Things I Wish I Had Known Sooner: A Kayaking FAQ Part 1

Take a moment to think back to when you first got into kayaking, when you were the new kid on the block. Are there “little” things that you know now that you barely need to think about but that were a source of frustration or puzzlement in the beginning? After spending a summer teaching new kayakers and fielding all sorts of questions, I got inspired to put together a short list of things I wish I had known earlier in my kayaking experience. A FAQ for new kayakers, if you will. While this list is far from comprehensive, these are 

Read More

Why You Should Travel with your Paddle!

I still remember the feeling of pure bliss riding in the back of an old pick up truck under the southern stars after a day of paddling in the breathtaking Chilean Andes. Looking out over the ocean in New Zealand there was a power in the realization that I could go anywhere and do anything with my life. Arriving in Uganda to paddle the White Nile River I remember feeling nervous about traveling on my own and then being greeted by the warm, welcoming smile of Henry, a local driver sent by the rafting company to pick me up. In 

Read More

Perfecting the Jet Ferry

The jet ferry is an important whitewater kayak maneuver that gets you across current faster and more efficiently. It’s performed by using a wave to move you across the current so you expend less energy paddling. In the video above I demonstrate the positioning, angle, momentum and strokes that are needed to perform an effective jet ferry. Positioning. I position my boat to catch the wave and I like to think of putting my butt in the trough. Notice in the second jet ferry in the video I paddle up to the wave from downstream. This allows me to control 

Read More

Yoga for Paddlers: Glute Strengtheners

The first time my PT/Yoga Therapist told me I had ‘sleepy’ glutes I didn’t believe her. How was it possible  that an outdoor athlete/Yoga teacher like me that kayaks, SUPs, hikes, mountain bikes and practices Yoga on a regular basis could have weak glutes? And anyway, I was in her office because I was experiencing excruciating pain in my IT band, not in my glutes. Sitting in my kayak and paddling my SUP had become very painful and since paddling is my passion and my job, I needed some help. She explained to me (and I later did more research), 

Read More

Tips for Better Sleep

Sleep is a key component for health and performance. Studies have shown that restful sleep helps to maintain a strong immune system, improve memory, enhance mood, repair and rejuvenate tissues (including muscle tissues), maintain clarity of mind, reduce the risk of injury, and it is also a factor in successful weight loss and management. These are just a few of the benefits. Just google ‘benefits of sleep’ and you’ll get pages and pages of articles and studies touting the value of sleep. It recently came to my attention, while leading a kayaking/yoga trip in Ecuador, that some of my clients 

Read More

How to Swim in Whitewater

My whitewater kayak students often hear me say ‘we’re all in between swims,’ and I’ve had the recent opportunity to prove myself right. Since September I’ve had three swims in three months and before that I hadn’t swam in four years. Two of the swims were in Class III where I got too cocky with boofs/holes in an RPM on the Main Salmon in Idaho. It felt extra embarrassing because it was a GAP trip and I was setting safety and guiding. Everyone on the trip had solid paddling and reading water skills and there were many safety craft so that 

Read More

Confidence, Courage and Community Coaching

Confidence, courage and community. Over the last 11 years of running Girls at Play these three words have come up frequently as aspects of paddling that women want to embody, in addition to boosting their skills. Women from all over the world have traveled to Asheville, Mexico, Costa Rica and Idaho to benefit from Girls at Play’s unique approach to confidence, courage, community and skills building first-hand. “This was my first experience whitewater kayaking, and I loved it! I felt safe and confident as a beginner on the water, knowing that with Girls At Play I was in good hands.” 

Read More

Flatwater Drills for Whitewater Skills: Power Circles

Even in my most advanced courses like Class IV Creek Week I focus on flatwater drills and skills. Why? Because in flatwater you don’t have the distraction of whitewater and all of the mental stuff that comes with it. This allows you to refine your paddling skills with focus. One of my favorite flatwater warm-up/skills exercises is the power circle. Practicing this drill helps develop boat control, paddling on edge, looking where you want to go while paddling and paddle dexterity. In the more advanced versions of this warm-up you also learn how to refine the bow draw. There are 

Read More

An Effortless Ferry

    It can be difficult to maintain a good ferry angle when crossing the current from one eddy to another, or when crossing current in general. Here are some pointers on how to better maintain your ferry angle and make a smooth crossing. Remember, the goal is to make it feel as effortless as possible!   1. A good ferry angle is a 45 degree angle relative to the current. You can also think of it in terms of an imaginary clock that is sitting above the current with 12 o’clock being directly upstream and 6 o’clock directly downstream. 

Read More

Springtime: Paddling Into New Possiblity

Spring is the season of clarity and new beginnings. After the winter season of contemplating and going within, it’s time to break out of our seed pods and blossom into our full potential. Or maybe I should say boof into our full potential 🙂  It’s a new paddling season full of natural flow and possibility. To walk or paddle through the open door of new opportunity it is key that we leave our old baggage in the entrance. Specifically for me, this spring it’s all about leaving my negative thoughts behind and paddling into the next rapid feeling light, empowered 

Read More

Meet Anna Levesque

Anna Levesque is the leading expert on kayak instruction for women and yoga and wellness for paddling, including SUP Yoga. Named one of the most inspirational paddlers alive by Canoe and Kayak Magazine, Anna’s twenty-plus years of experience as an accomplished international competitor and instructor has landed her in mainstream publications such as TIME, SHAPE and SELF magazine.

Learn More

Join our newsletter for monthly

TIPS & INSPIRATION

as well as "Teachings from the River" by Anna Levesque

Email:

Join our newsletter for monthly

TIPS & INSPIRATION

as well as
"Teachings from the River"
by Anna Levesque

Email:

Contact Us

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Contact Us

Testimonials

"Anna demonstrates excellent technical paddling ability, good personal skills and the ability to engage the group." - Instructor Candidate Evaluation, NC

Read More Testimonials