sea kayak symposium

Just wondering what a newbie should expect attending the midwest sea kayak symposium. I might be attending alone. So I was wondering if there are other newbies that can learn and paddle together.

which one?
There is the Western Michigan Coastal Sea Kayaker Symposium, the Inland Sea Kayak Symposium, the Door County Symposium, the Great Lakes Sea Kayak Symposium, the Ladies of the Lake Sea Kayak Symposium…

Yea… which one?
Last year I went to the Door County Symposium. The class structure is set up mostly for newer paddlers. Lots of good stuff!

This year I’m planning on the Inland Sea Symposium and the Door County Symposiums. If I can swing it, the Greenland Camp looks like a great experience to learn some traditional skills too.

The more you learn, the more you will want to know. :o)

A man selling Prijon kayaks

– Last Updated: Feb-07-06 12:04 AM EST –

with holes drilled in the keel

sea kayak symposium
Sorry I was’nt more specific. I am interested in the great lakes symposium. Thou now that all the others that were mentioned I’m wondering if I’m going to the best one for a entry level paddler. ehat should someone whos never been to a symposium expect. Thanks for the advice!

the typical symposium crowd is a mixture of just about every type paddler out there. You gotcha your newbies, wannabees, has beans, pro-bros, GP’s, Euro-types, flatwaters, whitewaters, rudder users, skeggers, don’t need no nothing paddlers and of course your ‘experts’ in just about every shape, color, size, etc.

go and have fun.

if you are prepared you will come dressed to paddle, preferably with your own PFD and Paddle tho this isn’t a requirement.

I get to go to lots of these gatherings as part of me job! tough work but sumbuddy’s gotta do it! :slight_smile:

plan on taking home some new ideas, skills and list of new paddlin’ friends!


There should be lots of classes
that last about 1.5 hrs each that would cover topics such as the forward stroke, recoveries, boat handling and an intro to eskimo rolling. Hopefully there will be lots of different boats to try out during the seminar and some sort of evening talk by an accomplished paddler. Seriously though, do not be surprised to see a man trying to sell a Prijon Kayak with an unexplained hole in the hull. YooHoo Hoohoohoo

all great for beginners
Most symposiums(and all the ones in Wisconsin) are tailored for beginner-intermediate paddlers. The Door County Sea Kayak Symposium in particular seems to be very beginner and family friendly.

Oh and in case you’re wondering, I’m the wannabee, Greenland, whitewater, skegger, river rat that runs around causing trouble. :slight_smile:


– Last Updated: Feb-08-06 8:18 PM EST –

Sounds like the Great Lakes sea kayak symposium. Some good but short lessons across the skill level. Pretty decent seminars re: anything from paddle strokes to kayak camping gear. Medium to large groups and great people to interact with. The year I went nigel dennis was there, also stan chladek (founder of GRO and competitive kayak legend). I think John Dowd was there the next year. Some gear and demo boats for sale and testing and some good boat builders.

You can camp in a city park right down the street or camp on the shore of lake mi about a 20 min. drive away down a very bumpy dirt road (but worth it).

Grand Marais is pretty neat little burg with an "end of the road" feel, on the south shore of lake superior. You're in for long sunny days but bring some cold water gear, lake superior never gets very warm.

I had a great time and plan on going this season. I believe it's around 7/16 but need to get more specifics.

I’m the ol’ crusty salt with the grey beard and wrinkly eyes that teaches a class call YAW-HOO, a cool way to understand boat control.


who also might be spotted with a GP, WW, canoe, squirt boat, skeg, rudder, cataraft, sailboat …etc.


hope to run into ya some day!


Ran into ya last year
and hope to do so again this April at the East Coast Kayak fest. We’re trying the camping thing this year instead of running back and forth from Goose Creek to James Island.

hopefully at canoecopia…
Steve, I’ll try to keep an eye out for you and if my schedule allows, I’d like to come and see your talk as well. Of course finding a particular grey beard in that crowd is like finding a needle in the haystack. :slight_smile:

You squirt boat? That’s awesome. Seeing those guys get 20+ second downtime mystery moves is just too insane for words.

West Michigan

– Last Updated: Feb-09-06 12:31 PM EST –

I attended WM, Door County, & Inland sea last season (and will again this year) and for what it's worth the West Michigan symposium is probobly the top choice for you IF you're brand new to the sport.(IMO of course) The fact that you're working in generally warm water on a calm lake is pretty important to a lot of new people. WM is also very family friendly which makes a difference to many people. They also include some children's classes as well. That being said however, all the symposiums have great intro classes and strong coaching staffs. You'll come away from any of them feeling like you've taken a big leap in your personal skill levels.


– Last Updated: Feb-09-06 3:57 PM EST –

Went to WM and GLSKS symposiums a couple of times when I lived in MI, and thought WM was geared more for entry-level paddlers. Nice location, friendly folks, and much warmer water than the big lakes at that time of year. The rodeo is a hoot! That said, I wouldn't miss the GLSKS -- Grand Marais is a spectacular place to spend a long weekend, and there's plenty for paddlers of all levels. If you get there early you can camp in the city-owned campground overlooking the lake and walk to all the events.

Thanks for the plug
I think the symposium is great too, we hope to have stellar weather again.

Also keep watching for the brochure and details.


Quiet Water Symposium
Just a quick note regarding a symposium coming up March 4, 2006.

Coming up in 3 weeks!

Quiet Water Symposium in Lansing, MI.

excuse me, but …
shouldn’t this be in the

Getting Together & Going Paddling forum?

Dude, you seriously need to find a hobby aside from trolling these boards.

The original poster was seeking ADVICE on what he/she would expect to see at symposiums (format, skill level, etc.) which is definitely appropriate for this forum.

I was on the cutting edge of squirt boating wayyy back in the late 80’s! We help start the first ever West Coast Squirt clinic from Jimmy Snyder in 1986. He was in a Wide Ride, we were in Perception Sabres! This was a couple years BEFORE the Jet. Got my first f/g boat, a Jet in '87.

Jeff and Jimmy came out West often to clinic us and show off the latest designs.

I kinda got out of it in the early '90’s after a rather scary 15 sec mystery where I ‘sdat’ on the bottom of the Clackamas river waiting to come up. ahhhhh the BigFoot. first boat that broke the adage…If it don’t HURT, it don’t squirt.

yep… see ya @ CC!


oh …
so I’m trolling?

I think not.

Perhaps I’m just a tad bit too anal and I have this belief that rules are meant to be followed – or at least one should “pretend” to follow them.

Be cool.