Has anyone here ever participated?
What was your take way?
Did you find it worthwhile?
I’ve taken classes in the goose pond behind the store and they were definitely worth the money.
I’ve been several times, first as a student and later as a coach. It is great for beginner and intermediate level paddlers. Many of the best instructors from the Midwest will be there, and paddling in Door Co. is a great experience in itself.
I always recommend people max out on instruction and skip the tours. Once you have the skills, you can go back and paddle whenever.
It is a very social event with evening group meals, beer wagon, etc.
Totally worth it
I would, and do, recommend any of the midwest sea kayak symposia. Great Lakes, Inland Sea, Ladies of the Lake, Western Michigan, Gales, Windy City, etc. (sorry if I missed any). They are all well run, informative and most importantly, fun. They each have their own unique feel, goals, atmosphere. I would go to every one, every year if I could.
That being said, my personal opinion is that Door County sets the bar for social atmosphere, range of conditions and organization.
I agree that a beginner may want to max out on instructions and skip the tours, but there is plenty to learn on the tours, too. It’s the same instructors running both, so you can ask all the same questions, just with better scenery.
Learn a lot in a short time
Symposiums are a good way to learn a lot in a short period of time, get inspiration for where you want to go with your paddling and meet a lot of like-minded people and have a lot of fun. Door County SKS has a good mix of tours and instruction. I’d suggest including one tour to give yourself a break/change of pace. You can still learn on a tour, just not at the same intensity.