Freshwater Paddlers Symposium

June 22-25, 2023 - Apostle Islands, Wisconsin

Information & Registration

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What's The Symposium All About?

Sea Kayak Symposiums are a great way to get jazzed about paddling. If you're growing, you're having fun. If you're having fun, you'll want to keep paddling. New to expert, it doesn't matter. When we're here we're learning together. The Freshwater Paddlers Symposium also wants you to pay it forward. Every year we have a theme to help the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore continue to host paddlers from all over the world, safely and sustainably.

Theme For 2023

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The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, administered by the National Park Service, is one of only three national lakeshores in the country. Its 21 islands and 12 mile stretch of mainland shoreline protect dramatic scenery, vital wildlife habitat, historic lighthouses, and provide the opportunities for exactly the kind of outdoor experience that can be vital in rehabilitation and health, including popular sea kayaking adventures to its sea caves. “Trips like this kept me from giving up when I learned of my progressive neurological disorder,” says paddler Annie Hickman. “Paddling here has been life changing. It shows that I can still do the things I love. It is completely restorative even though I am a puddle when I am done.” The Access for All initiative of Friends of the Apostle Islands is an effort in support of a series of new and ongoing accessibility projects undertaken by the National Park Service including replacing the 45 step staircase to Meyers Beach, the launching area for popular kayaking trips, with an all accessible ramp. Friends is working to raise $325,000 to be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Centennial Fund of the National Park Service to help make this, and other projects, a reality. “Our national parks belong to all of us,” says Jeff Rennicke, Executive Director of Friends, “including the 1 in 5 Americans with mobility issues. Access for All is an effort to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to enjoy the beauty and the health benefits of our great outdoors. Friends greatly appreciates the generosity of Memorial Medical Center in helping make this a reality.” Jeff Rennicke at Memorial Medical Center in front of photo of Devils Island To learn more about Access for All, read the rationale and project description on our website. Click here to donate now, or contact us at 715-449-6900 or by mail at Friends of the Apostle Islands, P.O. Box 1574, Bayfield, WI 54814.

 

Thursday June 22
 

Pre-Symposium Tours & Clinics

4-6pm: Registration & Check-in

7-8:30pm: Welcome & Presentation; Schedule, gear, choosing a 'track'.

Friday June 23
 

9am-4pm: Skills Clinics

 

10am-4pm: Boat Demos

1-4pm: Social Paddle

 

7pm: Adventure Film

Saturday June 24
 

9am-4pm: Skills Clinics & Full Day "Edu-Tours"

10am-4pm: Boat Demos & Gear Swap. Artists & Vendors 

11am-1pm: Social Paddle

6pm: Potluck Dinner

8pm: Keynote Presentation & 2023 theme

Sunday June 25
 

9am-12pm: Skills Clinics & Half Day "Edu-Tours" (Downwind paddle?)

10am-12pm: Boat Demos

11am-1pm: Social Paddle

Boat Demos

2pm: Closing Ceremony

 

Clinic Schedule (Subject to wind, waves, & weather)

Thursday - June 22 & prior TBD

Friday - June 23

  • 9-11am: Paddle Play - an introduction to kayaking. Get ready to get wet!

  • 10am to12pm: Rock & Roll! Instruction in braces & rolling. Euro and Traditional paddles welcome! We'll travel to a nearby inland lake for warmer water.

  • 11am-12:30pm: Navigation 101-Plotting & Planning

  • 1-3pm: Using the Traditional (Greenland) Paddle

  • 1-3pm: Paddle Stroke Video Analysis

  • 2pm to 4pm: Rock & Roll! Instruction in braces & rolling. Euro and Traditional paddles welcome! We'll travel to a nearby inland lake for warmer water.

Saturday - June 24

  • 9-11am: Paddle Play: an introduction to kayaking. Get ready to get wet!

  • 10am-12pm: Basic Rescues

  • 10am to12pm: Rock & Roll! Instruction in braces & rolling. Euro and Traditional paddles welcome! We'll travel to a nearby inland lake for warmer water.

  • 12:30pm-4pm: Rock Gardens & Sea Caves

  • 2-4pm: Paddling With Kids

  • 3-4pm: Conditioning For Paddlers

Sunday - June 25

  • 9-11am: Paddle Play: an introduction to kayaking. Get ready to get wet!

  • 10am-12pm: Paddle Stroke Video Analysis

  • 11am: Next Steps? Interested in coaching or becoming a paddle leader? Come to this discussion.

 

Coaching Tours Schedule (Subject to wind, waves, & weather)

The following offerings are being facilitated by local partner outfitters and links will go to their website for registration. 

Thursday - June 22

  • 9:30-4pm Mainland Sea Caves "Edu-Tour" (Novice+) A fun way to see the caves with a coach who will cover safety and scenarios regarding caves. It'll be a low-intensity paddle and teaching session. A great way for those with some sea kayaking experience to see that caves from the point of view of being in a charge of a group. 

  • 1-4pm Romans Point Rock Gardening Play Session (Intermediate) Fun caves and rocks to play in. We'll hope for a bit of wind and wave conditions to challenge our manuevers.

Registration & Logistics

*Important* This event is a partnership between several providers, volunteers, staff, sponsors, etc. You will be taken to the appropriate partner website to complete registration.

Location: Cornucopia, WI (TBD)

Cost:

  • General Tuition: $150 for all days. This covers attendance of any social events, clinics, and gear swap.

  • One-day Tuition: $75.

  • Coaching Tours have an additional fee. You must register for these activities separately.

Registration Link Coming Soon

 
 
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Partners

 

Volunteers & themed sponsor

Handling registration

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