This year CW certified four new instructors. All CW instructors are volunteers instructors and are certified by the American Canoe Association, which is the national standard for professional kayak instructors. See the instructors' page for a list of all of the CW instructors.
I have been kayaking since 2015 and recently became certified as an ACA instructor.
I first got on the water in the Golden play park, and I’m so glad I did! Paddling in gorgeous scenery and meeting so many amazing people have been the highlights of kayaking for me. I hope to be able to teach new paddlers and help them experience such a great sport in the way other instructors have for me.
My favorite runs to paddle are definitely Foxton and the Numbers. I’ve been very lucky to experience so many rivers in a short amount of time and will have the Grand Canyon added to the list this year!
If I could give one piece of advice to new paddlers, it would definitely be to get out there as much as possible and utilize meet-up groups and clubs (like CW!). Learning becomes 100 times easier when you have a solid group of friends to paddle with and makes it so much more rewarding!
When I'm not in a kayak, you'll find me going on adventures with my best buddy Cooper, the Australian Shepherd.
As a “vintage kayaker,” I started paddling circa 1984 in Colorado and then in Washington, D.C. Back in Colorado in the early 1990s, I was on the CW board as the cruise director and organized some of the first Boating Betty cruises. In 1991, I discovered the local slalom group and what was a welcoming annual race series in New Mexico and Colorado including FIBArk. I was drawn to the technical precision of slalom and found training slalom helped me make the transition from class-III to class-IV boating.
I didn’t paddle much from 2001–2012 because we went sailing, my daughter was young, and she had other interests, like flying trapeze and circus. We started doing family trips again with my husband rafting and my daughter learning to kayak on multiday river trips on Ruby Horsethief, Gates of Ladore, Middle Fork, and Main Salmon. We also sea kayak and did a fun trip on Lake Yellowstone this year. We just bought cross-over kayaks to extend our river running season.
I currently assistant-coach the Dawson School Canoe and Kayak Team. Dawson maintains gates on the pond near the East Boulder Community Center, which is a good place to start training. I’d like to offer more CW peeps the opportunity to train gates for fun and as another way to improve their river running skills.
I fell in love with the allure of water while canoeing in the lakes of Idaho when I was twelve while in the Boy Scouts. I always knew that my life would take me in the direction of water, and I did my first river trip in 2004 in a canoe on Labyrinth Canyon. In 2007, I bought my first raft and took it down Deso Gray, creating a deeper love and respect for the water. I decided in 2010 that I wanted my season to last longer and found kayaking and CW, and I haven’t looked back since.
Some of my favorite rivers to be on are the Arkansas, Clear Creek, the Blue, the Eagle, and Waterton Canyon. I love them each in a different way as they all present a challenge and approach to reading the lines, and they each give you a different ride every time you run them. It doesn’t matter to me the level of difficulty; it only matters that I’m on the water—whether it’s a float where you glide down the flat water, looking up at the sky and canyon around you, or if you’re scouting the perfect line through rockin’ rapids.
I decided that I wanted to give back to others by helping them find the passion in the water, just as my CW friends helped show me. I had a great experience at training camp in 2010 and never looked back. I first introduced my two girls to the water four years ago and found that I had a knack for teaching others in a supportive and easy-to-understand way.
I am one of the new instructors for the kid’s team, as well as for the adult programs, this year, and I am looking forward to showing others the enthusiasm and love that the river can bring. Come join me, if you will!
My first memory of paddling was in a canoe at Boy Scout camp. A few stokes out into that calm lake and I was hooked! I would go on canoe trips with friends on class-I and class-II rivers for many years before I decided to take up kayaking in 2004. Once I did, I was hooked again! Since then, I’ve spent many days paddling rivers throughout Colorado and in the West including multiday tips on the Grand Canyon, the Middle Fork of the Salmon, and a five-day, self-supported trip down the 100-mile length of Arkansas River.
I recently got my instructor certification to help beginners learn to kayak. I look forward to bringing new paddlers into the sport that has had such a significant impact on my life!