaks and related gear, the upstairs changing rooms/showers, small weight room and special rates on renting the facilities.

Every three months JLAC will offer at least two 'workshops' for kayakers. These workshops will be selected from the following list:

  • Basic strokes review and rescue practice
  • Edging, bracing and boat control
  • Advanced rescue practice
  • Advanced strokes and maneuvers
  • Forward stroke video class
Also during each quarter JLAC will offer an ACA Assessment class. Those members who currently hold an American Canoe Association membership are welcome to participate in attaining Levels One through Three Assessments.

The cost is $30 per month. A three month commitment is requested.

Along with the workshops, there will be ample opportunity to paddle with others on various weeknights, as well as Saturday paddles.

To sign up, or if you have questions, please contact Mark at [email protected] or call 510-208-6060.


Please contact us if you are interested in partnering with us to bring your community- or church- group down to the waterfront to paddle. Groups we have worked with in the past include the following: Oakland Housing Authority; Saint Paul's School's Aim High program; Oakland Park and Recreation's Montclair, Redwood Heights and Lincoln Square Centers and their Radical Roving Recreation program.