Photo by Kelly Marie Henry
Jennifer specializes in individualized coaching and mentoring to help students reach their personal goals, with a particular focus on empowerment, inspiration, and long-term development. She travels extensively, teaching and training on the east and west coasts of the United States, as well as journeys for training and assessment to the United Kingdom. Jennifer sees her own personal road as being one of ongoing continuous development, both as a paddler and as a teacher, a philosophy that frames all aspects of her work with her students. The learning never stops! Jennifer teaches and guides locally in the greater San Francisco Bay area, as well as at workshops and symposia from Washington State to Baja. She has been trained and certified at the highest levels by the American Canoe Association (ACA Level 5 Advanced Open Water Coastal Kayak Instructor) and British Canoeing (Advanced Sea Kayak Leader – BCU 5 Star). Her teaching and guiding schedule is available at her website: Paddle Towards It
Photo by Lyrinda Snyderman
Whether exploring the coast, playing in rock gardens or surf, or touring the San Francisco Bay, Mike is in his element when on the water. Paddling since 2009, he is dedicated to helping others build paddling skills and safety practices in dynamic conditions, while keeping it fun. He is supported by Current Designs.
Kelly Marie Henry
ACA L5 Advanced Open Water Coastal Kayak Instructor, L4 Surf Kayak Instructor, L2 SUP Instructor
Photo by Mark Boyd
Kelly is a surf obsessed, rough water loving, paddling fanatic. Her positive energy and enthusiasm for kayaking encourages and inspires both elite and novice paddlers alike. As a coach, she strives to help paddlers of all levels set goals, push boundaries, and find joy on the water. Kelly works full time in the paddlesports industry and currently coaches through several outlets including California Canoe & Kayak and River and Ocean. She is passionate in her pursuit to get more women on the water and offers women’s specific sea and surf kayak programs in collaboration with California Women’s Watersport Collective.
In 2017, Kelly began to broaden her paddling horizons and embarked on a 6-week coaching and sea kayaking adventure in Taiwan and now regularly coaches at symposiums throughout North America. Kelly recently assumed the role of Event Director for Paddle Golden Gate, the West Coast’s premier paddlesports symposium, and enjoys the opportunity it provides to bring paddlers from across the United States and abroad together to share her home waters. Kelly is a regular in the surf kayak competition scene and was honored to represented the United States in the 2017 World Surf Kayak Championships. She is supported by and Mega Surf Kayaks.
ACA L5 Advanced Open Water Coastal Kayak Instructor, L4 Open Water Coastal Kayak Instructor Trainer, L4 Surf Kayak Instructor, L4 Surfski Instructor, L3 SUP Instructor (Coastal & Surf)
Photo by Jaime Sharp
Sean created the River and Ocean Paddlesports Coaching Collective, and is the owner of Performance Paddlesports, the US West Coast dealer for Valley Sea Kayaks, Mega Surf Kayaks, Nelo Kayaks & Surfskis and Swell Watercraft.
In 2004 Sean achieved his childhood dream by completing the first solo circumnavigation of the UK and Ireland by sea kayak; the first ever to include all of the inhabited islands. The 4500 mile expedition took 183 days and is the longest kayak journey ever undertaken in British waters.
Sean has competed internationally in a number of paddlesport disciplines, and loves nothing more than to share his passion for paddling by coaching new and developing paddlers.
Richard Lee Smith
ACA Level 4 Open Water Coastal Kayak Instructor Trainer
Photo by Diana Surber
Richard has been responsible for nurturing the development of many Bay Area paddlers and instructors. He loves to teach kayak navigation and as an architect and boat captain you might think Richard’s obsession with organization and detail could conflict with the variable and seemingly unpredictable nature of the ocean. Yet Richard has a knack of breaking down a potentially complex subject into manageable, easy-to-understand nuggets of wisdom.
ACA Level 4 Open Water Coastal Kayak Instructor
Photo by Kelly Marie Henry
Laura’s first foray into paddling was a month-long sea kayaking trip through southeast Alaska in high school. She left Alaska with an awkward PFD tan, hundreds of bug bites, and an insatiable addiction to paddling. Now with over 10 years of coaching experience, Laura is an ACA-Certified Level 4 Open Water Coastal Kayaking Instructor. In addition to sea kayaking, she teaches whitewater kayaking, canoeing, surf kayaking and rolling. From helping students master skills for playing among the waves, rocks and swell of California’s energetic coast to introducing students to the local whitewater bounty of nearby rivers, Laura is grateful for the opportunity to work with paddlers at every stage of their development.
In addition to joining the River & Ocean team, she teaches with California Canoe and Kayak, SeaTrek, and frequently collaborates with Melissa DeMarie and Kelly Marie Henry for California Women’s Watersports Collective clinics. In spring of 2017, Laura and Kelly embarked on a 6-week adventure in Taiwan in which they paddled the East Coast of the island nation and taught several classes through Formosa Kayak School. She’s honored to be a regional ambassador for Kokatat. See what Laura’s up to at her website: On the Sea with LZ