Great Lakes Sea Kayak Symposium logo

 July 12-16, 2023

"This place will change your life"




what to bring to the great lakes sea kayak symposium image
What to bring to the Great Lakes Sea Kayak Symposium


Kayak stuff:
  • A sea kayak at least 14′ long with bow and stern bulkheads.  Anything shorter or without 2 bulkheads is simply not safe to paddle on the big lake.  There will be some rental and demo boats available if you’re looking to upgrade.
  • Paddle – also a spare paddle is optional but suggested
  • Spray skirt – neoprene recommended but nylon may suffice
  • PFD/Lifejacket – should have a whistle in a pocket too
  • Tow Belt – not strictly mandatory but you want one, or more specifically, your paddling friends really want you to have one.
  • Drybags for lunches, spare clothing
  • Water bottle and thermos – it’s nice to have the option of both cold and hot drinks
What to wear:
  • Lake Superior is not warm.
  • A drysuit will make you the most happy.  Synthetic layers underneath can be tailored by thickness for the right amount of warmth.  Socks for inside the booty feet of the drysuit are a must.
  • A farmer john/jane wetsuit with a synthetic layer and paddling jacket would be second choice.  Anything less than a wetsuit and you aren’t going to be comfortable.
  • Good water shoes or wetsuit booties, something that will stay firmly on your feet while swimming.
  • Gloves or pogies if you are prone to blisters or your hands don’t stay warm.
  • Helmet – only required for the Surf and Rock Gardening classes but playing next to other kayaks – it’s a good idea!
  • Nose plugs
Things you might want:
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat or helmet visor
  • sunglasses with retaining strap
  • Bug Spray – most years we have been very fortunate to not have many bugs but ya never know…
  • Food and snacks.  There is a small grocery store and a convenience store in Grand Marais but if you’re planning on cooking during the symposium, you may want to do your primary shopping at your local store or make the trip to Munising..
  • If you might be paddling at night then you need a white light (headlamps work great)

Kokatat and NRS are providing  a limited number of demo drysuits to the event.  These are available on a first come first served basis and sizes are not guaranteed.  If you want to rent a drysuit for the event, we recommended contacting Kayak Academy in California