These synergistic activities will give you a complete and rock solid foundation in paddling that no other program can match.
Our Team
Picture of team members
Each member of our team has the skills and dedication to teaching to guide you on your journey to become a paddler.
Find out more
Founder, Jason Beakes, talks about Active Nature connecting people to the river and nature through paddle sports.

About Active Nature

The heart of the Washington DC Region is the beautiful Potomac River and the National Parks that surround it. The Potomac has long been the hub of a large and vibrant community of kayakers, canoeists, and stand up paddleboarders. It is a fantastic place to experience fun, fitness, and inspiration through paddling! Active Nature is the region's best source of kayaking and stand up paddleboarding instruction. Active Nature’s founder and President, Jason Beakes, has partnered with accomplished and respected paddlers and instructors to create the most complete, innovative and enjoyable paddle sports curriculum available. The Active Nature team invites you to join us on the river!

Our complete program of synergistic skills and principles maximizes results and fun.

Kayaking and stand up paddleboarding will help you develop skills, fitness, and confidence, while connecting you to nature and a community of positive, supportive people. Each of our courses addresses skills and confidence building, fitness, river knowledge, and safety. These synergistic principles and activities will give you a complete and rock solid foundation in paddling that no other program can match.

The Active Nature Team: Passion, Patience, Innovation, Enthusiasm

Active Nature’s highly skilled instructional team draws from diverse experiences such as competing at the Olympic level in kayaking, Olympic coaching, exploring rivers around the globe and decades of instructional experience. Our highly accomplished, certified instructors are passionate about paddling and teaching, and look forward to sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm about paddling and nature with you.

Community Service, Environmental Stewardship

Service to the community and environmental stewardship are core values of the Active Nature Team. Our team is devoted to providing access to the outdoors to individuals from underserved communities and to advocating on behalf of the public lands that we love. Active Nature offers pathways for our students to serve by supporting and partnering with these organizations:

Team River Runner
First Descents
US National Park Service

About the Founder and President, Jason Beakes

Photo of Jason Beakes smiling at the camera while paddling

Active Nature’s Founder and President was a member of The US Kayak Team for 8 years, and has over 20 years of experience as a fitness trainer and paddle sports instructor. Jason has achieved expertise and success in a variety of paddling disciplines, including Olympic Slalom, river running and freestyle, and stand up paddleboarding.

Jason represents paddle sports to the public through competitive excellence, public service, and dedication to teaching. From 2006-2009, Jason was the Vice President of the Board of Directors of Team River Runner, a National nonprofit that provides therapeutic recreation to recovering Veterans. Jason was instrumental in helping TRR grow from a regional to a National organization that has served thousands of recovering Veterans. Jason is a member of the Potomac Paddlers Volunteer Corps which collaborates with the NPS and other agencies to improve the safety of park visitors through river safety education and river patrols.

Recently, Jason has had the pleasure of serving as an ambassador through sport to China. At the invitation of the Chinese government, Jason recently attended two international events there.