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Sea Kayak
Kayak Fishing
kids kayak camp
Kids Kayak Camp

Sea Kayak Classes

Kayak Connection offers the highest quality sea kayaking instructional classes in the Monterey Bay taught by friendly instructors certified under the American Canoe Association

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.

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.

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.

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.

Sit on Top Safety and Rescues​

sit on top single kayak

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

Sea Kayak Club - $360 per person

Joining 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 the iconic Santa Cruz Harbor or the Elkhorn Slough at each class meeting. Sessions cover introduction to sea kayaking, paddling strokes and rescue skills. The club meets every Sunday, rain or shine! No experience necessary. Offered in Spring & Fall with a minimum of 4 participants.

Course Outline:
Week 1- Guided Introduction to Sea Kayaking – Elkhorn Slough
Week 2 – Basic Safety & Rescue Skills – Elkhorn Slough
Week 3 – Ocean Paddling – Santa Cruz Harbor
Week 4 – Going for it! A more challenging paddle – Location dependent upon weather and marine conditions

Stand-Up Paddleboard Classes

Stand-up paddleboarding improves balance and core strength, but most importantly, it’s a lot of fun!

Intro to Stand-up Paddleboarding (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.

Advanced Stand-up Paddleboarding (Santa Cruz)

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!

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 license. 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 May through August)

Kids Kayak Camp

With over twenty years of experience offering safe and fun kids camps to the Santa Cruz community, Kayak Connection’s expert staff and engaging curriculum ensure your child will have the summer of a lifetime!

Kids Kayak Camp

boogie boarding
sup class

This Monday through Thursday adventure camp explores the Santa Cruz Harbor and surrounding waters in sea kayaks, sit-on top kayaks, standup paddleboards, and boogie boards.

With our help, campers will learn new skills every day including paddling, reading the tides, and performing kayak rescues. Campers will have the opportunity to observe harbor seals, sea lions, and many other species that frequent the local waterways, ultimately deepening their understanding and appreciation for our ocean backyard. Your middle schooler will love the games, activities and confidence-building adventures that foster a lifelong love for being on the water!

No experience is necessary, and all levels are welcome, though campers must be able to swim. Wetsuits and personal floatation devices (life jackets) are included. Upon camp completion, each camper receives a free hat and a discounted rental to take their family kayaking and show off their new-found skills. 

Ages: 9-13
Session 1: June 10th- June 13th
Session 2: July 22nd – July 25th
8:30am – 2:30pm daily (Mon-Thurs)
Location: 413 Lake Avenue, Santa Cruz Harbor
Registration opens February 1 and closes June 3. Space is limited. Give us a call at 831-479-1121 for more information.

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.