My wife got me a 2 day course with Dan for my Birthday and I must say apart from the stripper for my 21st it has the be my best Birthday present yet.
Dan is knowledgeable, funny, patient and great at passing on his enthusiasm for kayaking to his pupils. All in all he is a great teacher.
I can't wait to put into practice what I have learnt and get back to see him later in the year.
If you are looking for a kayaking course, then Dan is the man.
Great couple of days with ‘Dan the Man’ this week. Brilliant stroke technician. Once Dan gets where ‘Your At’, he’s a very cleaver guy who knows how to ‘Up Skill You’ very quickly if you follow he’s stripped back basic principles.
Can’t wait to go again. Thanks Dan Great Stuff👍
Best weekend on the river yet, You got me feeling much more in control, I made the kayak go where I wanted it to go. I felt like I improved a lot but also know where my weaknesses are and what to work on and practise to improve them. And Dan, you light up my world like nobody else....
Just came back from a weekend of whitewater grade 2 instruction with Dan. After having already done a few courses with him, I knew what I was letting myself in for, and couldn’t wait! He is passionate about kayaking, loves helping people improve but not only that, also wants them to know what they want to improve and how to do it, What they do wrong when things don’t go as planned and what they do well, this makes you think about your own paddling in a self critical way, which is something we all need to do to improve. He does this in such a positive way and will always help you in any way he can. He breaks it down in to small chunks and is just a pleasure to be around, his knowledge of the river, the strokes, safety and instruction are inspirational and this fuels my desire to be the best paddler I can, I think it may take some time to have half Dans ability, but I enjoy every minute spent on a river strokes course and never stop learning and smiling with Dans unique style. Wait til you learn all about the ‘puppy’ stroke!! To be a balanced review I think I should point out one negative, his singing is terrible!!! If your thinking of booking with Dan then just do it, you won’t regret it, you will love every minute.
Booked our 2nd weekend for Grade II kayaking - it was really amazing! Both days we kayaked 4 miles down Usk. Combined with Dan's morale and teaching I completed something I am proud of as someone who has only spent 2 days on the river (prior to the 2nd course). 10/10 definitely recommend - ask him to take photos for sure! XD
This was our second weekend away trip to Wales as a group learning to kayak with Dan. After enjoying the first time so much back in Novembeer we knew we had to go again for more. Dan is one of the funniest people I've ever met and even more importantly the best instructor period. Anyone considering booking a course with Dan should just go ahead and book, you won't regret it. Never having done white water kayaking before we ended the weekend feeling very confident in the water and our skills had progressed massively. Thanks for another great weekend Dan! See you again soon :D
This is my second course with Dan, the first being the kayaking basics course which went really well and interested me greatly in the sport, i had previously done some kayaking but Dan really got me interested in the sport. He speaks clearly and you can really see the experience when he shows a technique and stroke.
Dan is funny and makes you feel relax, not once in the whole trip did i feel uneasy or even scared of doing anything (Which may have been a good or bad thing as i wasn't worried of pushing myself until i went into the water.)
Overall I have no faults to give Dan and I would more than recommend him for anyone of any levels. but do bare in mind he is a kayaker and they are all crazy when they get in the water :D
Brilliant tuition. Tailored to everyone's individual needs. Small group meant more focused learning. Every aspect of the course was broken down theoretically and built up again practically - perfect learning for my needs. Highly, highly recommend this course, and Dan's coaching was superb! Car-park kayaking too - he's onto something there!
Dan is a fabulous teacher, patient and passionate about ensuring ANYONE who wants to kayak, learns how to.
Despite being on numerous other courses, no one else took the time to make sure I understood the critical strokes and skills I need to become a confident paddler.
Dan will help you move past any nerves, strengthen your skills and love kayaking whatever your level!
Cannot wait to be back in the spring!
Thanks again for a really enjoyable couple of days. Timmy loved it and achieved exactly what we wanted which was increased confidence and capability on grade 2.
I also had a great time, and really wanted to recognise that while Timmy was the focus I definitely took away things from the course. Thanks again, look forward to seeing you again at some point and have a great Christmas!
Chris and Timmy
Having been for a couple of introductory weekends with River Strokes I signed up for 10-lesson whitewater paddler pack in 2018. Dan has continually provided support, motivation, patience and technical advice to build my skill and confidence at the right pace; from learning a range of strokes, capsize and safety drills at Glasbury, to the exhilaration of putting it all into practice running rapids with a team on the beautiful Usk in autumn colours! Unforgettable! Have always had a great time, loved being amongst nature and met some lovely people with River Strokes.. keep up the good work Dan! See you in February for whitewater Part Deux
Thanks for another great week Dan.
I never thought I'd see someone get taught how to roll in one session and then successfully do it time and again on the Wye - Brilliant !
I'm part of a TEAM of four guys that have now trained with Dan on multiple occasions throughout 2018. It's difficult to put whitewater kayaking into words but if I had to choose a few I guess they would be - awesome, difficult, fun, frustrating, team building, emotional rollercoaster, life-changing, I hate it, I love it...conflicting words for a truly unique sport taught by a truly unique instructor. Dan's mix of humour, fun and serious world-class tuition is spot on. If you're reading this review not knowing which company to choose like I was at one point then just stop looking - you'll not find a better company - and that's a fact.
Did a long term development course with Dan after losing confidence and it is the best choice I have made in a long time
With Dans patience, support and expert instruction my skills and confidence quickly grew and I began to love the sport
I have now spent most of summer kayaking on the Dee or Treweryn in north wales with new friends I have met through being out on the water and looking forward to progressing with the sport
Without Dans expert tuition, support and his obvious desire to help people reach their own goals I would probably have given up.
All of this is achieved with a good sense of humour as well
What a privilege to have been able to spend 5 magical days on the River Wye in Dan's company. With Red Kites swooping above us, muscovy ducks watching on with professional disdain and fish leaping from the depths, Dan patiently shared his kayaking knowledge, and with great insight and empathy coached me through a range of paddle strokes.
Thanks Dan, it was beautiful.
I've no hesitation in recommending River Strokes' beginners kayaking course. Go on press the button; book it.
Joined the course for a day on my own very nervous and no previous experience, Dan made me feel extremely welcome with in the group and I gained so much, pushed my self out of my comfort zone and learnt some new skills. The day was amazing, Dan is a top intructor with a passion for it which really shines through, and if you are thinking should I book it don’t think and just do it, you won’t be disappointed. Thanks again Dan
Dan is an excellent teacher, and has not only the patience, but the knowledge to be able to bring your ability on in stages, continually adding something to your technique so your skills come on leaps and bounds.
His classes are full of insights and knowledge that you can take away and work on, all in the most stunning environment.
Thank you Dan, be back soon.
Just wanted to say Thank You from me and Alex for the River Skills course yesterday. We both really enjoyed it: rather than falling asleep on the way home Alex was absolutely buzzing and we talked about River Strokes most of the way back. I promise I will practice loving my turns and making the most of my time on the water – still or moving!
I hope we can come back for more “fun” when the water is a bit higher!
Andy and Alex
After taking the introductory course I was absolutely hooked. Dan is a wonderful teacher; patient, knowledgeable, and clearly passionate about Kayaking. Combine that with his fantastic teaching style and you've got an amazing experience.
Whether you're new to the sport or think you know everything there is to know, I guarantee that Dan has got a course for you!
For the first time kayaker, to the beginner, improved or the WW guru, then Dan at riverstrokes offers it all. Extremely knowledgeable actually does it first and let’s the student practice and even in groups has the time to give one to one advice and his eyes are on you and the group at all times... quiet wise words to improve your sloppy drills you thought he had not noticed. So whatever you do, if your into giving kayaking a go or have 30 yrs then Dan has advice, care, professionalism and a skill for you to learn
I chose this course in order to further my skills on moving water and increase my confidence. I wanted an enjoyable week on a beautiful river whilst improving my technique. Dan provided all of this: I had a great week on the River Wye and received excellent coaching. His teaching style was friendly and informal whilst giving me real insight into what I needed to do to improve and how to do it.
After this week I have definitely gained the confidence to explore and enjoy whitewater rivers further.
I have been kayaking for a couple of years and wanted to try some white water, so I went on a couple of Dan's brace and support courses which are very informative. Then went on a white water weekend course which I was a bit apprehensive about but with Dan's excellent instruction and support got down them in one piece, really enjoyable.
I booked a 3 day course with River Strokes intending to improve my overall kayak skills and get a taste of more challenging grade 2 rapids. I got exactly that and a lot more!
Dan is an excellent instructor with some serious river experience. But more importantly he knows how to share this knowledge with his students in a way that helps them really understand and appreciate what do to, how to do it and why it's important for them and their kayaking.
I will definitely kayak with River Strokes again!
I would just like to say that last sunday 12th November paddling the River Usk near Brecon with Dan, was the best day I've had kayaking in over 3 years. It was fun all the way, but the instruction/teaching was also great. It's a rare pleasure to find an instructor who can teach to such a high professional standard whilst making the whole experience really enjoyable.
Dan is a thoughtful and perceptive coach. He coaxed my partner back onto the water and helped her start to believe that river might be fun after all. I found his teaching style to be calm and interesting. I kind of hate being told what to do, but Dan made it like an explanation of the obvious. we will be back smile emoticon
I got interested in kayaking and was looking for a place to learn for ages till I finally came across river strokes kayaking
After one taster session signed up for 20 lessons with Dan and can say that I truly enjoy it. Dan is a great teacher with a good sense of humour , challenging me to think and very big on safety. I feel brilliant after each session and look forward to the next one. He looks like he was born in his kayak . Can truly recommend his individual motivating teaching. Thank you Dan I very much appreciate the way you get me going!!
Having only very limited experience in Kayaks, I booked a week with Dan on his River Skills course. Dan was excellent, teaching core skill techniques in a calm and relaxed environment. As my confidence and abilities grew we moved onto more advanced techniques in more dynamic water, and although I know I still have a long was to go, I feel I am a far more accomplished paddler now than I was at the beginning of the week. We also started to learn the foundations of rolling, but my favorite part of the week was the 5 mile journey, which encompassed a grade 2 rapid, something I would never have taken on at the beginning of the week.
A fantastic week, full of learning experiences. Thank you Dan.
For basically my first time in a kayak, I couldn't have asked for a better teacher! Dan was very patient, calm, explained everything so that we could understand it and made sure that we got a very worthwhile experience even though the river was very full all week! Never a dull moment. I learned so much in such a short time. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this course to anyone!
I booked this course with Dan as I am not that confident in moving water, after a weekend under Dan's guidance, I feel much happier! Dan understands your needs and adapts the training to suit the individual, Dan also makes the training fun. I came away with a lot of new skills to practice and can't wait to get back for more training. I learnt more in two days with Dan than I have in the past few years! I will defiantly progress to white water with River Strokes! Thanks Dan!
My wife and I spent a week with Dan in September on the River Skills course.
Dan is an amazing instructor. Very engaging and incredibly patient. We will definitely be back for more.
Thought I'd booked a Beginner's course, but turned out I'd booked a River Skills course and so glad I did now.
Dan is a great instructor, explaining everything really simply, or perhaps he thought he needed to do that just for me, either way, throughout the 5 day course I never felt out of my depth, both literally and figuratively, as he took me from not knowing what the hell I was doing, to navigating 'flow' on the river, to rolling upside down and being able to calmly get out - a big deal for me.
Can't recommend River Strokes enough. Have fun. And thanks Dan.
Before starting our ten session course with Dan we had a few years of kayaking but with no formal tuition. We have now completed our first 10 lessons, we have learnt so much and are now confident in grade 2 whitewater and we have been taught self rescue and on our last lesson to roll. Expert tuition from a knowledgeable and experienced kayaker that have made us confident and safe Kayakers so we can now get so much more of our time on the water. We have both booked for a second 10 session pack to take us expertly to grade 3 whitewater. Cannot recommend River Strokes highly enough.
We had a wonderful week on the water - Dan Povey is very easy to get on with and a gifted teacher ( that's a comment coming from a teacher!}. He is well able to accommodate different people of different abilities and gave myself, aged 60, and my son aged 19, both a very exciting and fulfilling week. My son was given several extra challenges, many if which I also did but in my own time. Dan never pushed me to do anything I didn't want to but was an excellent judge of both our abilities and setting the right level of task. It was a lot of fun and we both learnt a lot - my son even managed three eskimo rolls in the pool by the end of the week! Thanks very much Dan and we'll see you next year!
7 years ago I was introduced to kayaking by Dan on one of his five day intro courses. From then I went on to learn white water kayaking and my roll with him. The things Dan taught me have stayed with me every since, and it was possibly the best introduction to the fundamentals I could have had.
Dan's relaxed coaching style and attention to detail mean that you will be learning lots of in depth stuff while having fun at the same time. Dan has a lot of patience with beginners, and you will be taught fundamentals that will give you the sort of base that will serve you for years to come.
It was a while ago now but the stuff Dan coached into me o a couple of his grade 2 days still stay with me when I'm bashing down the Olympic course at Lee Valley.
Dan's approach to coaching was also in part the inspiration to set out down the coaching pathway.
I'm not normally a review kinda guy, but after spending a lot of time with dan on his training courses i can honestly say that the decision to come to river strokes is definitely one you wont regret.
I travel 4 hours down from york just to get onto one of dans courses thats how good he is. Ive also started making river buddies too and now have the confidence to lead trips of my own.
River strokes is a easy relaxed course which is not regimented in many of the ways others tend to be and with dans great patience and excellent explanations, you see the results of your paddling come on in leaps and bounds.
Just finished a two day weekend course and Dan has renewed my confidence and enjoyment and desire to go further with kayaking and I have now booked a long term course with him. His instruction is supportive, knowledgeable and fun. I would recommend him to anyone without hesitation
After doing a "taster" day with Dan 7 months ago I signed up for a series of lessons. Within several lessons it feels like you're really making progress and the sense of achievement and increase in confidence is priceless. I'm continuing with Dan but just started doing trips with friends I've made at Dan's courses.
Bottom line; great coaching, great fun, great people, a "must do".
Putting the joy back into paddling!
Dan taught me a few years ago right at the start of my paddling - the fundamentals, and my roll. I took it from there with flatwater practice and lots of club paddling, leading to lots of fun on grade II and III river trips. But I'd lost the joy a bit after a hairy Alps trip, and came back to Dan, this time with my girlfriend, for an introductory course for my girlfriend and some back to basics for me.
We both loved it. Dan is hands-down the best coach I've encountered: his teaching style makes any stretch of water ripe for learning and honing skills. He is also absolutely excellent at managing the learning needs of a group of different levels. This weekend I made a couple of subtle improvements to my technique that I am looking forward to taking back out with me, and trying on some different and bigger water.
It is good to now be able to say that I am looking forward to getting out paddling again. My girlfriend had a fantastic time too, and as well as enjoying the technical learning and practice, we loved the trip downriver through so much beautiful nature, and nesting river birds. We're both looking forward to more paddling together, and I also suspect we'll be back later in the year for a whitewater skills course.
In short, I would recommend River Strokes to anyone who wants to learn to paddle, wants to hone their technique or who needs to remember why they started to love it in the first place. Thanks again, Dan!
Introduction to White Water – What a great week. It was worth pulling ice out of kayaks, a real adventure. Not sure what to expect but need not have worried because each day Dan helped us to learn new skills, consolidated them and then progress on to the next level. Both of us found the entry out of an eddy in to a fast flow a mental challenge. Dan was patience itself. He broke activities into simple steps, which were repeated time and again enabling us to eventually pull it all together. By the next day not only had we mastered the necessary techniques but were thoroughly enjoying ourselves. Thanks for helping slay those demons Dan. The rapids we great fun and rather exiting in parts! The course built our confidence, correct numerous fudged techniques and helped us feel courageous and able.
Another great course. Well done Dan.
Great weekend with some lovely rivers, would definatley do it again and I feel I walked away a better paddler. Cheers Dan sorry you didn't like the Bovril !
Well where do I start?
The paddling bug got hold of me 6 months ago, I've mainly paddled flat water and have done a six week beginners course at Lee Valley.
I was apprehensive as this would be my first experience on an actual river with moving water. No need to be nervous. Dan's skill (as well as being an extremely knowledgeable whitewater kayaker) is his ability to connect with every individual from the start. He's a cool, calm, professional who's personal approach gets the best out of you. There's no pressure and Dan makes awareness a priority, every manoeuvre is planned and I felt extremely safe. I've come away with nuggets of information which will improve my paddling no end. Deep and vertical baby!
Came up to South Wales from Lent with some friends. Had an absolutely fantastic time with Dan who was a great instructor.
I travelled over from Kent with a few others expecting a good but cold weekend. This was not at all what we got. Instead we got an amazing weekend and with Dans way of teaching we were always thinking and learning so you forgot it was even cold. From the moment we arrived Dan made us all feel welcome and the learning started straight away. I can honestly say that I have came away a better paddler and all I can think about is getting back on the water. Thank you Dan for a wicked weekend and Im looking forward to coming over again for some more paddling.
Riverstrokes has made my paddling year. Dans coaching gave me the fundamentals of paddling a year ago before I'd even seen moving water and since then I've come along leaps and bounds. His teaching methods are by far the best I've had and I would advise anyone who wishes to paddle moving water to use the years of experience he has. Over the past year I've paddled the Usk 2/3, The Dee 2, Dart Loop 2/3, the lower Tryweryn 2/3 and the upper Tryweryn 3/4 all the way through Dans methods have stayed with me and coming into play when I needed them most.
Thanks Dan for your patience and expertise
Wow, what a blast.
I had a great time, Dan is an awesome guy and gets the best out of your expertise. Very skilled, it gives you the confidence as you progress, giving also you the fun factor.
I can wait to go back and do it all over again, if that answers your dubious decision believe me, you won't regret.
The week’s course was excellent, moving at just the right pace between developing strokes on the flat water, planning white water descents and then putting it all into practice on the white fluffy goodness as Dan calls it.
Two Usk trips and one on the Wye in my first white water week! Using many of rapids multiple times to work things through was a real confidence builder.
I doubt there is a technique problem or mental barrier that Dan has not encountered, his real trick though is in picking the right way through for the individual. For me that meant sometimes closing my eyes completely then venturing out into the flow, sounds crazy but it worked.
Even had time to take in the absolutely stunning backdrops, what a place to go to school. Will be back for more before the skiing starts.
Thanks Dan for getting us both to that significant milestone, our first successful role in a kayak. Finally the message got through and your patience and instruction paid off, what a great feeling it was for both of to get that first roll in.
Absolutely brilliant. We both learned loads and gained lots of confidence and inspiration for the future.
Dan is a fantastic instructor and we will definitely be returning for more instruction after many hours of practising the new skills we learned from him.
where does a duck put its money? Dan we had a great day with you lent a lot you know some great jokes ? the day went so quick we hope to see you again for more of the same maybe less wind next time please.Dan take care
Excellent, if you're thinking of taking up kayaking do this course first. There's more to it than the casual observer, me included, thinks.
Dan is a great teacher and host, very professional with fantastic empathy.
Thanks Dan, see you at the next course.