The strong currents that characterize San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate combine with powerful Pacific swells to produce one of the best teaching locations in the world for sea kayaking, surf kayaking and stand up paddleboarding (SUP). The whole coastline of Northern California is our playground and our classroom. Whilst our courses are concentrated from Sonoma to the San Mateo coast, we delight in exploring new areas. If you have a venue or event that you would like us to teach at, please CONTACT us to set something up.

Photo by Cass Kalinski

Supported by:

Paddlesports Coaching Collective


River and Ocean is a collective of certified paddlesports instructors in the Bay Area of California, dedicated to the delivery of quality coaching in all aspects of paddlesports. Our focus is personalized coaching at all levels. We specialize in: advanced level skills training and assessment; professional guide training and assessment; and instructor training and assessment using the American Canoe Association’s curriculum, the nation’s largest paddlesports organization.


Sean Morley

Sean Morley is an ACA L5 Advanced Open Water Instructor, L4 Open Water Instructor Trainer, L3 Surf Kayak Instructor and L2 SUP Instructor. He runs River and Ocean, a paddlesports coaching collective in the Bay Area of California and is Event Director of Paddle Golden Gatea biennial destination event for ALL paddlesports enthusiasts on San Francisco Bay and the Marin Headlands. In 2004 Sean achieved his childhood dream by completing the first solo circumnavigation of the UK and Ireland by sea kayak; the first ever to include all of the inhabited islands. The 4500 mile expedition took 183 days and is the longest kayak journey ever undertaken in British waters. Sean has competed internationally in a number of paddlesports disciplines but loves nothing more than to share his passion for paddling by coaching new and developing paddlers. He is supported by Werner Paddles.

Sean provides personal coaching in sea kayaking, surf ski racing, kayak surfing and SUP. He is available to train and motivate your staff in retail sales, guiding and instructor certification.

Photo by Rod McLean.

Kelly Marie Henry

Kelly first paddled a sea kayak in her hometown waters of Narragansett Bay and immediately fell in love with the freedom kayaking provides to explore coastal regions seldom traveled by others. After completing a Master’s and Doctorate in oceanography, she realized the best way to share her passion for the water was through paddlesports. In 2013, she left a promising career in science behind and joined the staff at California Canoe & Kayak. Kelly is a dynamic paddler committed to pushing her limits and improving her technique. As a coach, she strives to help paddlers of all abilities find joy on the water. When not in the shop, she can be found pursuing her new paddling obsession, surf kayaking. Kelly is an ACA Level 4 Open Water Coastal Kayak Instructor, Level 3 Surf Kayak Instructor, and a Level 2 SUP Instructor, and trained in Wilderness First Aid.

Photo by Roger Aguirre Smith.

Bill Vonnegutt

If you find yourself paddling on the open coast in the San Francisco bay area you will likely run into Bill. A San Francisco Bay Area native, he has a passion for paddling. He enjoys the freedom it offers and the challenges it provides, and has extensive knowledge of our local coast. An ACA Level 5 Instructor, Bill seeks to not only rise to new heights in his high level of comfort and confidence in rough water, but to understand the fine nuances of technique that allow him to move fluidly in conditions from benign to extreme. Bill teaches from the experiences gained (good and bad!) while paddling his favorite coastal waters from Mendocino to Monterey. You can find his postings on kayak related topics on several websites including that of the Neptune’s Rangers, a rough water paddling group of which he is a principal founding member, as well as Canoe & Kayak Magazine.

Photo courtesy of Neptune’s Rangers.

Jennifer Yearley

Jennifer got her first taste of paddling on a vacation to Alaska, was hooked, and has been never far from a sea kayak since. Jennifer loves to paddle the spectacular coastal playground of her home waters, from Monterey Bay to Marin and is often to be seen out playing in the the waves in either sea kayak or HP surf boat. Jennifer has done several paddling expeditions in the San Juan Islands, has explored northern California’s wild Lost Coast, has played in the magnificent tidal rapids at Skookumchuck Narrows in British Columbia, and this spring did her BCU 5 Star training in northern Wales, experiencing such treats as the famous Anglesey tide race, Penrhyn Mawr. Jennifer continues to explore new challenges and new locations, with additional training this fall along the beautiful and dynamic coast of Maine and increasing focus on whitewater river kayaking, including a session of focused whitewater training in Virginia. Jennifer loves to teach and loves sharing the incredible beauty and thrill of paddling in our area with others. Jennifer is an ACA Level 4 Open Water Coastal Kayak instructor, BCU 4 Star Sea Kayak Leader, and ACA Level 1 SUP instructor.

Photo by Sean Morley.

Jeff Burton

Jeff is a certified ACA Level 2 SUP Instructor with years of teaching experience and a real love for the sport of SUP.   Whether a beginner looking to get out on a board for the first time, or an experienced paddler looking to get into more challenging conditions you’ll want to receive coaching from Jeff.
Jeff first fell in love with SUP paddling the Atlantic waters but found his passion while downwinding – whether it’s on Tomales Bay, in Northern California or Maui’s famous Maliko run.
“Paddling is more than a sport, it’s an experience” he says. “What I love most is to share SUP with as many people as possible.”

Photo by Nicole Sepulveda.

Upcoming Courses & Events

  1. ACA_Logo_blue (2)

    L3: Coastal Kayak Skills Assessment

    October 1 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  2. us-waveski-champs

    Ventura Paddle Surfing Championships

    October 7 - October 8
  3. lumpy_1292709824

    Lumpy Waters Kayak Symposium

    October 7 - October 9
  4. Bill going deep_Roger Aguirre Smith

    Situational Rolling & Bracing

    October 23 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
  5. ACA_Logo_blue (2)

    L4: Open Water Coastal Kayak Skills Assessment

    October 30 @ 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
  6. ACA_Logo_blue (2)

    ACA National Paddlesports Conference

    November 10 - November 16
  7. 110130-cck-instr-151

    L4: Tidal Currents & Rough Water

    November 12 @ 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
  8. Instructor trainer logo
  9. bill

    Blending Strokes – Horseshoe Cove (FULL)

    December 4 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
  10. skps

    Simposio de Kayak del Pacifico Sur

    December 8 - December 11

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