Surf Ski Class with Hood River's Van Douglas
About Van Douglas..
Van has been surf ski and downwind paddling over 8 years in the Columbia River Gorge. He has raced in the PNW and Vortex racing series for 6 years taking podium spots in his division including the Gorge Downwind Championships. He’s travelled to South Africa, Hawaii, Costa Rica and Baja to paddle. Van has 20 years of experience as a whitewater kayaker and raft guide up to Class V in the Southeast. He has Wilderness First Aid and Swift Water Rescue certifications. A resident of Hood River, Van also enjoys mountain biking and playing music with his band.
Sample 3 hour Beginning Class:
- Setup and proper ergonomics in the surf ski
- Leg leash safety and PFD
- Paddle setup basics (length and feather angle)
- Forward stroke and leg drive mechanics
- Remount basics
On the water drills:
- Forward stroke
- Leg drive
- Low bracing
- We should also have time for any other specifics you would like to work on.
Who Should Take Van’s Downwinding Class?
Take our Surf Ski Basics Class if you’re unsure of your abilities. You must have legit skills for Van to take you out in bumps on the river. If you’re sure of your abilities, we may ask for references from other coaches.
Details for Both Classes:
Private Group Class (2 Students): 239 per person
Private 1-1 Class: 399
- 1 Stable Fenn BlueFin surf ski, wing paddle, vest life jacket.
- We recommend using your own gear – It’s best to learn on your own gear if you have it.
- Rates are non-negotiable / Gratuities are always welcome.
Contact me for any questions.
Skill Prerequisites: Intermediate
You should have basic swim skills and speak and understand English
“As a paddle coach, Van Douglass is the perfect combination of personable and knowledgeable. In a 3-hour session, Van took the the time to listen to my paddling experience and ambitions as a relative newbie (2 yrs) at 60yrs of age. He walked me through angles and leverage and considered all my feedback. Then we got on the river so he could see what I was doing and if I was applying what we had talked about.
“Van is a great instructor! – Jeff Gerke (Sept 2022)