Training/Coaching in the Santa Barbara, CA area?

Hi all,

I recently have gotten back into kayaking after a 10 15 18* year hiatus. Back in the day, I took a lot of classes including some rough water work and even had a semi-dependable roll (good enough for the lakes and Puget Sound around Seattle).

Now I’m going out a couple times a week with whatever dim memory of my training that remains plus cobbled together stuff to try from about a million places on the internet. I’m certainly having a good time, but it’s like that saying, I’m not piling up multiple hours of experience, I’m getting the same hour of experience multiple times. I certainly could use coaching, especially in what are unfamiliar waters.

I know COVID screws all this up, but does anyone know of any options for me for either now or when things return to some kind of normal?


*How did that happen?

Welcome back ! Check out the ACA list of instructors in Calif. There are some in the Santa Barbara area, but I do not know them.

I have first hand knowledge that Sean Morley in the Bay area, and Jeff Laxier & Cate Hawthorne in Fort Bragg are great for coastal sea kayaking/rock gardens/kayak surfing.


Thanks! I had looked at that site before, and in this part of the coast, the only instructors I see appear to teach sit-on-top, not quite what I’m looking for.

UCSB has, at least in the past, held pool rolling classes and surf lessons on their beach, but those seem to be off the table for good reason while campus is closed.

You may want to try David Santaniello: david.santaniello AT (change the"AT" to an @ and remove spaces).

Level 5 (highest level) open coast kayaking instructor, regular instructor at many of the regional symposiums, organizer of this past Paddle Golden Gate, member of Neptune’s Rangers, etc. etc. In the past year, he moved down to Santa Barbara area.


Thank you! This is exactly the kind of info I’m looking for.