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Determining Your Skill Level

Determining your skill level is the key to selecting the classes and tours that are most appropriate for you. Here’s a quick guide to skill levels for the symposium. Pick the skill level that best describes your paddling experience and ability, then use that as a guide as you select your classes and tours.

If you’re a beginner: you have no sea kayaking experience and no formal instruction. We recommend that you start your weekend with our relaxed-pace, day-long Introduction to Sea Kayaking class. You'll learn the basics on an inland lake with supportive instructors who will help you get your kayaking adventure off to a fun and safe start.

If you’re a novice: you’re a paddler who has some some kayaking experience, perhaps a bit of paddling here and there. You have had limited formal instruction, and you consider yourself to be at a basic level. For you, we recommend beginning with Kayak Essentials, a morning of basic skills that will give you what you need to get to the next level.

If you’re an intermediate paddler: you have moderate sea kayaking experience and some formal instruction, and you’re familiar with fundamental strokes, comfortable with a wet exit, and can perform a basic rescue and re-entry.

If you're an advanced paddler: you are an experienced kayaker with solid skills who can travel 3-4 miles/hour and handle rough conditions.

"My biggest thrill…was sharing this experience with my 8-year-old granddaughter, who thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of this paddling experience—from realizing her capabilities, paddling in waves and playing games to meeting new friends and working together with other kid paddlers to transport boats and gear."

"I have never been to Door County before and this was the perfect opportunity for me to explore and paddle in a beautiful spot."