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Sea Kayaking Devil's Lake

Saturday, Jun 17, 2023 (7:30 am - 5:30 pm)

Leader: Ryan Holley

Event Information


On Saturday, 6/17, Dennis and I will be leading a sea kayaking trip to Devil's Lake, which is a scenic state park about an hour north of Madison. This trip will be built around introducing club members to sea kayaking, since it will be calm water (and likely with less algae and plants than Mendota currently has). With that in mind, the trip will incorporate both an SK0 and SK1 lesson for anyone who needs them. 

Please note, if you plan to participate you need to attend the boat-loading session on Friday, 6/15, at 5:30pm at the Hoofer boathouse. To save time on Saturday morning, we will be selecting all needed club gear for participants and loading boats on Dennis' trailer that evening. 

Several other drivers have expressed interest in this trip, but I will confirm how many drivers are coming once people register to ensure we have enough space for all participants. The number of participants is limited by the number of boats we can carry and how many people we can reasonably provide lessons for. If you have your own transportation for carrying a boat and do not need an SK0 or SK1 rating, feel free to let us know and join us at the lake! Likewise, if others want to meet us at Devil's Lake for land-based activities such as hiking or biking, just let Dennis and I know so we can coordinate as needed.

Trip Itinerary

Friday, 6/16 
5:30-6:30pm - Gear Selection and Boat Loading for all participants

Saturday, 6/17
Meet at the Hoofers boathouse at the Memorial Union no later than 7:30am. We need an early start to beat the crowd at the put-in, so don't be late or you may be left behind. It is a 1 hour drive to Devil's Lake, so we should arrive no later than 9am. We will park at the eastern-most parking lot on the south shore (where the main parking lots, shelters, and beach are located). Dennis will meet us there with any boats and gear we loaded the previous evening. We will unload the boats and gear, and should be ready to begin the SK0 lesson by 9:30. Plan on an 1-1.5 hours for the lesson, followed by time for a relaxed paddle around the lake. The SK0 is the basic sea kayaking rating and will cover instruction about basic safety conditions for sea kayaking, an introduction to boats and essential gear, instruction on basic paddle strokes (forward, reverse, sweep, and draw), practice of the wet exit, and practice of the assisted T-rescue. After paddling for a bit, we will also conduct the SK1 lesson. This is the intermediate lesson, which will cover self rescues (primarily the paddle float rescue, but alternatives such as the cowboy, stirrup, and roll may be demonstrated if time allows), sculling and bracing, and the bow rescue. 

Once the lessons are complete, we will break for lunch (bring your own food and eating utensils) as a group on shore. After lunch, we can continue paddling, or break out for some other activities such as hiking, biking, or lazing about on shore as people desire. We will probably plan to load gear and head back to Madison around 4pm. All participants should plan to meet back at the boathouse at 5pm to help return boats and gear.


The club will supply any necessary paddling gear (boat, paddle, pfd, paddle floats, etc.). All participants must wear closed-toe shoes that won't slip off their feet in the water, and wear clothing that is warm when wet (no cotton). You should have a towel and change of clothes. All participants should also bring water and sun protection. I recommend a wide brimmed hat if you have one, as well as sunscreen. You may also want to bring noseplugs and swim goggles if you have them, as they make wet exits and bracing/rolling practice more comfortable. Helmets are optional for this trip. 

Don't forget to bring your own lunch and snacks!


In the meantime, please let Dennis or I know if you have any questions. We look forward to paddling with you!

Event Type
Trip (off-site, ratings may be achieved)
Accommodation Information
Cancellation, Reschedule, and Refund Information
(not set)
Driving or Travel Details
Equipment/ Gear Required by Participant
(not set)
Food and Equipment Information
Trip Cancellation, Reschedule, and Refund Information
Trip Purpose/Goals

Registration Count

Registration Type Registrations Remaining
All Participants 7 1
Waiting List 0 10