Selecting Your Classes & Tours

Each day there are two instructional sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. During each session there are a wide range of classes and tours offered for all skill levels. Please read the "Determining your Skill Level" section below to help you select appropriate classes for the weekend. This also helps us assess if the classes you've signed up for are a good fit.

Check out suggested progressions for guidelines and suggestions on making your schedule. Use the bookmark feature to help you build your schedule.

Note: Pre-registration is required for on-water classes and tours and on-land classes. Brown Bag Lunch Seminars (when offered) do not require pre-registration.

For questions, email or call 608-310-3852.

Determining Your Skill Level
Determining your skill level is the key to selecting the classes and tours that are most appropriate for you. Pick the skill level that best describes your paddling experience and ability, then use that as a guide as you select your classes and tours.

If you're a beginner: you have no sea kayaking experience and no formal instruction. The sympsosium may be one of your first times in a kayak.

If you're a novice: you have had some formal kayak instruction and have some paddling experience on lakes other than a local pond. You have capsized a kayak and you were okay with it. You consider yourself to be at a basic level.

If you're an intermediate paddler: you have sea kayaking experience on large lakes with waves up to 2 ft, and have had formal kayaking instruction. You are comfortable tipping over with a spray skirt on and can get back in your kayak with or without assistance.

If you're an advanced paddler: you are experienced paddling on great lakes, have solid sea kayaking skills, and have had formal kayaking instruction. You can cover 10-15 miles, at a 3-4 miles/hour pace, and handle waves 3ft or bigger.

Once you have determined your skill level read over all of our classes and tours, and sort by skill to help narrow down your choices.

Skill Rating of Classes and Tours
All sea kayaking begins with fundamental skills such as those taught at this symposium. We don't use different skills as we improve as paddlers, we refine these fundamentals and are able to paddle in more challenging conditions as we become more advanced paddlers. Mastery of fundamental paddling techniques in real-world conditions is what separates advanced paddlers from beginners.

For paddlers with little to no sea kayak experience or formal instruction. These classes teach the essentials needed to get off to a safe start. The tours are shorter, less challenging, and are on calm, protected waters. The focus is on scenery, not the need for technique.

For paddlers with some sea kayaking experience or formal instruction. These classes are the meat of the symposium. Build on the fundamentals you need to progress along your kayaking path. The tours are an introduction to kayaking on larger bodies of water. Gain experience using fundamental skills at a relaxed pace. Distance 4-6 miles.

For paddlers with proficient fundamental skills. These classes will help refine your skills and put them to use with more exposure to the environmental conditions of open water. The tours require good fundamental skills in order to handle distances of 6-10 miles and variable conditions. Sea kayaks of 15' and longer are required for these tours to be sure that you are able to comfortably and safely keep up with the group in potentially rough conditions.

Full day tours putting solid technical skills to use covering 10-15 miles at a 3-4 mile/hour pace. Sea kayaks of 15' and longer required for these tours to be sure that you are able to comfortably and safely keep up with the group in potentially rough conditions.

About Prerequisites
We ask for your cooperation when prerequisites are listed. Prerequisites are one way we can be sure that everyone is in a class that is appropriate for their skill level. For your own safety and out of courtesy for others, please be sure you meet all the listed prerequisites when registering for classes and tours. If you have a question, contact us and we can help.

Prerequisites can also help you figure out your course progression for the weekend. For example, because having a good hip snap makes a rolling class much more successful, boat control classes are a prerequisite for kayak rolling classes.

Schedule Changes
You will select your classes and tours when you register, but you can always change your mind! We're happy to help you make changes to your schedule, based on course availability. Your registration confirmation will tell you how to do so.

Note: All classes and tours are subject to change based on weather and water conditions.


"I feel like this weekend was made for me (a 45-year-old with extensive paddling time, but modest training.)"

"I developed a new level of confidence. I never thought I could do this..."