Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

2013 Workshops

Monday, March 4th, 2013

We are lucky at SKS, we get to have a lot of fun doing what we do. Whether its the paddling programs at Bay Cliff Health Camp or the YMCA of Marquette County, we get to reach out to kids and adults of all ages and get them paddling.  There is also our personal trips that sometimes takes us around the world.

How the paddling season gets its start!

But there is another element of the SKS dream and that is instructor workshops. Over the years this has built from running one IDW & ICE a year to 2013 where including our own workshops, we have 7 different partners for running 16 different workshops over 40 days.

It is humbling the trust people put in our experience and skills to run workshops that train their staff and customers. We work hard to do our best and to put together high quality,  professional workshops. We are also selective in our partners, working with those that share our goals and standards of quality. Often with these people you can find this is more than a job or a business, it is a lifestyle.

Dates and contact info on the workshops we are involved with is listed here. Below is a brief description of the location and/or the people.


Big Bay
This is where everything started and it feels so much like home. Of course using the available room and board at Bay Cliff is like being at home. The staff there all enjoy having paddlers come and stay. Nancy and I are often amazed how after years, they will remember someone. After spectacular conditions and participants last year, we are looking forward to again be on home waters for these programs. Our IDW filled quickly with just a spot or two currently open.

Team Leadership Center– Door County

Team Leadership Center IDW - by Dave Schultz,

Situated on the Door Peninsula, we are able to find excellent conditions when we need them. Last year we did Level 1-3 and this year we are upping that to L1-4. No promises but this is a place you can find conditions in just about any winds thanks to Tim Pflieger who knows all the nooks and crannies and has decades of being an outdoor professional.

Clear Water Outdoor – Lake Geneva
Working with the CWO folks is fun. Dave & Sarah know everyone turning a short walk downtown into a series of introductions. But you quickly realize their shop is a hub, a hub for having fun, a hub where good people are and a hub for doing good in the community. Oh and the clean waters of Lake Geneva that is a rare find in southern Wisconsin, they are working to keep it that way. But lets talk IDW/ICE – this is a great place for Level 1-2 workshops. A lake with a fun shoreline to paddle along, that can generate appropriate conditions and nearby calm water ponds when needed. A state park literally at the beach offers a quiet and beautiful place for presentations.

Naturally Superior Adventures– Wawa

Thats Dave and his big smile as he carries his boat away after a surf session.

Offered again in 2013 as it was at the Gales last year, it is exciting to be returning. These workshops are a Level 1-4 IDW/ICE offered back to back in the late summer. A location that feels like home, much like Big Bay. This is a place that offers so much opportunity in teaching locations – protected flatwater, currents, crossings, surf, rock gardens – it truly is a great place to instruct. Then there are the people, David Wells, Ray Boucher – paddlers with a lot of heart and soul.

Northern Michigan College – Traverse City
It is exciting to be in a new place and in an area where there are not many instructor workshops offered. The folks here are looking to build the foundations of a community program for the future, this is their first step.

Whitecap Kayaking – Ironwood
Another new place, Whitecap offers both whitewater and sea kayaking opportunities. This workshop appears to be filled already.

YMCA – Marquette
Offered for over 3 years now, this Level 1-2 workshop takes advantage of the great flatwater paddling opportunities around Marquette and is part of the Y staff training. Expect beautiful locations that offer a quiet and focused environment, clean water and a lot of fun & games.

Bay Cliff’sAdaptive Paddling Workshop – Big Bay

The APW group gathering together on the water by Dean Juntenan

Hosted by Bay Cliff and lead by Nancy, this is how to learn about adaptive paddling. So many good things come out of this workshop. Instructors and recreational paddlers get jazzed by what they learn and the students with a disability, gets even more jazzed by learning to paddler.

Level 5 Advanced ICE – Marquette
Offered every few years, this is a workshop to test out for high level skills. Expect to travel to conditions such as currents in the Menominee River and surf where ever it is on Lake Superior or Michigan. Best thing about this, it is about paddling, instructing and having a lot of fun. Offered in October, when the gales of november come early!

Psst, Canoecopia is coming

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Part of the retail space, image from

So March is approaching and that means one thing, Canoecopia (click here) in Madison. An event that draws over 24000 people and some of the best paddlers from around the country. There is bountiful paddling stuff, so many great presentations you wish for a tivo equivalent and paddlers in all sizes, ages & crafts.

Nancy and I have been on an every other year cycle for several years now, this year it is my turn. Here are the presentations I’ll be giving:

Lake Superior’s Archipelago
From Thunder Bay to Rossport is the largest expanse of islands on Lake Superior. Include Isle Royale, this region boasts the highest cliffs on the lake, some of its largest wilderness areas and sites sacred to Native Americans/First Nations. Paddling in this area not only requires a passport but also skill, a sense of exploration and awe, as one is immersed in a big landscape. Come see these islands from a sea kayaker’s perspective.

Getting Ready for Paddling
With long winters, skills and fitness can take precious time to rebuild in the spring. How to get the most out of the season? The gym is one way, but rusty skills also need exercise. Learn fun ways to use pools to reengage not only rolling/rescue skills but also boat handling and fitness. Also learn how to structure early season paddles to build fitness as well as exercises to reengage skills such as navigation.

Rules of the Road & Paddling in Traffic
Paddlers and their craft are considered vessels by state and federal law. As such, we have rights and obligations under laws governing the nautical road. Learn about these laws and how they apply to all paddle powered craft as well as practical considerations when out paddling in traffic.

And then I am part of the following panel presentation as well.

Anyone Can Paddle
Do physical limitations make paddling difficult or challenging? Come hear from a group of paddlers with various disabilities and instructors of adaptive paddling. Through engaging photos, personal stories and examples of adaptive devices they will demonstrate that paddling is a universally inclusive sport, no matter your ability.
It will be a busy three days with five presentations altogether. Presentations are always fun sharing places to paddle as well as how to get the most out of your paddling. Then of course there are meeting & greeting paddling friends, both old and new.
As always the weekend will be an overload – of talking, people and life in the big city. But one does come away with more enthusiasm for the season and an overdose of excitement that one could ever find anywhere else.
Well, outside the start of a paddling trip…