Great Lakes Sea Kayak Symposium logo

July 17 - 21, 2024

"This place will change your life"




Jeff Adler kayak coach at great lakes sea kayak symposium


Erik Binder


Paddling Bio

I consider myself extremely lucky as I basically started paddling with and learning from excellent instructors and mentors right from the start. Like a lot of folks from Michigan I began with sea kayaking on the Great Lakes and in local ponds. In my first year of paddling I got to go to Tybee Island and the Matanzas Inlet in Florida with TPOW and experience playing in current and tidal conditions! I was hooked! About a year later I remember getting a text asking if I wanted a “taste” of whitewater up in Rockford on the Rouge river. It was a complete experience with many swims and even me leaving the shuttle keys back at the put-in vehicle. I was hooked again! The mountains hold a sacred place in my heart. Before it was the summits and sweeping views and now the canyons, gorges and whitewater. Since then, I’ve gotten the truly awesome gift of being able to work with numerous coaches and industry leaders from all over the country (and world!) I got my level 3 costal instructor cert in Tybee and my level 4 instructor in County Donegal, Ireland! How freaking awesome! At the time of this writing I am a month away from working with two more, new to me, instructor trainers for a hopeful WW instructor certification. Thanks to my current position at The Power of Water I now get to paddle and teach very often and in many, many awesome places!


ACA Level 4 Coastal Kayak Instructor

ACA Level 4 River Kayak Instructor

Who am I?

Hi. My name is Erik and I am an outdoor addict! I came off an Appalachian Trail thru-hike in the fall of 2014 with ruined legs and destroyed feet (in fact they permanently went up a half size!) I still had that fire burning in my belly to get outside though and needed to find a way to do that with as little lower body involvement as possible. This also just happened to be around the same time as a sweet little shop called The Power of Water was opening its doors. Since it was closer than the bicycle store I decided to check it out and the rest, as they say, was history…

My GLSKS Story

Grand Marais is a special place for me! I first started going up there as a backpacker long before I was a boater. I would stay at the same campground that we use at the symposium and then get a shuttle to the west end of the PIRO trail and walk back to my car. It’s so cool now to see the trail and cliffs from an entirely different vantage point! Backpacking for me was often a solo undertaking or at most shared with one or two others. Nowadays I get to share these breathtaking spots with a whole community of like-minded people. And that is perhaps what I enjoy the most…the sharing of the stoke.

My Sites



Instagram: @the.power.of.water