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What is my level?

++ This is where we take you from Level Red to Level Black – whilst we also firm up the basics! ++
++ A booster camp, where it's all about the further development of your technique ++
++ Optional XL version (+3 days) with the star Spanish coach Manolo Pastoriza ++
++ Breathtaking cliffs, fantastic rock hopping, your first Atlantic swell, surfing, rolling clinic, and kayaking trips in a fascinating tidal landscape ++

CHF 1290 ("Basic")
CHF 1990 ("XL")
Excluding kayak-rent*, travel to and from the destination, accommodation and food.

*You can hire a kayak from us for 150 CHF.

Surcharge if fewer than 5 people attend: CHF 100


Six (Basic) or nine paddling days (XL)

Start & end: Playa de Isla, ES

*We recommend…

Start & end: Playa de Isla, ES

*The 04.06. is a self-organised travel day that is not part of our services.



    • Intro
      Welcome to Biskay – and welcome to the ocean!
      Alongside the two Jersey weeks, this camp in Playa de Isla, Cantabria, northern Spain, is the perfect transition to Level Black. In contrast to the Jersey camps, this course is primarily aimed at those of you who (for the moment!) are less focussed on paddling in the current, and keener on the idea of a systematic course which will go over what you have most likely already learnt, intensively practising everything in order to strengthen the foundation of your kayaking skills before you move onto other things. Here, on Spain's green northern coast, the blue Cantabric Sea awaits you, with the best swell, fantastic coastal cliffs, bizarre rock gardens, 4-metre tides, and perfect surfing beaches – and all of this within reach of our base camp, where we'll spend a whole week without having to drive anywhere. Rather than waste time and energy on grand excursions in the surrounding area, we will instead explore all the possibilities available right here, outside our front door, so to speak, dedicating each day to the intensive development and fine tuning of your paddling technique. During this time, you will have plenty of opportunities to develop your paddling skills whilst rock hopping beneath high cliffs and in gigantic rock gardens: we'll be exploring magnificent caves, practising rescues, and going on day trips along the cliffs of Cape Quejo and Cape Ajo. And, of course, Cantabria wouldn't be what it is without all those perfect surfing beaches everywhere – in our case just a five-minute paddle away from the campsite... Certainly by this point in your development as a kayaker, rolling is a necessity, so this is something you will be learning or further developing (whatever your present level is). Of course, you will also be learning the basics on tours of tidal waters, as well as everything you need in order to become a safe paddler at the very solid level of the BC Sea Kayak Award (formerly the 3-Star). Please note: With this camp, you can opt for the one-week basic option or for the XL version, which is three days longer. More specifically: the XL version starts on Thursday afternoon (Ascension Day) with an intensive training session on (Greenland) paddling technique and rolling with star instructor Manolo Pastoriza. Manolo, who has been a trainer for 30 years, is one of the greatest Spanish sea kayakers and an international legend when it comes to Greenland rolling.
    • 26.–28.05.
      "XL" version: Thursday 26 May (Ascension Day) up to and including Saturday 28 May.
      Our booster course ("XL" version) starts on Thursday 26 May at 12:00 at our campsite, "
      Playa de Isla". This means that you will need to have arrived at least half an hour beforehand if you don't want to miss anything. We therefore advise that you arrive the evening before, if possible. As we won't be far away from Santander Airport, it should also be possible to arrive on Thursday morning, depending on the connection.

      Please note that you have to reserve your space on the campsite yourself.

      As soon as we have discussed the needs and wishes of the group for the coming days, and have finished distributing kayaks and materials, we'll start off with an intensive session on paddling technique, during which we will be able to spot any weak spots which have not yet been identified so that we can get the focus right over the rest of the week. One thing's for sure: we will be dedicating plenty of time to the Greenland paddle, and this is the paddle we will mostly practise with. You can transfer this knowledge to your Euro paddles as well, of course – so it's two for the price of one! Certainly by the end of the week, even those seasoned Euro paddlers amongst you will have become equally confident with the Greenland paddle, and you will be able users of both in pretty much any situation you might find yourself in.

      Your success in this area is pretty much guaranteed, given that your coaches will be
      Manolo Pastoriza, Ella and Yuri. Over the next few days, we will be providing you with extremely systematic and intensive training and the combined expertise of an extraordinary international team of trainers, with a teacher to student ratio better than 1:3. Our lead instructor, Manolo, is something of a legend in Spain, especially when it comes to paddling technique and Greenland rolls, and has more than 30 years' experience as a kayaking coach to draw on.

      Obviously, it makes sense that alongside the development and fine tuning of your paddling technique, a strong emphasis will be put on rolling. Whatever stage you are at when it comes to this skill, these three intensive days will advance you by leaps and bounds. And straight after, we'll carry on – as what follows will be the "real" week of paddling in the sea kayaking paradise around Cabo Quejo and Ajo!

      If you can somehow manage it, we would recommend this XL option for all participants. Even if you already have plenty of sea kayaking experience, this is an extraordinary opportunity to make some very serious progress and to expand your range of foundational skills. It is this solid foundation which will help you to feel significantly more at home in your kayak, and more able to take a playful approach as you progress.
    • 28.05.–04.06.
      Saturday to Saturday
      For all those of you who won't have any time around Ascension Day, or for whom the more pared-down week-long version is enough, it is also possible to do the course in the form of the six day "Basic" option. In this case Saturday 28 May is the day of arrival. Meaning: you turn up at Playa de Isla at some point on Saturday – possibly whilst those participating in the booster course are still out on the water – and you'll be able to take your time to get set up on the campsite. In the evening (and assuming you have already arrived by this point), we'll eat together and spend some time getting to know each other a little.

      On Sunday, having taken the time to go over everyone's needs and wishes for the week and to distribute all the equipment, we'll go out onto the water for the first day of the course. As always, the precise details of what we end up doing today will depend on the conditions. All the same, one way or the other, we should be able to practise and learn here irrespective of what Neptune decides to throw at us, more or less. Here's the menu:

      – Paddling in swell and in choppy conditions
      – Paddling in stronger winds with shorter waves
      – Paddling in a following sea
      – Advanced manoeuvres and paddling technique
      – Rock gardens: technique, safety, and plenty of technical, playful paddling
      – Safety and surfing in waves of 1(+) metres
      – Caves: technique and safety
      – Edging, bracing, sweeps and sculling
      – Rolling
      – Tides
      – Navigation
      – Rescues and incident management
      – Two incredible capes with conditions which change on a daily basis, enormous, overwhelmingly beautiful cliffs, rocks, offshore islands, incredibly beautiful bays and rias, fantastic broad sandy beaches – and all of it reachable without having to get in the car!

      By the time we've got through all of it, it will be Saturday again, sadly. And that will mean: time to go home. Or would you rather add on an extra week so you can come and join us in
    • Logistics
      So, here's another quick overview:

      Logistics: our campsite at Playa de Isla is easily reached from the airports of Santander and Bilbao, both of which have bus connections to Laredo. From there, you're probably best off getting a taxi (€40–€50).

      XL version:
      – The course starts on Thursday (bank holiday) 26th May at 12:00 on the Playa de Isla campsite.
      – Three day intensive course on paddling technique and rolls, with an emphasis on the Greenland paddle, led by Manolo Pastoriza and running up to and including Saturday 28th May, seamlessly followed on Sunday by the course led by Yuri und Ella as described below under "Basic version".

      Basic version:
      – In this case, Saturday 28th May is the day of arrival. The course starts on Sunday, after breakfast (at around 10:00).
      – A six-day course up to and including Friday (see detailed description)

      Our services end on 3rd June. On Saturday 4th June, it will be time for everyone to go home (self-organised).

      Our team will be carrying on to

      Of course, in both cases, you have the opportunity to do the BC Sea Kayak Award (formerly known as the BCU "3-Star").
    • Mehr Infos
      Group size: Min. three participants, max. ten

      If required, we will be happy to provide you with the necessary paddle and safety material, consisting of a paddle, buoyancy aid and spray deck as well as a neoprene long john, shoes, paddle jacket and a helmet. Please bring your own functional underwear (wool or tight-fitting fleece, NO cotton!) And swimwear with you.

      Boat rental: If you arrive without your own boat, you can rent one of our kayaks for 150 CHF for the duration of the course.

      If you like, you can also rent a drysuit from us. Cost: CHF 150

      The kitty:
      As always, in Cantabria we will also set up a kitty for meals. In fact, there will actually be two: one for food (€100 contribution per person) and one for alcohol (depending on how much you consume, or your best guess at it). Nobody is obliged to pay into the kitty, nor to eat together with us. But cooking and eating together after a strenuous day's paddling is just good fun, and not only does it help to strengthen our tired muscles; it also helps us to create a sense of community. Find more on this topic here.

      As you might expect, we can't make any guarantees in terms of weather or sea state. In order to ensure everyone's safety, our guide will decide how to carry out the planned programme locally on a daily basis, and whether to do so. As experienced sea kayakers, we know that Neptune always has the last word.

      Accident insurance is the responsibility of the participants.
      We also strongly recommend that you obtain travel cancellation insurance. Please read our GTC on the topic of cancellation fees, cancellation deadlines etc.
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    ++ Must be able to swim ++
    ++ At least 10 days of sea kayaking experience on the sea ++
    ++ You are confident in a kayak at Beaufort force 3 and in waves of about 2 ft ++
    ++ You are ready to take your next steps as a kayaker, but you also want to make sure that you have all the basics right ++

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    How to get to Playa de Isla, Cantabria:

    • Rail

      ++ A long trip – but in principle it's doable, via San Sebastian and Bilbao – continuing from there on the ALSA bus to Laredo and then getting a taxi to the campsite ++

    • Road

      ++ Carshares from CH via Bordeaux, Irun/San Sebastian, Bilbao, Laredo ++ ++ Turn off the Autovia Cantabrico towards Isla/Noja/Ajo and follow the signs ++

    • Aeroplane

      ++ Best to fly to Santander, and then rent a car or take the bus to the centre of Santander, then the ALSA Bus to Arnuero, then the taxi (around €10) to the campsite ++ ++ Alternatively, fly to Bilbao (further away, but more connections), from there, rent a car or catch the ALSA bus to Laredo and a taxi (around €50) to the campsite ++

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