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
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.