Potomac Paddlesports Reviews


Gift Cards
Client Feedback

Please take a moment to read what our students and guests are saying about our lessons and trips:

The class this weekend was really great--great instruction, fun, gave me a feeling that I want to learn more and can't wait to know more. The instruction really is great--supportive and slow enough to be comfortable without feeling too slow or boring. Brandon and Emily were great. Can't wait to do more!

Thanks so much to Jack for making the trip a memorable one! My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Jack was a terrific leader and he instilled within us a respect for the sport, as well as the fun. He was very good to tell us that after one lesson, we are not ready for prime time! I appreciated that thought and will not take it lightly.

I told you this last night during the post-kayak beer, but will put it in an email anyway... I am very impressed with all aspects of the whitewater 1 package. The instructors are very professional and I like the way they all break each technique down into separate steps. (Daniel-son, snap the hip!) Lauren, Brandon, and Scott (I think that's his name) have done excellent jobs. One thing that REALLY helped me with my roll: I had been thinking of 3 things to do as 1. move paddle 2. dink head 3. hip snap. One of the instructors made a comment to think of doing them in reverse...1. hip snap leads to 2. head dink leads to paddle movement. That simple change of order made a big difference.

The class was awesome, Jack was a great instructor as always. We were lucky by having a small group, so everyone got more practice. As I said at the lesson debrief, I think the biggest thing I learned was the reading of the water from upstream VERSUS from down stream. I know I need to work on keeping my angle coming out of eddies. Anyway, I got a lot out of the class, and have more confidence in myself being on moving water. I do plan on taking the Moving water class again, because I know I can always learn more, and think it would be a good idea to do it again when the river is higher, before I attempt to move onto the River Run class.

I had a great time last Saturday. Tom and Allison were knowledgeable, articulate and entertaining - not to mention - and most important, great instructors. Most of my training was with Allison. I was quite impressed when I saw her "fish" a capsized student (twice her size) out of the water and back into his kayak. Great job! I'm checking my work schedule to see when I can do it again. Like Allison said - "this could be addictive."

As I said on the phone last week I was more than satisfied with this class. It was another example of how your company and team of people are professional, positive and extremely skilled. Thank you so much for providing a fun, exciting class in a safe and skilled environment. My instructor for the day way Brandon and I, in addition to everyone else in my group thought he was great! He had the ability to be funny, positive and walk us through the skills in a methodical, well thought out way which really seemed to work for me.

I know you guys get this a lot, but in my experience, nobody really gets tired of hearing how wonderful they are. I just wanted to throw out there how impressed I am with the skill clinics in particular; they seem like a logistical and instructional nightmare, but every one I've ever been to has been really helpful and a lot of fun. I wanted to embarrass Brandon in particular; I've been to several of his clinics in the last few weeks, and he's been really great. He explains things very clearly, provides good feedback, and like ALL your instructors has a level of patience usually reserved for wildlife photographers and Buddhist monks. And I'm pretty sure I've never seen him NOT smiling. So thanks for all your hard work, and keep it up!

The classes have been excellent! The instructors are methodical - the best way to learn. They are also very patient and professional. As a result of their teaching, I am already rolling on my "on-side." I think getting real good with the strokes will require much more water time. But I am inspired to perhaps get my own kayak soon to get some extra stroke and balance practice in. Those are things I could practice on my own.

I'm searching for constructive feedback but am coming up blank. I thought the first session was structured perfectly for people new to kayaking in general, let alone whitewater kayaking. Brandon was great and did an awesome job giving group as well as well as personal instruction. I'm really looking forward to the next class and skill session.

Sorry it's taken me so long to reply - I had a wonderful time on the river and plan to go again. I am signed up for the rest of that series and am very encouraged. The group was small and very nice. I'll never be the leader of the pack, but I felt good about the new skills and the encouragement I received.

Right on. Thanks again for the best disco party ever, and the best kayaking club ever!

I was very impressed with your new instructor – Tom. I usually try to stay with an instructor that I am familiar with, but Tom came across as both knowledgeable and approachable. Even though he is new to CPS, he is obviously not new to sea kayaking or instructing. He had a wide variety of folks in his group - from young boy (12 ish) to an older gentleman that said he wanted to break bad habits, but seemed resistant to changing. The gentleman didn’t seem too happy at first, but by the end of the lesson he had a smile on his face. Tom handled the group with the ease that only seems to come with years of experience. Tom had us do a drill that helped teach torso rotation on the forward stroke. I liked the technique so well that I immediately stole the idea and used it to help someone on moving water on Sunday. The drill involved reaching across the bow with the paddle, touching the power face of the paddle to the opposite side of the boat then bringing the paddle back to the regular side for the forward stroke catch. It’s simple and it works! Yesterday, at the skills clinic, he worked with us in groups as well as taking time for each student to get some individual instruction. He went over some of the more advanced strokes with me, including one I had never seen before. You can teach an old dog new tricks. Hang on to Tom – he’s a keeper.

Sunny- Harry and I thoroughly enjoyed the Night Sounds trip the other night. You had full control of the weather, you just need to work on the planes and fireworks! We both walked away with more tips for getting in/out of the boat and of course the paddling technique reminders were very helpful. As you suggested (and ALison did last year) we have and do practice, although Harry gets out more than me. The canal was particularly interesting, and we know we want to walk/bike it too. We did one time about 15 years ago, but it will be more fun without kids, they are all grown now. It was fun actually meeting you after getting emails from you for the past 18 months. Believe it or not, Harry was trying out your owl call the other night. He said he would have to get a recording of it in order to get good at it. We look forward to our next trip which is sceduled for the fall.

Dave was an excellent instructor. The Level-1 course presented a good balance between individual instruction, group instruction, group activities, and personal practice time. I like the fact that you teach rolling upfront. Even though I'd run a few rivers, I truly learned a lot.

Trope and Bevin (sp?) rock. They have been nothing but great with Christian... He's really psyched by the camp. And reports from his day's progress have been very enthusiastic - both from him and his instructors! That being said - the boy looked whipped today... I'm loading him with water and pasta tonight has he heads up river tomorrow

I thoroughly enjoyed the Whitewater Fundamentals class last Saturday. Lauren was an outstanding instructor, very professional, motivated, fun, thorough and patient.

I really have nothing but praise so far about the program. My comment is specifically related to the first upside down turning and rolling. I was pretty intimidated that we would be doing that stuff in a group setting. But the idea that each of us went out seperately with our instructor to learn the skill for the first time, in very easy to learn and understand stages, was incredibly reassuring. I am looking forward to my next lesson!

I am one satisfied customer in all respects. The Fundamentals and Strokes and Rolling Review classes were awesome, and the skill clinics I attended cemented the skills I learned in the classes. I've been teaching stern draws and gorgeous high braces to all my friends who have been paddling for years. The clean technique you teach in your classes, and the endless repetition, means that my brace, and most especially my head dink, is totally instinctual now. The feedback to learn a low resistance twisting sweep roll was fantastic, and having the Kayak Roll video to watch in anticipation of my class was great. I felt as prepared as possible for my class this weekend, as I felt very comfortable in my boat, and had a conceptual grasp of what I was hoping to learn, just needing an instructor to help me with the muscle memory. Jack was just awesome. He was definitely surprised to find me in his class, with my limited kayaking experience, esp. since the other two folks in the class had been paddling for several years. Although they both had their onside rolls, I could very clearly see what parts of their rolls were weakest, and how my PPS education was going to make me a strong paddler. I am pleased to say that with Jack's excellent guidance, I did get a consistent roll yesterday. As yet, sometimes a "2nd try" roll as I tend to have a diving blade angle at this point. But I know what it feels like to get it right, and know exactly what I did wrong when it doesn't work or feels ugly. I'd say in 2 days I have had 40-50 successful rolls including one combat roll after a left high brace practice. I'd say at this point I should be working more on my left brace so that I don't have to use my roll.... Anyway, still work to do on my roll, reaching way out on my sweep, keeping my head down at the end, cleaning it all up, but the greatest thing is that after all this practice two days in a roll MY SHOULDER FEELS FANTASTIC, NO TWINGES WHATSOEVER. Thanks so much. Your invaluable instruction has been WORTH EVERY PENNY and I still have two classes and two years of skill clinics to go!

Hey Sunny, I just wanted to say Patrick is a fantastic instructor, he rocks and these class are so worth every penny. See you soon

I had a great time Trop, and signed up for safety June 30. I knew I had a lousy forward stroke, but didn't know what was wrong, in fact I admired a guys' forward stroke that I paddled with, and he is the one that told me about the school. I plan on upgrading.

Jack and Pete were great! Ryan and I both agreed that this was one of the best classes you offer. Its fun, its practical, and probably can't be stressed enough. I also thought the exercises and the group dynamics were terrific. Thanks for putting together such a great program.

I thought the class was amazing! It absolutely over exceeded my expectations. It was so great to get the one on one time with the instructors; I think that made the world of difference. Scott, who was my instructor, was amazing. He was so positive and never got frustrated (even though I couldn't figure out the paddle part of the roll which I am sure got fairly frustrating for him :o)and was so kind and professional. All of the instructors were great with amazing attitudes. I also felt very safe; the instructors were very focused on safety and making sure we understood the dangers involved and being there when we were stuck (under water :o). All of it was much harder than I expected and will be an absolute challenge but I look forward to the clinics and the other classes and I feel safe because of the caliber of people working for you. Thank you!

I thought the class great. It was well paced. I have had some paddling experience, but even so the class was an important review for me. The student-teacher ratio of 4:1 was important. Pete was my instructor. He is a gifted teacher--he patiently worked well with us, carefully watched where each of us was having trouble, and individually tailored his instruction. The lead instructor (sorry, I forgot his name) was very effective in orienting us and conducting the wrap-up. The company's commitment to environmental concerns and the Potomac river is a real plus. I was taken by one instructor's comments about working with the disabled vets and the company's support of that effort through equipment donations. I am looking forward to the other classes and the clinics. Thanks for a great start.

I enjoyed the training this past Sat with the Fundamentals class. Pete worked with me to fine tune my roll. We figured out a couple small steps and I rolled a couple times on my own at the last hour of the class. I felt like I was able to put the roll together with this class; like a light bulb just went off. Looking forward to the clinics and more classes. I did like the teacher/student ratio which allowed more instructor time on a one to one basis. The biggest feeling; I felt excited when I left class like I accomplished something.

I'd like to give major kudos to Trop for the advanced rolling session on Saturday. I wasn't sure what I would get out of the session, but he did an incredible job of breaking down my roll and pinpointing exactly what I could do to improve it. Thanks to the class I feel much more efficient and confident with my roll. He also helped me get over a large hurdle with my offside roll and tuned my hand roll. Overall, it was an incredible class. Trop's knowledge, teaching style and personality are a great asset to PPS.

the class was excellent. i like the way you've broken everything down into small steps working toward the end goal. it worked great for me. our instructor was patient, encouraging and clear in his directions. i'm looking forward to the next session.

Hey - just wanted to say the class was great. From my point of view - this must be one of the harder ones to teach - as you have all sorts of different levels coming together. In the intro class - rolling is new to everyone - but in Advanced Rolling everyone has some roll with varying degrees of proficiency and a wide variety of bad habits and roll challenges so students require much more individualized attention. Jack did a fantastic job (as usual) finding something specific to each student's skill set to make it a productive learning experience for the individuals - while also engaging the class and making it productive for the group. This requires both good teaching and good group management - once again you guys (and gals) create a great learning environment (that is also a ton of fun)

"I took lessons though you all last summer (2006) and I have since moved out to Colorado. Since it was my first exposure to kayak instruction, I don’t think I fully realized how thorough it was. My wife has since developed a desire to learn to kayak and has been taking lessons out here in Colorado. I have found it extremely difficult to find Kayak instruction that approaches the same amount of professionalism and thoroughness that I received from you all. Thanks to your instruction I learned to paddle on the Potomac and now I am getting the opportunity to paddle some pretty cool rivers in Colorado."

"The class last Saturday was excellent and met my expectations. Trop gave a detailed explanation of the Whitewater package prior to signing up and I knew what to expect in this first class. He was very enthusiastic and informative about the program. Additionally, your in-store staff gave me an excellent overview of what to paddling apparel to bring to class. They stressed that layer system which will work as the temperatures raise in the coming months. I was very glad that I listened to their advice as the weather changed throughout the day and I remained comfortable throughout the day. Lauren was an excellent instructor and worked a pace that raised confidence in the water. She also gave each student tailored instruction on technique and time to overcome our fears. I was at first nervous about being trapped in a kayak upside-down in the water, so she worked within my limitations. I know that their were some comments made after class about learning how to paddle first and then learning how to roll. I would have to disagree with these comments, because learning to roll first made me unafraid if this happened. Although, it probably would have been a good break between learning the bow rescue and C to C roll. I am looking forward to participating in future skills clinics and classes as the summer continues. Overall, I have been very impressed by Potomac Paddle Sports as an organization. Your relianace on technology on schedule and communicating has been very impressive. The skills clinics are great way to help a new comer stay active in the sport between classes and meet people. Great job, it defiantly sets your organization from the rest."

"The first Whitewater Fundamentals class was superb. I learned a LOT but need a lot of practice to be confident and safe, so I'm grateful for the clinics. My instructor was Patrick, and he was excellent, as are all PPS instructors I've ever had. Thanks for a really great program. I've been recommending you to all my friends."

"Hey - just wanted to say the class was great. From my point of view - this must be one of the harder ones to teach - as you have all sorts of different levels coming together. In the intro class - rolling is new to everyone - but in Advanced Rolling everyone has some roll with varying degrees of proficiency and a wide variety of bad habits and roll challenges so students require much more individualized attention. Jack did a fantastic job (as usual) finding something specific to each student's skill set to make it a productive learning experience for the individuals - while also engaging the class and making it productive for the group. This requires both good teaching and good group management - once again you guys (and gals) create a great learning environment (that is also a ton of fun)"

"Kirsty and I had a great time in the class. It was very well organized and Lauren was extremely professional. We have taken classes at NOC and you guys are right up there with them (if not surpassing them with quality of instruction)"

"Rob, Emily, and Alex were excellent instructors. We've been in DC for 3 years and that day had the most positive energy we have felt in all that time. The take home messages of protecting our resource and respecting other paddlers was really inspiring and made us feel a part of something much larger."

"You rule!! I'm beyond hooked - I'm obsessively addicted, in a healthy, yet expensive, way! I've have enjoyed this so much and I have you to thank! "

"Thank you for another outstanding class and for all of the personal attention! I am amazed by the quality and organization that you and your team bring to each progressive lesson. "

"Thank you once again! I don't know if you are getting tired of hearing rave reviews about the kayaking classes, but I'll send some more regardless... I've been fortunate to have the same instructors for both classes. Having meet them at the previous lesson allowed me to completely trust them when I was hanging upside down in the water at the second lesson. From a girl who was once afraid of drowning ... that's a lot of trust! But they earned it the first week, I am even more impressed with the school now. I called Dominion power and switched to Green energy. I also (finally) joined the Save the Bay campaign and signed a couple of the petitions. You set a great example! "

"By way of feedback on the class I took Saturday, I cannot say enough good things about it. The instructors were great - very patient, very thorough. I think they were particularly good at finding different ways to explain things so that all of us could get it. The material seemed like the perfect content for a fundamentals course, and the amount of material covered seemed appropriate for the time alloted. I came into the class with some uneducated "get in the boat and go" flatwater paddling experience, and I feel that I got so much from the course. This is pathetic but the concept of paddling with your body rather than just your arms is a revelation. My wimpy arms are eternally grateful. :) In case you can't tell, I've been raving about this pretty much non-stop since Saturday. I signed up for the package and can't wait for the next class! Thanks for the great experience! "

"Sunny, Lauren, Rob, Jack, Patrick, Kristen and everyone else - Thank you for having such a great program and staff that made it so fun and easy for me go from pushing my very-low comfort level in the water to making the water my comfort level and everything else not fit quite right. I still have a long way to go before I am where I want to be on the water but I have no doubt I will get there and that I will love every moment of the hard work and submersion. You have created not just an amazing paddling instruction course, but an entire community of some of the best people I've ever met. Less than an hour into my first course it had already changed from something to get done in order to qualify for the adventure race to something I want to do for the rest of my life. Kayaking has always been something I idly enjoyed from rare time to rare time, but you and your school is what has made the difference. "

"Jack was a wonderful tour guide! He is an excellent instructor, good tour guide, and all around great guy:) Jack made my first kayak experience one to remember. I am interested in future flat water tours. Is there any way to know who the instructor will be for the trip? Huge kudos to Jack and thank you Potomac Paddle Sports for running such a professional yet fun program. "

"As usual for PotomacPaddlesports, it was a fantastic lesson. As Rob can testify, I was pretty amazed at my progress for the day. Rob is excellent at focusing on each person's specific needs and giving just the right advice to let you improve. You do realize that every time I have a great lesson like this, you guys raise the bar of my expectations for the next lesson pretty high? :)"

"I had an absolutely wonderful time learning of the the new skills that I will need to become a good Kayaker. Patrick was my insturctor and he was great! He was able to explain the new skills to us in little pieces at a time, which really helped and he was always there when someone needed him. I can not praise him enough, he was wonderful and so were all of the new people I met! Thank you for all of the help "

"The location and the set up were ideal for a beginning class. Doling out the equipment was quick and organized. The class size was excellent. It is as interesting and informative to listen and watch the instructor when he works with others as it was having the individual instruction. Patrick was a patient, intelligent teacher. I didn't go into the class with any particular fear, but I imagine that had I, they would have been quickly erased by again, the location, and the apparent competency of the instructor. The idea of kayaking competently is now a huge motivator for me. I look forward to it. You've got the program down. You make it easy, convenient and pleasant for the consumer. It's a very well thought out business that is an asset to the DC area. Certainly you must hear this repeatedly. But as with many ventures, there are surprise, totally unintended pluses. I am only one woman, and not unique by any standards, and I want to tell you that you have enabled me. I have to imagine that there are 'X' amount of other ordinary people that you have unintentionally 'enabled', i.e.: enriched their lives in many various ways, for many various reasons, and perhaps they have not had nor taken the time to tell you this. I hope that they have. I would simply like to encourage you all by being candid, and saying thank you. And now my head is spinning trying to contrive a way to get kayaks into the interior of Honduras....later, after I learn. The point is, there is a future. If I did one roll, I'll do more... Sunny, thank you for a great program. Patrick, thank you for the clear lessons and your professional demeanor. Lauren, thank you for taking my hand instead of the kayak when you offered help. Dignity is a wonderful gift."

"Alex was great!! He broke things down into clear segments that easily linked into the next. The progression was excellent and he kept us all moving forward with enthusiasm. His teaching method was sound and his passion for the sport really showed. Having taken this class with you (sunny) I was able to closely observe Alex's teaching method and came away with some valuable insight that I will put to good use in our program here at Loyola. "

"I had the opportunity to learn my very first class with Rob... he was fantastic. a great instructor, patient and encouraging, he definitely helped me get out of my jitters with kayaking. i wasnt too sure if i would like kayaking but after my first day with Rob, I definitely can say that its a great sport to get into. and I cant wait till i get to my clinics and next class. I love how we were in the water as soon as we could, being in the water and just feeling how the kayak tilts in the water with my weight helped feeling out the balance of the kayak, it got my fear out of being upside down in the water trapped in a kayak. All and all I absolutely enjoyed my time w. Rob and everything went very well. Thank you."

"Rob put on a fantastic class this weekend; be sure to pass along my kudos to him! As I told him in our end-of-class de-brief, he's got a great eye for subtle things that are going wrong (or right) in technique that can make all the difference. I managed my first hand rolls and built a pretty solid sweep that has me feeling much more willing to take that tough-rolling Fluid Flirt out into harm's way. Thanks! "

"I have to tell you that I am sure I was a challenging student: I had a major claustrophic episode in the very first exercise. Emily was the teacher and was extremely patient, encouraging, and because of her, I was able to continue in the class. The anxiety attack I had was phenomenally intense, I haven't ever experienced something like that. I am sure it was a challenge to Emily and she was calm, cool, and exactly perfect in making the class effective and enjoyable for me. In summary, you run a great operation and i can't say enough good things about the quality of Emily's compassion and skill. "

"Thank you for the great lesson, it was even better than I anticipated. I knew from the moving water class that you explained concepts clearly and demonstrated skills in a slow, fluid manner, emphasizing keys points. What really impressed me was the way you assessed range of motion and weight bearing ability. Using that information, you showed me how to adapt strokes and the roll for a T. Rex. You can teach an old dinosaur new tricks, but it takes a really awesome teacher. Relearning and trying to get this old body working has been very frustrating and embarrassing for me. You have been very patient and encouraging. No matter how badly I did something, you were able to find something positive to say. You have a real knack for working with a wide variety of students and helping them feel comfortable."

"Ok - so this is very belated, but wanted to get feedback since it was such a good lesson. Basically, I could only say positive things: Patrick did a great job with the whole lesson. He not only made things very clear, but also listened very closely when I had questions/comments, as well as readily providing great suggestions as to how to improve my technique. One could say that it was just lucky that we only had a class of two students and got all the attention, but I have a feeling Patrick would have been just as good with more in the class. "

"Just wanted to share how much I enjoyed this course on Saturday! Alex was my instructor and here are a few thoughts for you... Alex does a great job giving us visuals to work with. For example, to help me understand my paddle angle (to help me when I was completing my roll), he showed us the "climbing" vs. "diving" angles. Good visual. Also wrist placement in first position - great visual upside down, etc. Alex is intense and enjoyable to work with. He reminded us of our goals for the class and kept us updated on what we were going to learn and when. And he did a good job reviewing the skills we learned, kept us on task and kept the course interactive among the group. He also gave us excellent one-on-one help with our rolls with himself in the water. I can use more of that!Very helpful, very patient, very enjoyable! Overall, a GREAT day! Alex is a great asset to your team! Can't wait to get back out on the water after my 10-day vacation in Florida! Will miss you guys! "

"I worked with Alex on Saturday, and thought he was an excellent instructor. In addition to showing us the strokes, he imparted a lot of additional knowledge that really made an overall difference in my kayaking. I feel like this one class will help me immensely. He helped me tweak my already pretty good roll so that now I'm getting up every time. Great class, a lot of fun. "

"The trip was a wonderful experience. I especially appreciated the instruction I received and also the information about the history of the area. All in all, I think I have to get out on the water again soon! I have missed having something like this in my life. Thank you for a wonderful day! "

"Many thanks to both of you for a wonderful experience in completing my Level 1 and 2 Whitewater courses!! It has been a fantastic ride and a big joy in my retirement life! "

"It was great to finally meet you and get initiated into the 'Potomac Paddlesports' world! First of all I would like to commend you on a class act outfit and I do mean that truly. From the trailer, to the equipment, to the instructors, to you - all class acts. My instructor was Toby and I don't think I can find enough adjectives that would do her justice. Not only was she one of the nicest people I've ever had the privilege of meeting, she was thoroughly trained, kind, gentle, motivating and caring. I will sing your praises forever!!"

"I have taken two classes and one skill clinic thus far, and wanted to let you know how pleased I am with the courses, pace, equipment, instructor skill level, and teaching/communication ability. All 10's. I will definitely recommend Potomac Paddlesoprts to other people, if nothing else than for your logical and supportive teaching method. Plus, it lots of fun and very convenient to the DC area. Specifically, I wanted to share two point of critique: -The most important aspect of the classes and skill clinics for me is the step-by-step approach and the instructor's confidence that anyone can learn. I think I share this trait with most beginners, in being apprehensive of flipping upside-down while trapped in a boat; and concerned whether I have the strength to maneuver back upright. The method of learning first to be comfortable in the boat, then flipping only half way, then assisted flipping, assisted righting, using floaties, and most especially one-on-one instruction allowed me to become comfortable and learn to roll fairly quickly. It worked perfectly for me and (almost) totally placated my fears."

"The paddle was fantastic! Watching the moon rise, listening to the owl (and the sound of the Falls), and simply breathing the tranquility of the night on the canal was truly meditative. I think the reason we were such a quiet group is because we were immersed in the silence. I especially appreciated how the group stayed together in the darkness, yet we each had our own "space" on the water. There were moments when I felt that I was completely alone out there. It was an opportunity to experience a deep sense of solitude, still within the comfort and safety of a guided group. When we paddled back from the wide water to the take out, the sight of the different colors of the light sticks gliding along in the darkness gave me an eerie feeling that we were outside visitors in nature's world. Thanks again for a great evening on the water."

"Absolutely awesome course. I feel that it provided a solid foundation for taking my paddling to a higher level and it felt good to apply the skills I've been working on in flatwater to moving water. Rob did an excellent job of instructing and it is always real good to learn from someone who enjoys teaching. Looking forward to getting some more river time in soon !"

"NOC on wheels."

"Jack and Jim did a fine job with the class. I've done the CCA swift-water class for two years now and have to say they covered more kayak-based lessons than CCA. The fundamentals were taught to everyone, and I thought that was very important considering most of the people there had never taken a swift water rescue class. The only thing I wish could have been demonstrated to us was proper dress for cold water. On a side note, I am really enjoying every class and lesson with Potomac Paddle Sports. I am noticing a great deal of improvement under your supervision, and also, I highly recommend Peter as an instructor. He's incredibly talented, and he has more patience than anyone I've ever met."

"I really enjoyed the Safety class and thought Jim and Jack did a great job demonstrating and explaining the do's and don'ts of various safety and rescue situations. Many of the things covered I recently reviewed on a white water safety DVD, however, it became very apparent that you don't "have it" until you practice it ... repeatedly. Also, I have a much deeper appreciation for the difficulties that can be encountered in mellow class I & II rescue situations. Until you are actually in the current out of your boat or trying to maneuver in a group, you don't realize how even gentle moving water can be difficult for negotiating a self or assisted rescue."

"Thanks for the great day! Susan and I both learned techniques that have already improved our paddling. The initial lesson added to our two years of seat-of-the- pants paddling meant we were at the lead group all the way. On the way back, however, I took advantage of the improved efficiency to make side excursions and still keep up."

"The trip was excellent. I thought that what you guys did really well is to read the participants and set a tone and pace that would work for everyone. Some outfitters would have left a couple of folks in the dust struggling to keep up, etc. Of course it helps that the weather and birds cooperated with your program. But I was sure that if they didn't you would easily adapt the outing to the prevailing conditions. It's also impressive that you three are so knowledgeable about and respectful of the wildlife and plantlife." "

"My feedback is that it was great. You obviously put a lot of thought into the structure of the whole lesson and the parts of class segued into one another very smoothly. Great work!"

"One thing your school does very well is to find that elusive balance between carefully building up skills and encouraging students to learn new skills. To compare it to a river, this is like balancing on an eddy line: leave your students in the eddy - they will learn nothing new, push them into the river to fast - they will be helplessly facing moving water."

"I just wanted to offer some very positive feedback on the yesterday’s Moving Water class. Firstly, I thought the progression and sequence of the lesson was wonderful. By starting in extremely easy moving water where one didn't really need to be worried about flipping etc. allowed everyone to really just learn the stroke and the fundamentals. I don't think the class would have been nearly as effective if we had started at the wave train at Maryland chute. By allowing us to progress slowly into more difficult ferries etc, I was able to feel more comfortable and focus on the the task at hand, not just worry about flipping. By the time we were ferrying across the top of Maryland Chute, it didn't seem difficult at all. Secondly, the lesson really provided me with specific drills I can practice. I feel like now i have a list of different activities I can do on my own which will really help me improve my form..ie. practices S turns, exaggerating my lean, practices different types of draw strokes etc. You guys gave me a roadmap for improvement! Finally, the instruction was really great. You clearly broke the lessons down into bite size chunks--ie. focus on your lean or stroke etc. Often I find that people try to give too many instructions at once and I just get confused and overwhelmed and do neither well. By having us focus on one or two things per drill in a systematic progression, I was able to put all of the pieces together at the end and see a complete picture of how to paddle in moving water. All of the instructors were patient, and provided the right type of encouragement. In short, thanks for a great class--I have been on the fence in terms of whether I really wanted to pursue this sport. Generally I just get frustrated when I am out on the water—but Sun was probably one of the first times really had fun. Thanks so much all of you." "

"My husband, Ed and I had a great time. Cyndi was awesome! she was very knowledgeable about kayaking and historical information regarding the Potomac and canal. She pointed out lots of wonderful birds that we would not have seen on our own, I was really impressed. This trip was to decide if we would buy our own kayaks or not and we will definitely get a few after such a positive experience."

"I had a great time and hopefully will be upgrading soon. Patrick was an awsome instructor. Confident, patient, and obviously very skilled. He and Toby made the class a lot of fun and before we knew it, the five hours were over."

"Absolutely great lesson. After 20 years of "enjoying" the sport, I find that I am doing a lot of things the wrong way. The good news is that I went home with aching lower back and sides rather than shoulders, so with some practice, I know that I'll get it! Looking forward to the Safety class, which should really build my confidence and allow me to take advantage of all the great water areas here. I also will be upgrading this week to the Complete Package, planning for Open Water in August!"

"Had a great time on Sunday, thanks for the excellent instruction and patience with my sloppiness Jack. I had learned to cross eddies before, but the different paddle positions in the draw stroke was EXACTLY what I needed to learn to "finess" accross the lines. I also appreciate the help with the sweep. It felt great to get it in moving water (yes, I'll work on that stroke getting closer to the surface :))."

"I am almost hesitant to write my feedback email, as I am sure that every such email you receive will convey the very same message, which is to say, "Fantastic!" I've been doing some moving water kayaking for the past two summers and knew that my luck was running out - sooner or later I would get hurt without some actual skills. If nothing else, this was confirmed for me by my Saturday lesson. I brought to the lesson a natural lack of concern for danger coupled with congenital lack of coordination. Really, I am old enough now to know that "muscle memory" takes me many many time longer than most other adults. But, I love the river and I love to paddle, so I hoped my exuberance would get me through the frustration of not "getting it." Alex clearly knows his stuff, not only the skills required for paddling, but also the nuances of teaching. He quickly assessed our limits, and both respected them and pushed us to push past them responsibly. I didnt experience the frustration I expected, but rather a respect for the fact that I need to practice and a pretty clear understanding of WHAT I need to practice in order to move on comfortably to the next class in the package. I thank Alex for that, even if I did swear at him when he held my head down as I was attempting a roll!"

"I took your beginning whitewater course last Saturday afternoon. It was very good, and I appreciate the quality of the teaching and the time you and Sarah took with each member of a big group. I'm signed up for the whole course and will try and get out on Wed or Thus. This is going to be difficult, as I am somewhat self taught in rolling. There are some things I do well (like paddle positioning), but others were I do it completely wrong (i.e. hip snap). I am going to have to "unlearn" the old way and then learn your way, which is harder than learning it the right way the first time. It will happen, as I don't mind being upside down in the water and can last about 30 sec, but it will take some work."

"First, I'd like to thank you for making the Fundamentals Class even better than I could have imagined. You and Sarah were possibly the best instructors I have ever had in any sport or activity. I didn't know what to expect coming into the class, and you made it feel very comfortable. The passion that you both have for the sport was apparent, and your desire to make sure that each and every student completed the previous task before moving on to the next shows that you truly are dedicated to teaching each step thoroughly. You're fortunate to have the staff that you have working with you. It's rare that you find people who really have their heart in what they're doing. I didn't doubt for one second that this was the case with the staff that was there on Saturday. I left there with a feeling I haven't had in quite some time. Your introduction to the sport of kayaking enlightened me in ways I never could have imagined. I am grateful to have had you for an instructor, and your passion for the sport will be remembered. I wish you much success. Keep up the good work! Also, it's nice to see someone who lives by the Proverb that they attach to their email. Thanks so much for taking the time and having the patience to help me develop a solid foundation! Thanks again to you and your staff!"

"As mentioned Saturday, I was impressed by your discussion on rolling technique. Specifically, the "C to C" (C2C) analogy (high brace snap transition from left to right) along with timing, and other specific pointers helped clarify and demystify the processes that have to this point kept me from consistently performing the e-roll. C2C is a winner. As a suggested training approach, show the first position transitioning through C2C on land. This would help students better understand and visualize body position before adding the initial strangeness of strapping on a kayak for the first time. Fortunately for me, being wedged in a kayak upside down underwater doesn't seem like a bad place to be, especially now since you helped me break the e-roll code. Thanks for a great clinic; I look forward to the rest of the series!"

"Great class guys! It was great to be up at Maryland Chute at 4.0ft, it made the river challenging but the wave was great for surfing even though I was having trouble getting on it. I like that I'm always challenged to work on skills that I wouldn't normal think to practice, e.g. I'd never back ferried prior to taking your classes and it's definitely something I need a lot more work on. My only regret is that I wish I hadn't been hung-over, I was exhausted during the last hour of class."

"First and foremost, thank you for an excellent introduction to paddling. Your patience, dedication and obvious enthusiasm for what you do, and bringing it properly and safely to others might very well be your strongest attribute. To a person, the instructors were knowledgable, friendly and extremely helpful, especially with those of us who may have had a bit more difficulty "grooving" in the fundamentals than we might have anticipated."

"I have enormous respect for you because of the type of school you have created and your ongoing education to your students to take care of the Potomac and her environment. The Whitewater Fundamentals class was awesome. I appreciated how patient and encouraging the teachers were. I left the class feeling that as long as I continue with your program (and work on my skill development), I will achieve my goal to have fun in whitewater safely."

"First of all, I thoroughly enjoyed the entire class. The more time I spent, the better skill I seemed to have, which was a really fun part to me though a long way to go to be a kayaker. In fact, I was very nervous in the beginning but by the time when the class was finished, I felt I already became a *PRO* kayaker :) I was very impressed by your well organized and prepared class subjects, clear explanation for every individual step, allowing enough time to practice/perform things taught, the excellent ratio of instructor to student, providing friendly environment to interact with instructors and outstanding leadership. After the first class, I have full confidence that I can achieve my goal after the complete lesson package because you have an excellent teaching skill, patience and a capability to lead students to the right direction. I am honestly, very glad to choose your class and have no hesitation to recommend your class to anyone interested in learning sea kayak. Now I can't wait the clinic practice and next class! Thank you."

"Thanks for an excellent experience provided by your company and the Blackwater NWR. Sunday's outing is one of the best organized and managed events I have participated in for quite a while. You have developed a very effective combination of lecture, coaching, mentoring and just hitting the water to build our confidence and see the sights. When Sunny laid out some of the trash he removed from his time afloat, that made a very strong statement. The common task of conservationism was very well demonstrated. Please continue to stress this to all of your classes and in your emails! Too bad you had to find so much that day. I can get just as mad as Jack about it too (in your latest email). If I hadn't taken off work this Monday, I would seriously consider coming out this Friday to clean Angler's Road (and I still might)."

"Had a good lesson with Jim on Saturday. After working on a sweep roll most of the time, I tried a few C to Cs and damn if I didn't get it! Made several C-C rolls and finished on a very good note! Jim is a patient and excellent instructor and I enjoyed my lesson. Now I'm psyched for the next pool session on 4/16."

"On completing my sea touring class/flatwater trip package, I wanted to thank you and your staff for helping to have a great summer. I really appreciate you letting me tailor the classes and trips to my personal goals. The skills that I learned from my kayaking "sensei"s (you, Cindy and Brian) have given me the confidence to jump in my 'yak and go pretty much wherever I want to, and to know I'll have a great time when I get there. I'm glad that you've decided to expand the schedule of Skills Clinics and to allow 'alumni' to take advantage of them- I'm sure that refining my strokes will be an ongoing, but always fun, challenge."

"I cannot thank the crew enough for the wonderful classes and skills clinics. Everyone has been so knowledgable, patient and enthusiastic. You've really got a good thing going."

"Thank you for your excellent instruction and great attitude and energy."

"Thanks to all who made Saturday's rolling class a real treat. The staff were professional, supportive and flexible. The idea to go out afterward also was good. Normally, I would never visit a restaurant, on a Saturday night, in a sweat shirt, wet hair and reeking of chlorine...but I did. The reason I did was that your Paddlesports team created an atmosphere that was warm and inviting and compelled others to join in. Having spent my summer as a raft guide at the NOC in North Carolina, I can say for certain that although it may be desirable, this is not always an easy thing to accomplish."

"I wanted to tell you that I thought that the introductory course was spectacular. The instructor was very professional and seemed to excel as a teacher. I was very much impressed with the quality of instruction and the course as a whole. I look forward to the follow-on classes in the future."

"I have nothing but EXCELLENT things to say about the trip!! Allison and Jack were great; we loved the teddygrams Allison brought to share; your outfit was, as always, incredibly well organized, and it was a very cool trip!"

"It was a great trip...the scenery was beautiful, even/especially with the clouds. Allison did an excellent job as a guide, just the right amount of orientation, very competent, and safety was paramount (a primary consideration for all of us). She easily accommodated our range of ages and capabilities. Many thanks for a wonderful experience."

"I would like to express our appreciation to Potomac Paddlesports for the opportunity to participate in these practice sessions. Cindy did an outstanding job, and was highly responsive to our requests to work on specific skills."

"THANKS so much for the Level I classes, pool sessions, and skills clinics. The teachers are all excellent. I think that Potomac Paddlesports is the most successful strategy to take novice wannabees and get them out onto the river with some skills and some confidence. I'll look forward to level II."

"Thanks for the practice clinic last night -- the sculling was especially fun. The rest of the clinic was a terrific review and both Ryan and I feel ready for Sunday's run on the river. BTW, Ryan and I are big fans of you and the entire Paddlesports staff. If you're not aware, you each make a big impression on every student and are true role models in your conduct, attitudes, and results. Thanks for doing such a great job with all that on your shoulders. Keep up the great work. You've made whitewater paddling a great thing for both of us (and many more)."

" I am signed up for the Beginner Package and have now attended 3 clinics. I wish I could give you some constructive feedback to help improve your program, but so far I only say it has been outstanding. Most importantly, it has been a ton of fun. While I have to attribute a large part of this to the sport and the river, the instructors definitely set the tone and give high level instruction. It is also real nice to have all the gear provided and the clinics to get in some more water time."

"The class was excellent, Jack took our group to both chutes and got us doing progressively bolder things. I'd never rolled in moving water before, I'm much more relaxed about it now. The coolest thing he showed us was the gliding draw, which made ferrying effortless. Emily took over after a while, and was great, too. I didn't spend any time with Jim, but know from earlier lessons how good he is. What a great team! I have a lot of practicing to do before all this is a reflex, but I left with a big grin. Thanks."

"In the three classes that I've taken with the Potomac Paddle Sport school I have never had the same instructor twice. But each experience has shown all of your instructors to be thoroughly professional, courteous, and excited to share their skills and knowledge. Enrolling in the Beginner Package with your school has been of my best decisions since moving to the DC area last year."

"I really enjoyed my lesson on Saturday, despite being a bit apprehensive. (I was coerced into taking lessons by my husband!!) Lauren was my instructor and she did a wonderful job. She explains and demonstrates things VERY well. I think I'm very close to a roll. I had a great time...I may stick to flatwater when all is said and done, but I appreciate the skills that I am learning in the whitewater classes. I'm looking forward to taking a skills clinic soon!"

"The class was excellent. Matt was a thorough and entertaining instructor. He spent equal time with each student and modified his methods to best meet the needs of the individual. It was the first time I had ever successfully completed my off-side roll. It was my goal for the day and Matt's skill and patience helped me reach that goal."

"The class was great, and Lauren was an awesome teacher. You guys have a really professional program, and I can't wait to get out on the river."

"I recently signed up for your beginner flatwater package, and this past Saturday, I paddled for the first time. It was a great experience. The instructors, Alice and Cindy, were knowledgeable and very helpful. It was a great first paddle for me, educational, motivational, and fun. My goal was to see if paddling is something I would be interested in pursuing, while learning sound, safe skills. It sure seems to be!"

"I wish I could provide constructive feedback, but I have nothing bad to say about the clinics. They are awesome and I will miss them a lot! The instructors are always great (Patrick rocks!) - it usually starts on time - I always come out having learned something new and met someone new to go paddle with on the weekend. Keep up the good work! I've been telling everyone that going with Paddlesports was my best move of 2005!!"

"It's all a happy reminder that I now have the rudiments of a reliable sweep roll, and the ability to unpack and improve the parts of my roll that need improvement. Jack was superb, and please tell him that I owe him a beer ... and a tip. I'll catch up with him later. I'll try to hook up with a few of the Wed/Thurs skills classes in September, and then finish off the rest of my original package. You folks are a joy to work with, and you can quote me on that ."

" A word of praise - your courses are always excellent - Bryan the instructor for Andrew and I was great, patient, articulate and very skilled. I very much appreciated the classes with him both on fundamentals and advanced strokes."

"I found the class to be an enjoyable learning experience. I appreciated the individual attention given by the instructors. I not only learned more strokes but also learned how to use the paddle as a rudder and how to combine strokes. I was able to improve on the fundamentals from the previous class and look forward to my next class."

"The classes were definitively a learning, worthwhile experience. Thanks to the instructors. I speak for both Kim and myself when I express appreciation to the instructors for their personal attention and instruction and their patience with us. We look forward to the rescue class."

"I had Lauren for the rolling review course, she's a very capable instructor. The time spent one on one with the instructors is most beneficial."

"I just want to say that Noah and I have had nothing but a positive experience with Jack. His feedback is great and he is an amazing instructor. He is also so enthusiatic. You are truly fortunate to have him with your organization! I will pass on good recommendations to friends about Potomac Paddlesports. Thanks for everything."

"Feedback - Excellent Instruction: during my one-to-one session with Loren, she gave an excellent explanation and demonstration of the roll, specifically the C stroke execution that helped me alot. And during my practices, she was able to quickly identify my weaknesses and suggest improvements."

"This class was fantastic and tailored to several levels (psychological as well as skill). Jim was absolutely great - I started the class off unsure of myself and unable to roll on a regular basis - Jim talked me through it and I finished the class by rolling in moving water on a consistent basis..... and ended with a roll in the MD falls. Also fun to learn how to actually move on the water - didn't realize what a blast that could be."

"This class gave me the incentive and confidence to try harder and become a better paddler. Thanks for talking me into taking it and not putting it off."

"It was really good. my body is in serious pain. haha. i got my handroll (never tried that before) my offside (hadnt gotten before) and my backdeck once and several near misses. Jim did a great job of splitting class time with the 3 of us and explaining things clearly. he did a great job of giving one task/concept at a time which works much better for me then lots of ideas at once. I really enjoyed it and at the end when we were all rolled out he asked if there was anything else we wanted to work on which was a good use of time i think (i could NOT have rolled again :) ) he helped me with my bow stall which was super cool. thanks for another great class."

"Let me say thanks for yesterday Skill Clinic. It was awesome - very intensive, very informative and very friendly (it's Jack's unique personal feature)."

" First off, your program still is incredible and I'm just amazed at the quality instructors you keep finding--well done! I attended a skills session both last week and this week and had the pleasure of having Jack help us all out. It was a thrill to get onto some moving water for the first time and I finally nailed down my roll the way it's supposed to be done (prior to yesterday I was rolling but incorrectly)."

"The lesson was very well done; it was relaxed, fun, and seemed quite comprehensive - Lauren is an excellent instructor with a great attitude!"

"I thought the class was very valuable. I feel comfortable with wet exit and self-rescue, much more that I thought I could! Brian did a great job making sure we were all comfortable and that we all had a positive experience."

"Last night Patrick ran our skills clinic and did an excellent job. We had about 30 people, which was a little overwhelming for one person, but he broke the night down into fifteen minute sessions geared toward skills appropriate for people who have been through the first class, second, etc. Even with all of the people we had, I felt that the night was well-structured and balanced between working in a small group with Patrick, and working one on one with other paddlers. I was also grateful for his willingness to find time to work one on one with me to demonstrate the sweep stroke since my husband and I have liquid logic boats and are having a bit of trouble mastering the other roll. Thanks for another great night."

"The Whitewater Fundamentals class on Saturday was excellent. Lauren is an outstanding teacher - very positive, explains and demonstrates skills very well and definitely keyed in on each student's apprehensions, performance and different learning styles. My son and I both felt very fortunate to have had her as a teacher. I used to be a physical education teacher, many years ago, and I was so impressed with her ability to communicate alot of information clearly and positively. And speaking of positive - you set the tone for a very positive experience in your introduction - but you also emphasized the dangers and the quality of instruction. Your organization is very professional and I'm recommending it to everyone. Thank you for a great experience. Hopefully I will be able to extend to the package. Thanks so much for a great experience. Even my 20 year old son, who is not terribly talkative when parents are involved, noted that the day was "awesome"! Great job and I think that everyone in our group felt the same."

"I had a great time and will definitely be signing up for more kayaking. I had a blast!"

"Thanks for the great class Sunny! Your enthusiasm, knowledge and professionalism were great. Your teaching staff was first class as well. Thanks for your class and hopefully we can get some more classes in during this busy summer. "

"It was excellent. Both Jack and Pete were great instructors. Among the things that made the class great were: 1) they said at the beginning that we were not in a rush. This was the first time this had been said to me at a PP class and while I know being on time, and being able to do things like getting your gear on and get your boat to the water efficiently are important, I didn't realize until they said this how much anxiety it relieved, and indeed the class was more relaxed and less anxious for this reason than every other PP class I've been in (at least from my perspective). It seems there are things to emphasize time on (beign on time for class, getting gear on, etc.) - but also telling students that certain parts - learning things, doing your warmup roll, asking questions, and generally trying new things on the river - are things that there IS time for, and that students are NOT expected to rush through these things. 2) the instruction on river reading was incredibily thorough - we spent 45 minutes reading the river and talking about the S-turn. It was great (although hot!). It was also good that we (the students) were asked about what line we would take and asked to pick our own markers, instead of being told what these should be. 3) Both Jack and Pete gave, I thought, a great amount and type of instruction during the class, especially on the water. That is, they were both entirely engaged, watched what each of us were doing and gave great constructive criticism during and after things that we tried. I like the quality of this instruction from them because a) they were not afraid to yell/tell us very firmly what to do on the spur of the moment - i.e. sometimes instructors limit themselves to "suggestions" - but I find really firm instruction is a lot better, especially in a class settting; and b) their instructions were detailed but focused - lots of good things to work on, but not so many instructions and different types of instructions that we were overwhelmed - and similarly not a ton of new things (strokes, concepts, whatever) all at once. I also particularly liked that Pete showed us a couple of things - bow draws going into and out of eddies, for one -- and did so on! e at a time, we practiced on flatwater, then in moving water. Structure of the class: 1) It was good that we set up a shuttle because it left more time and energy to extensively discuss the river and be on the river, instead of using it paddling up the canal. 2) We were able to stop and practice moving water skills at several points and this was fantastic. Suggestions: 1) have a river running class as part of the level II package! Even if it's just running Little Falls or something else local. 2) have an instructor-led portion at the beginning just for warmup - or have instructors allow time for this, OR instruct people to show up warmed up. (But there's a certain amount of warm-up I do only after I'm in the water, so it's hard to show up fully warmed up). Overall - both Jack and Pete were serious, relaxed, encouraging and very focused on teaching. They made the learning process very safe and constructive. Thanks for a great class"

"The instructors that have helped me (Jim, Jack, Patrick) have been excellent. They are very focused, patient, and willing to help. They do their best to make the clinics and lessons enjoyable and productive."

"Thanks for pushing me. I was very hesitent to just roll in my new Jackson since I hadn't been in it in over a week. Bracing until I flipped spooked me. Your coaching and spoting me really made a difference. Also Jack was excellent coaching me on my hand roll. I am just getting the hang of it. If I can get a good combat roll and my offside roll down and a strong side hand roll this season I will be totally psyched. I know I won't be so intimidated doing the Gorge once I feel I have a reliable combat roll."

"I have nothing but praise for your entire operation so far. The web page is well done, well organized, with everything neatly spelled out so even I could figure it out. I especially enjoyed the ability to access the schedule and to see the other participants. The follow-up to registration was outstanding. The course itself was extremely well done. I found all of your staff and yourself to be personable, approachable skilled instructors. There seemed to be a quiet pride amongst your staff when they discussed Potomac Sports and in the fact that all of your equipment was first rate and in good condition. I have to admit that I find it difficult to find a catch phrase that would accurately describe Potomac Paddlers. "Professional and beyond my expectations" comes close but simply dosn't convey all of the message. Suffice to say my day with Potomac Paddlers was well worth my money and time, and I look forward to investing some more of both with you and your staff."

"I really enjoyed the class with Pete on Sunday and am eager for more. He was wonderful, very patient and gave me confidence. I wish I had signed up in June, but have signed up for all the clinics in August. I am looking forward to improving and developing good technique, and skills. I hope I will be able to get some "Moving Water" experience before the summer is over as that class is currently full. I check everyday to see if there is an opening. I too love water and the outdoors."

"I thought Alex did a great job at level II. I got closer than I ever have been to surfing. It was a very good practice session. I learned a lot!"

"Alex taught the clinic and I've never had him as an instructor before but he was absolutely fantastic. He gave lots of instruction, but focused on what we were out there for, and did something I've always wanted someone to do - when I got on a wave, he yelled at me what to do next so I'd stay on the wave. He also did great intros and follow ups - a set of limited, useful comments directed at things that were useful to most or all of us. Again, he was really really great."

"Cindy, Allison and Jack were fantastic. The weather could have been bit more cooperative, but as we had a small group we were able to cover quite a bit in a short time. While we did not manage to have the 5 hours to learn and practice, I feel good about what we did accomplish. We can certainly find time to practice what was taught when lightning isn't threatening us. Again, your instructors are top notch, exceedingly thorough and very enthusiastic!"

"Wonderful class - I really got a lot out of it - feel safer in the water too - and have a lot to work on now - practice. I'm looking forward to the next class."

"I have no concerns, but I do want to extend my thanks to PPS for allowing past year "alumni" to continue attending the clinics. I really enjoyed myself and found it very worthwhile to attend last night. I'm eager to get back out on the water this weekend to practice the tips I picked up from Cindy and I hope to make it to a few more clinics this season. And, on that note, I want to commend Cindy. She's a great instructor who is very observant, patient, and concise in her explanations. It's great fun to practice with her."

"It was a great practice session. This is the second time I've had Jack as an instructor and he's really outstanding. Since MD chute was crowded we just did some flatwater practice - mostly learning how to get our bows and sterns underwater. This was my first time at a skill clinic and it definitely exceeded my expectations. I wish I had started attending earlier in the season!"

"Bari and I had a great time on Saturday and I am strongly considering upgrading to the package. I am still waiting on confirmation from my girlfriend if she can afford it or not. The class was excellent and I would like to give praise to Jack for an OUTSTANDING job of instructing. He was extremely patient and his knowledge was invaluable."

"I have nothing but great things to say about the class this past weekend (other than being a little sore). Jim (can't remember his last name) who was our instructor was very good. He made a new and daunting (at least that's what I would call hanging upside down in dark water trapped in a boat for the first time) experience very enjoyable and a little less nerve racking. I definitely look forward to attending some of the weekly skills sessions before the 2nd class. I will definitely recommend you guys to anyone that is interested in starting to paddle."

"I'd like to thank you and your crew for all the work you put in. I could not have imagined that in just four classes and several skills clinics that I would learn so much and become so proficient in paddling. I truly enjoyed learning with PPS, and would recommend anyone to you. Thanks."

"I would like to thank you for the amazing Advanced Strokes and navigation course we had this evening. Alison is a great teacher. She showed us (Yaniv and me) all the new techniques in a very nice and easy to catch way. The strokes look natural and effortless done by Allison and her way to teach and to correct the "small things" that make a lot of difference is remarkable. We learned with a lot of fun, Please send Allison my many thanks."

"I've really been enjoying the class...thanks to you and the rest of the team for such a great experience."

"By now all my friends have heard the saga of my first white water class. I wanted to like it, was holding my breath (pun pun) and was pleased it went better than expected. Of course I'm almost off the curve as a 50 + year old woman learning to paddle, but I love the adventure. My comments - 1. Liked being in smaller groups, and having another woman in my group. 2. Liked getting in the water right away - broke down some of the apprehension so I could relax and start to listen. 3. Liked the tuck/hold land drill and timing us to hold our breath. Helped me start to visualize what would happen the water. 4. Really liked the one-on-one rolling in the water, felt like I could do it at my pace, no sense of being pushed or rushed. 5. Good suggestions about buying capilene underwear to block the sun, not to eat a big lunch, equipment fit - glad I have not purchased a kayak yet, would surely have bought the wrong size. I especially liked your calm, composed delivery, empahsis on safety and self- sufficiency, and water conservation. I am upgrading for the whole package, but want to take plenty of clinics between classes. Also trying to rest my body, sore elbow and abs, etc. Am looking for a pilates class to help me out. thanks for a great introduction to a wonderful sport. See you on the water."

"It was awesome! Can't wait for the next class. You guys do a great job. The instructors are really wonderful, patient and supportive as well as expert. Their classes instill confidence."

"I want to tell you thank you very much for letting me participate in this class. I have to admit to you that rolling class is one of toughest class I ever took since I first took the class in May. Kristen is VERY wonderful teacher and she have tons of patience with me as well as another people in my class. She knew that I'm deaf and she treating me very fair with other people. That make me feel good about her. I just hoping that next class I would like to have her as my teacher again, if she don't mind. I would also like to have some honest feedback on my skills in each classes so that way, I can learn also to improve my kayak skills. I think that would be all for now. I will email you back in the future if I have any question or concern about this class. You have wonderful staff and people who I worked with lately. Keep it up. stay in touch!"

"I thoroughly enjoyed the Play Girls clinic with Kristen on Saturday. As I'm sure you know, she's an excellent instructor. The class progressed at a reasonable pace, and she asked often for our feedback, and whether or not we had questions about anything she'd covered. She is patient and clear in her instructions, and she challenged me to venture beyond my comfort zone without compromising my sense of ease and safety on the water. Furthermore, I feel she's equipped me with some good skills that I can practice on my own to improve my coordination and balance while I'm playing."

"Kristen was the best!!! I was scared to even try the wet exit - but I did that and then proceeded to work on beginning to learn how to do the roll - I think I may be 50% there."

"Not to completely kiss ass, but I was out at MD Chute and watched an instructor from another company work with four students. He was truly a horrible instructor working with little or no thought as to how to teach beginning paddlers. He had them on moving water within 30 minutes, THEN he took them over to the beach to teach bow rescues and hip snaps. Needless to say, he had a lot of swimmers to manage. PPS does it the right way. Good work."

"It was a great class; I've coached figure skating and hockey for 15 years and can be pretty critical of other coaches, they did a super job."

"I had a great time in the class and can't wait to get in the water again.. the teachers were awesome and very helpful (the fact that i've had them for all sea touring classes up to this point, definitely aids in the learning process). I only have one suggestion. In the rescues & towing we spent a good portion of the time on wet exits... We also spent a great deal of time on this in the rolling class that i had taken the week prior. I think that if it was required to take the rescues and towing as a pre-requisite to rolling, we could have practiced more rolling (my favorite thing thus far!!!). Understand this is just a silly recommendation. I must say that i've enjoyed EVERY minute of time i've gotten to spend in the water and can't wait to become a kayak-jedi warrior. Thank you again for everything, this experience has been amazing!!"

"The practice sessions are invaluable. All of the instructors are fantastic but Patrick is a stand-out in my book. He seems genuinely interested in each person he works with and he is incredibly patient. I call him St. Patrick, the patron saint of slow paddlers. He is always positive and assuring. He seems to have more confidence in my ability than I do and it gives me hope that I may make it into moving water someday."

"I would love to offer some constructive criticism after my first class, but I truly had a wonderful time and can't think of anything that would have made the class better. Our instructors obviously knew their stuff and were very patient with our novice attempts to master the fine arts of keeping our heads down and the hip snap. Both had a wonderful sense of humor and gave us something to laugh at other than the ridiculous faces we each made coming up for air the first few times. I was most impressed by the way each made you feel as if they had all the time in the world to work one-on-one with you on a particular technique when your turn came. I never felt rushed or frustrated and left with a feeling of accomplishment and anticipation for the next session!"

"I participated in the R&R class on Sunday and found it to be an incredible help. I have attended two skills clinics since the first class on May 7th and, in spite of the extra help from Patrick, I was getting a little down about the lack of progress with my roll. While I still did not nail my roll, Saturday's class picked my spirits up quite a bit and, with the extra instruction, my understanding of the roll mechanics has increased. I felt a lot better working on my roll w/ Peter standing next to my boat, guiding my movements. During the May 7th class, we were pretty involved with getting some basics down, so the paddle strokes part of our lesson was somewhat abbreviated. Saturdays' R&R class was very enlightening, & gives me lots to think about & practice. It's likely that you don't remember, but thank you for some personal instruction you gave me regarding my technique (and lack thereof)! I am pleased to say that your school is more than fulfilling my expectations in regards to how I wanted to learn to kayak. You & your instructors are a class act & something to be proud of. Please extend my thanks to the rest of the instructors. I considered it a good sign when the class ended on Saturday & I did not want to come off the water! Can't wait to go back out tomorrow evening!"

"The class was great! It was even better than I had expected. The instructors (Lauren, Pete, Jim and Emily) were SO patient and helpful and supportive. They were excellent at avoiding any student panic by asking questions and making sure we were okay before each maneuver. It was a wonderful experience and I can't wait for the next class! Thank you! PS: On a personal note, that @#$#%&! hip snap is VERY frustrating. But again the instructors were so nice and assured those of us who were having trouble that it doesn't always come right away, not even for them. That helped a lot."

"The class was great and your instructors gave all of us the confidence to really test ourselves, the top of the Maryland chute was an area I did not think I would ever get to, but we all did. Can not wait for the clinics so hone these new skills."

"I really enjoyed the Fundamentals Course. The equipment was good and the teaching was excellent. The instructors were very friendly, patient, and attentive. They made me feel at ease in the water and seemed to enjoy teaching which made learning that much easier. You have put together a great team of instructors and a great school, thank you."

"I had a blast in the Moving Water Class. Jack and Kristen are excellent instructors that demand perfection without losing patience. I had a breakthru class thanks to these two."

"Just finished today's moving water class and let me tell you, your instructors are to notch Thanks for a great day."

"I had a GREAT time in the skills clinic with Jim and Jamie. It was great that Nathan and I got split into different groups, so that he could "be all that he can be" on the white water, while I could practice my rolling and strokes in a more gentle environment without stress. Perfect for us!"

"I think Jack had his hands full a little with so many of us but he did a great job watching what people were doing, giving some suggestions, being very encouraging. He also adjusted the class really nicely - he said we'd work on back surfing and when we said some of us (many of us) were more focused on front surfing and testing our combat rolls, he focused on that instead. It also felt very safe - he and Patrick followed every single person down who flipped to make sure they were there for a t-rescue - all while watching and teaching us surfing."

"We had a great time. The boats are terrific. The instructors were terrific. They were very thorough in their explanations, provided plenty of time to try each new maneuver and were very patient. We look forawrd to our rescue class!"

"I thought the class was excellent. All of the instructors that I interacted with were very professional and were awfully nice folks as well. The kayak "water polo" game was a great way to get us all very comfortable in the boats and it was a blast."

"Thanks for a great class last week. Staff provided friendly, thoughtful and helpful instruction that made the entire group feel comfortable and open. Jokes and laughter mingled with the respectful tone of teaching, making the class enjoyable and constructive. I especially appreciate the personal interaction between staff and classmates AND the environmental ethic present amongst staff and company. Keep up the good work!"

"I have worked with several outdoor training companies ranging from rock climbing clinics, hiking, survival, etc. and by far Potomac Paddlesports is the most professional and well designed program I have been a part of. As a customer, I can say that I feel that I received the best deal for my money. The evolution of procedures were so well to make sure that everything was a building block for the last skill learned. The staff could not have been more perfect from their professional capability as well as really wanting me to succeed and feel comfortable. I felt like I spent a morning with friends, instead of a morning with strangers. The entire experience was so rewarding and fun. And I can officially say I am addicted and cannot wait for my next class! Thanks!"

"I was extremely impressed by how smoothly the class was run, by how friendly all the staff was, and by how much I learned by the end of the 5 hours. My instructors, Matt and Alex (I think his name was Alex), were knowledgeable and friendly, and I felt that I could completely trust them. Of course you don't know me, but it takes A LOT for me to trust anyone - and I was very surprised by how fast they gained my trust. They must have been doing SOMETHING right, even if I can't pinpoint what that was! At the end of the day, I felt much more confident about my ability to learn to kayak and I felt that if I could spend every day on the water, that would be fine by me. Of course I knew this since I've always been a water girl, but every paddlesport is different - and after Saturday I found out that kayaking is definitely one of those that I can find myself hook on. Well, I'm sure you weren't expecting this much feedback. But it's important to me that you know how impressed I was - I've taken a few paddling-related classes in the past, and this was by far the best one."

"I LOVED the first class. I'm sold, can't wait for the others. The instructors were both fantastic."

"Thanks for following up with us. I would like to extend my appreciation to the instructors Allison and Cindy. They were very helpful, patient, encouraging and very clear in their instruction. I am hooked on the sport and will now sign up for the rest of the beginner package. It was well worth the time and money."

"I was very impressed with the class last Saturday. The instructors were great. I felt like I was in good hands the entire time. Everyone seemed very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about teaching. Specific things I liked about the class were. 1. There was a clear structure and to use yalls word "progression" The whole time I knew what I was learning and why, and could understand how the skills built on each other. 2. I like how you guys stressed that learning the fundamentals first builds a strong foundation for later. That point really stuck with me. 3. I thought the level of quality of the equipment was first class. I am always a little disappointed when I do a class like this and I get issued some old beat up gear. 4. The communication before and after the class has been thorough and informative. 5. The focus on leave no trace and conservation issues is always a welcome addition to any outdoor activity."

"Thank you for the email that you sent to me. I want to moment to share with you. The kayak I took recently Sunday was SO AWESOME experience for me. I have learned a lot about stroke paddling technical and safety equipment. The teachers, who working closely with me was great and gave me very details about Paddling technical and She really have tons of patience with me. I feel so positive, tireless doing kayak with them."

"I had a greet time in the first class and am looking forward to the other classes in the package. I really appreciated the enthusiasm of the instructors and the one-on-one attention each person in the class got when reviewing the important skills."

"The class was excellent and met all the objectives and more. The instructors were real pros and nice, the equipment was in good shape and even the weather collaborated with us."

"I cannot thank the crew enough for the wonderful classes and skills clinics. Everyone has been so knowledgable, patient and enthusiastic. You've really got a good thing going."

Wonderful trip! Great instruction, I learned several new paddling strokes. Perfect weather and a nice group to spend the day with. :)

I had a great time with my wife and son for our first lesson, Sunny did a fantastic job at instructions and we will be booking another tour soon.Thanks again for a wonderful day.

I love the Blackwater paddle. I've done it several times with different leaders (Sunny rocks!) and in different weather and it's always good. Y'all are the only folks who do that trip regularly and well - so keep it up and I'll keep coming.

We really enjoyed the experience! We wouldn't change anything about it. The staff was friendy and helpful. The length was just right. It achieved my goal of being show the Potomac. It is something I would have been scared to do by myself. To me it is a large body of water and I wouldn't know what to expect from it.

Last night was great. I really needed that turning point. You have been a great motivator and the groups really enjoy you. Thanks for all the good advice. Love the Remix 59. Will buy a skirt, paddle and helmet next week

Today was an awesome experience. I had a blast and learned a lot. Brian is a great teacher and I felt comfortable and safe the entire day.

I have to admit to you that I felt like the jacket you sold me last night was overkill for this time of year, but I thought I'd use it later anyway. I was totally eating my words and had the jacket on when it came time to roll and I was cold! Thanks for all of your expert advice.

I thought the Discover the Potomac trip was terrific. I think you did an excellent job putting everyone at ease and ensuring that everyone had a good time. I definitely learned quite a bit about setting the footrests, getting in and out of the boat, better paddling and planning an excursion. I will be looking into additional trips (maybe lessons!) in the future and will not hesitate to recommend Potomac Paddlesports to friends! Thanks for a great day on the river.

Brian and Sherry are wonderful instructors. They are fun, patient, and considerate of students' individual needs. Their ability to articulate and demonstrate the skills made it easy for my group (son, daughter, and two nephews) to follow the instructions. The biggest surprise for my group was how difficult it was to get the kayak to go straight. If we, as a group, can just get our kayaks to go where we want/need them to go, it would be a big accomplishment for us. I am so glad that the first thing you teach is how to un-skirt and get out of a capsized kayak. Having that skill came quite handy as a number of students in our group accidentally capsized. Thank you thinking of safety first. The only complaint coming from my group was that the class was too long and every one's lower back was beginning to hurt from sitting in a kayak for so long. We walked away with a sense that we are going to need a lot of practice paddling to control the direction of a white water kayak. We are also wondering whether we will really be ever able to roll. But we are going to hang in there and give it our best. Thank you much.

Many thanks for another excellent class last Sunday. I learned a lot in Whitewater Self Defense, and I appreciate the great job you did with our big group. Thanks too for the Wave Surf class on Aug 15. You taught me to relax and read the water for a more effective ride. Thanks for taking me to a much better kayaking place.

I spent an excellent day on the water during the moving water class. Both instructors were wonderful and provided the skill set as well as the confidence needed to push us to the next level. I did my first combat roll during a skills drill and then made another roll in actual moving water!! Being a smaller kayaker, I did struggle with paddling up stream and had difficulty not exhausting myself trying to make it the eddies. Cherie was wonderful and gave me tips on how to read the water and use finesse rather than power. She was also very encouraging when under different circumstances I could have felt deflated from lagging behind. In short -- both of them did a wonderful job !!

I would highly recommend this course as well as Potomac Paddle Sports in general. I have had a great summer kayaking and can't wait to pick up my boat in mod October !!

A well-structured and full day of useful learning activities. The group worked very well together. The gorge provided a variety of interesting settings to learn and practice the new resucing skills. Time swimming in the water also made me a better rescuee.

Great class today. I really enjoyed Sherry and Matt... They compliment each other as instructors beautifully. They were great at recognizing individual strengths and weaknesses within the group, made great and timely suggestions on when and how to improve our skills... timing being the key word. Since the group mainly consisted of Janelle, Ken, and myself (and Bob, who is apart of our Tuesday night crew)... we were already really comfortable in moving water. Because of that... they were really able to push us further and help us fine tune our skills and realize the importance of timing our strokes and turns in eddy turns, attaining, and carving. They were really receptive to our questions and were thrilled when we suggested on moving up to Wet Bottom. Definitely would love to see more of them out on the water! Also... just to brag... I was actually able to nail my first, unintentional combat roll! YAY!!!

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and you, Rick and Joe were the best instructors and fellow paddlers that I have experienced in my kayak tours. I learned a lot more about some of the strokes in the few hours of our trip than I have in several other tours combined. Since I do plan to take several more trips this fall, I'm looking forward to adding a few more refinements to my current skill level. Thanks again for a fun trip. I particularly appreciated your sense of humor -

Just wanted to say that I had a great class this past weekend, primarily due to Emily being such a fantastic instructor! She spent a lot of time with each of us, and I came away a LOT more confident than when I went in. Please give that gal a promotion and bonus!

Thanks for a great day of training and for being patient. I still have a long way to go but practice and losening up will make me better. I plan to take this class again next month if the water levels allow.

It is great being on the water and attempting new challenges. Hard to believe my skills have progressed as far as they have this season. You guys do a great job working with each student and providing valuable feedback to help all of us meet our goals.

I thoroughly enjoyed my kayaking experience. This was the first time I got lots of instructions on paddling. I eagerly await my next chance to paddle!

I had a great time on the Discover the Potomac tour. This was my 2nd trip with Potomac, (I have also done the nightsounds), and found this much more instructive. I know that my friends enjoyed the trip immensely also. I do intend to take more lessons and would probably be more interested in something more adventurous for the future. But the trip was great, you were very funny and informed, and it was impressive how you and the other instructors learned everyones names so quickly.

I had a great time today. It was probably the fastest 6 hours of my life. I feel a lot more comfortable in the kayak especially under water. My only negative experience was feeling that I was restricted due to a shoulder injury, but that is just life. I am going to try rolling on the other side and hopefully I will be able to over come that minor hiccup. Todd and the other instructors were wonderful and should get a pay raise (they told me to say that jk). Todd, Emily, and the other gentlemen (he name escapes me now) were very helpful and patient while working with my friends and I.

I took the open water class on one of my last weekends in the area (July 11). I just wanted to say Thank you for a Great Class! The instructors were great! It was my final class in the series so I also wanted to give a shout out to Tom. He always has such a great attitude. He's really made me want to continue paddling even after I leave the area.

I thoroughly enjoyed my first class, last Saturday. Tom, the instructor, was wonderful—highly skilled and patient. Outstanding!

Daniel was awesome in both the moving water class last weekend as my instructor and the practice night on Tuesday. He is a great addition to your staff and he does an excellent job breaking concepts down and explaining them in great detail. Please thank him for all of his hard work.

Lauren was a great instructor and guide. She was very good at explaining the different paddling techniques/strokes and knowledgeable of the surrounding area's history. I would do it again!

My husband (Wayne) and I had a wonderful time on Saturday. Our trip guide Lauren was just amazing and did a great job not only showing us the ins and outs of kayaking but teaching us the history of the area. We live less then 6 miles from Penny Locke and have never been there before Saturday. When we got out of the creek and into the river, the view literally took my breath away and I had no idea the Potomac had so much to offer. We certainly want to visit again and will spread the word on the Discover the Potomac tour. totally worth it and a great experience!

We went out with Lauren yesterday – temps of 104 ° and a heat index of 109° we were a little skeptical of how long we’d last. Starting out off Muddy Branch Creek was a real treat- a lovely chilly little stream cooled us off a bit before the tour. Lauren's positive attitude and knowledge of the wildlife and history made the time fly by. Before we knew it we were back at Muddy Branch Creek and cooling off again before we got in our car to go. The thermometer in the car read 106°! We honestly can't think of a cooler and more fun way to have spent a brutal Washington summer day. We'll be back for more tours for sure.

Hats off to Pete for an excellent job teaching the wave surfing class. He did fantastic and I walked away meeting all the goals that I set out to do.

Hey, Brian, just wanted to say that the open water class was great--and challenging. Both Travis and Mike did a great job: very helpful feedback tailored to your weakness/skill area in need of improvement, totally accessible, encouraging and fun, personal attention, and high expectations. After completing the whole five-class package, I really have a good sense of where I am as a kayaker: what I like and don't like, good at and not good at, what I know and still need to know, an appreciation and respect for the challenges of the open water. After five classes, I feel like I could stop where I am having the basic knowledge and skills necessary to feel comfortable and enjoy myself kayaking, or I could also choose to pursue additional instruction and really focus on some skill areas to deepen and advance where I am. The open water class was a great cap to it all, and again Mike and Travis were great. Thanks.

Jack is a very good instructor and, I think, may have provided some critical information which will finally give me a roll I am 100% confident in. I also made what I consider to be very good progress toward the hand roll and the back deck roll. It was also a well matched group skill wise so everyone was able to practice on their own while one was getting personal instruction.

cherie and trop were fabulous! they had a great team teaching dynamic. they gave excellent accessible instruction, stressed fundamental skills repeatedly (speed! angle! lean!), were wicked reliable on the rescue (which i took advantage of many times), gave a great mix of instructed and free time (or guided self discovery as some would say), and over all made class super enjoyable.

Great class Saturday, I learned a lot. So far I have really liked all three instructors I have had: Brian, Lauren and Emily. Awesome! Glad I picked Potomac Paddlesports. Thank you for doing what you do.

I found the class to be both useful and informative. The instructor Brandon was patient and proficient in his ability to identify what I needed to work on to achieve greater confidence in my "go to" roll and begin development of my back deck roll. In addition I found transitioning from the C to C to the modified sweep to be much easier than anticipated. My purpose for taking the course was to expand my roll repertoire so that I can begin taking the next step in my development as a well rounded kayaker. I believe that goal was achieved in no small part to the efforts of your staff. Please thank them on my behalf.

We had a great time. Tom was fun. I felt like we were Kayaking with a good friend. Coming from the District - the experience was just what we needed. I am happy that we have purchased the package and have 3 more trips with you. We are spreading the word.

As usual the staff were great and supportive. There was an excellent student to instructor ratio for those of us who were in need of learning the initial setup and techniques. While I did not successfully do a C-2-C roll, I did leave that night with a much better hip snap and understanding of what I'm suppose to do.

Positive feedback comes easy when the class is as well choreographed and staffed as it was last evening. The instructors interacted well with each class member at each members needs/skill level. The high instructor-to-student ratio only enhanced this. It was a great class and I learned a lot. I was fortunate to have been the only student who had never had a rolling class before and got Cindy as my instructor. She was great. She was observant and at each failure to upright myself, she would tell me what went wrong. When I got it right, she loaded on the praise. It was appreciated.

I just went for the monument tour this sunday. I cannot tell you how lovely it was. I am actually writing this e mail to tell you it was Tom and David , the instructors that made this tour so enjoyable. They are both very spirited , pleasant and very well informed. Thank you again for a lovely well arranged morning on the potomac.

I took my first lesson with you guys last May and now I'm living in Wyoming. I was just writing to thank you for teaching my to paddle because it is so much fun and I love it! I still have so much to learn, but to have the basics and to be able to go out and do it just rules! So thanks again! Potomac Paddlesports is an awesome company! I sport your sticker on my car out here in Wyoming too.