Well looks like I got a excellent instructor as I read this below about Elizabeth O'Connorhttp://www.getthenack.org/history.htm
and more below
SKSA, Ltd. incorporated in 2000 with the mission of providing the people of all ages and skill level with a source of quality, adaptive education for paddle sports, kayaking in particular. Long Island has rich shoreline resources with a myriad of excellent paddling locations. We also have many outfitters providing fine equipment with whom SKSA is proud to work. SKSA was founded to provide a highly qualified training resource for the Long Island area. SKSA is here to to guide the novice paddler in developing fundamental skills, to introduce paddlers at all levels to new aspects of the sport, and to help advanced paddler to achieve higher levels.
SKSA, Ltd also acts as a resource to other organizations, including summer camps, paddling clubs, outfitters, paddle shops and training and touring businesses on Long Island. Through the American Red Cross we train and certify low-level instructors for posts in summer camps working in protected waters. Through the ACA we provide assessment services to individuals and clubs where skill certification is required at levels 1 through 4 (Open Water). Also through ACA we are authorized to train, assess and certify Instructors for more advanced posts at levels up to and including level 4 (Open Water) and to provide ACA Trip Leader Training and Assessment.
It is the goal of SKSA to promote the growth of safe, competent paddling on Long Island and also to foster appreciation and understanding of inland waters and our coastal environment. To that end we lead tours where those new to paddling can experience paddling a safe environment, more advanced paddlers can practice skills in the company of experts, and others can simply relax and have fun while developing an appreciation for the coastal environment.
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Elizabeth O'Connor - Head Instructor
Elizabeth O'Connor is founder and head instructor for SKSA. She grew up around and on the waters of Long Island. There has been a paddle of one type or another in her hand for more than 20 years. Kayaking has become a major part of her life since 1995. Elizabeth has trained extensively with the American Canoe Association, is one of only three instructors on Long Island with Open Water Coastal certification and the only ACA Instructor Trainer in our region. She is currently serving as Divisional Instructional Facilitator for the ACA - Atlantic Division. She has also worked for years with the local American Red Cross teaching basic kayak skills and is now one of a small group of Instructor Trainers for ARC - Suffolk County. She holds current certification for First Aid, CPR and Wilderness First Aid. She has also trained with the British Canoe Union.
* ACA Open Water Coastal Kayak (L4) Instructor, Instructor Trainer
* ACA Coastal Trip Leader, Trainer/Assessor
* ACA Open Water Coastal Kayak (A4) Skills Assessor
* ACA Essentials of River Kayak (L2) Instructor
* ARC Basic River Instructor Trainer
* ARC Basic First Aid
* SOLO Wilderness First Aid
* AHA CPR
Elizabeth holds a degree in Equestrian Studies and had a career in the breeding and racing industry before quitting to raise a family. She worked for 15 years as an Environmental Educator and wildlife rehabilitator specializing with raptors. When not kayaking she is a wildlife artist working in paints and wood, carving detail bird sculptures. In summer she crews weekly on a racing sloop as the foredeck person. Her interest in carving primitive paddles grew into a business of constructing modern high-tech paddles, and a current area of expertise. As Head Instructor she is often seen traveling with her favorite furry friend "K-Sea" the kayaking K-9. Elizabeth brings a depth of educational resources and experiences to her classes and tours that goes beyond her qualifications as a trainer of advanced kayaking skills.
Elizabeth also is an avid kayak racer. She has successfully defended her title of National Champion Woman's Sea Kayak Marathon racer for the U.S. Canoe Association (USCA) five years running from 2001 to 2005. In 2005 she won both Sea Kayak and ICF Marathon races on successive days. In 2003 she was selected as the senior woman member of the United States National team competing in the ICF Worlds Championships in Valladolid Spain where she was the top US point achiever having finishing 11th in Women's Marathon. She also races sprints and has helped guide the Long Island team to a series of medal wins in the Empire State Games.
To our knowledge Elizabeth is the first women to circumnavigate Long Island in a kayak. This was accomplished over a seven day journey with her partner Danny Broadhurst, in 2002 as a charity promotion which raised over $165,000 for the Long Island Altzheimer's Fund.
More recently she has taken on the challenge of coordinating major events. With the help of the US Coast Guard, and NYS Department of Parks Recreation and Preservation as well as a host of other groups and clubs she has brought to the public a series of Long Island Paddle Sport Safety Symposiums. Each one has been more successful than tha last with booths, lectures and demonstrations of safety, rescue and kayak rolling. These events have been presented absolutely free to the public.[u][/u]