The Active Nature Team: Passion, 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. We have applied insights gained from yoga, strength training, and martial arts to our paddling curriculum to create a program that is second to none. Our accomplished, certified instructors are passionate about paddling and teaching, and look forward to sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm about paddling with you.

"I have benefited greatly from Jason's flexible teaching style which focuses in on giving you the skills, fitness, and confidence to tackle challenging whitewater. His no-nonsense approach helps push past mental barriers, and develops an ability to navigate rivers safely without excessive hand holding. I consistently walk away from classes or river trips with tips and techniques that help me improve my paddling." —BJ Nichols, AN student since 2013

Kayak Instruction

Active Nature’s Learn to Kayak program is the only one of its kind, and the best value for beginning kayakers. We offer the most comprehensive, flexible, and friendly whitewater kayaking program in the region — and the only program teaches you all of the skills and knowledge to enjoy kayaking on your own or with friends. Whether it’s your first time on the water, or you are looking to build the skills needed to advance to the next level, Active Nature will provide you with the instruction necessary to meet your goals in kayaking. Our instructors are among the best in the industry: all are certified by the American Canoe Association (ACA) and have been chosen for their skill, patience, positivity, and professionalism. Active Nature provides high-quality equipment at no additional cost, flexible scheduling, free weeknight practice sessions, and trips to neighboring rivers in the Mid-Atlantic region. We look forward to paddling with you soon!

Private Lesson with Jason Beakes

Take a 90 minute private lesson with one of the mid Atlantic region's top paddlesports' instructors. Whether your focus is kayak paddle strokes and rolling, race strategies and training, general paddling fitness, playboating or slalom, Active Nature founder  Jason Beakes will help you break through plateaus with individualized instruction. 

Price - $200

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River Running & Specialty Clinics

Playboating Clinic with Freestyle Team Member Bryan Kirk

Take your play boating to the next level!

For the past 15 years Bryan Kirk has consistently been one of the World's top freestyle paddlers and has an exceptional ability to simplify and clarify the principles of play boating that can help paddlers of all levels and learning styles improve. 

The first part of the day will consist of flat water drills designed to teach the basic edging, body, positioning, and movement concepts required to consistently perform moves such as spins, cartwheels, blunts, and loops.  Then you'll move to whatever river feature on the Potomac is at its best that day to apply the principles.

Dates: By request only for groups 4-6.

Price - $85 per person


River Trip: Learn to Paddle the Upper Yough

Learn to paddle the Upper Yough - the ultimate training ground for becoming a confident river runner and creek paddler! Perfect for 1st timers and those looking to improve their skills and gain confidence on the UY.

Advanced Paddlers

Includes skills assessment and tune up and at one of our intermediate lessons

  • Become an expert at reading the river - become your own guide
  • Learn to safely and competently navigate the river as a group
  • learn to manage the logistics of a kayaking trip
  • Small group size ensures individual attention and a safe experience for all

Dates: By request for groups of 4-6.

Price - $185 per Session


River Trip: Upper Yough Race Lines Clinic

Learn the Upper Yough race lines from expert paddler and former UY race winner Jason Beakes.

Advanced paddlers only.

  • Includes Gopro Footage of race lines
  • Coaching on race preparation
  • Learn the lines from an Upper Yough Race winner

Dates: By request only for groups 4-6.

Price - $120 per Session

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