The nonprofit Arizona Sailing Foundation is the only school in Arizona teaching kids to sail.
This class is intended for children 8 to 12 years old with no prior sailing experience. Kids Introduction to Sailing builds the skills and confidence needed to successfully rig, launch, sail, and put away an Optimist “Opti” sailboat. Students will SINGLEHAND, meaning sail the boat all by themselves, on day #1.
ASF provides Optimist (dinghy) sailboats, US Sailing certified instructors—and maximum fun. Students provide their own PFDs and helmets.
SPRING 2023 Classes:
Kid’s Introduction to Sailing classes are made up of three classes held at Tempe Town Lake (map) from 1 pm-5 pm over three Saturdays
- Saturday, Feb. 4
- Saturday, Feb. 25
- Saturday, Mar. 11
- Saturday, Apr. 1 (make-up, if needed)
Saturday afternoons from 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. at Tempe Town Lake marina (map). Maximum class size = ten. Students provide their own PFDs
Focus is on sailing fun, learning the basics—safety on the water and making the boat go where you want it to. Ages 8-12 are welcome with no experience required. On-shore sessions are brief and then students are on the water sailing in an Optimist dinghy. Total class time is four hours per day, including preparation, rigging, sailing, de-rigging, post-sailing snacks and hydration.
The first goals are to learn how make the boat move, to control boat direction, to sail comfortably in wind up to 10-15 mph, and to understand boating safety techniques. Students are welcome to take this class multiple times until they feel they have the skills and confidence to move up to MORE Junior Sailing or High School Sailing.
About the class: Optimist boats are provided by ASF. Students need to provide their own PFD (life jacket) and helmet. Instructors are US Sailing Certified Small Boat Instructors supported by assistance from parents and from kids that have been through the ASF program. The class is for kids 8-12 and no experience is required. Class size is limited to 10.
You’ll need to provide your own PFD (life jacket). Everyone must take a very simple swim test in the lake at the start of class to make sure they’re comfortable in the water.
All ASF Instructors are US Sailing certified and are required to pass US Sailing SafeSport training. ASF and US Sailing have zero tolerance for abuse and misconduct.
This is a family friendly class and you are encouraged to bring siblings and friends to join in the afternoon picnic atmosphere and the SHORE portions of the class, including rigging/launching, boat preparation and work at the docks. Only enrolled students are allowed on the water.
Classes overlap with ASF Adult Learn to Sail classes for a fun filled afternoon of Tempe Town Lake sailing.
Here’s a cool video showing how one girl sails in an Opti program at her club.
Cost for the class is $210/student.
Click here for information about getting to Tempe Town Lake
AYC Member Scholarship
And remember, AYC Members may be able to receive a $50 scholarship for a child to attend an ASF Junior class. Fill out this form, attach a written paragraph or drawing and return it to the AYC Commodore for consideration. Like to see a successful application? Here’s a great one from 2012 by Isabel Love and from Ryan Zornik in 2017.
QUESTIONS??? Call or text (480) 269-2699 or send an email to InstructorASF@gmail.com.