Many kayakers, like myself, have benefited from the personal encouragement, guidance, and instruction of more experienced paddlers received when we were newbies first getting into the sport. Those “mentors” helped us avoid getting into serious trouble, picked up our spirits when we despaired over learning a difficult skill, and pointed us in the right direction when we needed help finding answers. Some may have even given us some private instruction that we badly needed. I will always be indebted to people like Doug Olsen, Gail Green, John Browning, Bruce Schultz, and Gary Simon among a host of others. After becoming an instructor, I have always tried to pass on that same encouragement and help to the next generation of new paddlers.
Now, I’m really excited about a new program that I have added to the list of offerings from SherriKayaks Outdoor Programs for 2011! The new Mentor Program is a great way for relatively inexperienced paddlers to get the training and personal guidance they need to move forward in their knowledge and skills as sea kayakers. If you bought a sea kayak and have taken some basic instruction, but don’t currently have a group of more experienced paddling companions who can give you some solid advice and instruction, the Mentor Program may be able to provide you with the help you need.
For those of you who have been e-mailing questions to me during the last two years, this does not mean that you have to start paying for that advice. I am still more than happy to answer any questions you may have about paddling skills, boats, or equipment. The formal Mentor Program is really more for those who want to set some goals for their kayaking careers and would like help in setting up a structured plan for accomplishing those goals.
If you have questions about this program or would like to make some suggestions for ways to improve the program, you can post a comment on this blog, send me an e-mail, or call me at 262-895-2008.