Surf Session in September 2019

I took three students out to Democrat Point, Long Island, the other day. It’s known as a good surf spot, but there are some other features there as well.

With Force 4 winds, the first thing we discussed was how to manage wind in our paddling.

We then moving on to a recirculating eddy, practicing how to cross an eddy line and how to keep and attain position in current.

At the tip of the point, a wide tiderace forms, and after hopping out on the beach to scout it, we had a bit of play. One of the students practiced his roll in the tiderace – success!

We finished the day with some surf. At low tide, the incoming swell was breaking up over some barrier shoals, giving us nice, long but gentle wavers to surf along.

Weekend Class in June

Learning at Lake Sebago.

I (Julie) was hoping to get some events together in April, but unfortunately a drysuit repair is going to take a few weeks, so no on-water activities until May.

That said, I’ve super-excited to say my fourth annual weekend-long kayak touring course at Lake Sebago is set for the weekend of June 22-23. You can register here.

In addition to the course, I’ve rented a cabin for participants to opt-in to stay at Friday and Saturday nights. There’s a refrigerator and stove for preparing meals, and the lake is a great getaway from urban life. I can also provide boats and a limited set of rental equipment.

The course is essentially the American Canoe Association’s “L2” skills curriculuum, covering strokes and rescues. The ACA’s sample syllabus lists the course as being do-able in about a day, leading to a common question I get, almost every year: why is this course a two-day course?

The main reason is that it’s a lot of material to cover, and cramming it all into a day is a bit of a smash-up. I’ve taught the course in a single day, in the past, and it becomes a long day. Students who I continued working with afterwards would remark that they didn’t feel everything stuck, and they spent more time in subsequent sessions honing in on the details.

So, that’s one approach. What I prefer is to dedicate the better part of a weekend, allowing more time for practice, for reflection, and for participants to let their synapses fire on their own. It takes more time and a bit of patience, but pays off in a stronger foundation for the long haul.

Pool Session Pix

Pool Program at Dobbs Ferry.

I want to convey a hearty THANK YOU to all the participants who made this winter’s pool sessions a great success for Tubby Hook and Kayak Dov.

As some of you may know, this was the first year for Julie and Dov to to run a pool program at the Masters School, especially to Matt Kane’s clients who came along to see how we’d do.

Dov and I had a lot of fun working with a range of paddlers, from people learning the basics, to people learning fancy rolls. And, we’re happy some of you tried out Greenland-style Rebel kayaks.

Here are some pictures.

The boats have been brought in.
Your Friendly Kayak Instructor.
Kayak Dov. Pool’s Open!
JT trying a Rebel Ilaga.
JT trying a Rebel Ilaga.
OK, Students!
OK, Students!
Body Position
Body Position

Fourth Pool Session Added

I want to share a big THANKS to everyone who’s come to one of our pool sessions in Dobbs Ferry.

There’s been enough interest that Dov and I have added a fourth date, March 10, and we’re taking steps to make sure the pool doesn’t get crowded for any session. February 24 is now full, but we still have plenty of room on March 3, and March 10 is wide open. Sign up for a session using the Scheduler.

Additionally, if you’re interested in trying out a Rebel kayak, drop a note to He’s got all models available except the Toc and the Jara. Dov is also offering a deal on Gearlab Greenland-style paddles, available only to pool participants: 15% off for anyone who’s taken been a participant ate on of our sessions.

Hope to see you in the pool!

Pool Program Pix

Pool Program at Dobbs Ferry.

We – Kayak Dov and Tubby Hook Paddle Company – had a great start to our first pool program yesterday. We have two more sessions scheduled, for February 24 and March 3.

Pool Program at Dobbs Ferry.
Pool Program at Dobbs Ferry.

We had great turnout, with nearly a dozen paddlers either showing up with their own boats or renting boats from us, a few taking classes, while others practiced on their own.

Body Position
Body Position

We had familiar faces and new, and both experienced paddlers and starters. Everyone shares stories and top tips. It’s a social setting as much as an instructional environment.

sharing top tips
J & C giving each other top tips.

To learn more about the program, drop a note to