You are right Kyle the "trick" to doing action sequences is finding which shot to start working with and then working from there. Great start, you'll soon be hooked if you aren't already!
I can vouch for how long it takes to learn how to do these. I just learned how to do them and I find to do them right (a bit of a perfectionist) it takes me over an hour. Although I hear CS5's new content aware feature could help bring that time down dramatically. When doing snowboard shots with a tripod it cuts that time in half, but it's useless using a tripod in a boat
Here are a few of my sequences from last year to check out. I find the water can be the hardest. A tool I always use is the smudge or smear tool to help blend in the new layer with the background layer as well. You really notice it immediately around the rider after you have drawn him in and then used the tool. I hope that makes sense. Just trying to help out with some things I learned on my own over this last summer.