To find instruction in Wyoming

Hello to all (again)
Many of you have suggested I find an instructor. I have tried to make contact with a few and only one has returned my e-mail and 2 others tell me by phone it’s too late for this year. There is one in Jackson who I may be able to get a day lesson from, but I am waiting to hear back and see wheat days are available.
What do you folks think of this guy’s info. His name is Paulo and his course of instruction go by the name Dancing with the Sea.
Any knowledge about him? He seems good, but going in with no one to make comparisons, I can’t really say. He does have a LOT of videos and will interact with you by e-mail and with videos both those made by me, and these made by him. His sales pitch seems very good. But if anyone has 1st hand knowledge I’d love to know.

I’ve only been paddling for about 12 years and still consider myself very much a beginner, but since no one else has replied to this, I will. I like his videos, but my opinion is that you (general you and specific you) need in-person instruction. It’s a very good idea to have a safety boater when you first start learning and practicing self rescue techniques - for both the safety and the instruction. I understand this is challenging to find, but get creative.

Consider going to rolling sessions for a local(ish) paddling club and maybe you’ll find a coach that way. My initial roll sessions were a 2 hour drive each way on weeknights, and I’m old. I met my sea kayaking coach at a rolling session in a lake in another state when I was learning to roll my whitewater kayak. Don’t limit yourself - just check with the club about boat type restrictions, just in case. Also, look for instructors in other locations. Perhaps you could plan a trip and stay overnight(s) somewhere drivable for several days of classes. Of course the continuing pandemic makes this tricky, but doing all your classes on the water might be less tricky.

I would also like to suggest that you try being humble and open to learning when you do find someone. I’ve been very fortunate to have amazing people take me under their wings. I’ve also heard them complain about cocky people who they refuse to help. I think you are seeing some of that on this forum, and rightfully so IMO.

I’ve watched a number of Paolo’s videos, and am always left confused by which ones are the promo videos and which are the actual content. That may be totally on me.

I agree with Pru that as with many things you can learn on the internet, direct in-person feedback cannot be beat for safety purposes and so that you don’t internalize bad habits and form. But that said, I like this series of videos…

I believe these guys also offer interpretation and feedback of videos you send, but mostly I like their pedagogy, in that they break down things into small chunks and give you specific exercises to with understanding of what would be considered success.

Still, it can be tough to watch even great content on the internet, then remember how to put that in practice hours/days later on the water.

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Find an ACA instructor for real lessons.

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Hands on training is worth a thousand videos.

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Well Pru, I’d have to agree with what you say about 1 on 1 instruction, and I am trying to find such groups and/or people, but so far they are too far to drive, costing too much in gas for me to afford. right now. That’s not to say I will not go, it’s to say I will likely not got in the next month or so.

I know from being an instructor in several other fields of endeavor how valuable the watchful eye of a good instructor is, one on one. It’s just that, at this exact time and in my geographical place, it’s not something I can do immediately.

In the mean time I am not going to simply stop and wait.

So if I can keep gaining in my knowledge and have some video courses to watch then go try, that’s still got to me much better then doing nothing until I can come up with several hundred dollars in travel money and course costs. I can be on the water in 9 minutes from my shop, so I can and most days do paddle every day. If I can pick up just one new tip a day and then go try it out, that has to be good. (I hope so anyway)

But if you think Dancing with the Sea is worth the cost, ($200) I may just take your recommendation. with 12 years behind you, I’d expect you’d know a fraud if you saw one and if the videos seem good to you that opinion is worth a lot to me. I want feed-back from people such as yourself, with several years of experience to tell me if you think his material is worth the cost. If you and some others said no, I’d add that $200 into my “fun-jar” for a coming class out of state. So far nothing has been available to us in Wyoming, with some phone numbers not even being connected at all, one saying he has no time available, one saying phone consulting only, and one not teaching classes at all, but only does “guiding trips” with his boats.

So I believe I am going to have to drive to Nevada, California, Oregon or Washington to get training from a good instructor. That’s going to be many hundreds of dollars for myself and my Wife. For me to go to any of them it’s going to be a minimum of 1,700 miles round trip and up to 2,200 miles. It’s going to cost that much in gas, at 18 miles per gallon, (about 122 gallons of gas) plus food, plus lodging, plus the cost of the classes themselves, not to mention the loss of my own and my wife’s wedges (we are not retired)
By the time it done and accounted for, we can expect to be out about $1,800 to $2,200 for one good class. Classes are costing as little as $250 and most being in the $450 to $650 range ( times 2 for us both, I’d assume) So if I were to guess around $400 per student that means at least $800 for instruction. $460 for gas. Probably have to spend $65 to $100 per night on lodging, averages to $480 and maybe $25 a day for food. 2 days there, 2 days of classes, 2 days back, so $150 for food if we eat cheap.

The cheapest I can see doing that would come in at about $1800 and that’s if nothing costs more then what we are guessing and seeing on line as of this month.
Anna and I can and sometime do spend that kind of money on trips, but we can’t do it at the drop of a hat. Such expenditures have to be saved for and often scheduled for the next year.

I am not going to do nothing on the water with my kayaks for a year, and tell myself “I can’t learn more” just because I can’t come up with $1800 in the next 1-2 months.

So $200 for Paulo’s course to gain a great deal of knowledge and have material I can used for months (and maybe years) seems like a good deal, but only if someone can tell me the man teaching is “The Real Macoy” Hence my reason for asking.
I hope to hear from some others about his video lessons too. I’d love a consensus of opinion.

Thanks SO MUCH for your reply.

That’s what CC are for :joy:

what is a CC?

Credit Card.

Watch free videos on YouTube.

Work more then you’ll have more money.

I gave been doing this 12 years. I have never been flipped over unintentionally. I learned and match the conditions to my skill set. I still do that but I do like challenges and excitement.

Never had one in my life. I pay everything up front. I took 10 years to buy my house and my 40 acres. that’s the only thing in 65 years I ever made payments on. EVERYTHING else is 100% down and nothing left to pay with me.
I earn my money and then spend it. I never spend money and then try to earn it.


How old are you 65 + 15= 80?

I just got 257 bucks back for using my debit card. I use my CC and pay them as soon as it posts. Free money.

Take your partner or friend to the water have them at the stern standing twisting the boat trying to capsize you. Learn to brace first. Walk before you run it’s free and locally available.

Just an idea @szihn If you run across an instructor or even some of the people here.

Throw out an offer to good to be true of a free vacation to your area in Wyoming where you will host anyone that wants to make the drive with their boats to you. The lake you paddle looks like a destination many might like and have trouble doing on their own. You give them lodging and meals and they give you some help for a few hours a day and you can all paddle the rest of the time.

Just from reading here it sounds like lots of people travel lots of distance to try out new water.

It sounds like you have been hosting hunting parties so this could be similar.

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Now that is a great idea Bud.

It would be even better if any of them also like hunting, shooting or training with firearms. I would make them a better deal for my services than I’d ask of them, so the trade would be in their favor.
My home is very small, 980 Square feet, but I know camp grounds that I can arrange for them to stay at, and I can get them on the water at the south end for free. If you launch from north of the causeway there is a $7 per day fee, paid to Wyoming parks, but I have private access. I’ll admit, $7 per day is very little, but it’s also good that I can place them in the lake in a location they can be unclouded and they can paddle as far as they’d like to go and explore a lot of shore line with islands, rocks, and high mountains at the north end.

Boysen is a beginning kayakers heaven. You have some 4-5 foot deep water for those just learning, and deep water for those that want to go. The cool thing I like about it is that the wind DOES blow, and make waves and chop, but not just in deep water. Also in waters you can still stand up in if you know where to go, so if you get upside down you can actually stand up and set up your ‘rescues’ in near total safety, even if the water is thigh deep and the white caps slap you in the face. Or we can set things up across some small inlets so if you are unsuccessful you just relax in your PFD and let the wind blow you to land. And then you can drive right to the place you landed or at least within 1/2 a mile of it. So you can’t get in trouble if you know the layout well and don’t panic.
Experienced kayakers need no such “super-safe areas” and can go as far as they want to. The Reservoir is about 20 miles from north to south with a lot of small arms and inlets to explore.

I would offer to help hunters come if any of the experienced kayakers on this forum also like to hunt. It’s too late for the 2021season, as all tags are sold now, but next year I may be able to give out-of-state hunters some help on an Antelope hunt. Many hunters in the costs of the USA people only dream of hunting antelope. Getting non-resident preference points can be a “chore” and it can take years to get a buck tag, but doe tags are often available for non-residents with out much hassle.
Stay away from the scads of private land up north however. Lots of tags sold, but you can’t use them unless you are willing to pay BIG bribes and fees. That’s a rip-off game the State Government plays along with very wealthy land owners, to squeeze a LOT of money out of non-residents hunters, and there is no reason to pay such fees. I know where to go, and no money is needed to go there, other than your gas and food. I no longer do it professionally so I can’t guide you, but someone (who is a new friend) sure can come hunting with me. Nothing against that in the laws

Any experienced paddlers out there also like hunting?

Or— if anyone wants one on one instruction in Combative techniques, and tactics, I might consider coming out of retirement to make such a trade. I did that for 45 years and I am pretty good at it. I don’t teach just anyone these things however. Only the right people who have the right mindset and will not misuse the knowledge in evil ways. So that would be something I’d have to make a decision on depending on who was asking, for liability reasons of course.

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Paddledog, I am 65.
I don’t understand the 65+15=80 reference. What’s the 15 from?

I like your idea of learning to brace. I and Anna will do that on Saturday. Thank You!
I can’t until then because I go out alone on the week days. Usually about 90 minutes to 2 hours 3-4 days a week. I am on the water at about 7:00 until just before it gets dark. So as the days shorten so will my time on the water. She works an odd shift and doesn’t get home until 8:30 or 9:00. But we both go every weekend, all day Saturday and Sunday after church too.

Wyoming is a big empty place.
If she can find someone for a day course, it should be worth it for her to drive there and take it. Jackson is like hollywood of the rockies so it’d be interesting to know what he charges. It’s about 5 hrs from casper to denver, so a commute into CO might be closer for her and more reasonable.

15 is about first time anyone would get a CC especially at our ages way back when. 65 is approximately SS age. .

What’s the water temp on the lake during the year? Must be cold with runoff?

Many years it a bit cool because it is all snow runoff, but this year was so hot that it melted all the snow by the end of April. It was over 100 degrees for 8 days in April this year at the lower elevations and up to 88 degrees on top at 10,000 to 12,000 feet. All the snow pack ran down by May. So the lake is very full, but no new cold water is coming in, so this year it’s much warmer then I’d seen in the past

Those are the kryptonite of most paddlers as most paddlers are granolas. They won’t look kindly on that and will shun you or not offer any assistance. I’d keep those in your pocket for yourself and only bring that out later, after you get a good feel who you’re talking to.

You on the rez?
If you have that length of time in firearms/fighting, you know anyone in the front range? You could have prairie rat shoots or just distance shooting there, but you’d do better going to gun/firearms/hunting boards to do that. That can give you some cash and widen your network of kindred spirits.

You checked all the guides in WY? They might know someone who has a lot of experience but doesn’t do it anymore. As you prolly know, they’re a good source of info. Check in CO also for guide services and pick their brains.

I’d look down in the frontrange as there are a lot of people/groups there who kayak. Search them out, but again, don’t mention guns/hunting. You should be able to find some of them on the net. Might be easier around fort collns as that’s a college town, well city now. You could get a hotel in cheyoming and just drive there and back for day lessons. Poudre is there too, but also horseshoe. Boulder is another college town and wealthy, but there are always people looking to make some money in places like that.

You might want to see if places like REI have a forum as they are in denver. Finding what you need down there should be very easy, you just have to do your homework, searching out things on the net. But again, don’t mention the g word or h word, don’t wear any political attire or hats and if your vehicle has bumperstickers on it like that, take them off.

This should be very easy for you to do, but IMO you’ll need to put in your legwork

Thanks Dago. Let’s talk. PM me and I’ll give you my phone number. Sounds like you know the area a bit better then many others who live in the west and east coasts.

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