“What is an EJ clinic like, anyway?”


It seems that people wonder about what it is like to learn kayaking in a group setting with me…  “Will I be the weak link?”   “Am I ready for the clinic?”    “Will I be challenged enough?”   These are common questions that get asked when booking a clinic with me.   The answer is yes, yes, and yes.   Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and almost everyone is the best at something and also the weakest at something.    My strong suit is pushing you into a new level of performance and confidence, and the nuts and bolts combined with the psychology of kayaking.    Mostly, however, I just want to have fun and want you to have fun also.


This morning I was sure I was teaching a youth clinic.   Ages 10-18.     When I got to the NOC store, it was more like 30-65.     Cool- I love teaching adults because they appreciate the time on the water, had to work for it, and want the most out of it.   They never squander the time like kids sometimes do because it all came to easy for them.


We voted on the put-in today and everyone wanted to go to the top, for the long day.   NOC provided me with Annabelle, who just completed her ACA certification yesterday, to help me and she was awesome.     Steve drove shuttle and kept things organized.

The day was a mix of strokes, concepts, rolling, bracing, river running, rock boofing, new lines, new leaders showing us the way down rapids, and other fun stuff.

We learned about the best mental focus for kayaking- a “broad-external focus” and practiced that.   Everyone had to look at me and give me their “gang sign” 1/2 way down the “Falls” to prove that they were in a broad-external focus state at the crux moment.    It worked wonderfully and we had only one flip out of 13 people.   Anyone who has watched this rapid realizes that the average flip rate is about 30-40% for people in this skill level.

I made a video showing off some of our class.   I know everyone didn’t make it and some more than most, but that is the nature of freeform GoPro video and EJ editing on the drive home (Kristine was driving).

Wonderful group, wonderful NOC hospitality, and the Zen, Karma, and Fun were the “Heroes” of the trip… Awesome!


I hope to paddle with everyone again soon!



Comments on ““What is an EJ clinic like, anyway?””

  1. Andy BaldwinaabdAndyb B
    April 13, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    Ej, the sound track was muted for copyright reasons??

  2. Vinson
    April 13, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    This was a great clinic! The day went by too quick. EJ has a knack for helping you find more confidence in yourself and trying things you may have been too cautious to try before. Not only does he teach and share techniques, but also shares how to have the right mindset that help you perform better on the river, (and have more fun!). Got to drop over the Olympic Holes and run the gates below NOC, something I had always avoided. I would do a clinic with EJ again.

  3. Lauralyn Chrisley (LC)
    April 13, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    From someone who started ww paddling late in life, who’s got the addiction and is slowly but obsessively working on building skills: an EJ clinic is 1,000,000% AWESOME!!! Not just a world-class athlete, Eric Jackson is a dynamic, uber-talented instructor – and so much fun! My friends and I were a little apprehensive about signing up, since nobody wanted to drag the class down if there were really “good” people who showed up. We needn’t have worried. Mr. Jackson focused completely on our individual and group needs, at our level (such as it is), including switching boats at the start of the class so he could be more in line with what we were paddling. He even made us believe he was having fun! Can’t believe I Iucked into this opportunity with some of my best paddling buds – we’ve talked about nothing else since. Thank you! (I’m’a boof the hole at the bottom next time. Just sayin’.)

  4. Jody Newport
    April 13, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    I have only been paddling close to a year and would love to take a class. how often and where could i find when and where you would be teaching?

  5. Vinson
    April 13, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    Great Clinic! I recommend it to others and would do it again. Covered many river skills to help you get to the next level. Does a good job of breaking down some misconceptions in whitewater kayaking. EJ also spent time discussing mental skills to help you be a better paddler, (and ultimately have more fun)

  6. Danny HopkinsDanny Hopkins
    April 13, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    Enjoyed watching; was not aware you did clinics, EJ! I’ll try and hook up with one in the future. Thanks for sharing,
    Danny Hopkins

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