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Saturday, 18. May 2024 23:39
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Tuesday, 18. April 2017 10:57  Write a comment

NAME: Suse  Course:
Introduction to river skills >

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!

Sunday, 22. January 2017 00:36  Write a comment

NAME: Chrissy and Kev  Course:
Introduction to White Water >

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.

Tuesday, 27. December 2016 19:48  Write a comment

NAME: Snowy  Course:
Intermediate white water 2day >

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 !

Wednesday, 14. December 2016 20:44  Write a comment

NAME: Richard Caine  Course:
Introduction to moving water >

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!

Wednesday, 14. December 2016 13:28  Write a comment

NAME: Nathan R  Course:
Introduction to Moving Water >

Came up to South Wales from Lent with some friends. Had an absolutely fantastic time with Dan who was a great instructor.

Wednesday, 14. December 2016 08:40  Write a comment

NAME: Paul  Course:
Introduction to white water >

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.

Tuesday, 13. December 2016 22:24  Write a comment

NAME: Ben Day  Course:
Introduction to moving water >

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

Ben Day
Kayak Nation

Wednesday, 2. November 2016 20:18  Write a comment

NAME: Carlos  Course:
2 day >

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.

Thursday, 27. October 2016 20:30  Write a comment

NAME: Dave  Course:
White Water >

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,

Wednesday, 5. October 2016 17:33  Write a comment

NAME: Gareth and Osian  Course:
Pool Rolling Session. >

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.

Sunday, 25. September 2016 19:54  Write a comment

NAME: Neil and Wynne  Course:
River skills, pool capsizing >

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.

Saturday, 17. September 2016 20:18  Write a comment

NAME: roger wright and sam wright.  Course:
1 day >

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

Monday, 29. August 2016 21:14  Write a comment

NAME: Huw  Course:
1 day introduction >

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.

Thursday, 11. August 2016 20:48  Write a comment

NAME: Olivia  Course:
5 Day Introduction >

This course was brilliant. The perfect balance of coaching and practice time. Dan really built up my confidence on the water by teaching me how to control my kayak & the river trip at the end of the week just brought everything together beautifully. I enjoyed the course so much I've already booked my next course to progress my paddling skills. Thanks Dan for your patience, excellent coaching & making sure I wasn't eaten by any crocodiles ;-)

Monday, 1. August 2016 18:35  Write a comment

NAME: Steve  Course:
River Skills >

Dan, many thanks for a great weekend on the river ... exactly what I needed to speed my progression. Excellent coaching, plenty of guidance on how to improve and lots of good-humoured banter. If you want to improve your kayaking, I would highly recommend taking a course with Dan.

Monday, 18. July 2016 16:26  Write a comment

NAME: Chris  Course:
River Skills >

Many Thanks Dan for a really enjoyable two day introduction to “River Skills”. I wish I had attended this course when I started Kayaking, and before developing all the bad habits! Over the weekend I scratched the surface of what a Kayak can do “apart from my usual paddling up and down in straight lines like a nervous wreck”. By the end of the weekend I felt a lot more comfortable with plenty to remember and practice and the confidence to have a go, the only regret is that I couldn’t stay for the week!
If you are thinking of taking up kayaking, personally I would recommend this course, there’s no pressure, lots of guidance in perfect surrounding’s.
I’ll be back later in the year for another pool session and hopefully another river skills course,
Until then “High Paddle angle, Good Left Grip and Body rotation “, are all to be practiced and perfected. Once again many thanks Dan.

Monday, 18. July 2016 13:40  Write a comment

NAME: Peter Beard  Course:
5 Day introduction >

I just wanted to thank you for a wonderful week on the 'Introduction to Kayaking' course at Talybont. Looking back I can see I learnt so much while enjoying myself in a stunning location. You may foster a relaxed manner but you are a true professional, and taught me with firmness but with sensitivity and a great deal of humour. I wasn't the most receptive of students (I will remember to 'grip') so thank you for your patience.I ended the week looking back up the River Wye and wanting to do it all again (I'll do it better next time!).You didn't just teach me the basics of kayaking, you introduced me to a new sense of freedom.So once I've got into lots of bad habits I will be back for them to be ironed out!

Thanks again. Peter

Monday, 4. July 2016 23:52  Write a comment

NAME: Warren Williams  Course:
5 day kayak course >

The most fun I have had with both legs wedged into a floating plastic carapace whilst splashing, bobbing, weaving and looking like a crazy fool...
Seriously I had a fantastic experience and thoroughly enjoyed it. Dan is a very humorous, patient and knowledgeable teacher. His passion and genuine love for kayaking are palpable and make learning with him a joy.
I will definitely be back for some more kayak action.


Sunday, 3. July 2016 21:22  Write a comment

NAME: Kevin & Chrissy  Course:
River Skills >

Spent the day with Dan during which we demonstrated our newly acquired paddling skills, and had them gently disassemble and rebuilt. Dan advised and demonstrated the effect of your existing paddling technique was having on the control of the kayak and how though slight modification of our paddling techniques could result in substantially improvements in efficiency and kayak control.

We have done a few courses with Dan now. And when we have completed each course we have felt we have been provided with all the necessary instruction (through demonstration, practice and review) to let us continue towards perfecting individual technique.

Dan has bags of knowledge to share, and is committed to improving your paddling skills. Never thought I would say it but white water training being considered as the next big progression!

Friday, 1. July 2016 07:47  Write a comment

NAME: Steve Tickle  Course:
Rolling/Support >

Thanks Dan for an awesome day on the rolling course on Sunday. Having been in Education for over 20 years and led high adventure activities in the UK and USA for longer, I've met a lot of instructors and you one of the best I've seen. I would recommend you to anyone without hesitation and look forward to joining another course soon to improve the skills you taught me. Thanks again Steve

Sunday, 10. April 2016 08:17  Write a comment

NAME: Emily  Course:
Introduction to Kayaking >

A great week spent building up skills, control and confidence before applying it in a river trip. Dan is an excellent teacher who adapts styles and pace depending on the participants and was quickly able to ease my nerves and allowed me to make progress across the week.
Looking forward to continuing my kayaking journey, and will be back for another course in the summer!
Thank you Dan :-)

Saturday, 9. April 2016 19:31  Write a comment

NAME: Jason  Course:
Beginner course >

Thanks Dan for a relaxing and challenging week, also especially for your patience. I have learnt a lot during the course and even enjoyed the pool capsize and river capsize, which I did on purpose ( honest ), as that was biggest fear due to previous experience. I'm eager to continue with the river week course soon and some more nature moments.

All the best
See you in July

Monday, 22. February 2016 09:57  Write a comment

NAME: Annabel  Course:
Edge club outing >

Awesome weekend! Happy days indeed!
Thanks Flow, thanks Eddie and special thanks to Dan. Learned loads and will be back for more!

Friday, 5. February 2016 21:01  Write a comment

NAME: Kevin and Chrissy Walker  Course:
5-Day Rolling Course >

5-Day Rolling Course:

Fantastic week with Dan. Comprehensive break down of all stages of the mechanics of the Effortless Sweep Roll (from Setup to Go) spread across a 5day period.
Bags of opportunity to learn technique and practice in the pool with individual diagnostic feedback after each practice and during session summaries.

Feedback was invaluable because it allowed you to identify where rolls/ techniques were failing or could be improved.

Surprisingly tiring but great fun and very rewarding.

Great Course!

Monday, 1. February 2016 19:52  Write a comment

NAME: Michelle  Course:
Grade 2 skills >

I recently attended this skills weekend on the River Usk, a highly enjoyable 2 days, both days where done on the same stretch , however do to water levels it made both days different, we covered various skills, from surfing to eddie hoping, finessing our skills to get the most from our paddling. Dan made the weekend fun and enjoyable, whilst still learning our skills. Highly recommended and will be using River Strokes again.

Saturday, 30. January 2016 20:09  Write a comment

NAME: Beverley Wood  Course:
River Skills >

I did my first course at River Strokes in October last year and enjoyed it so much I’ve been back three times, plus had a free day’s coaching after I won the caption competition in December.

I’ve previously been told that I’m not the easiest student to teach (for various reasons :) ), however Dan is an intuitive coach; he breaks information into manageable chunks and knows when to offer support and when to delay feedback. Dan takes time to get to know his students and uses this knowledge to individualise his coaching and empathise with his students. You can expect some brutal honesty about your weaknesses , balanced with praise when it is due. Dan is interested in developing rounded river paddlers, not just tick-boxing skills, and he works to foster paddler confidence and independence. The courses take place on beautiful sections of river; there is no pressure, just solid instruction, patience and a cracking sense of humour.

I’ve definitely improved my river skills and I’m feeling much more confident on the water. Dan’s passion for kayaking is infectious and I can honestly say that he is the best kayak coach that I’ve have ever been to. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, 27. January 2016 18:23  Write a comment

NAME: Becky levy  Course:
Intro to white water week >

I did the introduction to white water week back in october with Dan, it was an excellent week, learnt a hell of a lot. Enjoyed it so much ive done 2 more whitewater river skills weekends and am now hooked on whitewater kayaking, dan doesnt just teach techniques but teaches you how to have fun, enjoy it and how to get most out of river trips.
Hoping to join Dan in New Zealand next year too!

Friday, 18. December 2015 13:09  Write a comment

NAME: Dave Weller  Course:
Various Course >

Been paddling for coming up to one year, I can honestly say that my progress from an intro to moving water to running grade 2 3 4 and some grade five water over this last year has come from the basics and foundation that Dan helped put there, I have revisited Dan on different occasions through this year to fine tune and explore removing some of the possible unhelpful habits i may have introduced and to improve my personal paddling style, Great teaching style easy to apply, keeps it simple, this stuff is beyond club coaching, what you really need to know to get stuck in and have fun safely, truly without a good foundation nothing of any stability can be built, get your basics down and the rest can be placed on top, this is the place to start that journey or if you already paddle then come and get the stuff that makes the difference :)top man, see you in 2016

Wednesday, 2. December 2015 00:17  Write a comment

NAME: Will russell  Course:
5 day bunkhouse week >

Went down too dan for the second time now for a full week. The course was awesome. The one thing I love about going to dan for, is the detail to which he goes too when teaching me paddling techniques. Throughout the week I felt my paddling progressively improved, mainly due to dan's methods of repeatantly going over techniques until it was almost second nature. We went on 3 really good fun river trips in the beautiful countryside on the river usk, each trip gradually more technical and also personalised to what I wanted too do/improve on the day. We spent another two days, one on the canal going through fundamental skills and the other in a pool learning the art of rolling. Accommodation was included, which was nice after a day on the river, good pub also. If you want to learn or improve paddling and have good fun at the same time, I would highly recommend river strokes. Had a great time. Cheers Dan.

Wednesday, 11. November 2015 12:32  Write a comment

NAME: Aron  Course:
Intro to river skills >

Absolutely amazing! I have been kayaking now for little over 4 months and I would say without a doubt that I learned more in one session with Dan at River Strokes than I have in all that time being coached in my local pool! Massive game changer for how you feel about moving water and how to use the flow to help you instead of constantly fighting for control. 10/10 I would recommend this course for beginners and I will be going back for a rolling course in the future!

Wednesday, 28. October 2015 08:17  Write a comment

NAME: Emily  Course:
River Skills >

After surviving many river trips I thought I needed to learn some skills. I went to River Strokes to learn fundamental river skills. It transformed my paddling and made me realise I needed to actually do something with my paddle other than, ‘paddling for England’! I use these skills every time I am on the river and will always appreciate the skills learnt. Thank you Dan.

Sunday, 25. October 2015 20:07  Write a comment

NAME: Debbie  Course:
Whitewater 5 day river skills >

After a few nerve racking river trips on our own decided to book in for the introduction to river skills 5 day course. River levels being lowest in October for years and the two of us being totally un- knowledgeable of kayaking skills were going to present Dan with quite a challenge, we spent first day on canal learning good stroke techniques and new strokes. Giving us a good foundation for getting onto the river. Second day we travelled up to the Wye and went through more new stokes and how to use them efficiently and correctly. Ended the week with a trip down the Wye and felt so happy and confident on the water with Dans amazing and endless patience we loved every minute and now feel ready continue where we left off with hours of practice and plenty of rotation!!.

Sunday, 11. October 2015 19:04  Write a comment

NAME: Sally Leese  Course:
River skills and rolling >

Dan got me rolling in a pool and a river which I did not believe possible.
He also took me on as an exceptionally nervous paddler on any river. With his support and coaching I am now loving paddling on white water and use his coaching every time I am out.
Amazing coach :)

Wednesday, 30. September 2015 22:18  Write a comment

NAME: David Wootton  Course:
River skills week >

Had a great time. Have lots of new routines to practice. Top instruction by Dan. Third time i've visited an been instructed by Dan. Would recommend to anyone who wishes to learn and improve.
Cheers Dan.

Sunday, 27. September 2015 19:47  Write a comment

NAME: Sarah Robinson  Course:
river skills and rolling >

Have been on few river skills days with Dan and each time I have learnt something new. I have recently had a minor accident whilst kayaking (not whilst with River strokes I would add) and had a major loss of confidence in paddeling and rolling. Today with Dan's help I have got myself back on track and can't wait to get out on the river with him again. He is brutally honest about my skills and lack of skills (sarah your stern rudder was pants..Dan 2015) ... so if your looking for an ego boost on your abilities best go elsewhere!!! I am a beginner and still nervous on flowing rivers but Dan gives you the skills and confidence to man up and get on with it...cannot recommend River Strokes enough and if your just getting into kayaking go learn how to do it properly from the start with Dan!! Oh and rolling ....am getting there !!

Sunday, 27. September 2015 16:49  Write a comment

NAME: Dave Alder  Course:
Package >

It was by accident that I found riverstrokes for a group of four of us to do a couple of days of adventure on the river wye. Off the back of the trip, I have signed up for 10 lessons, and how lucky the chance find has been. Dan has the patience of a saint, has a great sense of humour, and is the utmost professional tutor, his laid back approach, belies his confidence and care of the students in his charge, his turn of speed to assist some one in problems is amazing. If your thinking of a kayak course, either as a first timer as I was, or as a professional coach yourself, you will likely not find a more knowledgable, down to earth at professional trainer in the UK. With thousands of days under his belt, and a boat full of fag butts to prove it.

Saturday, 26. September 2015 17:01  Write a comment

NAME: Cliff Melhuish  Course:
River Intro >

This review of River Strokes is to highlight something that may happen to many paddlers over time.
"Complete loss of Confidence" Or so I thought.
After reaching the dizzy heights of achieving UKCC Level 2 coach, two courses of 4* training and feeling comfortable (ish) on Grade 3 rapids, I had a 14 month break from boating and had given up any notion of taking it up again. (mid life crisis?). Anyway, I missed the fun and fitness aspects of boating that much, I'm back for more.
However my confidence was so low I felt
like a beginner. Bring on the talents of Dan Povey! after 1 day, I'm running grade 2 and rolling in the flow, reverse ferrying, eddying in/out backwards!!
What can I say 'If you are ever in trouble, give River Strokes a call'.

I've already booked my next course.

You're a STAR, Dan......

Thankyou so much

Monday, 21. September 2015 17:02  Write a comment

NAME: Deborah Lowe  Course:
White Water grade 2 >

Great day with Dan, met up with three other paddlers at River cafe and enjoyed a chat about previous paddling experience and expectations for the trip over a lovely coffee. Once the shuttle was over we entered the river at Aber Bran Fawr just above the broken weir, and Dan warmed us up with plenty of ferry gliding and entering the flo. We set off one at a time feeling very safe with Dan as our leader. We were guided down the river following at a safe distance learning about eddies and using the flo. Dan's method of training is safe and calm and positive which helps when you feel nervous about a new situation not met with before. After our return shuttle we had a de-brief in the cafe with a beautiful hot chocolate. A fabulous day on the river, I for one will definitely be back soon. Thanks Dan

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