Pine Barrens Functional Canoe Workshop

The Pine Barrens FUNctional Freestyle Workshop will be held October 14-16 in Medford Lakes, New Jersey.

Fall in love with canoeing. The 2016 Pine Barrens Workshop offers FUNctional Freestyle to canoeists of all levels, whether they are solo or tandem. The purpose of this workshop is to introduce some techniques and maneuvers that will increase your canoeing enjoyment. Participants learn and practice basic skills on lovely Lake Stockwell. Classes are small and individualized, augmented with personal coaching. On Sunday, apply those lessons in the real world on one of the challenging Pine Barrens streams. Two other classes will be offered: “Obedience Training for Your Canoe” for new canoeists who want to learn the basics; and “Forward Freestyle Maneuvers” for those that want to delve deeper into the basic maneuvers that are the foundation of precision flatwater canoeing.

Unlike some other venues, where teaching is by only one or two instructors, here you’ll learn from perhaps a dozen. During meals and evening social activities, you’ll have the opportunity to pick their brains and make connections with like minded canoeists.

An early registration discount ($20.00) is available until September 15th

Detailed descriptions and registration materials are available at

More information
At our recent Canoe Symposium, in Ohio, several folks raised questions as to how the Pine Barrens Workshop would be different from all the others.

• First off, the focus is on FUNCTIONAL use of the techniques, in real world situations. Exhibition or interpretive freestyle will be downplayed.

• At other symposiums, most students concentrate on one quadrant, participating in 3, three hour classes on a lake… At the Pine Barrens Functional Freestyle Workshop, most students will work, the first morning, on specific forward and cross forward maneuvers that will later be used on a Pine Barrens stream. That afternoon, there will be coaching sessions, tailored to each, individual student’s needs. The second day, most students will spend on a beautiful, Pine Barrens River, putting their new found skills to use. River groups will be small, with adequate instructors and assistants to help each student further develop their technique.

• Friday evening, there will be a “Chalk Talk” that all participants are highly encouraged to attend. We will use various visual aids and demonstrations to introduce this unique paddling discipline and to foster an understanding of why we do, what we do.

Please, come to the Pine Barrens Functional Freestyle Workshop and learn what a world of paddling pleasure you’ve been missing.

Below is a link to a short video, put together by John Powell, showing paddling in the Pine Barrens and featuring some of the instructors who will be at the workshop.

It’s not to late to register!
There is still time to register for the Pine Barrens Functional Freestyle Workshop (Oct. 14-16). The workshop will be held in Medford Lakes New Jersey, in the heart of the Pine Lands National Reserve. Instruction will be offered for all canoeists, from novice to expert. The goal is to present or refine precision canoeing techniques in a real world setting. Friday evening, we will discuss the whys and hows of what we do, in a comfortable, indoor setting. On Saturday morning, we’ll learn and practice the techniques on beautiful Lake Stockwell . Saturday afternoon will be devoted to personalized coaching sessions. On Sunday, most participants will spend the day traversing a Pine Barrens stream, putting their new found skills to use, under the watchful eyes of our instructors and coaches. For those wishing to extend their paddling opportunities, there are typically impromptu trips, arranged by the participants, in the days following the workshop.

Below is a brief taste of Functional Freestyle Paddling in the Pine Barrens. The video was put together by John Powell.

Registration materials and full information about the event are available at