I was immediately hooked. I learned what I could, bought some gear, and explored the Tacoma Narrows, learning where and when it was safe.
I had the opportunity to take a class with Nigel Foster – specifically his finesse class. I started taking sea kayaking seriously and began to work on my skills.
I joined the Washington Kayak Club in 2018 and somehow, as a completely novice paddler, I was allowed to join 2 ACA L3 instructors and a 3rd experience paddler on what would be The H2O Project staring my informal education.
By the end of the year, I had made the decision to work towards 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.
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.
I received my ACA Advanced Communications Endorsement to work with paddlers having vision, hearing, speech, and other learning or communication impairments.
With my skills improving and more time solo paddling, I started looking for a lighter kayak when I came across Turning Point Boatworks. I connected with Joey Schott and while not the typical paddler one would expect to represent a brand, we hit it off and I was made an ambassador.
Just after Thanksgiving 2021, I earned my BC Coastal Sea Kayak Award.
I updated my ACA instructor certification to L3 Coastal Kayaking and added the Coastal Kayaking Trip Leader Endorsement.
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.
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.