Meet the Team
Certifications: Red Cross CPR & firts aid, former ACA multicraft trainer
Keith is CCK’s fearless leader and at the helm of the operations team. He is an avid paddler and devoted instructor. On a typical day, you can find Keith in the Oakland store always willing and ready to help answer questions about paddling and selecting the right gear for your favorite paddling sport. Thursday night, he enjoys teaching kayak students how to roll and guiding others as they master these important safety skills.
Tammy is at the heart and soul of the business. As a local business owner, Tammy is dedicated to our mission as a paddlesports company, connected to our community and environmental efforts and works tirelessly to ensure everything runs as smooth as possible behind the scenes! Her paddling endeavors started in white water rafting before her adventures led her to sea kayaking and now when she can break away for a paddle, she hops on her SUP and takes it out for a quick trip in the Oakland Estuary. Tammy also has a flare for cooking and enjoys cooking and baking.
Kelly Marie Henry
Head Accessory Buyer, Kayak Instructor, SUP Instructor
Kelly is an ACA Level 4 Open Water Coastal Kayak Instructor, Level 3 Surf Kayak Instructor, and a Level 2 SUP Instructor, and trained in Wilderness First Aid.
Kelly first paddled a sea kayak in her hometown waters of Narragansett Bay and immediately fell in love with the freedom kayaking provides to explore coastal regions seldom traveled by others. After completing a Master’s and Doctorate in oceanography, she realized the best way to share her passion for the water was through paddlesports. In 2013, Kelly left a promising career in science behind to work full-time in paddlesports. She instructs introductory and intermediate level courses through California Canoe & Kayak and offers advanced level instruction and long-term paddler development programs through River & Ocean. Kelly is a dynamic paddler committed to pushing her limits and improving her technique. As a coach, she strives to help paddlers of all abilities find joy on the water.
Be sure to look for Kelly as she continues to compete in west coast surf kayak events in pursuit of a spot on the 2017 U.S. West Surf Kayak Team. And check out her upcoming sea kayak adventure, Fearless Formosa, a 6-week sea kayak expedition in Taiwan.
Store Manager – Oakland
JT began kayaking in 1988 when he bought his first kayak so he could use it for camping in the Sierras. Never did he know that original purchase would turn into a career and lifestyle. He started working for California Canoe & Kayak in 1995. With two brief departures to other venues JT always seemed to find his way back to CCK. He can easily remember his first experience on the water and enjoys watching others start and grow with the sport. Nothing brings him more pleasure than passing on what he has learned over the years to others. JT raced citizen class for numerous years and enjoys the fitness aspect of kayaking. He likes long distance paddling but is content with a short paddle with anyone who is starting out and just wants to get on the water. These days, he paddles mostly for fitness and peace of mind the water brings him. Outside of work, he volunteers his time with the US Olympic Committee in Puerto Rico, and the United States. He has also volunteered with USA Canoe & Kayak working on the Sprint Nationals in 1993 and volunteered with the Lanier Canoe & Kayak club hosting the 2004 World Sprint Championships with 74 countries participating. JT hopes to see you in our store someday or on the water.
Store Manager – Rancho Cordova
Certifications: PADI Certified Open Water Diver ASA Bareboat Charter Captain ARC Wilderness First Responder ARC Swiftwater Rescue
Jeff has been paddling since he was 9 years old and spent his early years paddling open canoes and sailing Lasers with the Boy Scouts all over Northern California. After high school he joined the U.S. Air Force and while serving at Vandenberg AFB (located on the beautiful Central Coast near Santa Barbara) Jeff helped develop and start a White Water Rafting Team for the base recreation program. He became the lead guide and program manager for the new Whitewater Rafting Program at Vandenberg AFB and subsequently spent summers teaching week-long guide schools and running trips on the Class IV and V sections of the Kern River in Souther California. He was also instrumental in bringing other paddler sports to the base program as well by procuring boats to leading sea kayak excursions on San Luis and Morro Bays. After 10 years in the USAF, Jeff left the military and came to work for CCK. Jeff’s dream is to one day sail around the world and kayak in as many places as possible. When not helping customers, he enjoys paddling the local waters on the American River and San Francisco Bay as well as diving in Monterey or Skiing in Tahoe. Jeff ‘s favorite part of his job is seeing people’s eyes light up when they discover the pure joy of kayaking for the first time and he loves helping people invest in themselves!
Whitewater Program Manager, Website Manager
Cullen began kayaking at the age of six. He learned to kayak surf under the tutelage of his father by the age of sixteen, and worked at Central Coast Kayaks in Shell Beach as a kayak guide. Four years ago he moved to the Bay Area and began to seriously paddle closed deck kayaks, has taught a myriad of beginner sea kayaking classes, and learned how to dive. Cullen has completed the instructor development workshops, still loves to kayak surf, explore rock gardens and caves and goes on short paddles for pleasure and fitness. Cullen’s motivation and enthusiasm will surely help make CCK the dominant front in both paddle and dive on the Peninsula!
Works in Oakland, Kayak Instructor
Sou has been kayaking for 11 years. He started his kayaking career with CCK working on the dock and in retail. He has followed the natural progression toward becoming an instructor and has now been teaching for 6 years. Some of the classes he teaches at CCK are Kayaking Basics, Beginning Sea Kayak, and Sea Kayaking II. Sou’s longest trip was a 300 mile paddle from Redding to Oakland, down the Sacramento River, although his favorite place to kayak is the Elkhorn Slough at Monterey Bay. Out of all the paddling gear, his favorite is his Carbon Paddle!
Retail Sales Specialist
Nick joined the CCK Oakland sales team and paddling is something he has enjoyed doing more of now that he gets to be immersed in the lifestyle. In the past paddling was more recreational and river rafting with guides. Nowadays, Nick has been participating in all of our paddlesport programs and paddling on a more routine basis. His favorite things to do are hiking, camping, cooking food and brewing beer which he has been doing for 7 years! Nick brings a great deal of talent to the CCK crew and we are super stoked to have him on board!
Store location: Rancho Cordova
Favorite type of paddling: Touring, kayak fishing
Chris is the hardest working person at CCK. He runs the long haul transfers from Rancho Cordova to Oakland every week, does repairs, and knows all there is to know about life.
Whitewater Kayak Instructor
Certifications: ACA whitewater instructor
Matt has been whitewater kayaking for 16 years and loves his time on the river. His favorite river is the Upper Animas near Silverton, Colorado. His first boat was a Wavesport Lazer. He has traveled to Chile, Argentina, and Ecuador to explore the whitewater gems there. He moved from Colorado to Oakland in 2006 to continue his music career and explore the rivers of California. Matt loves teaching kayaking.
Richard Lee Smith
Kayak Instructor Trainer
Certifications: ACA Level 4 Open Water Coastal Kayak Instructor Trainer
For Richard, it all began in September 1996. He was at the end of the Fort Mason Center Pier watching the Blue Angels with his son, Alex. He looked down and saw the most amazing thing; a guy in a bright red sea kayak rolling and playing and practicing the most intricate maneuvers! Blue Angels move over! Well.. we each have our own style and within a few months he was out there too. In the beginning he was a self-taught solo paddler. By the spring of 1997 he was paddling the Open Coast and learning how to survive in that environment. He spent days in little protected coves playing in little waves trying to get the feel of it. One day on the outside he saw his first Blue Whale. Richard was downwind and the exhale smelled like the forest floor under the Redwoods. One of his favorite trips was to launch at Horseshoe Cove, head North out the golden gate to surf at Muir Beach. After coming back in he would usually swing around Alcatraz and get back to Horseshoe via Angel Island and Raccoon Straight. He solo for over a year and in hindsight he was very fortunate that nothing bad ever happened! Eventually he met Marce’ Wise, Deb Volturno and John Lull and began the enlightening transformation from a solo paddler to a group paddler and instructor. In the process of this life change he met Diana, his future wife! These days, he is the first to promote safety and the value of good instruction to truly enjoy this wonderful sport of Sea Kayaking!
Certifications: ACA Level 5 Advanced Open Water Instructor, Level 2 SUP Instructor
Regional Marketing Representative for Epics Kayaks
“Paddling is a journey, not a destination”. – Kenny Howell
Kenny’s journey into the universe of paddling began in 1978 on San Francisco Bay. For over 10 years, Kenny wandered the wilderness of the American West and Baja California guiding sea kayak and whitewater raft trips. “Baja’s Sea of Cortez was my home away from home for many winters. By each spring though, I couldn’t wait to head north and hit the rivers. All summer we traveled from amazing river to river, guiding in Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska. I’ve paddled on about 25 whitewater rivers in North America, including the Colorado in the Grand Canyon – which was like a trip to Mecca for a river boater. Paddling is for life. The more I paddle, the more enjoyment I get out of it.” In 1996, with his first child on the way, Kenny realized he needed a “real job”, and lucked out with California Canoe & Kayak as the Program Director. “Instead of leaving home to join the circus, the circus came to me! Seriously, to run the finest paddling school in the West was a dream job. There is no greater pleasure in life than turning people on to paddling. We change people’s lives by introducing them to a beautiful, healthy, adventurous sport. We help build community through our programs. I am very proud of the CCK instructor staff. Many of our instructors took their first strokes with us as students, and now have reached the heights of professionalism as a CCK instructor! There are a lot of places to go kayaking, but if you really want to LEARN to kayak, come to California Canoe & Kayak. After 18 incredible years managing the CCK paddling school, my path on the water has taken a new direction, and in 2015 joined the team at Epic Kayaks as their Regional Marketing Representative in California. The surfski is an exciting, demanding craft. For me, it’s the pinnacle of the ocean paddling experience. It keeps you in great shape. He loves chasing ocean swells, the camaraderie of the racing community, and it’s another great excuse to get on the water!” Kenny lives in Montara, with a view of the Farallone Islands. He loves to play in the surf with his wife and two children.
Certifications: ACA Level 5 Advanced Open Water Instructor
If you find yourself paddling on the open coast in the San Francisco bay area you will likely run into Bill. Or, you may find him at the Richmond Plunge on any given Thursday teaching rolling. As a San Francisco Bay Area native, he has a passion for paddling. He enjoys the freedom it offers and the challenges it provides, and has extensive knowledge of our local coast. Bill seeks to not only rise to new heights in his high level of comfort and confidence in rough water, but to understand the fine nuances of technique that allow him to move fluidly in conditions from benign to extreme. Bill teaches from the experiences gained (good and bad!) while paddling his favorite coastal waters from Mendocino to Monterey. You can find his postings on kayak related topics on several websites including that of the Neptune’s Rangers, a rough water paddling group of which he is a principal founding member.
Kayak Instructor, Canoe Instructor
Certifications: ACA Level 4 Kayak Instructor, Level 3 Whitewater Canoeing Instructor
Laura got her start sea kayaking on Alaska’s Inside Passage during a high school month-long trip. As soon as she returned back to the lower 48, she couldn’t help but feed her new-found addiction to kayaking. Laura began working as a sea kayaking guide on Tybee Island’s Sea Kayak Georgia during the summers in high school. After three years of sea kayak instruction along Georgia’s coast and Washington’s Puget Sound, Laura went to college in western North Carolina where she learned whitewater canoeing and kayaking on some of the South’s most well-known rivers: the Nantahala, Ocoee, Chattooga, and the French Broad. Laura then spent two years land-locked in rural southwestern China before coming to the Bay Area. Since moving to the Bay, she’s taught beginner and intermediate sea kayaking plus kayak rolling classes. She longs to kayak among the whales in Baja, paddle a source-to-sea trip along the Mekong River, and to circumnavigate New Zealand.
Certifications: Rescue diver, master diver, dive master and assistant instructor.
Jerry is passionate about water sports. Since 1969 he has sailed, from a sunfish to a 32 foot sailboat and Hobie Cats. He was an avid scuba diver and became certified as a Rescue Diver, Master Diver, Dive Master and Assistant Instructor. In 2005 he discovered a passion and love for sea kayaking. He was fortunate to learn the technical components of kayaking while paddling with a national white water kayak competitor. He has paddled mostly inland waters but has done some ocean sea kayaking. He enjoys self-contained multi-day kayak camping, so far the longest is 110 miles in 8 days. One aspect of kayaking he loves is the ability to explore remote areas where he can enjoy undisturbed nature in a quiet and reflective way. He has also worked on a high angle mountain search and rescue team, and enjoyed many years back country skiing and back packing. He was a scout master for several years teaching scouts basic and advanced outdoor activities including snow camping, rock climbing, and week-long cross country route finding. He loves outdoor adventures, communing with nature and working with and teaching others. Jerry joined CCK as an instructor in 2012. He uses his professional instructor training and experiences to assist students to learn the technical aspects of kayaking and how to use a kayak to enjoy remote outdoor opportunities.
Lisa has over 20 years of kayak experience. She discovered kayaking in 1997 through an introduction to camping by kayak seminar. After finding out what a sea kayak was, she set out to find the right boat for longer trips and camping – and ended up building her own. Her first trip was an unsupported 10-day trip on west coast Vancouver Island with five men she’d never met. Since her first trip, she has week-long trips to the coast of Maine, Belize, Vancouver Island, and frequent shorter trips along the California Coast. She frequently plies the waters of San Francisco bay, the northern California coast, and the Sierra Lakes and still prefers a night in a tent alongside the water to any night in a five star hotel. Lisa mixes her culinary skills with her planning skills to keep her fellow paddlers fed on longer trips.
When she isn’t kayaking, Lisa is a Structural Engineer. Lisa loves to introduce new students to kayaking and getting to places by water while sightseeing by kayak. When the water isn’t freezing, she’ll do a little whitewater on the side.
Certifications: ACA Level 4 Open Water Coastal Kayak Instructor
Lily Kelsey’s interest in paddling started on the lakes and rivers of Minnesota where she used to canoe, boat, and fish. A need for a high school job led her to work with kids, which eventually drew her to environmental education and teaching canoe basics and safety as well as a love of water to her students. In 2009 an opportunity to work for the National Parks Service brought her out to the San Francisco Bay Area and the Pacific Ocean and introduced her a new way of spending time on the water. She immediately fell in love with the ocean and extended 9 month position to keep in touch with the ocean. Six years later, she’s still in California and has fallen in love with paddling the open coast and teaching. Lily especially loves rock gardening and surfing. In fact her joy of rock gardening was noticed by the Neptune’s Rangers paddling group and she was asked to become a member on a summer trip to Mendocino. Lily lives a slingshots distance from the Pacific. When she’s not teaching or paddling, she enjoys hanging out with her Miniature Dachshund named Weenie on the beaches down the road from their home.
Certifications: ACA Level 4 Open Water Coastal Kayaking
Glenn started working in retail for CCK in 2001. New to the sport retail was my way to quickly climb the learning curve and meet others with the same interest. Learning the sport in retail was easy. At CCK we weren’t required to sell anything. CCK’s philosophy was, educate the customer so that they can make an intelligent decision and the product will sell itself. Two things resulted from this philosophy, a well educated staff and customers purchased product based on the information they received. After two seasons someone (Kris Krengle, Store Manager) realized my true passion, teaching. Glenn graduated from California State University at Sacramento in 1994 where he earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering and specialized in vehicle dynamics and machine design. As an engineer for Caltrans, Glenn has been involved in the design, analysis and hydro-acoustic monitoring of Marine Pile Driving Energy Attenuation Systems for the past twelve years. Some of his projects include the design of the Bubble Curtain for the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge New East Span Replacement, the New Benicia Bridge and the three bridges that span the Humboldt Bay in Eureka California. After engineering Glenn enjoys kayaking, backpacking and bicycling when he is not making widgets in his machine shop. His greatest accomplishments in kayaking, watching some of his students go on to become instructors.
Certifications: ACA Level 4 Open Water Coastal Kayaking Instructor, Wilderness First Aid
Ernie is a San Francisco Bay Area native whose first and fondest memories are as a small child growing up on his father’s boat. He has been active in water sports his entire life ranging from water skiing and wakeboarding to surfing and whitewater rafting. His favorite types of paddling include long boat surfing, playing in tide races, and transitioning through complex surf zones. He has paddled along many stretches of the West Coast from Oregon to as far south as Mexico.
Eddie has been paddling for 15 years. Before he transitioned to sea kayaking, he canoed the rivers and swamps in his native Mississippi. He “discovered” kayaking while backpacking, he would drive by some beautiful Sierra lakes and wanted to discover them “up close”. Eddie and his wife took a kayak basics class and bought some recreational kayaks. But…living in Benicia he wanted to paddle the Carquinez Straits and he knew he was going to need more than just the basic skills and boat, he started looking around for classes and he found California Canoe & Kayak in Oakland. He signed up for one class and after that, another. He continued to progress, one class led to another and the transition to sea kayaking was underway and there was no turning back for Eddie. Since then he has paddled all over the Bay Area and beyond. His favorite place to paddle is Angel Island, he has visited dozens of times and it remains one of the most beautiful and dynamic places to paddle as long as you are prepared! Eddie and his wife, love kayaking with their dog, Mokie. These days, it is rare that you will see Eddie paddling or hiking around without his favorite side kick Mokie. In fact, Keith, being a dog lover himself once gave Eddie an old surf or whitewater kayak a few years ago and guess who it was for…Mokie. This lucky pooch has his very own kayak that gets towed around by Eddie! What a life! He discovered his passion for teaching others while teaching guides for the non-profit Environmental Traveling Companions (ETC), organization that brings kayak adventures to those with special needs. He serves as a volunteer guide for ETC, and enjoys meeting new kayakers! Eddie’s favorite part about teaching is seeing skills and confidence that new kayakers gain in a matter of hours and the smiles they have at the end of class. California Canoe & Kayak students have a great opportunity to learn from Eddie during one of his classes out of Oakland and leave with a little bit of that passion he has for kayaking and life!
Kayak Instructor, Emergency Care Instructor
Certifications: American Heart Association and Medic First aid instructor
Outdoor pursuits have influenced his life beginning in the late 70’s with surfing and SCUBA diving that lead to the discovery of paddle sports in in the 80’s and a career as course director for the Pacific Crest Outward Bound School’s Baja Sea Kayaking Program 1989-1997, Bahia de los Angeles, BCS, Mexico. After re-locating to the Bay Area he soon connected with CCK and obtained his ACA Open Water Sea Kayak Instructor certification with surf zone endorsement. He has been instructing beginning through advanced classes out of the Half Moon Bay training facility near his home ever since. He is an avid surf kayaker and enjoys surf zone classes and rock gardening. Recently, SUP has become a favorite, a fine addition to his other interests that include mountaineering, long boarding and sailing. Jon trains CCK staff, guides and instructors in basic, advanced and wilderness emergency care and hopes to offer these programs to CCK clients and customers in the future.
Originally from the Finger Lakes, Tyler’s introduction to kayaking came with a winter pool paddling (mostly kayak polo) class with Cornell Outdoor Education. Before long, he was helping lead kayaking and camping classes throughout the Finger Lakes, Adirondacks, and 1000 Islands. Since moving to the Bay area for graduate studies, Tyler has been thrilled to take skills learned on relatively tranquil lakes and apply them to the often-challenging and dynamic coastal environment. He immediately became captivated by rock gardening and kayak surfing! Tyler currently teaches a variety of beginner sea kayaking classes for CCK, and loves helping newcomers to the sport feel more comfortable on the water.
Certifications: ACA Level 4 Open Water Coastal Kayaking
Meaghan has been in some sort of watercraft since she was old enough to hold a paddle, but it didn’t truly become an obsession until she started playing the Washington coast in 2007. An active duty career as a Coast Guard Officer has exposed her to many stunning paddling locations; she has paddled, toured or surfed the coasts of Guam, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, Virginia, Scotland and California, and many rivers in between. She enjoys sharing the fun of continuously learning with her students.
Certifications: ACA SUP Instructor Level 1
Judy is an ACA Certified SUP instructor with a love of coaching, and competing in aquatic sports. After moving to the Bay Area, she became involved in outrigger paddling and then added surfski (kayak) and SUP to her list of great ways to spend time on the water. She has coached swimming and paddling, and has competed in local and international outrigger, swimming, surfski and SUP events. Her great hope is to see more people out on the water safely enjoying the waterways of the San Francisco Bay.
Certifications: ACA SUP Instructor Level 2
Jeff began his love with the water at an early age while swimming and canoeing in his native North Carolina. He developed his love for the ocean and the surf as a young boy on the Outer Banks and Cape Fear region. Many years later, his discovery of Standup quickly evolved from a curiosity into a passion. When not paddling, he is thinking about paddling but sometimes still enjoys cycling and open water swimming. Jeff enjoys teaching both beginners and more advanced paddlers in a variety of conditions. Jeff enjoys all aspects of standup but really loves his downwind adventures on San Francisco Bay or his beloved Tomales Bay. California Canoe & Kayak is happy to have Jeff on board as a SUP instructor, he also has assisted ACA courses and is a great role model and mentor for others looking to develop teaching and paddling skills. If you want to learn how to love paddling in windy conditions and get really good at bracing, you’ll want to take some lessons from Jeff! He is also incredibly witty and very handsome, according to his mirror mirror on the wall!
Certifications: ACA SUP Instructor Level 2
Dan was introduced to paddle sports at a young age through canoeing in the Sierras with his parents. While he was in college he started working at a boating safety center in Sacramento and began to paddle surf skis during his free time. When stand up paddling arrived he quickly took up the sport, the first boards being repurposed windsurf boards while waiting for the first shipment of SUP boards to his location. This was back in 2008 and he has been Stand Up Paddling since! Dan has been teaching since 2010. Dan came to CCK after moving back to the Bay Area and has been splitting his time between the Half Moon Bay and Oakland locations, and is extremely excited to start teaching out of the new San Carlos store and in CCK’s new San Mateo waterfront venue!
Marcus started kayaking when he moved to the San Mateo coast from the Sierras at the turn of the century. He became an ACA sea kayaking instructor with CCK in 2003 and was awarded his Advanced open coast instructor’s certification in 2009. Marcus enjoys paddling in rough open coast environments where he loves to play in the rock gardens and sea caves. Marcus hasn’t restricted his paddling to Northern California. He has paddled up and down the west coat, the Eastern seaboard and gulf waters. Internationally Marcus has paddled in Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Tibet and New Zealand. While on a 2 month kayaking expedition in New Zealand in 2006 Marcus was a guest speaker at Coastbusters, New Zealand’s national sea kayaking symposium. Marcus also enjoys surf kayaking and a little white water action as well. Marcus also loves sailing and is a sailing instructor for the Half Moon Bay Yacht Club.
Certifications: ACA, First Responder, Wilderness First Aid, CPRSkills Clinic instructor, former president of BASK, Organizer of the annual Sea Gypsy / Reef Madness race
Ed is a Half Moon Bay native who has been kayaking since 2004. After a traumatic series of outings with a friend who promised to introduce him to sea kayaking, Ed decided to get proper training at CCK. That decision was a milestone, marking the point at which kayaking became a core part of his life. With CCK Ed went on to take – and since 2005 has been teaching – Basic Sea Kayaking, Sea Kayaking II, Surf Zone, and Tides, Currents, and Rough Waters. He has also guided kayaking trips in and around Half Moon Bay and San Francisco. Ed is the proud parent of two daughters who have been rolling since before they turned 10. The open coast around Half Moon Bay is Ed’s preferred area to play, but he has kayaked as far away as Japan and even been known to do whitewater on occasion. Outside of CCK Ed is a member, Skills Clinic Instructor, and past president of Bay Area Sea Kayakers (BASK), and one of the organizers of the annual Sea Gypsy / Reef Madness race.
Dave is a lifelong paddlesports enthusiast. He grew up paddling the rivers of Virginia in the summer time. These days Dave can be found at CCK’s Sacramento Store helping paddlers choose the best gear for their own adventures. When not working in the shop Dave enjoys all aspects of kayaking. Well on his way to becomming a very well rounded paddler, Dave can be seen mid-week paddling the South Fork of the American River or out on San Francisco Bay somewhere between Alcatraz and Angel Island or just practicing his roll at the Sunday pool sessions. Dave is also a student of traditional paddling and boat building and has completed work on his second home-made boat: a very seaworthy Innuit design skin-on-frame.
Kristen learned to whitewater kayak on the Androscoggin River with Ledyard Canoe Club. When not exploring local rivers in New Hampshire and Vermont, the club would venture afar to paddle rivers in the southeast, upstate New York, Quebec, and Costa Rica. She started teaching kayaking on the Colorado River then moved to D.C. for work and started competing in kayaking while continuing to teach. Competing was a great way to travel to new places and explore rivers. When she moved to the bay area, she joined the California Canoe and Kayak team. These days she spends most of her free time paddling a surfski in the bay, ocean, and occasionally down rivers, thanks to Kenny Howell another CCK instructor for introducing her to the sport! Kristen enjoy teaching rolling in the Richmond Plunge along with sea kayak and surfski lessons. The best teaching tips she has are to keep your hips loose, breathe, and most of all to have fun being on the water.
Whitewater Kayak Instructor
Shawn Hall is awesome! He’s been coming to the South Fork American river in Coloma since he was a little kid. He was introduced to kayaking by his dad, Doug. From the story I’ve heard, Doug pushed Shawn into some harder whitewater pretty soon in Shawn’s career giving Shawn some doubts about wanting to be a kayaker. Well, I am glad Shawn stayed with it because he is a great person to get to know and cares so much for his students. He will not put his students through what he had to go through as a beginner. His favorite kayak is the Jackson Rockstar. Shawn is currently studying to become an EMT.
Sean’s first memories of paddling come from canoe trips down the Russian River when he was in Boy Scouts. On a hot triple digit day in Sacramento he remembered his younger days, and suggested to his girlfriend that they rent a canoe and and go for a paddle on Lake Natoma. The next few days were followed with kayak rentals and they were hooked instantly. They first started paddling on the calm lakes of the Sierra Nevadas, then got a taste of salt water in the San Francisco Bay, and now they venture out the gate to the open coast. He proposed to Kimberly on the cliffs of Mendocino a few years later, overlooking one of their favorite places to paddle. Sean loves all types of sea kayaking, from fitness and distance paddling down the Sacramento River and Lake Natoma, rock gardening in Mendocino, or expedition style paddling in the San Juan Islands. You can find him shaking martini’s and pouring wine at a neighborhood watering hole, or hanging out with his local paddle club, the Sacramento Sea Kayakers. He his an ACA level 4 Instructor and really enjoys teaching people about the sport that he loves so much.