Florida Freestyle Symposium

It’s finally official. The 2nd annual Florida Freestyle Symposium will be held March 18th through the 21st. The location will be the Florida State College campus in Yulee, just outside of Jacksonville.

We’ve switched to the long format for this event as opposed to the weekend format used last year. The feedback I received was that people liked the long format better as it allowed for more practice time, special topics classes and an overall more relaxed atmosphere.

Registration/sign in will be on Friday afternoon, main classes on Sat., Sun., and Monday mornings. Special topics classes will be offered on Sat. and Sun. afternoons.

As the organizer, I will not be arranging any pre or post symposium trips. There were offers by several attendees last year to do just that and I’m certain there will be ample opportunities. This forum would be an excellent place for anyone wishing to organize a trip to do so.

Additional information and all necessary forms are available on the Freestyle website, www.freestylecanoeing.com .

Marc Ornstein

Looking forward to your return back to
our college with the Florida Freestyle Symposium.


No restaurant List??

You were there.

– Last Updated: Oct-26-10 11:46 AM EST –

Help Marc out. Provide one.

Not Bretts. Overpriced food so so. Paying for view.

Marc is the event going to be catered again or with the more relaxed schedule are participants on their own for dinner? There are a lot of places to eat.

BTW the accommodations for lodging are varied. The Outdoor Education center has nice showers , bathrooms and dorm facilities. You can tent and there are a number of motels within two miles.

Check out the website!
Marc and Laura did a great job with the FFS page. There are links to what is on the menu for each meal. You can pick and choose which meals you want to buy. Find local motels. Etc., etc.

The new website has a great look, and the FFS page is really interactive with links to lots of information. Laura Liebel is doing a great job with the website, but it is still under construction. (So, be patient.)


Kim is right Charlie!
I was hoping you had kept all your research from last year.

Seriously; I found a new caterer who I believe will be doing a fine job. It is Karen from Old South Yankee Gourmet Shop and Catering. She wanted to know all about the group, what the event was about and any feedback regarding food from previous events. The menu she provided looks great and has offerings that meet with the approval of my vegetarian consultant.

As indicated in the registration materials, you may select which meals you want and don’t want. I’m hoping most people will take the entire package and save the restaurant hopping for either before or after the event.

As Tim noted, Laura is doing a bang up job on the website. It continues to evolve. There are a few additions to the FFS listings and they should be posted soon.

Marc Ornstein

approval of my vegetarian consultant

– Last Updated: Oct-26-10 10:20 PM EST –

is important. There are a number of vegetarians who feel that carrot and celery sticks does not a veggie meal make.

Thank you..they will finally be happy.

And I am sure that the omnivores can keep quiet as they will have a selection of carniverous foods.

That said, for readers of this thread who are interested but who wonder what to do with non paddling family members, there have always been a group of non paddlers who gather and plan their own daily adventures. Some golf, some shop some walk the beach some hike.

I am tentatively planning a two night Okefenokee NWR trip leaving from Stephen Foster SP before unless McGrady can lead me into the depths of Sparkleberry.

Solo hogging of a chickee seems unwise and wasteful so I welcome company.

It’s a popular time of year for camping
in the swamp so make a reservation as soon as you can. March and April are limited to 2 night trips. Might be interested in joining you out there if you get a reservation. If you can’t you might want to look into going to Cumberland Island. It’s only about 30 miles away from the FSS. http://www.nps.gov/cuis/


– Last Updated: Oct-27-10 11:49 AM EST –

Here's what I've got, but I'm sure there are some great eateries I've missed.

AMELIA ISLAND FL area code 904

29 South 29th St 3rd St, Fernandina Beach 227-7919 3 stars

Barbara Jean’s 96003 Gateway Blvd, Amelis Is. 277-3700 1 star

Brett’s WaterWay Café Front St Fernandino B. 261. 2660 2 stars

Crab Trap 31 N 2nd Street Fernandino B. 261.4749 2 stars

Espana Restaurant 22 South 4th Street Fern. B. 261.7700 2 stars

Fernandina Seafood Co. 312 N Front St, Fern. B. 261.5830 2 stars

Le Clos 20 S 2nd St, Fernandina Beach 261.8100 3 stars

PLAE 80 Amelia Village Circle, Am. Is. 277.2132 1 star

Second the 3 stars
on 29 South.

Crab Trap thumbs up

– Last Updated: Oct-27-10 5:41 PM EST –

Bretts pricey. Good view is what you are paying for. Crab Trap has no view.

New title ought to be FFS and Canoe Food Critics Rendezvous.

Its beginning to sound more about the food and less about paddling.

You get to see Charlie paddling in a kilt.

Florida Freestyle
Yahoo, canoes and kilts…jesse

It’s always been about food
…after all, one of the questions on the very first instructor exam, if memory serves, was “is cilantro an herb or a spice?” I believe it was for extra credit :slight_smile:

Aside from the fact that CEW, I, and others involved love to cook, the food connection began in Louisiana at the La Lou events when cooking was done on site by the staff. Gotta say with the etouffe boilin’, the cajun music blarin’ and the kitchen literally rockin, it is a fond memory indeed.

Food and FreeStyle…two of the sensual pleasures of life…combined for one reason only–pleasure!

Very true…
yet March seems so very far away at this point! It is nice, however to anticipate the menues and the paddling time.

Plan on attending!
Missed last years due to my wife’s surgery!

What is the nature of a FS symposium?
I’ve never been to any sort of canoe symposium? I see different levels of classes listed. They are shown as levels 1-5 but what does that mean? Is 1 beginner and 5 advanced or does it mean something different? I’ve been paddling for years but have no freestyle experience. For that matter, I’m not sure exactly what freestyle is other than the clips I’ve seen on you tube. Can someone enlighten me?


Interesting reading…
You can get a flavour from back issues of “Crosspost” (see http://www.freestylecanoeing.com/) and for a quite memorable write up of attending a first US Freestyle symposium see Battenkiller’s thread starter here: http://www.myccr.com/SectionForums/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=33611

This first timer described his meet as “an intensive technique-based three-day instructional”… but what gets seen on you-tube doesn’t (as a rule) really reflect this focus: at present, the closest you’ll get to that is the dutch freestyle site - see http://www.freestylecanoeing.nl/indexEN.html

Would be good if the Florida meet could involve someone doing video clips of the (music and costume free) instructional side of things as per the Dutch site…

Class descriptions

Morning Classes are in three-hour blocks each for a total of 9 hours of instruction. Register for all three classes at the same level. Students in the class will stay together as a group and have a different instructor for each session to allow students to experience learning tips from a variety of instructors. We can switch groups as needed.

Skill Levels:

Level 1: An introduction to FreeStyle and a Flatwater skills review. Recommended for paddlers who have never tried FreeStyle paddling. The focus is on efficient, precise, forward, reverse, correction, and control strokes to tune your existing skills and begin FS maneuvers.

Level 2: Reviews flatwater skills but the focus is on forward, onside, maneuvers including Axle, Post, Wedge, Christie and Side Slips.

Level 3: Reviews reverse strokes and forward, onside skills but the focus is on reverse, onside, maneuvers: Reverse Axle, Rev Post, Rev Christy and Reverse Wedge. Linkages are introduced

Level 4: Reviews levels 1-3 and focuses on forward, cross ,or offside, maneuver, such as the Cross Axle, Cross Christie, Cross Post, and Cross Wedge and linkage skills.

Level 5: Reviews levels 1-4 but focuses on cross reverse maneuvers and linkages.

Afternoon sessions are freeform review with Instructors available for input but also include the following three hour Special Topics for interested students.

The Thrust High Kneel: A session on the risky but stellar high kneel thrust maneuvers. Swimsuit and PFD required!

Soloing a Tandem: Paddling solo in a tandem boat. Learn Canadian style paddling for efficient control of big boats as a solo paddler.

Paddling the Inside Circle: Three hours dedicated to the perfect, uncorrected, forward stroke and it’s cross variant.

Sit & Switch: North American Touring Technique w/ bent paddle] focuses on the touring forward stroke with bent paddle. BYOB; [bring your own bent.]

Slalom Buoys: Precise and fast maneuvering around a simplified slalom buoy course.

Tuning: Work with the FS instructor of your choice in a private session.

A full list of a available FFS classes
is listed on the registration form. An additional sheet with class descriptions should be posted shortly. Of particular interest to many P Netters will be an afternoon class titled “Creekin Freestyle”. It will be a functional class using FS techniques on a local stream.

Marc Ornstein

You can get an instuctural DVD from Tom McKenzie that is really good. It breaks down all of the forward maneuvers into the three segments of “initiation, placement, conclusion”. Added are little tips that help you with each maneuver.

The DVD was all I had when I first started. But there is no substitute for the feedback and fine tuning from the (excellent) instructors.

Did I mention that all of the freestyle instructors are really good?