Good news! Another big chance for sea kayakers to learn advanced skills has arrived: the Golden Gate Sea Kayaking Symposium 2012 (GGSKS) will occur February 17-19.
There has been a welcome trend over the last half a decade of increased numbers of symposia for intermediate and advanced sea kayakers. For example, two years ago I was fortunate to attend the Coast Busters Sea Kayaking Symposium in New Zealand. The next day, we practiced surfing and other skills at the International Sea Kayak Week. That experience opened my eyes to the possibility that sea kayakers want more from a symposium than looking at the latest sea kayaks and takimg introductory classes on basic skills.
Later I got wind of the UK Storm Gatherings in Great Britain, a series of conferences focused on paddling in storm conditions. And then I heard about Lumpy Waters, an advanced sea kayaking symposium held in the northern part of my state, Oregon. At Lumpy Waters they focus on surfing, rock gardening, and rescues.
Golden Gate Sea Kayaking Symposium 2012
In February 2011 I attended the Golden Gate Sea Kayaking Symposium in San Francisco Bay where I had an opportunity to speak with and work with many talented teachers and students. The GGSKS offers advanced instruction in master boat control, surfing, rock gardening, and other rough-water skills.
Lumpy Waters and other symposia will occur much later this year, but the GGSKS is happening in a couple of weeks.
The featured instructor this year is Scotland’s venerable sea kayaker, the unsinkable Gordon Brown. Mr. Brown will be teaching advanced boat control and guiding a tour on the bay. After the symposium, he will be leading a BCU Level 5 course.
The featured speaker at this year’s GGSKS will be kayaker and explorer Jon Turk. Mr. Turk’s talk will focus on the first circumnavigation of Ellesmere Island that he completed with fellow adventurer Erik Boomer last year. Jon and Eric have been nominated by the National Geographic Society as top explorers of the year. Jon has written books about his adventures, including The Raven’s Gift, In the Wake of the Jomon, and Cold Oceans. I guarantee his talk will be enlightening and well worth the price of admission. Jon Turk is one of our greatest sea kayaking explorers.
It’s good news that more advanced symposia are happening around the world. Take advantage of GGSKS now.
If you’ve attended an advanced sea kayaking symposium as a student or a teacher, please share your experiences with us. Please feel free to add your comments below this post.
I’ll be undergoing some medical stuff over the next couple of weeks, and I may miss two or three posts. But I’ll be back, so please stay tuned.