East Coast Paddlesports Symposium

We regret to announce the cancelation of the 2021 East Coast Paddlesports Symposium that was planned for March 26-28. This event traditionally attracts international instructors as well as participants from across the US. Out of an abundance of caution about rising COVID infections in Charleston and across the US, we made the tough decision to not hold the event.  Please be assured that you will receive a 100% refund of your registration fee. Refunds will be processed in the method by which you paid and may take 7-10 days. If you have any questions or concerns, please email Park & Program Services. Thank you for your participation and for your understanding during these unprecedented times.

The 30th Anniversary East Coast Paddlesports Symposium is a three-day immersion in the history, technique, hands-on experience, and fun of kayaking. Paddling enthusiasts will not be disappointed in this diverse and student-centered experience in the No. 1 city in the U.S. according to Travel + Leisure.

So How Does This Work?

  1. You'll choose a track based on your skill set and work with coaches selected to provide personal instruction each day. After being grouped with paddlers of similar skill and interest, we will rotate your group through top instructors over the course of the weekend.
  2. Once registered, event organizers will contact you directly (approximately 30 days out), and help customize your experience. You'll choose from full and half-day topics that meet your intended goals and objectives. Don't worry, you can make adjustments on-site based on how you feel and weather conditions. This event is structured to ensure a student-centered experience.
  3. See each tab below for more information on each track offering.
  1. Into the Salt
  2. Ocean Improvers
  3. Ocean Explorers

Into the Salt

You self-identify as a fair-weather paddler who is looking to increase your enjoyment of and efficiency with paddling.

Environmental Comfort Zone  

  • Winds 10 knots or less
  • Waves less than 1 foot
  • Traveling 1-8 miles

Potential Teaching Venues

  • James Island County Park Lake 
  • Folly River
  • Stono River 
  • Charleston Harbor

Topics Covered

  • Forward Stroke Refinement
  • Strokes & Maneuvers
  • Learning to Edge your Kayak
  • Impact of tides and currents on the paddler
  • Introduction to Rolling (optional)
  • Self and assisted rescues


For information on our COVID-19 protocols, please visit the Alert Center. For event questions, please contact Park & Program Services by email or by phone at 843-795-4386.

2019 Photo Gallery

View the photo gallery. Thank you to Chris Hipgrave and Don White for capturing the weekend!