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Kayak Lessons with Tom Holtey of TopKayaker.Net

Sit-on-top and Sit-in-side kayak lessons with ACA Certified instructor Tom Holtey are available by appointment, Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays. Both fresh water and ocean kayaking skills are taught as needed. Programs available for beginner and intermediate paddlers in New Hampshire. The season is May through October. For advice on getting instruction for those not in our area, See: How To Find Sit-on-top Kayak Lessons by Tom Holtey

Beginner to intermediate. Summer-long custom skill building programs available. Specific skills can be tailored to your needs; navigation, group rescue, trip planning, kayak snorkeling, kayak surfing or what ever you would like to work on, or need extra help with.

Students must be 18 years or older. Kayak and equipment provided. Feel free to bring your own kayak and accessories if you like.

surfGroup size is limited to 4 students, per lesson on fresh water; Group size is limited to 2 students, per lesson on salt water. For group/family lessons of up to 4 students, on salt water, a $100 extra charge is applied per day. You can specify a private lesson ($20 additional fee per lesson) or accept other students to join in, same day and location. Other fees may apply depending on lesson location and special needs.

After reading the below details, contact Tom Holtey via phone or e-mail to make an appointment and select an appropriate location. Call: 603-323-8090 or E-mail: Tom @ Topkayaker.net (no spaces)

Two Programs offered:

1. Quick Start your Kayak
Basic skills preparing the paddler for flat-water conditions on protected waters. Often taught on fresh water, but can be a salt-water lesson as well.
3 hours. Short course. Morning or Afternoon sessions,
Saturday, Sunday and Holidays available by appointment.
9:30 am to 12:30 or 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm
May through October - $95 per person

2. Intro to Kayaking
Introduction to skills preparing the paddler for easy ocean conditions and open water lakes. Often taught on salt water, but can be a fresh water lesson as well.
5 hours. Longer course. All day session,
Saturday, Sunday and Holidays available by appointment.
9:30 am to 12:30 ~ 1hr lunch break ~ 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
May through October - $145 per person


Try to book your reservation at least two weeks in advance to assure placement and equipment availability. Short-notice lesson bookings can be made on a case-by-case basis. If you call after hours leave your name and phone number on any voice mail or e-mail. Lesson fee is to be paid, with reservation confirmation, in advance. Payment options are: Card payment via telephone. PayPal via e-mail. Checks can made payable to GeoOdyssey and mailed to: 1805 Route 16, Center Ossipee, NH 03814.

groupBad Weather:

Bad weather postponements will be the following day, next weekend or other date depending on situations. Lessons will be held rain or shine.

Weather is unpredictable, changeable and considerably different from region to region. Although it may be raining or sunny where you live the weather at the lake or seacoast could be quite different. Sudden changes in weather, such as thunderstorms or increasing winds or waves can interrupt or end the lesson. Weather cancellations and postponements will be made shortly before the lesson time. Please assume the lesson will be held as scheduled. Tom's mobile number is 603-520-1757 and may be used to facilitate communications, but cannot be guaranteed to get through at all times.


Cancellation Policy: All cancellations must be made by phone or e-mail. Cancellations made 14 days before lesson date receive 100% refund. Cancellations made 7 days before lesson date receive 50% refund. Cancellations made 48 hours before lesson date receive 25% refund. Cancellations made LESS THAN 48 hours before lesson date receive NO refund. All e-mail and voicemail communications are automatically dated, and will be duly noted if you are not able to reach us directly. Refunds based on lessons cancelled, interrupted or postponed due to weather by the instructor will be handled liberally in favor of the student. Every reasonable effort will be made to ensure your satisfaction.

kayak carry strapWhat to bring:

Please wear water sport clothing, you will get wet! Wear synthetic clothing that you can swim in, shorts and tee shirt (possibly over swimsuit) avoid cotton. A "Farmer John/Jane" or "spring" style wet suit or neoprene top and bottom may be worn for cool conditions and is recommended for ocean locations, but is not required. Bring a paddling top, or lightweight raincoat or windbreaker. Make sure you have aquatic foot wear, such as "aqua socks" or dive booties. (Old sneakers work in a pinch. Sandals are not the best, "flip flops" are no good.) A hat to keep the sun off your head is important. Also bring sunscreen (a must for the ocean), bug repellent (a must for lakes) and a water bottle. If you wear glasses, for sun or sight, make sure they are on a secure glasses strap. Recommended article: Kayak Clothing Buyer's Guide is a detailed, illustrated guide of what watersports or paddle clothing to wear in a variety of climate situations as well as fabrics & brands to look for.

Bring a snack and lunch, dining options near by can be identified, but not guaranteed. If you have a dry bag, bring it, otherwise one will be provided. Sweat shirt & pants, warm ups, can be nice for the lunch break in cool weather.

You will need a complete spare change of street clothing to change into after your lesson is over. Bring a towel to dry off and something to put your wet paddling clothes in. Restrooms and changing facilities are only available at some locations. Arrive ready to paddle and be prepared.

docksideLesson Details:

Our kayak lesson program is supported by the ACA and is based on the "Quick Start your Kayak" and "Introduction to Kayaking" courses. It is intended for new and beginner sit-on and/or sit-in kayakers to get started safely, using proper technique and equipment. You will learn the basic strokes, wet exit, deep-water reentry, self-rescue, water safety, intro to seamanship, sit-on-top + sit-in kayak equipment and car topping. The lesson is tailored to paddlers who wish to kayak on flatwater, lakes and protected ocean (Quick Start) or easy ocean (Intro to Kayak). Beginners from all paddling disciplines can benefit from this course. If you have never been kayaking, or never have had a lesson then this one-day course is for you. There will be a waiver to sign at the launch site. ACA members get a $10 discount, please bring your card.

About The Instructor:

Instructor Tom Holtey - Trained and practiced in wilderness trip planning - from the White Mountains of New Hampshire and Maine to the tropical coastlines of the Hawaiian Islands - ACA Certified & NOLS alumni, Tom Holtey, has lead and taught the novice adventurer under many varied and challenging conditions. From his youth on the Charles River, he has over twenty years experience in the paddle sports industry with a foundation in canoeing and traditional sea kayaking. Tom has been involved in sit-on-top kayaking since 1990, helping to pioneer this fastest growing branch of kayaking. It was while teaching courses in sit-on-top kayaking at the University of Hawaii that this website, TopKayaker.Net and Tom's published books of instruction & many articles on the sport began to take form. During this time, Tom also managed a kayak retail store in Honolulu and worked extensively with members of the Hawaiian kayak club, Hui Wa'a Kaukahi, where many new developments in kayaking have been made. Since 2000, in what is now his home state of New Hampshire, Tom provided traditional kayak instruction at the Squam Lake Association and lead kayak and outdoor gear testing expeditions for the industry. Tom and Athena are the founders of TopKayaker.net and Tom s Top Kayaker Shop.

E-mail us for information about local accommodations, Hotel, B&B, Camping, Parks, Restaurants and local weather.
Tom @ Topkayaker.net

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