Among a sea of dolphins and self-doubt, Sharon and Alec raised me up over waves of change to create a paddling passion for life. Their patience and kindness, combined with their outstanding skill, have forever instilled the ‘Never stop training’ motto on my heart.
When I first met Alec and Sharon, their skills immediately stood out and I felt I wanted to get to know them better. Since then I attended a club rescue clinic and symposium where they instructed, and this lead me to pursue private lessons with them. They not only make it interesting but insist on having fun while you learn. They help me push the limit, and I’ve set a goal of attending the Gales Storm Gathering this fall. Their coaching is very professional, offered with a strong desire to make kayaking a serious but exciting adventure.
Alec and Sharon seem to have been born to teach and share their expertise. I don’t know how they do it, but they are able to tailor their methods of teaching to the needs of each student and fill every moment with opportunities to learn something. It is a rare talent. The possibilities are limitless for improving skills and knowledge in sea kayaking. It is always a pleasure to paddle with them, and a joy to share in a sport we all love.
Because of their reputation for sea kayak rescue best practices, our paddling club hired Alec and Sharon as coaches for our Intermediate Level Rescue Clinic. Through both the planning process and the clinic, Alec and Sharon’s focus was that each participant benefited from the experience and became a more effective, efficient and safe paddler. Their coaching was excellent and well tailored for our group. Alec and Sharon’s teaching style is engaging, and created an environment rich in content and also fun for our club members. Just days following the clinic, our members were already requesting that Alec and Sharon coach a future skills session. We’re looking forward to working with them again in the future.
I had been hearing of the Bloyd-Peshkins for nearly a year when I finally met them at a pool session. I knew of their credentials, but what spoke louder was the respect of other credentialed instructors. I kept hearing, “You have to meet the Bloyd-Peshkins!” Impeccable communication skills, unwavering enthusiasm, and a sincere love of teaching was apparent from the start.I am on my way to Greenland for an 8-day kayak expedition. Newly into sea kayaking, I knew that my skill set and endurance needed to be stretched, and quickly. Sharon became my instructor and mentor for the next two months. Her guidance in preparing for this trip has been invaluable, whether advising gear selections or planning one of our lessons.The lessons have been fun, organized, exhilarating, cerebral, physical, and the best tours of Chicago and its history ever! Sharon asks the right questions to determine and help me determine risk assessment and lesson objectives. So many basics clicked with Sharon, like demonstrating the lower body’s role in forward strokes by scooting over a sandy beach on our butts, leaving marks in the sand. With Sharon, I’ve discovered the joy of surf: the thrill of catching the wave in, and of winning over the power of wave getting back off shore. Always regarding safety, Sharon has taken me down the ChicagoRriver, through the locks, to Navy Pier and the break wall beyond.Sharon’s lessons are wonderful. Whether Chinatown, south side beaches, the cribs, or the best parking, she can take you anywhere and tell you all about it. Sharon is enthusiastic and encouraging, yet patient and understanding. She has shared her knowledge, love of the kayak, clothes and hot soup. Take a lesson with Sharon and you will gleefully discover the water, your kayak, and yourself!
I have taken both local kayak classes and a weeklong Ocean Skills class in Rhode Island with Sharon and Alec of “Have Kayaks Will Travel”. As a business owner and mom running a busy household, my time for paddle skill development is very limited. I love taking classes with Sharon and Alec because for me it’s the fastest route between where I am as a paddler now and where I want to be. They have studied with many of the best instructors in the world and bring this skill and learning to their students. Sharon and Alec very good at assessing their students’ skill levels and push far enough for maximal learning but not so far that learning becomes discouraging. Sharon and Alec are lots of fun to be with and their passion for paddling is both infectious and inspiring. I can’t wait to take more classes and journeys with Have Kayaks Will Travel.
If, like me, you have landed on Sharon and Alec’s site looking for great instruction and quality gear: look no further, this is the place! Alec and Sharon teach in a fun and involved manner and will let you dive right into the matter—literally! 🙂 You will be able to feel for yourself why technique works and a lack of it just doesn’t. Getting to spend some time on the boat (as opposed to in it) was an eye-opener that left me better connected to my boat and more aware of its characteristics. Also, playing catch on the water was great fun that, almost as an aside, made me more confident in my ability to control and balance the boat. Even though we were a group, there was enough room for individual feedback for each one of us. Sharon and Alec passed on their knowledge with a generosity and ease shaped by experience. Thanks for a great day and I hope our paths cross again!