The Active Nature Lifestyle

...brought to you by the best instructors in paddlesports.
“Why do I like kayaking? That's like asking why do I breathe…it's become necessity. I do it to survive. It has become a lifetime fitness activity. Fitness for my body and my mind. I do it because it makes me better, and therefore I want to make it better. I do it because people depend on me to do it, because I have become a catalyst so they can make themselves better. I do it because I am passionate about it, and I believe if you are not passionate about something in life, doesn't matter what it is, then you have let a piece of yourself go” Chris Wing—AN Friend and Contributor

Active Nature Instructors

We are Athletes, Explorers, Teachers, and Leaders. We are passionate about paddling and people. Each member of our team has the skills and dedication to teaching to guide you on your journey to become a paddler.


Jason Beakes

Jason Beakes, Active Nature's Founder and President, is a nationally recognized kayaking and SUP instructor with over 20 years of experience in fitness training and paddle sports instruction. Jason's passion for paddling and rivers is expressed through competition, exploration, and teaching. He grew up in Bethesda, Maryland and began his lifelong love affair with paddling at Valley Mill Camp when he was nine years old.

Jason was a member of the United States Kayak Team for seven years, and is a trusted leader and board member for a number of paddle sports organizations including Team River Runner, a national nonprofit that provides therapeutic recreational programming to recovering U.S. Veterans. Jason is a founding member of the Potomac Paddler Volunteer Corps, a group of expert paddlers that collaborates with the National Park Service and other agencies to improve the safety of park visitors through river safety education and patrols. See this Washington Post article for more information.

Paddling has taken Jason to over 20 countries and hundreds of rivers around the world. Recently, he has had the pleasure of serving as an ambassador through sport to China. At the invitation of the Chinese government, Jason has represented the United States in 4 international events that combine kayak racing and cultural exchange.

  • American Canoe Association Whitewater Kayak Instructor - Level 4
  • World Stand Up Paddleboard Association – ASI Certified Instructor
  • American Canoe Association Adaptive Paddling Instructor
  • American Red Cross – First Aid and CPR



Fabien LefevreFabien Lefevre is a four time Gold Medalist World Champion in Canoe/Kayak and is the reigning World Champion in Canoe Slalom. Born in France, he raced internationally with Team France until 2012 when he emigrated to join the US National Team. An accomplished instructor, Fabien is skilled at working with all levels of paddlers, from beginner to expert. He offers accessible instructional tips in kayaking, fitness training and mental discipline strategies drawn from his years of experience as a world class athlete. With collaborator Bill Endicott, Fabien is the author of book called the King of Slalomia which touches on many aspects of the elite athlete's unyielding drive for excellence—everything from focus, to authenticity, to faith—and explores Fabien's startling decision to leave France with his young family to start a new life in America, racing for the USA.


Olympic Games

  • Silver Medal in 2008 (Beijing)
  • Bronze Medal in 2004 (Athens)

World Championships

  • x 4 World Champion 
  • x 3 World Silver Medal 
  • x 1 World Bronze Medal


  • Bachelor in Sports Science (France)
  • NASM Certified Personal Training (USA). 


Bryan KirkWavesport Team Manager, Bryan Kirk calls Fayetteville, WV home. A six time member of the USA Freestyle Team his accomplishments include 3rd place at the 2001 World Championships, 6th at the 2011 World Championships, and 5th place at the 2011 Whitewater Grand Prix. When not on the water, he can be found mountain biking, playing disc golf and snowboarding. He enjoys sharing his passion for kayaking with others noting that, “Kayaking equals absolute focus, which is an amazing feeling.”


Dana MannDana Mann is a competitive slalom kayaker. She has been competing at the elite level for over 20 years. She has proven to be one of the best kayakers in the world and set her sights on the 2014 World Championships in Maryland and 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Paddling Accomplishments:

  • 2011 World Champion in Team Race
  • 2011 2nd in Overall World Cup Ranking
  • 2011 and 2012 Ranked 5th in the World
  • 2008 University World Champion
  • 2009 – 2012 Winner of US Open


Dominic Correa

Dom Correa is responsible the Active Nature IT strategy. He brings over 15 years of IT and management experience to the team, and has a Masters of Science in IT, Bachelors of Science in Workforce Education and Development, PMP, ITIL, and other industry certifications. He is currently managing Governance and Change Management for an IT team of 60 personnel at the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy. 

Dom is currently working on ideas to help people use technology to improve their paddling lives. He is an ACA certified Whitewater Kayaking Instructor and a member of the National Park Service’s Potomac Paddlers Volunteer Corps. 



Sookie Kunst Kristin Mackey served in both OIF and OEF as an Arabic Linguist with the US Air Force and an Intelligence Analyst with the Virginia Air National Guard. After completing ten years of military service, Kristin graduated from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. She taught English in Taiwan for one year before returning to the States and continuing her education at Georgetown University.

She currently serves in the field of Immigration with the US Department of Labor in Washington, DC. Her own practice of Yoga and Mindful Resilience continues to provide healing after her personal journey through cancer. Kristin is the lead yoga instructor for Active Nature.

  • 200-hour Teacher Training with Tiffany Cruikshank
  • Level One: Mindful Yoga for Trauma Recovery with Veterans Yoga Project
  • Registered with Yoga Alliance
  • Member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT)