Operating 15 miles outside of Washington DC, we are the region's premier kayak school for beginners. Potomac Paddlesports was founded in 1999 by President and head instructor Sunny Pitcher. We offer a less intimidating learning progression for new paddlers and a unique approach toward scheduling that allows you to learn at your own pace. Our programs are uniquely tailored for beginners with an emphasis on safety, skill, and community. But don't just take our word for it: Potomac Paddlesports was the first professional kayak school to have its entire program fully sanctioned by the American Canoe Association. Read about what it is that makes our program unique:
We've earned a reputation as the best school for beginners because of three things: 1. Patience, 2. Methodical flat-water teaching progression, and 3. The absolute, total committment to getting you hooked on kayaking from day one! Our deliberately small classes, expert instructors, top-quality equipment and patient, mature instructors make all the difference in learning the complex and counter-intuitive skills involved in kayaking.
Our top-notch team of American Canoe Association- and British Canoe Union-certified instructors are not just accomplished paddlers, they're excellent teachers. All our instructors are mature professionals who not only love paddling, but also love teaching beginners. They've often been compared to Buddhist monks for their patience, and their encouragement, friendliness, and welcoming demeanors create the perfect learning environment.
We know you're busy. That's why we offer flexible scheduling for our trips and classes. Most courses are offered continually throughout the year, allowing you the flexibility to participate when it's convenient for you. And since you have up to two years to complete your courses, you can break away from the program for a few months and then pick up where you left off.
Free Use of Top-Quality Equipment
We provide all the equipment for our beginner classes and trips. That means you don't have to invest in your own gear until you're experienced enough to know exactly what is right for you. Plus, all the equipment is brand new each year. You won't find any faded 20-year-old life jackets or smelly neoprene in our trailer!
Every year we introduce a new group of beginners to the sport of kayaking. Through our weekly practice nights (and after-practice sushi), message board, movie nights, and environmental programs, these new paddlers come together to form their own community. If you're looking to meet people from all walks of life, form life-long friendships, or just pick up a few paddling buddies, you'll find our community of beginners to be one of the friendliest around.
We are paddlers and conservation activists alike, dedicated to protecting and preserving of our planet's most precious resource: water. With each new paddler we create, we also create one more voice for our rivers, estuaries, and oceans. Your committment to our program helps make a difference. To date, Potomac Paddlesports has contributed more than 2% of its gross revenue to conservation issues.