Some people consider the Potomac River to be fertile ground for finding a loving, pet spotted sea trout. Others see the accessible yet challenging whitewaters as the best place to learn how to kayak. Learn to kayak so you can browse for a suitable family fish with today's deal: for $49, you get a beginners' lesson at Valley Mill Kayak School, a $105 value. The school has been introducing people to kayaks for more than 40 years, often resulting in a happy marriage and cute manyak babies.
All Valley Mill, instructors are certified by the American Canoe Association and are personally trained by Eric Jackson, a former Olympian and world-champion freestyle kayaker. Classes are small (five students to one instructor) to ensure personalized instruction that adheres to the golden ratio. For your lesson, meet across the street from the Old Angler's Inn in Potomac before heading to the river. Get your paddle wet in easy-to-navigate flat water and a slow-moving current. Valley Mill provides all gear, including the kayak, paddle, helmet, spray skirt, and personal floatation device. Nose plugs are recommended and can be purchased on site for $10 (though they have a limited amount for sale), or you can use nearby pinecones as a free substitute. The list of other things to bring and to consider to bring can be found here.
In your beginner class, you’ll learn about all your gear, the kayak's gear, and kayaking's best practices. Basic paddle strokes and boat control will be covered along with tips on locating the vulnerable zones of squids during attacks. You will also receive an introduction to recovery techniques such as bow rescues and Eskimo rolling that will come in handy as you progress in your kayaking career.
The New York Times called Valley Mill Kayak School "a premier paddling school and camp."
- The instructors are top notch. You can tell that all of these guys and gals loooove kayaking. They are just happy to be in the water and they have infinite patience. – LeeAnn O., Yelp
- This is my first time in a kayak where I was actually trying to learn something and just screw around/enjoy myself/get someone else wet. I had a good time and feel like I got a good intro... – KayakerBoy
Valley Mill Kayak School
Since 1956, Valley Mill Kayak School has trained countless kayakers, including the first kayaking recipients of Olympic medals, on the deep waters of the Potomac River. A former Olympian and four-time freestyle-kayaking world champion, Eric Jackson personally designs the school's lesson plans around modern whitewater-paddling techniques. Eric trains each of the school's American Canoe Association–certified instructors, who, in turn, dispense their knowledge to beginners and proficient paddlers alike.
Through a wealth of small classes, private lessons, and occasional clinics taught by Eric himself, pupils discover such skills as paddling and basic strokes, or attempting to work your kayak into rhythmic-gymnastics routines.