I’ve taken several courses with Jeff over the past couple of years. And each time I come away feeling I’ve improved greatly. But, more importantly, I always come away with a heightened respect for the dynamic coastal environment.
In fact, the main reason I keep coming back to his advanced courses is to become more comfortable performing in dynamic water and big conditions. And boy does he give you that! So be careful what you wish for (although paddling in early March I’ve only got myself to blame).
And the more courses I take with Jeff the more I push myself.
Although my idea of pushing myself is obviously way more conservative than Jeff’s.
And the environments he found for us this time didn’t disappoint – including some nice big conditions at the Manacles. Where we experienced the challenges of performing a rescue in a very dynamic stretch of water, with a multitude of environmental factors. And although safely monitored by Jeff (our get out of jail free card as someone put it) it was a real situation where we needed to apply everything we’d been learning. And I’m pleased to say the rescue went well and showed how much of Jeff’s coaching had sunk in and become second nature – even under pressure.
And that’s one of the things I love about Jeff’s style of coaching, he always puts you in realistic situations. Situations that get you thinking as a sea kayak leader. And, even if you don’t want to progress to leadership, getting in the mindset of “what if something happens here…what are my options?” isn’t a bad thing at all. Because this makes you a much safer and confident paddler. And even just learning to understand what’s happening in a feature is invaluable if you want to make your coastal paddles safer.
Ultimately, this is a great course with a great instructor. Giving you so much to think about and practice in realistic conditions, rather than the safe haven of flat water. With towing exercises and surf zone rescues it can be hard work. And you’ll definitely stretch the edge of your comfort zone. But ultimately you’ll come away a more confident and safer paddler with a much bigger comfort zone to paddle in.
I’ll definitely be back for more next year…hopefully sooner.
I was lucky enough to join Jeff Allen ( his sister, nephew and other adventure paddlers) on an unsupported 10 day expedition into the wilderness of Alaska.
Jeff is an extremely experienced adventure paddler, he is also accredited with a level 5 wilderness first aid qualification and his military background enables him to take care of his clients in a safe and fun manor.
In addition you will most likely learn some some great bush craft skills and hear some great stories. Just before heading into the wilderness Jeff discussed the five key elements needed to give one the best chance of survival. “Preparation, determination, knowledge, equipment and luck.
I’ll always be thankful to Jeff for enabling me to immerse myself into an adventure situation that was above my skillset and I’ve come away with life skills that I have used in everyday family life. If you ever have the chance to go on an adventure or want to improve your kayaking skills or knowledge of the ocean, I can highly recommend Jeff Allen.
Thank you ! x
Jeff introduced us to Seakayaking 15 years ago and I can still remember the first time, under his guidance, that we broke through the surf at Maenporth Beach and experienced the whole ocean ahead of us. A sense of awe, freedom and anticipation of this new way in which we could experience the natural world.
What also struck us about this moment though was looking back and seeing a huge grin on Jeff’s face.
He knew he had just shared the magic of the ocean and sea kayaking with someone else.
To be fair, that’s what gets him up in the morning. Sharing his passion for the water.
Over the years Jeff has continued to inspire us – the freedom of paddling from isle to isle in different archipelagos, tales of his overseas adventures and his experiences with different oceans and incredible nature.
He’s guided the progression of our own skills on the water – from beginner to more experienced and on to incident management. Through this he has given us the freedom of the wild coastline of the British Isles and beyond and the tools to do our work – travel between islands and explore.
If you are eager to safely explore new waters and share a campfire we honestly can’t think of anyone better than Jeff.
A Really Special day on the Water.
Had a great trip with Jeff. Having paddled for years in a rather amateurish manner Jeff guided and coached me on the north coast of Cornwall. His knowledge of the area and understanding of the sea bought real depth to the day. He knew exactly where to go to make the most of the conditions.
I felt in partnership with Jeff as he coached in his soft style, never making me feel uncomfortable but gently pushing my confidence. I felt like a world class paddler as he included me by sharing stories of paddling in far off places.
I would recommend Expedition Paddler to anyone, especially those, who like me, have some skill but want to experience a great day, learning more and pushing their confidence. I drove away smiling feeling like I had experienced a full expedition in a day.