We offer the highest quality sea kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding instruction taught by friendly ACA- trained instructors.

Sea Kayak
Kids Camps
Kayak Fishing
SUP

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

sea kayak club santa cruz ca

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.

Course Outline:
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

coastal sea kayaking santa cruz

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

coastal sea kayaking santa cruz part 2

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

coastal sea kayaking santa cruz combo

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

santa cruz kayak bracing maneuvering class

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

santa cruz sea kayaking navigation class

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

coastal kayaking 3 and 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

intro to surf zone class santa cruz
Some of the most beautiful and remote beaches in the world are only accessible by kayak. Most capsizes we see happen in the surf, and having the skills to be able to land on those beaches will make your excursion to those hidden beaches far more enjoyable. We will cover surf zone safety, how to read waves and sets, and what to do when things don’t go exactly as planned. We will practice wet exits and rescues before entering the surf zone. This is a class that is designed to make you more comfortable and safe in the surf zone, all while having a great time in the waves.This class will meet at our Elkhorn Slough location. The surf venue will depend on the swell forecast.

Private Instruction

private kayaking class in elkhorn slough
Private instruction can propel you into the sport like nothing else. Spend one-on-one time with an instructor learning basic strokes to advanced ocean paddling. With this customized time, you have the ability to ask questions at will and learn as much as you possibly can. Private classes can be planned to meet whenever your schedule permits. Call in advance and we will work with you to plan a class that meets at your leisure.

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​

kids kayak camp santa cruz ca

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​

kids paddle board class santa cruz
Your child will have a blast this summer learning the fun sport of stand-up paddling! Students will learn paddling techniques, balance, and how to read the ocean. This sport is a great way for kids to build the confidence about being on the ocean and their own athletic abilities while having fun and playing games on the water. All rental equipment (wetsuits, SUPs, safety equipment) is included.

Ages: 8-13 years old

This camp is run on Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Boogie Board Bash

boogie board bash
Send the kids to the beach for an awesome day of fun, friends, games, and a whole lot of boogie boarding! A quick orientation will be followed by a lesson in ocean safety and surf etiquette, wave mechanics, and a how-to session. Then it’s time to grab the board and hit the waves! The class will meet at Kayak Connection and walk down to Twin Lakes Beach.

Teen Kayak Camp​

teen kayak camp santa cruz

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

paddle boarding class santa cruz for teens
Your teen will have a blast this summer learning the fun sport of stand-up paddling. Students will learn paddling techniques, balance, and why it has become the fastest growing water sport in the world! This sport is a great way for teens to build their confidence on the ocean and meet new friends.

Ages 12 – 16 welcome

This camp runs from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Advanced Kids Kayak Camp

advanced kids kayak camp santa cruz

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

santa cruz 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​

introduction to stand up paddleboarding santa cruz, ca
This introduction to Stand Up Paddle boarding class engages your core muscles to promote balance, stability and performance on the water. The class takes place in the wonderfully flat conditions of the Santa Cruz Harbor and is great for people wanting to increase their skills or try the sport for the first time.

SUP II

stand up paddleboarding 2

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!

2-Part SUP:
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.

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