We offer the highest quality sea kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding instruction taught by friendly ACA- trained instructors.
Sea Kayak Classes
Kayak Connection offers the highest quality sea kayaking instructional classes in the Monterey Bay taught by friendly American Canoe Association trained instructors
Sea Kayak Club
The Sea Kayak Club is a great way to improve your confidence on the water and in a closed-deck kayak, while enjoying the fun and camaraderie of a supportive paddling group of new sea-going buddies. Take in the wonders and wildlife of the Monterey Bay as we paddle from the iconic Santa Cruz Harbor or the Elkhorn Slough at each class meeting. Classes cover the skills taught in our Coastal Sea Kayaking levels 1 through 4 including basic strokes, rescues, bracing, a day in the Elkhorn Slough where we practice navigation, and a final club paddle. The club meets every Sunday, rain or shine!
At the end of the scheduled sessions, you have the opportunity to purchase an optional club membership card for $100 giving you 5 half day single kayak rentals. This is a special deal for club members only and will help you use your new skills as a sea kayaker.
No experience necessary.
Week 1- Coastal Sea Kayaking 1- Basic Paddle Strokes and Equipment Use
Week 2- Coastal Sea Kayaking 2- Rescue Class
Week 3- Coastal Sea Kayaking 3- Bracing and Advanced strokes
Week 4- Coastal Sea Kayaking 4- Navigation in the Elkhorn Slough
Week 5- Club Paddle! (Group rental in Santa Cruz or the Elkhorn Slough, depending on conditions)
Coastal Sea Kayaking 1: Introduction to Sea Kayaking
Our goal is to introduce you to Sea Kayaking while you enjoy the amazing wildlife of the Monterey Bay. On land we will discuss different types of kayaks, safety considerations and equipment, and paddling gear. Then we will get into kayaks and learn the basics of how to paddle while viewing some of the great wildlife of the Monterey Bay. If you are looking for a foundation to sea kayaking, this is the class for you! We focus on the fundamentals – from gear to kayak strokes – in the ultimate on the water classroom.
*This class is also available as part of our Sea Kayaking Club*
Coastal Sea Kayaking 2: Introduction to Kayak Rescues
An important part of Sea Kayaking is knowing what to do in case of a capsize. In this class, we work on preventing capsizes with bracing techniques, and practice what to do when your brace fails. This class will teach the T-Rescue and the Paddle Float Rescue which are essential skills for Sea Kayaking on the ocean. Taking this class satifies the rescue class requirement for renting closed-deck boats at our Santa Cruz location and many other outfitters.
Coastal Sea Kayaking 1 & 2
Combining Sea Kayaking 1 & 2 is a great way to spend a fun-filled day learning to kayak. We cover the basics of how to maneuver a sea kayak and what to do in case of capsize. Because of the all day nature of this class, we strongly encourage participants to be in good physical condition.
During the first part of this class we will discuss types of sea kayaks, safety considerations and equipment, and kayaking gear. Then we will get in kayaks and learn the basics of how to paddle a sea kayak, with an emphasis on good technique and body mechanics. After lunch, we will be back in the kayaks learning how to do a T-Rescue and a Paddle Float Rescue, both important for sea kayaking in the ocean. This class satifies the rescue class requirement for renting closed-deck sea kayaks at our Santa Cruz location and many other outfitters.
Coastal Sea Kayaking 3: Bracing and Maneuvering
Being in Absolute Control of your kayak is important! This fun class focuses on bracing, more advanced strokes, and good paddling technique. Learn how to make the most of your kayak to maximize performance on the water. It is recommended you have previous rescue training before taking this class.
Coastal Sea Kayaking 4: Introduction to Navigation
Being out in the water when the fog rolls in and you have no idea where you are can be dangerous. Knowing how to handle that situation will make you a far safer kayaker.
During this class we will focus on how to navigate in a kayak by using a nautical chart, tide logs, and weather forecasting.
This is a hands-on class and we will apply our teachings on the water, with exciting practical scenarios and real-life ocean conditions.
Coastal Sea Kayaking 3 & 4
Combining Coastal Sea Kayaking 3 & 4 is a great way to spend a fun-filled day learning to kayak. We cover how to edge and maneuver your kayak along with how to brace in case you tip over a bit too far. In the afternoon, we will turn our attention to navigation and how to plan trips based on the tides, swell, and weather forecasts, and how to find our position and way home while out on the water. Because of the all day nature of this class, we strongly encourage participants to be in good physical condition.
Introduction to Surf Zone
Kids Camps and Classes
Kids camps and classes at the Kayak Connection are the best way to have the best summer ever while learning all about kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, the monterey bay, and so much more!
Kids Kayak Camp
If you’re looking for the perfect way to ensure that your child has the summer of a lifetime, this is the ideal choice. Combining education with fun, this four day camp teaches kids the fundamentals of kayaking, ocean safety, and teamwork. Through a series of educational skill-building games, our campers become more confident and comfortable out on the water. They learn how to gauge factors such as swell, currents, and wind to determine ocean safety while exploring a variety of paddle craft, including kayaks, stand up paddleboards, and boogie boards. The first day is spent learning the basics of kayaking with an emphasis on fun and games. On the second day, we paddle out to the local kelp beds for a truly memorable experience among the friendly critters of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. On the third day, we spend the morning learning the basics of stand-up paddle boarding with lots of games, which is followed by an exciting afternoon of boogie boarding in the surf. On the final day, we host our Kayak Olympics – a series of fun challenges designed to let all of our campers show off their new paddling skills. All rental equipment (wetsuits, kayaks, safety equipment) is included.
Ages 8-12 are welcome! DUE TO COVID-19 WE ARE NOT RUNNING KID OR TEEN CAMPS THIS SUMMER. PLEASE CHECK BACK SUMMER OF 2021!
The camp runs Monday – Thursday from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
SUP for Kids
Boogie Board Bash
Teen Kayak Camp
This fun two-day class starts with a review of basic paddling and rescue techniques in the Santa Cruz Harbor. Once students are comfortable handling their kayaks, we’ll head into the bay for a tour of the local kelp beds and marine life. On the second day, we’ll paddle over to a local beach for an adventurous day, learning how to handle kayaks in the surf zone and launching them from the beach. This class is a great way to gain personal confidence, learn ocean awareness and meet new friends. Please wear a swimsuit and bring a lunch and water.
Ages 12 – 16 years old welcome
This camp runs from 9:00 am – 3:30 pm
SUP for Teens
Advanced Kids Kayak Camp
If your child is a graduate of Kids Kayak Camp and is looking for more fun and increased kayaking skills then this advanced camp is for them. Our experienced instructors will teach advanced paddling techniques while participating in team-building and games. Students will also learn how to navigate a kayak through the surf zone during the beach entry and exit portion of the camp. This is a great way to increase your child’s confidence in a kayak while enjoying the beautiful Santa Cruz coast from the water.
Contact us to schedule your class.
Kayak Fishing Classes
Learn all the basics of kayak fishing with our professional fishing guides on a trip to catch the big ones out on the Monterey Bay
Kayak Fishing Clinic
This exciting clinic will teach you the basics of fishing from one of our fishing-specific kayaks. Taught by experienced local kayak fishermen, this clinic will bring you to some of the best kayak fishing locations in the Monterey Bay and teach you how to get the best fish around. No experience necessary, but you will need to bring a fishing licence. Bring your own gear if you want to, or we have fishing gear available for you to use. Come catch a big one!
Contact us to schedule you fishing adventure!
(Available June through August)
Sit on Top Safety and Rescues
This class is created for the Sit On Top kayaker that is looking to learn the skills to safely paddling in the ocean and the Monterey Bay. We will discuss equipment, planning, weather forecasting, basic paddling skills, and self-rescue techniques. This is a must-take class for people who are going kayak fishing on the ocean.
Minimum Participants: 2
Stand Up Paddle Board Classes
Stand up paddle boarding improves balance and core strength, but most importantly, it’s a lot of fun!
Introduction to SUP - Santa Cruz
After completing our SUP 1 class, or if you have some experience on a stand up paddle board you are ready to take our SUP II Class!
We build on your basic paddling skills to venture into a more challenging environment: the ocean! The class focusses on improving/enhancing paddling technique, core strength, balance and maneuvering in a chaotic ocean environment. You will learn new skills as well as enjoy a scenic paddle past the iconic Santa Cruz Wharf and Beach Boardwalk. Our class often encounters dolphins, porpoises, otters and sea lions….sometimes even whales. Kayak Connection monitors the weather carefully, and reserves the right cancel (with full refund) or change the time of the class if the conditions are unsafe.
Duration: 2 hours each day
Contact us to schedule your SUP class!
Not sure which CLASS TO TAKE?
Just give us a call or send us a message and we’ll be happy to help you think through the options.