I am so excited about my upcoming weekend at the Kiptopeke Kayak Symposium on the Virginia Barrier Islands.
I’ve been to a few larger symposiums (many many years ago) that had a huge retail component with very large classes, such as the East Coast Canoe and Kayak Festival in Charleston SC, but I am better matched to those Symposium that are 100% skill based, such as the Delmarva's Greenland Retreat (which I attended in 1999 and 2000) and the Barrier Island Kayaks Symposium (which I’ve attended many times over the past 12 years). Kiptopeke is new; this is its 2nd year, 54 participants, 12 coaches, 33 courses, 4 lodges + a condo. Wow!
This, along with the Sea Kayak Georgia Symposium at Tybee Island Georgia in October, is all part of my training and preparation for the many adventures I plan in retirement. All will be ocean and surf classes.
This is a picture from last year’s Kiptopeke (taken from their advertisement), looks like sooo much fun.
Here's the classes I'm signed up for:
Life on the Edge
Take your boat control to a new level and find out just how far you can edge your boat. This session is all about building confidence and boat handling skills, and discovering new ways to maneuver your kayak, particularly as the conditions get rough. We'll spend the first part of the day with edging and blending support strokes together to help with seamless transitions and efficiency on the water. We'll also cover bracing in conditions, rough water rolling (including the surf zone) and rescues. Not for the faint at heart, or newer paddlers.
Open Water Skills (ACA Level 4)
Heading out beyond the surf zone and into open water requires more than good paddling skills. Our L4 skills day is designed to build on your solid flat/protected water skill set in a fun, creative way, exposing you to navigation techniques, advanced rescues/contingency/group management scenarios and boat control in open water. In addition to paddling skills development, topics include tide & chart interpretation and use, radio use, marine and shipping hazards, and more. This is a great way to get exposure to open water paddling, or learn some new techniques and tips if you're already paddling in open water.
Wreckage in the Wave Train: Rough water bracing, rescues and towing
Prepare for mayhem as we head out into open water, the wave train and areas of faster current to play and learn new (or polish existing) rough water skills. We’ll review the fundamentals in flatter conditions and then practice them in increasingly rough water. Get ready for some serious (but safe) bracing, rescues, towing and managing whatever incidents arise during the course of the day. Participants should have a solid foundation in bracing and self and assisted rescues. We are going to focus on using these skills in the conditions in which you are most likely to need them.