Santa Fe

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I just took Kelly's Intro to Kayaking class at the Chavez Center in Santa Fe and really enjoyed it.  He was able to work with all levels (I'd never been in a kayak with the skirt on before) and even helped me overcome my fears after the initial freakout of being strapped to my boat underwater.  Great teacher, I'm looking forward to the roll class!

Liz Miller
My history with water has been very negative.  When I was a kid, I almost drowned.  Since then, I've found myself avoiding situations where I felt vulnerable to dangerous waters.  Since my courses with Kelly, I have gained both confidence and necessary knowledge that allows me to finally enjoy the water again.  Never would I have thought I would be going down class III whitewater rapids on a boogie board.  Thank you Kelly.  You have peaked my interest in taking more whitewater courses.
Nina Perea

The Kayak Roll - A FREE clinic at REI

Kelly is friendly and professional and seems to know what he is talking about and an absolutely wonderful teacher.  Kelly is very professional, sincere and a dedicated teacher.  He worked very hard to teach me, and I was able to roll within 20 minutes of his instruction. Rest of the evening was one roll after another.  I hope he can continue to hold more similar clinics on other advanced techniques.  Thank you Kelly. Amit.

Amit Goswami  -  M.D. VA Hospital
I took Kelly's Intro to Kayaking class and an individual Roll class. Kelly was great.  He is a very gracious teacher, always trying to individualize his teaching to each student.  I learned how to roll and hand-roll in one Roll Class session.  He is very personable and he was accommodating to my busy schedule.   Additionally, his passion for kayaking really shows.  I look forward to kayaking with him in the future.
Chuck Washington  -  Resident MD, UNM Hospital

Whitewater Kayaking Made Easy - A FREE clinic at REI

I was a self-taught kayaker who constantly got caught in situations that were either dangerous or beyond my skill.  In fact, I almost gave up the sport multiple times before I met Kelly.  After taking his courses, I found that I was in much better control on the river and began to enjoy it more.  I never realized how much technique went into boat control and reading the river.  Kayaking changed for me from a sport that constantly terrified me, to a sport where I felt exhilarated and challenged, but still in control.  Kelly’s classes focus on reading the river, developing paddling skills, safety, and responsible fun.  The best part of taking his courses is meeting new people to paddle with.  I am now surrounded by like-mined paddlers whom I can trust on the river, for I know they received the same training.  Kelly’s classes turned me into a life-long kayaker.
Glenn Wellman  -  High School History teacher, APS
Really fantastic lesson. Thank you so much for the incredible instruction. Ellen and Bart were wonderful instructors! I'm so excited to get out on the water with my own kayak and put my new skills to the test. Even, *gasp* rolling over! Best, Wren
Wren Chambers

Kayak 101 - Getting Started in Kayaking

I want you to know how much I benefitted from your white water and roll classes.  Kelly your presentations Saturday and Sunday were always clear and packed with vital information.  The way you sketch out the hazzards and river features makes them surprisingly easy to remember on the river.  On the river you worked hard with each of us and I thought we class members got far more feedback and individual attention than in other kayak classes I have taken.  Glenn and Michael also seemed genuinely interested in our progress and were always willing to answer my questions and provide good feedback.  All in all the class was both challenging and a lot of fun and I feel it greatly accelerated my development as a white water kayaker.

Reed Mencke  -  Retired
Kelly is a great instructor. He starts with the basics and keeps building on from there. We started in a pool of calm water on the river, as we became comfortable with that we moved closer to the moving water, then into the main current working on peel outs, ferrying and edging, then down the Rio Grande. The second day starts by talking about the first day then on to paddle placement and timing in different aspects of the river. Back on the river we fine tuned our peel outs, ferrying, edging and worked on paddle placement as we go into and through the rapids. I could not belive my improvement from day one to day two! I highly recommed this class if you want to feel comfortable with negotiating class II and III rapids. You may not end up an expert but will have the tools to become one.
Mark Nissen

The Kayak Roll (Classroom)

Felt that my attempts at the roll are getting better.  Kelly's instruction is valuable and very precise.  I think he will help me get the roll done right.
Elaine Sweeney  -  'world traveler'

I want you to know how much I benefitted from your white water and roll classes.  Kelly your presentations Saturday and Sunday were always clear and packed with vital information.  The way you sketch out the hazzards and river features makes them surprisingly easy to remember on the river.  On the river you worked hard with each of us and I thought we class members got far more feedback and individual attention than in other kayak classes I have taken.  Glenn and Michael also seemed genuinely interested in our progress and were always willing to answer my questions and provide good feedback.  All in all the class was both challenging and a lot of fun and I feel it greatly accelerated my development as a white water kayaker.

Reed Mencke  -  Retired

Whitewater Kayaking Made Easy (Classroom)

I have to say, Kelly covered EVERYTHING!  I've taken this weekend class twice to absorb everything that goes into whitewater kayaking.  Since my class, I've paddled on class III whitewater and felt like I had a great sense of what [maneuvers, compound strokes or techniques] to do, when to do it, how to do it, and why to do it!   What Kelly teaches would be pretty much impossible for a self-taught paddler to figure out alone.  I feel safer, and more confident each time I'm on the river with a foundation of strokes and concepts to practice outside of class, and most importantly, I feel in control on the water.
Bob Pennington  -  home-builder
This was a fantastic weekend! We learned so much so quickly but at the same time could take it at our own individual pace. When I got into the kayak on the first morning I was still a little uncertain about trying out whitewater but by the end of the weekend I felt very comfortable. I was definitely glad I went.  Thank you Kelly and Dave!
Whitney Waite

Kayak 101 - Getting Started in Kayaking

Really fantastic lesson. Thank you so much for the incredible instruction. Ellen and Bart were wonderful instructors! I'm so excited to get out on the water with my own kayak and put my new skills to the test. Even, *gasp* rolling over! Best, Wren
Wren Chambers

I like the emphasis on kayaking as a positive experience.  After taking the classes, you realize that you can have a very fun time, even before mastering the roll.  Other classes I've taken make the roll seem like a necessity, and learning to roll (or not), becomes the focus, which eclipses the fun of kayaking.

Betsy Glenn

Intro to Kayak (Pool)

Note: The Chavez Community Center in Santa Fe is only available for 3hr blocks of time, so all Intro to Kayak and Kayak Roll classes are 3hrs instead of 4hrs.  To ensure all topics are covered, and everyone receives individual attention during this limited time, class sizes are strictly capped to seven (7) for the Intro to Kayak class and five (5) for the Kayak Roll class.

I like the emphasis on kayaking as a positive experience.  After taking the classes, you realize that you can have a very fun time, even before mastering the roll.  Other classes I've taken make the roll seem like a necessity, and learning to roll (or not), becomes the focus, which eclipses the fun of kayaking.

Betsy Glenn

I chose NMKI because of Kelly's professionalism and strong attention to detail.  I find this very important as it relates to safety.  I would never trust anyone other than Kelly to provide instruction to myself or for my 12 year old son, Navada.  We felt very safe and well guided under the direction of Kelly.  I would tell others if they ever hesitated to try kayaking, River Boarding or any kind of paddling to first take a course with Kelly and rest assured they will be in good hands.

Nina Perea

The Kayak Roll (Pool)

Note: The Chavez Community Center in Santa Fe is only available for 3hr blocks of time, so all Intro to Kayak and Kayak Roll classes are 3hrs instead of 4hrs.  To ensure all topics are covered, and everyone receives individual attention during this limited time, class sizes are strictly capped to seven (7) for the Intro to Kayak class and five (5) for the Kayak Roll class.

Kelly has a way of transferring his passion for kayaking to everyone who attends a talk, lesson or paddles with him.  A very patient and conscientious instructor, I always feel safe during lessons on and off the river.  Not only does Kelly teach the sport, he finds ways to help you find your niche and meet others who share the same interest.  In addition, the other instructors he brings along are equally as knowledgeable and helpful.  If you haven't tried kayaking or want to hone your skills, this is a great place to start.

Susan Brockway  -  Los Alamos National Laboratory

I took a roll class from Kelly. I have had some previous instruction in rolling and in boat handling techniques, but I learned more from Kelly in three hours in the pool than I did in a two day course from another instructor. I am very close to being able to roll after only one class. I'm sure with another class I'll be able to roll quite well. Kelly has a unique capability to explain how to roll, and has the patience to work with people who are having difficulty learning. He is a great teacher!

Doug Chinn

The Kayak Roll (Pool)

Note: The Chavez Community Center in Santa Fe is only available for 3hr blocks of time, so all Intro to Kayak and Kayak Roll classes are 3hrs instead of 4hrs.  To ensure all topics are covered, and everyone receives individual attention during this limited time, class sizes are strictly capped to seven (7) for the Intro to Kayak class and five (5) for the Kayak Roll class.

My learning curve has been exponential. I never imagined I would learn this much, so fast!

Chuck Washington  -  Resident MD, UNMH

The roll class with Glenn and Michael was awesome.  The roll has been frustrating to me.  Thanks to the instruction the other night I think I have my roll about 95 percent mastered and I know exactly what I need to work on to get the other 5 percent.  I've taken other roll classes but this one was the best. After these classes I feel very clear about what I need to work on.  I can't wait to get back on the water ASAP to work on my roll and forward stroke.

Reed Mencke  -  Retired
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