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Bay Area Rough Water Rodeo 2024

Quick Details

Adult - 4-Day
Adult - Weekend

The Rough Water Rodeo is back for 2024 as an international affair!

We’re bringing back the Rough Water Rodeo in 2024 as an International Affair! The Cali Collective team is excited to welcome guest coaches Kelly Marie Henry (Flow State Adventures) and Amber Champion (Blue Dog Kayaking) at this year’s Rough Water Rodeo in addition to the core Saltwater Crew.

a person riding a wave on a kayak in the ocean

We’ll spend four glorious days adventuring and honing skills in the best venues the Bay Area has to offer. Every day, students will have the opportunity to choose either a spicy intermediate/advanced environment or a more mild, yet complementary, advanced beginner environment based on their comfort, the conditions of the day, and individual goals. 

Potential Schedule (Final Based on Conditions):

  • Day 1: Surf Zone and/or Performance Surfing
  • Day 2: Intro to Rock Gardening and/or Rock Gardening Skills & Safety
  • Day 3: Blending Strokes and/or Intermediate Tide Race Play, Rocks and/or Surf
  • Day 4: Open Coastal Journey or Grand Surf Safari (Can be adapted as a half day)

This 4-day long-weekend aims to meet your goals and needs at a variety of levels, taking advantage of aa group of people riding skis on a body of water strong coaching team to challenge yourself and achieve new breakthroughs.

Whether you’re from out of town and have always wanted to paddle in the Bay Area or you’re a local excited to work with new coaches and fresh techniques, this clinic is designed for you.

Prerequisites: Previous surf zone and rough water experience strongly recommended (Intro to Surf Zone, Intro to Tides & Currents, Intro to Rock Gardening). Students should have good bracing skills and be comfortable with wet exits, as well as self and assisted rescues. A roll is encouraged but NOT required. Students who have successfully completed an ACA L3 skills assessment ora man riding a wave on a kayak in the water higher will get the most out of this event (and probably have the most fun)

Location & Timing: Day 1 will likely take place in Bolinas, Half Moon Bay, or Dillon Beach, with Days 2 and 3 launching from Horseshoe Cove. Day 4, we will adjust location based on the needs of each group and the day’s conditions.

Pricing: $699 for all 4 days (max 4-day participants: 12) / $375 for Weekend-Only Spots (limited to 4 participants)

Please Note: Cost does not include lodging, meals, or kayak and gear rental. We offer boat and gear rentals for students and can recommend lodging options.

Please make sure you review our cancellation policy before registering.

Lodging: Lodging is not included. We’re happy to help recommend lodging options and also connect participants who are interested in sharing lodging.

Please Note: Cost does not include kayak and gear rental. We offer boat and gear rentals for students.

Questions? Email Laura at [email protected].

Your Coaches

Amber Champion 

a man riding a wave on a surfboard in the waterAmber Champion has been adventuring since the day she was born, but has been heavily involved with Sea Kayaking since 2015 & Paddleboarding since 2016. She began her sea kayaking career working as a guide on the Great Barrier Reef in the Whitsundays, Australia. From there she decided recreation was a great way to access remote locations away from big vessels and to find hidden gems that most people wouldn’t know existed. In 2016 she started working for Blue Dog Kayaking ltd. This is where her life of instruction began, she was drawn to the world of teaching when she realized that it gave individuals the potential to paddle away with the skills and abilities to go and explore without a guide. Facilitating learning environments that empowers and builds confidence in individuals became a new passion, and the desire to get more highly trained became a priority. In the past few years Amber has taught at numerous national and international symposiums, gained her Paddle Canada L4 Instructors & L3 Instructor Trainers certification and became the youngest and the only female to hold that certification. This past year, Amber ran the first ever all women’s L4 skills course for Paddle Canada in history, something she dreamt about since she joined the organization! She is driven to get to the top and offer more opportunities for learning for everyone. Not to mention she is ACA curious! When Amber isn’t instructing she spends her time surfing her paddleboard, or kayak exploring by land and water and venturing off to find more hidden gems.

Gennifer Gatan

a group of people in a boat on a body of waterBe it coastal touring, kayak-camping, rock gardening, or surfing a wave or three – Gennifer Gatan sees sea kayaking as a never-ending opportunity for learning.

The better part, however, has been sharing the passion and process with fellow enthusiasts through instruction, coaching, and leadership. “Meeting them where they are,” guides the heart and hustle of Gennifer’s philosophy, as well as working together to craft the optimal learner-driven experience. 

Gennifer has earned the British Canoeing MW Sea Kayak Level 3 Coach and 5* Advanced Sea Kayak Leader awards. For American Canoe, she holds the L5 Advanced Open Water Coastal Kayak Instructor certification. 

As owner and operator of Sea Kayak Cali based in Southern California, Gennifer freelances and enjoys collaborating with other providers in the U.S. and abroad. She also instructs for the California Watersports Collective’s saltwater program in the San Francisco Bay Area, and is stoked to be part of the Rough Water Rodeo’s core coaching team.

Kelly Marie Henry

kelly did a rock garden!Kelly is a surf obsessed, rough water loving, paddling fanatic. Her positive energy and enthusiasm for kayaking encourages and inspires both experienced and novice paddlers alike. As a coach, she strives to help paddlers at all levels build confidence, develop independence, and achieve their personal performance goals. Her current coaching and paddling certifications include ACA Level 5 Advanced Open Water Coastal Kayak Instructor, BC Advanced Sea Kayak Coach & Leader, and BC Coastal SUP Leader.

Kelly attributes many of her most memorable life experiences to paddlesports including a multi-week coaching and sea kayaking adventure in Taiwan, exploring South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula as a polar expedition guide, and representing the United States in the World Surf Kayak Championships. Kelly now calls Anglesey, North Wales her home and together with her partner owns and operates Flow State Adventures. On her days off, you will find Kelly surfing the tide races off Anglesey, white water kayaking in the Alps, or trail running in Snowdonia.

Mary Ann King

a man riding a wave on a surf board on a body of waterMary Ann exudes pure joy every time she’s on the water. She is a three-time US kayak polo national champion, and — before she fell in love with sea kayaking — represented the US on the Women’s National Kayak Polo Team at the World Games, Canoe Polo World Championships, and Pan American Kayak Polo Championships.  Mary Ann is no stranger to hard work, performance kayaking, and disciplined coaching. She applies her keen sense of observation to provide students with feedback that leads to breakthroughs big and small – all while laughing so hard you forget you’re learning. Mary Ann is an ACA L4 Coastal Kayaking Instructor and L3 Surf Kayak Instructor. 

Suzy Matsubara

a person in a raft on the waterSuzy loves being on the water whether it’s a mindful paddle through Elkhorn Slough, surfing long and consistent waves in Bolinas, or navigating through rock gardens along Monterey Bay and Big Sur.  She started her kayaking career guiding at Elkhorn Slough in Moss Landing about four years ago and tenaciously pursued instructor certification, and is currently certified as an L4 Coastal Kayaking Instructor and L3 Surf Kayak Instructor.

She loves kayaking for fun around Monterey Bay and San Francisco Bay.  Her heart is in guiding, coaching, and instructing in the outdoors.  She views kayaking as a spiritual practice, finding great purpose and meaning on the water.  During the school year she is an outdoor education teacher for a K-8 school  in Monterey.  In the summer you can find her guiding and instructing at Elkhorn Slough or on the river whitewater rafting or kayaking.  


Laura Zulliger

ladyWith 20 years of coaching experience, Laura is an ACA-certified Level 5 Advanced Open Water Coastal Kayaking Instructor, L4 Open Water Coastal Kayaking Instructor Trainer, an L4 Whitewater Kayaking Instructor, and L3 Surf Kayak Instructor.

As a coach, Laura draws upon this multidisciplinary approach to give students the skills and confidence needed to experience the waves, rocks and swell of California’s energetic coastline as a playground rather than a battleground. To that end, she is grateful for the opportunity to work with paddlers at every stage of their development. She’s the Saltwater Program Director for California Watersport Collective. When she’s not on the water playing in waves and around rocks, she leads marketing and European programs for Sea Trek. She’s honored to be on the P&H Kayaks Team and serve as a global ambassador for Kokatat in addition to being on the Mega Surf Kayaks team.