Golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium 2014

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The Kayak Connection Crew!
Mat Hoff, Larry Wagner, Dave Grigsby, David Hicks, Franco Guzman

This year, Kayak Connection of Santa Cruz and Moss Landing brought a team of paddlers to the Golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium with one main goal – to have fun. Sure there were other things we all wanted to do but we were going to this shindig to have fun!

Fort Baker Takeover!

The Event was held at Fort Baker. An old military installation right at the base of the Northern entrance to the Golden Gate Bridge. Basically, a boat load (heh) of sea kayakers invaded the fort and took over whatever we could!

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Sexy Stirlings
Looks like one of my surf boat seats!

Valley Gemini SP

Valley Gemini SP

People who attend the GGSKS come from all over the world. Many of the boat brands that came with them are uncommon in my neck of the woods. Needless to say, all over the beach were some really gorgeous boats.

Stretches!

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MaryAnn had this huge smile the whole weekend!

I managed to grab one of these sexy boats for a demo. Thank you to Rob Avery of Valley Sea Kayaks for the loaner! I borrowed a Gemini Sp for the Rock Gardening Safety class that I was part of. I was hesitant to take a glass boat so I ended up with a plastic one. I mentioned this to Rob and he gave me some great words that rung about my head for that weekend, “A great paddler doesn’t hit the rocks.” Well, I wouldn’t say I am a great paddler 😉 (shhh, no one tell Rob), but I sure made an effort not to bounce off every rock I saw.

Some of the gardens we got into were fairly tight and I would have surely be hitting rocks in most boats of that length, but the Gemini did an excellent job of being quite nimble when I needed it to! Other times in ‘the flats’ I did not notice it to be sluggish. I absolutely wish that I had gotten a chance to surf the boat. I’m guessing it is just a blast! The boat had plenty of rocker and really sleek lines, I bet it’ll just shed water!

I was expecting it to feel a bit more unstable, but was quite pleasantly surprised. I think the primary stability for my weight (165) is perfect. Playing with the secondary was great too! Sculling over and just lying in the water was comfortable and quite needed on the hot winter day we had to work in. I was very happy with the loaner and look forward to time I get to spend in a Gemini SP in the future!

Co-conspirator, Cate Hawthorne, being her normal badass self

Kate Hives, another buddy, all smiles all weekend long!

self assessment/coaching homework

What are these boats, and why are they different?

The last day of the main symposium I was to teach a Short Boats Surfing class with Cate Hawthorne and Kate Hives and I was AMPED to do so, but unfortunately the perfect 65* weather didn’t hold out the entire weekend. Sunday ended up being a steady SW 15-25kts with some really funky mixed swell rolling in. The south winds just about wrecked all plans we had to go surfing.

Instead we ended up with an impromptu classroom session in the Yact club. I feel like it was rather lucky we had that option. There were a handful of people that joined the class that were also stormed out or even injured from the previous days. Using the lesson plan that we had we were able to get a great ‘session’ in!

I really liked the classroom setting and feel like it will be something that I will try to incorporate in future classes. Not to mention all of the wonderful things that I learned from Kate and Cate. It is great to work and teach with people who really know what they are talking about. I think all three of us learned quite a bit from each other and really the trade of skills and knowledge is what this event is all about; coming together and learning from those who want to share their knowledge and their joy of the water with others! Thank you to Michael Lutus for a bunch of awesome photos and I really want to put out a big Thank You to Dave Grigsby of Kayak Connection for helping our group go to this event! I also want to thank Sean and Matt for putting in so much work to make the Golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium such a huge success!! Lets do it again next year everyone!

Beautiful video by Marty Perry of the symposium. Your favorite zombie on the ergo machine is at 4:05