Our annual gathering at Matanzas Inlet on Florida’s Atlantic Coast (Just south of St Augustine, just north of Palm Coast), is held over President’s day week to take advantage of some things that always happen at about that time and of some things that generally do. There’s always a holiday that Monday, and there’s almost always a surf break at Matanzas Inlet. It tends to be a better break on a NE swell and we tend to get that more consistently in February. The harsher conditions of January have generally mellowed by then, leaving us with a variety of conditions suitable for a variety of paddlers at various skill levels wishing to improve their surfing and rough water skills.
In a nutshell, the Matanzas event is about learning to surf sea kayaks, but it’s also about all those things that are involved with “learning” any outdoor skill, like managing risk, learning to read the environment and make reasonable predictions, learning to take maximum advantage of a learning environment in the safest way possible, preparing and practicing for incidents when and if they occur and learning to function supportively and effectively as a team.
The formal coursework is partly on water and partly in the classroom, followed by an informal social period in the evenings where the exchange of information continues. Our review of experiences and lessons learned in a group setting while memories are fresh is an important part of each day. Many of our participants say they learn as much from other people’s reported experience as they do from their own.
Groups are divided each day by desired challenge level. The Inlet allows for a dialed in approach most days, with lesser challenges available closer in and greater ones further out.
As in most years, we will run an L-5 Instructor Certification concurrently with the other programs. You do not have to be a candidate to participate in the on-water part of that program (though you do need to be comfortable in L-5 conditions). L-5 candidate presentations are open to all attendees.
The core group of coaches will be back this year including Tom Noffsinger, Ashley Brown, Jeff Atkins, Debbie Kearney, myself and possibly Bob Myron. Our guest coach this year will be Sean Morley from the San Francisco Bay area. Sean is a premier coach, world class solo expeditioner and co-founder of the Golden Gate Symposium.
Cost for the event is $150/day, three days minimum or $750 for the full six days. The meeting location is the Shrimper’s Beach House in St Augustine Beach between 7th St, 7th Ave and Atlantic Alley. Accommodation should be sought within walking distance since there is limited parking at the house. There’s a Hyatt two blocks away and a fair number of AirB&B options.
For further questions or to sign up, just email Dale at firstname.lastname@example.org