On-Water Classes

On-water classes offer the opportunity for participants to work with expert instructors in their respective fields of paddling, from entry level to advanced paddling classes. Most classes cater to the paddler who is ready to move beyond the basics, but prerequisites and previous experience are required for a select few (Determine Your Skill Level). In order to register for on-water classes, you must also be registered for the East Coast Paddlesports Symposium weekend.

Touring/sea kayaks will not be provided as they were in prior years. If you're unable to bring your own boat with you, a limited number of touring/sea kayaks are available for rent on a first come, first-served basis for $75. Reservation is required prior to arrival. The rental period is from Friday through Sunday of the symposium. Stand-up paddleboards, surfing sit-on-top kayaks, and canoes will be provided for courses specific to those craft. After registering for the symposium, you can sign-up for a rental kayak. For more information, contact John Radel, Paddlesports Coordinator, by email or phone at 843-762-8095.

  1. Friday, April 20
  2. Saturday, April 21
  3. Sunday, April 22

Friday, April 20


Intro to Ocean Paddling


8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
#55495
Kick your paddling skills up a notch, and experience a new level of fun that only paddling in the ocean has to offer. This full-day event begins on a tidal river and gently progresses toward crossing that boundary into the ocean. Develop skills and knowledge along the way and then put it all to the test as the 'Edge of America' meets the Atlantic Ocean. SKILL LEVEL: For entry level to intermediate paddlers. 

Maximum Efficiency Paddling Clinic


8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
#55496
Spend a day learning from a world-class competitive paddler. This session is not just for elite level racers, but it will be taught by one! Topics include: forward stroke technique, equipment, trip planning, safety, evaluating conditions, specific surf ski skill, downwind skills, and much more. We'll discuss invaluable training and technique exercises for the racer and the casual paddler alike. Sea kayak and
surf skis are welcomed. SKILL LEVEL: For intermediate to advanced paddlers. 

Calm in Conditions


8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
#55497
Join our expert instructors for an in-depth look at being comfortable while
operating in more challenging conditions. Undertake this all-day outing to build
valuable experience in rougher water. Learn strategies to get the most out of
your paddle and boat when it matters most. Expand your comfort zone and gain
the confidence needed to expand your paddling horizons! SKILL LEVEL: For
entry level to intermediate paddlers.

Kayak Rescues at Sea


8:30 a.m.-12 p.m.
#55498
Rescues are often practiced in calm and controlled settings, but can you rely on this practice translating directly into the real world? Effective rescues in dynamic waters are the result of applying practiced principals in context. Experiment with some top tips for specific rescue challenges as obstacles are sprung on the class and participants spend plenty of wet time coming up with creative solutions. Afterward, students and coaches will debrief how things transpired. As a safety precaution, a helmet must be worn during this course. SKILL LEVEL: For intermediate to advanced paddlers.

SUP FUNdamentals


9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
#55499
Whether you aspire toward more extreme paddling pursuits or you just want to do what you are doing with greater ease, it all hinges on fundamentals. This session will explore those fundamentals and provide you with activities to self-practice in a fun learning environment. This is an ideal opportunity to hone your paddling with experts and build a solid foundation of the essentials. SKILL LEVEL: For paddlers of all skill levels.

Kayak FUNdamentals


9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
#55500
Whether you aspire toward more extreme paddling pursuits or you just want to  do what you are doing with greater ease, it all hinges on fundamentals. This  session will explore those fundamentals and provide you with activities to  self-practice in a fun learning environment. This is an ideal opportunity to hone  your paddling with experts and build a solid foundation of the essentials. SKILL LEVEL: For paddlers of all skill levels.

Canoe FUNdamentals


9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
#55501
Whether you aspire toward more extreme paddling pursuits or you just want to do what you are doing with greater ease, it all hinges on fundamentals. This session will explore those fundamentals and provide you with activities to self-practice in a fun learning environment. This is an ideal opportunity to hone your paddling with experts and build a solid foundation of the essentials. SKILL LEVEL: For paddlers of all skill levels.

Women in Full Revolution


9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
#55502
Knowing how to roll breaks down barriers takes you to a new level of kayaking independence. Find out how a successful roll involves the whole body, from head to foot, and how efficiency gauges its ultimate effectiveness . This all women's session will be led by female instructors. SKILL LEVEL: For paddlers of all skill levels.

Sea Kayaking in Tidal Currents


1-4:30 p.m.
#55503
Learn techniques for paddling in areas subject to tidal current, including entering and exiting eddies, ferrying across currents, and surfing standing waves. During these exercises, we will be grouped in a large, calm eddy where kayakers can rest alongside the fast-moving tide rip. This is your chance to 'push the envelope' with dependable backup. Please be aware that capsizing is always a possibility when learning to paddle in current and rough water. Participants should be comfortable and confident in self-rescues. As a safety precaution, a helmet must be worn during this course. SKILL LEVEL: For intermediate to advanced paddlers.

Rescues & Recoveries Out of the Box


12:30-2:30 p.m.
#55504
Learn a handful of simple solid rescue tools to keep yourself and fellow paddlers having fun and out of the newspapers. Practice a handful of real-world skills including paddle float re-enter and roll (even if you don't know how to roll, this works!), an easy scoop, variations on t-rescues, rec boat recoveries, and a variety of simple contact and roped tow techniques. We'll share experiences and skills learned by all group members. Participants should have done wet exits before and must come dressed for immersion with boat, paddle, pump, paddle float, and any other rescue devices they have on hand. SKILL LEVEL: For paddlers of all skill levels.

Forward Stroke University


12:30-2:30 p.m.
#55505
The forward stroke is by far our most used stroke - thus the most important stroke to perfect. Join your professor in this critical analysis of the kayaker's forward stroke. Topics include sitting position, body mechanics and posture, grip position, stroke length and the path of the paddle. This class will cover techniques for both standard touring paddles and wing paddles. But don't worry; there is no dissertation due upon completion! SKILL LEVEL: For paddlers of all skill levels.

Flirting with the Edge


12:30-2:30 p.m.
#55506
This provocative course focuses on the interplay of you with your boat and paddle. Learn how the experts make sculling for support and carving turns look so attractive. Explore how to enhance your balance and ability to recover in fun and challenging ways. Pushing your edge expands your possibilities - are you tempted? SKILL LEVEL: For intermediate to advanced paddlers.

Traditional Paddling


12:30-2:30 p.m.
#55507
Modern sea kayaking has its roots firmly based in the traditions of Greenland kayaking. The Inuit have used "qajaqs" as a means of hunting and fishing for centuries. Explore these skills and paddling strokes while being immersed in Greenlandic culture. Learn about Avataqs, Akuilisaqs, and Norsat, and also get to know the difference between a Tuilik and a Tupilaq . No need to already be a Greenland kayaker; there will even be a few paddles available to try if you wish. SKILL LEVEL: For paddlers of all skill levels.

SUP Dynamics


3-5 p.m.
#55508
So you can SUP, but you want to explore being more dynamic in stable environments and maintaining stability in dynamic environments. If you can wrap your head around that last sentence, this course is for you! We will focus on increasing our efficiency and effectiveness while paddling and performing maneuvers. This is a must-attend session for those wanting to transition from flatwater to rivers or the ocean. SKILL LEVEL: For paddlers of all skill levels.

Bracing & Support Strokes


3-5 p.m.
#55509
Learning these fun skills will help keep you upright in your boat! Gain a sense of stability. Learn when to brace, or simply paddle forward, for support or recovery from an unexpected loss of balance. We'll work on static and dynamic bracing and even get into some sculling maneuvers. Be prepared to get wet! SKILL LEVEL: For paddlers of all skill levels.

The Art of Maneuvering Your Kayak


3-5 p.m.
#55510
The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, except in kayaking! The main reason most people paddle their kayak is to travel to a destination. Your strokes move your kayak, but knowing how to put the different strokes together to stay on course is another matter. There are many different strategies for staying on course or getting back on course, and this class will explore a number of those different strategies to help you maneuver efficiently, especially on windy days. SKILL LEVEL: For paddlers of all skill levels.

Troubleshoot Your Roll


3-5 p.m.
#55511
When "This Side Up" still faces down, we can help. Join our team of instructors to make better sense of heads and tails in rolling a kayak. We will help you diagnose and work through common mistakes of unsuccessful rolls, as well as instill greater understanding of the mechanics so you can self-coach along in the learning process. SKILL LEVEL: For intermediate to advanced paddlers.

Weather & Equipment


Your activity will be held in an outdoor setting which is subject to sun, wind, rain, insects, etc. In general, these programs are held rain or shine; although lightning and/or high winds may cause cancellation. Please plan accordingly and be prepared for anticipated conditions.

What to Bring


  • Shoes which can get wet and will stay on your feet in the water
  • Swim suit/nylon shorts
  • Sun protection (hat, glasses and lotion)
  • Water bottle (1-3 quarts in plastic bottles with lids--No alcoholic beverages please!)
  • Clothing for anticipated weather conditions, including rain gear (in cool temperatures, please avoid cotton)
  • Bag lunch for programs that run over the lunch hour, and snacks
  • Required medication for the day in its prescription packaging and the ability to self-medicate 
For kayak-related courses, participants are responsible for having the following paddling equipment:
  • Sea/touring kayak with intact bow and stern bulkheads or adequate flotation
  • Paddle
  • Spray skirt
  • PFD/lifejacket
  • Other items required, listed specifically in a course description (helmet, etc.)
For participants unable to provide their own sea/touring kayak during the symposium, a limited number of kayaks are available for rental for $75. After registering for the symposium, you can sign-up for a rental kayak. For more information, contact John Radel, Paddlesports Coordinator, by email or phone at 843-762-8095.

Limited amounts of other equipment will be available for use. If you need other equipment, please check at the On-Water Meeting Area 30 minutes prior to the start of your class.