Water temps for the SE are now into the lower 60's. At Savannah Canoe and Kayak we held our first Surf Kayak class of 2008, at Folly Beach (March 24th). We started out in surf boats but dropped back to SOT's for a little more comfort. The flat water portion of the class, if nothing else, works as great ice breaker and 'loosener'. It is an important and necessary first part of the progression. Yes, in some cases students do go over fairly rudamentary stuff that they already know, but combined with a visualization of where and when the stroke is used it starts to put the student in the surf zone before being in it, even seeing it. It's a great opportunity for the instructor to prepare the students mentally. This is important as it becomes harder to do this 'self visulization' if the class starts on the beach.
After running a bunch of classes last year I have noticed that women take to SoT's much quicker than men. They are much less inhibited and soon feel at ease. The Men seem a little more inhibited, generally slower and hang back. Sounds to me like a great niche for some female surf instructors. ...where are they ?
Surf conditions were small (2ft) but very clean, great shoulders and ideal for the 3 students involved. They got the stoke, their lives now changed for ever. Next class on Tybee Island - April 13th.