St Davids Sea and Surf Kayak Festival

May 29th - 31st 2020

Dragon Activity Guides and Sea Kayak Guides have teamed up to offer you our annual Sea and Surf Kayaking symposium long weekend in St David’s, Pembrokeshire. The festival includes a choice of paddling workshops during the days, evening talks, a variety of trade stands of kit to demo or buy, three meals a day and a choice of accommodation.

By selecting the workshops you would like to attend during the symposium, it allows you to join some of the UK’s best Kayaking Coaches in the specific aspects of your paddling you would like to improve. We believe in low student to guide ratios to maintain top quality coaching and a high level of safety. You can choose from a wide range of trips. Whether its a gentle wildlife extravaganza or surfing on one of our stunning beaches, or even playing in one of our world class tide races.....the choice is YOURS!!


Please choose which workshops you would like to attend from the following programme. All sessions will be full day. Please make a 1st and 2nd choice for each day; we will endeavour to deliver your first choice if possible, if not we will contact you to discuss your options.

It is important when selecting the workshops for each day that you take into consideration and be honest about your personal ability. Each of the workshops has an allocated skill level. Please check your level of experience before selecting workshops.


Sea Kayak Workshops

Introduction to the Pembrokeshire coastline

Introduction to the Pembrokeshire coastline

Pembrokeshire has the only coastal national park in the UK and what better way is there to explore it then at sea level from a kayak.
Paddling alongside local guides you will hug the coastline, exploring caves and soaking up the beautiful views as you go.

Skill level: Introductory upwards

Marine and Environmental

Marine and EnvironmentalThis session will concentrate on exploring the pristine local marine environment. From the nooks and crannies of our rocky shore to the wide expanse of the Atlantic Ocean and its inhabitants.
Skill level: Introductory upwards

Rock Hopping

Rock Hopping

Personal boat handling skills in and around the rocks, reading swell, swell forecasting, group management and rescue skills. This session will improve your confidence in selecting suitable rock hopping opportunities and your personal ability in playing in such conditions.
Skill level: Intermediate upwards

Introduction to tide races

Introduction to tide racesPembrokeshire has some of the best tide races in the world. This session will focus on introducing paddlers to this dynamic, exciting and challenging environment. We will coach you on basic techniques for handling your kayak such as breaking in and out, surfing over-falls and above all group safety and rescue techniques.
Skill level: Intermediate only

Playing the sea

Playing the sea

This session is all about developing paddling, leadership and rescue skills in some of the more exciting tidal races. If you are looking to test yourselves in some bigger conditions then this is the one for you!!
Skill level: Advanced only

Incident management

Incident managementWith all this fun sometimes things can go awry, to lead or be an active member of a group we need a range of rescue skills in our bag of tricks. This session will concentrate on the fundamentals of incident avoidance and how to manage and carry out rescues when needed.
Skill level: Intermediate upwards

Real World Navigation

Real World NavigationThis session will review the fundamentals of navigation and tidal planning in the class room before hitting the water and looking at real life navigation on the move. This is an essential skill for all sea kayakers. We’ll hopefully convince you that navigation can be fun.
Skill level: Intro-mediate upwards

Sea boat handling in the surf zone

Sea boat handling in the surf zoneThis session will look at launching and landing from surf beaches and bays. We’ll refine personal boat handling skills and look at what to do if it all goes wrong. It is likely you will get a bit damp during the day but that’s all part of the fun.
Skill level: Intermediate upwards

Surf Kayaking Sessions

Intro to Surfing

Intro to SurfingAn opportunity to play in the waves, learning top tips on how to catch waves, select waves, take offs and what to do when you’re up and surfing. Most importantly handy tips to get out behind the breaking waves and have fun!

Intermediate surf class

Intermediate surf classExpanding on some of your basic skills; getting you turning and carving on ‘green’ waves. We will be looking the fundamentals such as ‘S’ turns, getting your boat in the right position and improving your rolling skills in a rough water environment.

Advanced Surf class

Advanced Surf classDuring this session we will be looking at advanced technical skills such as perfecting those top and bottom turns, maximising both your speed and position on the wave. We will focus on fine tuning your technique; by the end of the session we want you to be making every wave count.

Surf safety and rescues

Surf safety and rescuesSometimes in the surf environment things don’t go to plan. During this session we will look at some of the most likely incidents and scenarios and how to deal with them effectively.
Alongside this we will explore surf specific hazards, group management, essential safety equipment and choosing an appropriate venue.
Skill level: Intermediate upwards

In’s and Out’s of Competition

In’s and Out’s of CompetitionFor those interested in the competition side of Surf Kayaking. We will go through competition rules, flags, timings, and the scoring process. We will also be looking at tactics and game plan when out on the water.
Skill level: Anyone interested in Competition Surfing


CompetitionYour chance to practice or test your skills in a competition format. Compete against each other in a handicap competition in both disciplines of long boat and high performance boats.
Skill Level: Anyone interested in Competition Surfing

Sea Kayak Ability


You may or may not have tried sea kayaking before; this is an opportunity to give it a go. You need to be happy in or on the water.


You should have some previous kayaking experience (not necessarily in a sea kayak), with the ability to control a kayak enough to allow efficient travel along the coastline. You will be introduced to gentle swells and surf and look at paddling with and against wind and tide (approx. BC 2*skill level).


Paddlers should have a reasonable level of paddling ability. They should have paddled before in swell, wind and some gently moving water. We will endeavour to help paddlers develop their skills to allow them to become a more independent paddler and an active team member (approx. BC 3* skill level).


This is for those paddlers who hold BC 4* certificate or at this standard. They need to be happy paddling in moderate sea states in winds up to force 4. We will be working in more advanced tidal and surf conditions to help develop personal and leadership skills.

If you are still not sure which level you fit in to please give us a ring. It is essential that all attendees only book on to sessions which are appropriate to their skills and aims to ensure the best possible experience both for themselves and other group members.

Surf Kayak Ability


Preferably you will have had some previous experience in a kayak. This is your opportunity to give surf kayaking a go, learning the basics of safety and technique. You need to be comfortable in the water and happy to get wet.


Preferably you should be able to roll a kayak, you might have some previous kayaking experience in other boats or maybe even have tried surf kayaking before (approx. BC 3* skills in any discipline)


You would like to take your surf kayaking to the next level, you should be able to roll and perform some simple surf kayak manoeuvres such as bottom turns and top turns maybe even a re-entry (approx. BC 4*). You could also be a ripper.

If you are still not sure which level you fit into please give us a ring. It is essential that all attendees only book onto sessions which are appropriate to their skills and aims to ensure the best possible experience both for themselves and other group members.




St David’s Bunk Barns

This will be the main base for the festival and venue for the evening events. It is a working farm situated on the outskirts of St David’s with several pubs, restaurants and shops within easy walking distance. It boasts stunning views across St Bides Bay and has easy access to the coast path and several beaches. The accommodation is bunkhouse style with shared rooms. More details on the accommodation here

The Accommodation includes Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Check out is by 10am on Sunday 31st May. 
The food is full board on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (Excluded an evening meal on Sunday). 



  • Festival + Food - £300
  • Festival + Food + Bunkhouse Accommodation - £370

Alternatively, if you can not make all three days and would like to attend the festival for either one or two days please contact us on 


British CanoeingActivities Industry Mutual Outdoor Charter Group Accredited School of Surfing AALA Mountain Training Association

Dragon Activity Guides
Carn-Nwchwn Farm
St David's
SA62 6QN

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