As Kayak instructors we realize that we are nothing without a keen new face to teach. We are always grateful to our students who take the time to send us a nice note. We are also always glad to receive constructive feedback! Below are the comments of some of our past students.
"Just a quick email having returned from my Level One skills course with Learn to Kayak. I thoroughly enjoyed my Intro course in May and knew I needed and wanted to continue with my learning. This weekend the level one course at Lake Kelso with Learn to Kayak was just as great and I am already planning my level two for next summer. It's a great feeling to have more and more confidence on the water. Although I have been in and out of a kayak for 20 yrs, up until my course with James and Dympna in May I never really knew what I was doing. I can safely say that I am hooked and will be paddler for many many years to come."
"We loved it!!!!! James and Dympna did a great job. The information and skills were shared in a concise and straight forward manner. The mixture of on the water and under the tarp teaching in a real paddling environment was the best I have had to date. We look forward to working with them in the future to take our skill set to the next level. Happy Paddling, and have a great day!"
"Hi Thanks again for the great instruction last weekend. You are both excellent instructors. Having taught martial arts for over 15 years I know how hard it can be to teach a very diverse group with different skills and expectations. The course was much more than I anticipated, thanks." MC
"By the way, the course was great. The instructors were excellent and I learned a great deal. I will definitely be back some day for level 2 and I will recommend Learn To Kayak to others." SK
"Regarding the Intro course, I found it very informative, well-balanced in theory and practice. The in-pool sessions were my first-ever times in a kayak and the instructors made the sessions educational, rewarding and entertaining. " CR
"Just wanted to say thanks to Dympna and James for an amazing week. You are both wonderful teachers! It is always nice to see two people having fun at what they do. You make it worth all the aches, pains and bruises to go through all this, lol. Wish you all the best." LS
"Thanks for the awesome Level 2 weekend – we learned so much and now feel confident to start some kayak camping on our own." DP
"I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the recent Yoga/Kayaking weekend. I felt that you did superbly well to manage a group of people with such different abilities and expectations, and to make sure they all felt satisfied with the trip." LG
"I would like to thank you for the excellent Intro to Kayaking course. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am looking forward to the Level 1 course." CR
"Please accept our sincerest appreciation for our kind reception at this weekend’s level 1 course. Your focused efforts at improving our skills with a strict eye for our safety and enjoyment was more than we could have hoped for." R&PC
"I want to thank you again James for the teaching sessions this past Sat and Sunday. I also want to appreciate you with your thoughtfulness to me and all of us. Your listening skills and patience with each of us as well as your focus on the job at hand was always 100%." LC
"Thank you so much James, Sarah and Todd for an absolutely wonderful two days of learning and play! Your obvious passion for the sport of Kayaking is contagious and helped keep everything positive and playful" MH
"First of all, as I said to Dympna yesterday, I am super happy that I found you guys online last winter. I think both of you are fantastic teachers which means you both have a ton of passion for what you do - so I wish you much continued success." SR
"Great to see you and Dympna last weekend. who wouldn’t want to learn to kayak after seeing you, your great staff and presentation?" MS
"For all your hard, hard work. We saw the tip of the iceberg on trip, and having done long hike and canoe trip planning, I know that there is a huge amount of work that goes unseen. Then add to that the lesson planning, and preparation. You both worked your behinds off, before and during, and I am sure after too. In my view, it was a huge success, and as D's father, your efforts and skills have allowed me to give him something that is rare, valuable, and truly durable. I cannot thank you enough for that." NK
"Many thanks for a fantastic weekend. We thought we were "paddlers at heart" and the two of you just confirmed it for us.
Everything was great - your care & attention, excellent instruction, meals and obvious enjoyment of what you are doing made the entire experience delightful." CS
"Good Afternoon, Dympna & James.
Just a quick note on behalf of Kyle and Ruth to express our sincere appreciation to you for the recent kayaking course. The time and effort you spent with Kyle was very helpful to him and we certainly have a much improved comfort level with him starting to kayak on his own.
We realize Kyle was the youngest member of your class but he certainly was made to feel welcome. He is already looking forward to a summer on-the-water !
Thanks again for all your patience and excellent instruction." DM
"Thanks for the SK1 course at the weekend. Really enjoyed it, looking forward to SK2 next year." PB
"Hi James and Dympna, I just wanted to let you know that Simon has not stopped talking about kayaking since Sunday afternoon. He had a great great experience and learned so much from the both of you. You are wonderful instructors and so motivating and reassuring." HS
"A big thumbs up on your Level 1 course with hearty encouragement for anyone wanting to rapidly get a base set of skills. The two day event was worth every cent: appropriately serious, yet often funny, shared with a nice-sized group made for an enjoyable, educational two days. I'm going to get far more enjoyment sooner out of my new boat because I took this course. Tremendously appreciated was the way questions were welcomed. You love what you are doing, and it is infectious." NK
"At 45 yrs old, I just learned to swim during the winter of 2008-2009. The flat water kayaking course was a greatintroduction to kayaking for me as a beginner. The pool course provided a great opportunity to learn kayaking skillswithin the "controlled environment" of a swimming pool. The instructors were encouraging, patient and provided both beginners and more advanced individuals with not only the basics but more challenging moves if there was interest. All the practicing of assisted rescues and self rescues have given me more confidence in the kayak. After only three short lessons I have a wealth of knowledge that can be drawn upon when I am ready to purchase a kayak and related equipment." JR
"I would like to thank you for being such great instructors! Your passion for paddling in an inspiration! It helps bring me down to earth since I think I'm such a know-it-all!" MP
"JAMES AND DYMPNA ARE SKILLED KAYAKERS AND EXCELLENT TEACHERS. I HAD NO EXPERIENCE WHATSOEVER, BEFORE I TOOK THEIR COURSE AND NOW FEEL CONFIDENT ABOUT GOING OUT ONTO THE LAKE AND ENJOYING MY NEW KAYAK. I WAS VERY WORRIED ABOUT TIPPING OUT OF THE BOAT AND THE RESCUE PART BUT WITH THEIR EXPERT GUIDANCE AND ENCOURAGEMENT I'M VERY GLAD THAT I DID IT AND IF IT DID ACTUALLY HAPPEN ON THE LAKE I WOULD KNOW WHAT DO DO WITHOUT FEAR AN ANXIETY. THEY ALSO RECOMMENDED ESSENTIAL EQUIPMENT THAT ALL KAYAKERS SHOULD HAVE WITH THEM." Janet A
"I took the Level One weekend course with Learn to Kayak at the end of May - and boy was it cold. However, Dympna and James were always very attentive to each and every student in the water. Thanks to their watchful eyes and judgment it was a great experience. They work great as a teaching team and use funny metaphors and faces to help you remember techniques. I highly recommend Learn to Kayak and hope to see them again during the summer" Paula L
"As a newcomer to the sport of Kayaking, I found that the two-day Level I Sea Kayaking course with James and Dympna significantly increased my comfort level on the water and my paddling skills. Prior to this course I had done a fair bit of canoeing and some kayaking, mostly on smaller lakes and rivers. I had been on Lake Ontario twice with my recently purchased kayak, but was not really comfortable with the larger swells. James and Dympna's course was held on Lake Ontario and fortunately for me, the first day and half were quite calm. However, by the afternoon of the second day, the wind came up with waves breaking over my bow and I was not the least bit concerned! Furthermore, James and Dympna's passionate enthusiasm for the sport and extensive experience inspired my sense of adventure. I highly recommend any of their courses for those wishing not only to develop their skills but to increase their comfort level on the water." Gilbert L.
"I was introduced to kayaking by James and Dympna last summer, first through basic instruction and then the Level I Sea Kayaking course. Their enthusiasm is contagious and their instruction is very thorough. Best of all, they are a lot of fun, and that's the only way to enjoy kayaking! I fully intend to continue developing my paddling skills under their excellent guidance!" Carol G.
"My husband and I purchased our kayaks from the Outdoorsman show last Spring. Since then we had had a private lesson with Dympna along the Sixteen Mile Creek in Oakville and then we signed up for their Flatwater and their Level 1 course. Both James and Dympna are very patient teachers, a boat load of fun and very skilled at what they do! The knowledge and confidence they instilled in us, motivated us to try Georgian Bay. With Kilbear, Killarney, Lionshead, Algonquin and Lake Huron under our belts, we are all set for another season of adventure on the open water!" Sarah F.
"Thanks again guys for an awesome weekend. I can not thank you enough for the experience. The skills and confidence I have gained from the course is invaluable. I can't thank you both enough." Alan D
YOU GUYS ROCK!|
You are both such great instructors with amazing people skills. Just wanted to say thanks for the Level 1 course and will be looking forward to your next course. Sandy and I went for a nice paddle yesterday to finish off a great long weekend. What fun; )
see ya" Alison F.
"Having been a canoeist since the age of three, I was a little nervous to make the switch into a kayak. James and Dympna also enjoy canoeing so were able to explain the difference in the strokes to me in a way I could relate to. I was so relieved at how transferable my skills were. The instruction was thorough, skillful and most importantly, fun! By the end of the weekend I was hooked! I can’t wait to take my Level 2 with them next year." Julia S.
"Last summer I had the opportunity to take a Level 1 course with Dympna and James and it was an amazing experience. They are very knowledgeable and experienced instructors. Both of them are very patient and encouraging every step of the way. Not only are they great teachers but also fantastic cooks. Dympna and James shared a number of wonderful Kayaking recipes."