As for my story…
I was introduced to sea kayaking in July 2016. I was immediately hooked. I learned what I could, bought some gear, and explored the Tacoma Narrows, learning where and when it was safe.
Then, in September of 2018, I was fortunate enough to take a class from Nigel Foster.
By March of 2019 I made the decision to turn my passion into a revenue source, and to do so in a way that would give back. I wanted to help get others on the water safely and with the necessary skills to be able to explore and have their own adventures. I wanted to educate, to provide opportunities, and to inspire.
Before 2019 ended, I made up my mind to earn my instructor certification. Then the pandemic hit. My local kayak club was all but boarded up. There were a few paddles with my friends, but any hope of certification was now gone.
In June (2020), I found the North Sound Sea Kayak Association (NSSKA). The group was active! I joined. My first paddle in July with the group re-opened the door that had slammed shut. I learned there’d be an ACA L2 Assessment and Instructor Certification later in the year.
By the end of 2020, I was a certified sea kayak instructor. I began working with NSSKA as part of their instructor team. I reached out to Rob Casey at Salmon Bay Paddle and was brought onboard as an instructor.
In August of 2021 I received my ACA Advanced Communications Endorsement to work with paddlers having vision, hearing, speech, and other learning or communication impairments. Later that month, I connected with Joey Schott at Turning Point Boatworks and was brought on as an ambassador.
Just after Thanksgiving 2021, I earned my BC Coastal Sea Kayak Award.
In 2022, I was brought on board with NC Kayaks as a brand advocate, joined the Kitsap Mountaineers with an eye on building their presence and growing sea kayaking on the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas, took on the training coordinator role for NSSKA and and furthered my own education with classes from a variety of top-level instructors. In November, my roll as ambassador for Turning Point Boatworks shifted to becoming their PNW dealer.
While I had no intention of getting back into retail, in early 2023 Gearlab Outdoors created a program that would allow me to stock paddles and accessories that I couldn’t turn down. Selling Gearlab paddles was the perfect compliment to my Greenland paddling classes.
My story won’t end here. I will work toward additional certifications from both ACA and BC, covering personal assessments, coaching, and trip leadership, and doing what I can to foster sea kayaking (and specifically safety and education) throughout the PNW.
As a sea kayak instructor….
I work with all skill levels from absolute beginner to intermediate, finding great satisfaction seeing students gain confidence in skills and themselves.
My coaching style is designed for students to work at their pace with instruction tailored to their learning style. I provide classroom and on-water based modules covering the skills needed to get out and explore safely.
My passion is teaching Greenland paddling.
Beyond private coaching, I run training sessions, lead trips, mentor new trips leaders for local sea kayak clubs, provide guiding and coaching services for local outfitters on a contract basis, and speak on a variety of sea kayaking topics for various groups and organizations.
Oppdage Laering (Norwegian) translates to ‘discover learning’
We don’t all learn in the same way and not all methods for performing a skill work for everyone. Whether it be physical limitations or our gear, as an instructor my goal is to work with each student to help them perform the skill…not perform it according to a ‘textbook’ model.
For me, it’s about providing the concepts and the core methods (what works best for most people in the most number of conditions/sea states) and the reasons behind those concepts and methods. This not only empowers students to experiment to try new things and adapt the techniques to fit them and a given scenario keeping to the core concepts learned, it provides students a framework to problem solve.
In open water, the methods typically taught won’t always work. New paddlers need to have the ability to find a solution. The concept-based approach offers that.
I teach people how to paddle, not perform a set of skills.
Good instruction instills confidence. Confidence creates comfort.
Comfort leads to competence.
By leading students to consider the context in which they will use their understanding, concept-based learning brings “real world” meaning to content knowledge and skills. ~ Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition
As for time off the water…
I’m a writer, creating content for clients and weaving stories for myself, while dabbling in poetry. I am fortunate enough to live a block off the water with my amazing wife, Erika who happens to share my love for paddling and the water in general (she’s a bit more badass than me in that she’s an open water swimmer and a certified diver too!) and my daughter.
We live simply. For us, it’s not about material things and possessions, but time with family and friends enjoying life. We try to be as environmentally friendly as possible, we’re sustainably-focused, and love birds (well, all animals).
Though it might not become reality, we see ourselves living closer to nature in the future, off-grid/net-zero in a tiny (small) home, RV or boat.