Sunday:  12-6
Monday - THURSDAY: 10am-6pm

I grew up in the mountains of Northern California, and being outdoors was a part of my daily life; backpacking on the Pacific Crest Trail, biking the Tahoe basin or down on the American River.

After college I relocated to Washington State where I spent much of my time kayaking the tidal waters of the Puget Sound and Pacific Northwest. Although breathtaking, after about 10 years I was ready for a new adventure.

Georgia was next on the list, and I had my first experience on the Chattahoochee River just weeks after moving down here, rafting the the newly opened whitewater park. 

After spending time on the Waveshaper island, watching the locals play in the waves, I wanted to get in on the action. After my first lesson I was hooked! Since then, I have had the opportunity to kayak all over the southeast and to travel north to paddle the Ottawa River and play in the newly opened Holtwood Whitewater park in Pennsylvania. 

Kayaking brings a smile to my face and joy to my life. Nothing makes me happier then and sharing that love of this sport with others and helping them to succeed! 

Credentials:
ACA Level 4 Whitewater Instructor
Wilderness First Aid (WFA)

SANNA

MATT

BRIAN

NOAH

7 0 6 - 3 2 2 - 4 2 0 0

1025 Broadway
Columbus, GA 31901

Meet Our Instructors

I was a very young child when I first sat in a whitewater kayak.  My dad put me in his Wavesport X and let me paddle around near the banks at a friend’s lake house.  I always enjoyed when I got to play in the water, but at that time, it was nothing more than a fun game.  I first started paddling whitewater in 2013.

I stayed up the night before my lesson watching video after video about paddling technique, how to roll, and how to read rivers. The next morning, I went to my lesson and rolled up on my first unassisted attempt!  Ever since, I have been absolutely obsessed with kayaking.  I’ve never looked at a body of water the same since.  I’ve spent more money than I should have on nicer gear than I need, and I have made lifelong friendships with some incredible people.

Last summer, I was lucky enough to attend the Keener program on the Ottawa River in Canada.  It is a three week, playboating-focused kayaking camp with some of the world’s best teachers.  Because of that, I now have personal friendships with pro paddlers that I used to dream about meeting.

The paddling community is very different from other sports in that everyone is so friendly and kind, even the best of the best.  Now, I can bring the things that these pro kayaker's taught me and teach them to you!  There were many paddlers who helped me out when I stared off.  I am thrilled to be able to “work” by spending time on the river doing what I love and paying forward the kindness that was shown to me.

See you on the river!




Credentials:
ACA L4 Whitewater Instructor
 First Aid,  CPR and AED certified
Swiftwater Safety Rescue

On a family vacation, while rafting the Chattooga River, I saw guys in small boats and thought, “That looks cool!!”  On that same vacation weekend, we heard about Tallulah Gorge and that you could go watch the kayakers run this huge rapid called “Oceania”.   I knew coming home to Columbus, Georgia that I wanted to try whitewater kayaking, but I’d never be good enough to run those two rivers.  In the five years since I started kayaking, I’ve not only run both rivers, but over twenty rivers in the southeastern US.  I had the help of other kayakers along the way.

My kayaking life took a big turn upwards when a friend referred me to ACE Kayaking.  Joe Gudger, my instructor, knew how to help me reach my goals.  He worked to see that I was getting outside my comfort zone with just the right amount of encouragement.  I also had the benefit of having one of the best rivers for learning to kayak here on the Columbus Hooch. I’ve always been willing to reach out and welcome visiting kayakers to Columbus. My friends here often refer to me as the “Hooch Ambassador”. 

Now, I am fortunate enough to take the knowledge Joe Gudger shared with me and combine it with my local river to help others reach their kayaking goals.  I feel very privileged to have played a role in bringing ACE Kayaking to Columbus through our partnership with Outside World Columbus.   I know the respect the name has among kayakers in the Southeast.  Our instructors take a personal approach to helping you set goals and progress.   If you are just starting out or you want to hone in a particular skill, let me help you.  See you on the river!!

Credentials:
ACA Level 4 Whitewater Instructor
Wilderness First Aid (WFA)

The Love of the outdoors starts for me at a very young age.  Born and raised next to my grandfather’s 30+ acres in Newton County, Georgia brings countless memories of hunting, fishing, mountain biking, camping, and exploring that set forth a foundation for my love of a good adventure outside.  Joining Boy Scouts at the age of 11 and ultimately achieving Eagle Scout at 17, is my foundation to learning and teaching fundamentals of the outdoors.  

Moving to the Columbus, Georgia area in 2003, I immediately got involved with running and biking clubs.  Joining the Columbus Bike Racing Team, competing in triathlons and duathlons, running in 5Ks, 10Ks, and half marathons are a few of the many adventures that continue my love for being outside and active.  Upon hearing that the City of Columbus is building a Whitewater course on our Columbus, Chattahoochee River, I purchased my first whitewater kayak in 2013 and have been hooked on this exhilarating sport ever since.  

Sharing my passion and love for the river includes getting my family involved, starting with my oldest son and then my wife.  Teaching them both how to roll and now watching them become more controlled in their boats is so rewarding and every goal they meet, is a bigger smile on my face.  Currently, I am working with my youngest three children, teaching them the basics of rolling and strokes.  Paddling adventures with both my family and friends are moments that are meant to never be forgotten.  Learning skills on the river are definitely some of the lessons that have turned into the most fun we continue to have.

Off the river, I work full-time at a Financial Institution, am an active Foster/Adoptive parent, an active deacon at the church we attend and help my wife run a large organic food CoOp.  My list of roles that I must not fail to mention includes Follower of Jesus Christ, husband to my wife since 2001, principle at our home school, soccer dad to my oldest son, dance dad to my two daughters and a soon-to-be adoptive parent to my youngest son.  I believe life is meant to be lived to the fullest adventure possible . . . where does your adventure start?

Accomplishments/Certifications:
Eagle Scout
ACA L4 Swift Water Rescue
ACA L4 Whitewater Instructor
Wilderness First aid / CPR and AED certified
2nd Place – 2014 Columbus, Ga  - Hometown Throwdown - SUP
3rd Place – 2015 Columbus, Ga -  Hometown Throwdown – Freestyle

fRIDAY - Saturday: 10am-7pm