When Looking for instruction

How many of you base you choices on the instructors certification?

I’ve always based mine on word of mouth and observation. I look for folks who have both the paddling skills I want and good teaching skills. I’ve also gotten much more particular about instructors yet never even think to ask about certification.

Now I’ve got to go back and see if the ones I’ve liked are certified or not.

I never ask about certification, though
my instructors have all been part of the NOC community, so I am sure they were certified. Their status as experienced slalom racers was of more interest to me.

Strictly word of mouth with occasional
dumb luck!

I am lucky to have a generous padddling community who can help me know what’s up.

Hey, Are You Certified?

– Last Updated: Nov-20-04 5:06 AM EST –

If you're not, then I have to rethink and just renounce everything I learned from you on my earlier white water trips.

I always liked that line about making harder moves on easier class water. :)


in the beginning
no,I didn’t know enough to discern competancy in instruction. When Cal Adventures at UC Berkeley was offering surf kayaking classes I was a part of their very first class,it was a learning experience for them too,we used Chinooks. Took another class a year later from SeaTrek and the quality was much higher. There wasn’t an ACA curriculum at the time. This was in '90

Used to be
But the doc say’s I’m better now…

Seriously I’ve shied away getting certs. Dunno why. Seems to take paddling into the realm of work. I only paddle for fun.

I got the “Hard moves on easy rivers” from Kent Ford on the Solo Playboating video. Don’t know where he got it but it works real well for me. I am feeling the need to get on harder rivers though. Certain things just don’t happen anywhere else. Next summer I may ask you to help me stretch my surf dogs too.

As much as I value an instructors certification I am more particticular about an instructors experience and ability to comunicate paddleing skills. There is such a large variety of instructors out there that it pays to be picky.

When Done With

– Last Updated: Nov-20-04 7:29 PM EST –

the money pit, the rivers and surf await. We need to run something together. It's been awhile... The "mystery move" moment at the Piscat is one of those that's etched forever in my fun memories. We had the river to ourselves that day.


Absolutely! also their ability
to diagnose my subtle (and not so sublte defficiencies.

Instructors Eye
The best instruction I’ve had came from folks who could realy see what I was doing and then tell me how to do it better.

I’ve had other very competent paddlers watch me do something totaly bass ackwards and not be able to tell me what to change.

That ability to see subtle and sometimes not so subtle technique deficiencies really distinguishes an excellent instructor from the rest.

$hied away
I’ve shied away because certification is expensive. I’m sure taking a moving water instructor’s course, or even a flatwater insturctor’s course, would improve my paddling, but I can’t afford to upgrade my boats, bags, paddles and drysuits, nevermind dropping several hundred bucks for instruction. Probably a bad way of looking at.

I’m happy to take advice from anybody, but I’d only pay money to take a course from an instuctor who I’d heard good reviews of.

I don’t think it’s fair that uncertified paddlers offer instuction for money. And it raises questions for insurance etc. I’d rather pay somebody who has made a decision/commitment to teach.