It’s hard not to get excited about kayaking when talking with Tom Pogson. A master of the sport and dedicated supporter of safe boating practices, Pogson knows his stuff when it comes to all things kayak. Based in Homer, Pogson’s Alaska Kayak School teaches hundreds of people how to navigate the sometimes-tricky skinny boats, covering everything from what to wear to how to exit, and everything in between. He’s the Man, and AKontheGO would trust no one else to instruct our kids on the finer points of kayaking.
Lucky for us and everyone who lives in the greater Anchorage/Mat-Su area, Alaska Kayak School gets to town once a month or so for classes in a nice, warm, swimming pool. Learning and improving kayaking skills requires immersion in the water, and, as Pogson says so eloquently, getting wet in a pool is damn better than freezing in the waters of Kachemak Bay, where most classes are held in the summer.
Pogson and crew will be in Anchorage November 14-15. Youth classes for kids ages 10 and up begin on Saturday the 14th at Noon. Note to parents: Kids must be able to demonstrate a few skills before Pogson allows them to participate, i.e. swimming, following directions, etc. Staff are fairly flexible on the age thing, but it is the skill of an individual child that will determine his or her appropriateness for the class. Questions? Call Pogson at 907-235-2090.
Kayak School classes are usually held at Service High School in south Anchorage; however, the pool is scheduled to be closed during this particular class time. Pogson says the courses will likely be moved to Bartlett High School pool in east Anchorage, but that, too may change. When people sign up he will let them know where to go and when to be there.
Kayaking, like canoeing, is a wonderful way to connect with older kids, especially during the late ‘Tween/early Teen years. Gliding along a glassy lake or scenic bay can open the door to all sorts of interesting conversation, and I have many memories of canoe trips with my father where discussions ranged from my Math grade to the merits of alpine versus Nordic skiing and plans for my future. Now is the perfect time to create skills that will lead to tons of fun with your older kid this summer. Pogson also offers kayaking trips and a myriad of skills-builder classes at his “home port” of Homer, and what a thrill to schedule a trip with he and his guides.
If your family misses the November class session with Alaska Kayak School, Pogson will return December 12-13. Connect with his class schedules and other interesting information on the School’s web site.