Kayak Instruction Excellence – Kayak Whitewater – Sea/Coastal Kayak Instructor and Staff Training


KIX Instruction

Kayak Instruction Excellence

Comments from written evaluations:

Instructor Evaluation Instructor Courses

Use of time:

  • Well-spent to cover the most important aspects if a choice had to be made to to lack of time.
  • A+
  • Great. Adaptation to students learning styles and abilities but still covered all topics. Allowed students to focus on particular subjects and teaching methods.
  • Good use of time, I canÕt believe we covered all the things we did. So much information.
  • Excellent – Right on schedule.
  • Very good, if we got off schedule you weren’t announcing it.
  • Full. Good. Dense. Could have scheduled a couple of half hour breaks, but ok without them.
  • Sequence of instruction:

  • Very good Ð started with the basics and progressed well.
  • Good sequence of off-water topics and on-water topics
  • Good, well planned outline and stuck to it
  • Logical sequence – nothing was “a curve ball”. All pre-planned, pre-discussed, and in a logical flow.
  • The format progressed ina logical and progressive manner. Very well layed out.
  • Good, kept with outline but able to be flexible if necessary.
  • Great progression.
  • Made sense – one lesson logically followed the next sequentially.
  • Every effort was made to vary the pacing of our long days.
  • Constructive feedback?

  • Nothing but.
  • Excellent work at constructive feedback. Always helpful and concerned with students development and understanding.
  • Terrific – you all are really great at this!
  • Great! I am certified in whitewater from the ACA and that process had very little constructive feedback.
  • Right on the money!
  • Good atmosphere for giving and receiving constructive and positive feedback, well role modeled by instructors.
  • Safety on the water?

  • I felt challenged by the sea conditions but safe. If was a great learning experience. (I like challenges and learning from people who model flexibility and safety.)
  • Felt very safe at all times. All students concerns addressed.
  • Good, instilled confidence.
  • Complete constructive learning environment. No fear only challenge. Perfect. Utmost safety and feeling of security.
  • Always present with safety. Good conciousness.
  • Excellent!
  • I never felt the group was at all in anything but complete safety at all times.
  • Did all the rescue scenarios after ensuring the boat traffic had passed.
  • Full-on, good.
  • Other comments.

  • AndreeÕs style is quite good, supportive, fun. Enjoyed teachable moments, applicable stories and her interaction style
  • Great class! I loved the experiential learning and self discovery. Got great exposiure to teaching styles and knowledge of ACA instructorÕs. The instructors complemented each other and had really good teamwork.
  • Thank you all. An unforgetably fantastic weekend.
  • Excellent job. I recommend these instructors highly.
  • Great service on the weather! Getting addicted to the sea though! Lakes won’t do it much longer! Thank you all!
  • An excellent three-some teaching group.
  • I’m tired! Deception Pass was really fun!
  • Andree, Just wanted to drop a note to let you know how much I enjoyed
    the ICW. Didn’t do a very good job of filling out the evaluation form &
    would like to add something about “your incredible modeling skills & the
    way you were able to break down the strokes into their individual pieces”.
    I like your teaching style very much.
  • Very good class, I would highly recommend this class to anyone interested in becoming an instructor.
  • Good food in mornings. Relaxed in evenings. Full days. Good learning. Good times, well done!
  • Thank you, you are all just great. I learned so much and all skill/knowledge areas increased exponentially.
  • Great overall, I learned more than I expected.
  • Do you plan to continue in the sport?
  • Doesn’t even justify an answer.
  • Duh!
  • What types of additional instruction would be of interest to you?
  • White water fun!
  • First aide and endorsement.
  • Maybe whitewater for skill building, other related classes/cert.
  • Expedition certification, open canoe whitewater, instructor trainer for K-1.
  • Adaptive paddling endorsement.
  • Expedition, surf, rolling, whitewater.
  • What did you enjoy most about the workshop?

  • Interaction with other paddlers, different teaching methods used.
  • Learning precise methods. Learning to teach via all senses and to all audiences.
  • Great teachers!
  • All the other students and their input
  • The excellent instruction.
  • Exploring personal limits safely – skills development – excellent instructor team, practicing teaching techniques.
  • Deception Pass! The day couldn’t have been more perfect if you had ordered it. Great fun, my first time. An incredible learning environment.
  • The instructor combination.
  • Paddling with and learning from so many talented people (my fellow candidates and the instructors.)
  • Learning creative ways of teaching. I also enjoyed improving my strokes.
  • Paddle instruction, on water. The people.
  • Stroke feedback, teaching method input, many discussions and reviews.
  • Skill building and feedback process. Sharing info and techniques for instruction.
  • Improving my strokes and braces.
  • The positive learning environment.
  • The intensity and paddling with better paddlers
  • Dissecting parts of my stroke on video and by instructor observations
  • Learning methods of instruction
  • Learning new teaching methods and putting them into practice immediately with
    good, thorough feedback.
  • The professionalism of the instructors have sealed my direction to become
    proficient and learned in the craft of sea kayaking
  • Did a good job of analyzing tasks to time requirements
  • Re-inforced the concern for issues of safety first. Ensured the lowest common
    denomenator was cared for.
  • Instructors kept to task and were also flexible.
  • Constructive feedback was pertinent and diplomatic…very professional.
  • Safety on the water was first-rate.
  • I am thankful that professionals with such experience and knowledge would commit this much time
    and resource to potential instructor candidates.
  • Organized and has the ability to maneuver agenda without compromise
    to outline and objectives. Purged students for feedback and allowed margin of students to express
    their ideas and opinions. Took time for each individual’s needs.
  • Video review, practical exercises on/in water
  • The sequence was very flexible which allowed adaptation of the ICE to areas needing the most scruteny.
    I found this very helpful.
  • The video time is extremely valuable.
  • Good use of time. Teaching moments were fully utilized.
  • This was the best use of time I have had in months. A thoroughly amazing
    demonstration of how much there is to learn.
  • Feedback was really good; learned a lot of new things.
  • Exchange of ideas with other people, exploring new teaching techniques, enthusiasm
    of other participants.
  • Access to progression of organized information.
  • Good group of instructors, good materials, good exercises.
  • Wealth of knowledge from instructors and students.
  • Practical experience teaching and testing, evaluation and feedback structure
  • Great folks, great information structure
  • Learning so many good instructional ideas and methods
  • Quality of instructors and students, learning from others
  • Structure, order and friendliness

    What did you enjoy least about the workshop?

  • My own personal limitations: nerves, body (out of shape/tired).
  • Late nights. Water polo (nobody really wants me on their team! – though I did get to actually touch the ball this time!)
  • I took the IDW from another place and they did not provide me with the printed packet material or the lesson plan outline topic book to take home so I didn’t like not having that resource ahead of time.
  • Too short
  • It was all good
  • Being in cold water!
  • Length of paddling sessions, but it’s important for us to be out long enough to get tired.
  • Games (water polo) on the water (I’m a weenie).
  • The drive home.
  • How could your experience in this workshop have been improved/changed?

  • Can’t think of anything?
  • Four days instead of three
  • Better preparation on my part.
  • Having a dry suit.
  • Have to find a better one first to know, best so far in five years of outdoor training and work.
  • Meals

    Mostly I brought my own but the IT provided wonderful continental breakfast and ordered dinners brought in!


    Better! The Thai was great this time, go figure! Liked eating in!


    Snacks and bagels were good.

    Good variety, great.


    My own.

    My hosts were very accommodating, not supplied by course.

    Acceptable, slept like a log on my thermarest!


    Not residential but hostel was adequate.


    Great job, thanx a-lot.

    Just fine!


    Great, I really enjoyed it. The teaching team was good mix of teaching styles. Personality and serious work great together.

    A letter from one of the instructor candidates in Mexico after teaching his first
    ACA fundamentals course:

    The course was a great success. People loved it and they have called me
    twice for a second level course and some outings together. We covered
    almost everything I planned, with leans, T rescues, paddle float rescues
    and finally all in the water without paddle floats helping each other up in
    pairs, and when we were doing that, wind grew up making it a dramatic but very succesful and
    rewarding rescue.

    Yes the evaluations are very encouraging but the happiness I felt was hard
    to describe after the two courses were over and seeing people like walking
    in clouds, and their after course comments.

    I had one student who attended because his son wanted to attend. He came
    late, started with negative attitude, promised that he would not get wet
    under any circumstance, refused to pay his part of the course at the
    beginning, etc.

    At the end he volunteered to do his routine, he volunteered to try the
    float paddle rescue, and was tipped over in the last all in the water
    rescue. We had to confort him when he was feeling cold and was not
    accomplishing his return to the boat, and we had to do a T-X rescue in his
    ayak to get all the water out. Finally he made a positive evaluation, payd
    his part and recommended the course to his friends, and his son parents

    For some instants I had the thoughts that I was great, but it is really a
    matter of following carefully yout teachings and the ACA methodology that
    is full of wisdom from the pedagogical, and gradual teaching point of view.
    Finally lots of credit also belongs to the video PERFORMANCE SEA KAYAKING,
    which I almost know by heart now.

    I would have never been able to set up such a well organized course
    starting from scratch.

    Now I am trying to use these learnings to all my interaction with the
    workers at my factory. Keep thinking about OREO techniques, demo and do
    instead of giving orders, all participation in decision making (even
    though I make the decisions), etc.

    Deception Pass Clinic

    • I had a GREAT time and thought the class was very benefitial to me. I have a
      lot more confidence on my paddling skills and rescue skills because of the
      class. Even by going over, it took
      some of the fear out of what we were trying to accomplish. I was able to
      push my limits and see how far I could go by reading the currents and eddies
      in the water.

      Playing in Deception Pass was something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.
      I certainly learned a lot! Let’s do
      it again some time!

      Yes, the lecture and display on the board of currents and eddies
      were good visual as to what we would be experiencing out in the water. Also
      the time change and how quickly the currents change in just an hour.

      I also thought that practicing the bow leaning and eskimo rolls were
      good too.

      I also enjoyed the soccer game…it took some of the edge off just
      learning and made it fun!

    • I had a great time on Sunday. Thank you so much for arranging this class.
      Also thanks to Andree and every on who help teach and coach. Since I
      missed Saturday’s class, I can’t comment on how necessary it was, but it
      sounded like people learned a lot. I thought Andree did a great job
      recapping on Sunday, so I did not feel out of my depth.
    • Great weekend! I learned a lot.
    • Had a great time Sunday. Thanks for
      setting it up. I would like to do it again. I get more comfortable every
      time I go there, but still need more experienced people around me.

    From professional clinics in sea kayaking (dealer training):

    • “…took me aside and gave me some individual instruction which I appreciated.”
    • “…was exceptional in instruction.”
    • “…good analogies, tries to present it in several different viewpoints, nice quiet confidence.”
    • “Andree’s knowledge of tours helped me to plan tours outside of our area.”

      …from beginning whitewater:

    • In case you haven’t heard, I bought a boat! Your class was so cool it convinced me to become a
      full-fledged ww kayaker (in training).

    • Thank you all! An honor working and learning!
    • I thought you were a great instructor. Especially your ability to give criticism in
      a way that others can accept it. That is a rare art form whether it be natural or a practiced
      habit. Your cheerfulness and good mood gave us no choice but to enjoy ourselves.
      Thanks for all the help!

    • ..great job in teaching this class, consistently good in style, content and delivery of instruction. Tailored individual instruction very well to each person, taking care to challenge everyone on his/her own level.

    • …thanks for the great trip, I had a blast. Thanks for your patience…. …
      you are a wonderful teacher…would like to see you working with our program more
      in the future…

    • I must say that it’s the best class I’ve ever taken. I had a blast!
      That’s the short, concise thing to say, but it might be more appropriate for
      me to say why.

      In terms of learning how paddle, roll, and read rivers, Andree was very
      helpful. Everything she taught seemed to make sense from the very
      beginning. Paddling, bracing, form, and rolling all seemed to come to
      me easily through her instruction. She focused on the important fundamentals
      of kayaking while allowing me to develop a style of my own.

      In the moments before arriving at the river, Andree never seemed rushed. This
      was helpful in dispelling any anxiety I might have had about getting back
      into a kayak.

      On the river, Andree is exceptional. She has a knack for teaching people how
      to kayak. Her advice is simple, well timed, and concise. I remember once when
      I was learning how to surf a wave (at the beginning). She gave me some advice
      that was very encouraging:

      “If you’d used a forward sweep in that wave instead of a rudder stroke,
      you would have gotten right in and surfed that wave.”

      With this encouraging advice in mind, I went right back in, tried it, and it worked!

      Andree also handles tricky situations with a confidence in herself as well as her
      helpers. I badly missed a roll midway through a rapid.
      I must say this was not a wise decision and ironically immediately after
      advice from Andree to check downstream for any hazards before attempting to play.
      Even after my mistake, Mike(an assistant)

      was there to try to pull me out. Unfortunately, the wind and swiftly moving water
      prevented a quick rescue. Through the combined cool headed efforts of Mike and Andree,
      I made it safely down the shallow rapid.

      You’d think it would be frightening to roll down those rocky rapids, but for
      some reason, it wasn’t. It was strange — I was actually trying to work out the
      situation in my head like it was some big puzzle.

      After the swim through the rapid, Andree wisely suggested a break for lunch.
      She even had a nice warm hat handy so I wouldn’t get too cold.

      I’m very confident of Andree’s abilities as a white-water kayak instructor.
      Not only was Andree concerned for the safety of her kayakers, but it was
      clear that she wanted us to have fun.

    • Thank you so much for teaching the Fall ’97 Whitewater Course.
      Your professional teaching abilities helped us maintain the high quality
      intruction we strive for as instructors of risk sports.
      Not only did the students learn the skills necessary to safely

      and competently paddle….they had fun doing it.
      Along with technique, they were taught river etiquette so as to be an asset to
      the boating community with ther skill an concern for all members of a kayaking party.

      ..from evening sea kayaking sunset tours:

      Andree was
      an excellent leader. She has a great deal of experience which made the trip all that
      much better. …knowledgeable, expert, patient, easy to understand her instructions.

      Very personable, positive, fun

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