Babes with Blades is committed to providing only women kayak coaches for our gatherings.
Here are some of the women kayak coaches you might meet at a Babes gathering:
Jay Gitomer is the owner-operator of Blue World Paddlesports and the founder of Babes with Blades. She is an ACA Level 3 Coastal Kayak Instructor, BCU Level 1 Paddlesports Coach, and BCU 4-Star Leader. She is known for her creative, fun approach to training. Jay runs Baltimore Boards, a paddleboard club, is a former coordinator of the Chesapeake Paddlers Association, and is a volunteer with Team River Runner to help wounded service people. Jay also sits on the Advisory Council of the ACA SEIC Sea Kayak Committee and is on the Events Committee for Paddlesports North America. She is also the author of several books on sea kayaking. When not paddling or thinking about paddling, Jay is asleep.
Kerry Pflugh is Jay’s Babes with Blades business partner. She has been kayaking for more than 12 years. Kerry is a BCU Level 1 Instructor, BCU 3 Star Assessed, ACA Level 4 Open Water Sea Kayak Instructor and an ACA Rolling and Traditional Skills Instructor. She is the former president of the Jersey Shore Sea Kayak Association, a position she held for more than two years. She is a Team Paddler for Werner Paddles. Several years ago she completed a Trek Around the Coast of New Jersey. She loves planning kayak camping expeditions, touring, surfing, and paddling with friends.
Lee Murray began kayaking in 2005. She enjoys helping new paddlers expand their skills in a safe and supportive environment. Lee is an ACA Level 4 Open Water Kayak instructor and has taught in kayak skills, rescues, and rolling classes at the Jersey Paddler. She is also a member of the Jersey Shore Sea Kayak Association.
Paula Hubbard was certified as an ACA L3 Coastal Kayak Instructor in 2008. She was an instructor for California Canoe and Kayak, located in Oakland, CA, specializing in introductory level sea kayaking classes for women. She also continued to develop her own skills in open coast, surf zone, rough water conditions, and rock gardening classes with Roger Schumann. In the fall of 2009, Paula moved to the Eastern Shore of Maryland and coached in many of the Chesapeake Paddlers Association skills clinics. In 2011 Paula updated her Level 3 certification and also received a Level 4 Assessment.
Dianne Campbell is the owner of Mobjack Kayaking, offering local tours, kayak rentals, and kayak lessons. She is the developer of Sea Trek Kayak Kids, an instructional program for the youth of Mathews County, VA. An avid paddler, Dianne is happiest in a sea kayak. She has explored the East Coast, the Florida Keys, the Boundary Waters of Minnesota, the Saskatchewan and Manitoba provinces of Canada, and the Bahamas by kayak. Dianne is an ACA coach and a BCU 3-Star.
Ann Brewer is the owner of Placid Waters Kayaking, which offers flat water training and guided trips. She has guided extensively in the Caribbean but loves the cold north country as well. When not guiding, she is working on LOCALadk, a magazine about the Adirondacks that she co-owns.
Jan Sheehan has been paddling since 2007. She is BCU 3 Star Assessed. She is known for her beautiful and speedy forward stroke and her annoying ability to paddle anything without taking a swim, including surf skis and racing paddleboards. Jan has been part of Babes since the first event, helping out on-water and off. When not on the water, Jan is walking her horse-sized dog.
Lorrie Allen enjoys dancing with waves and sharing her passion for sea kayaking. She strives to empower women by building skills in a fun, safe, supportive environment. Her paddling journey began over a decade ago, with adventures as far afloat as Newfoundland, Florida, the Bay of Fundy, and Wales. Lorrie is an ACA Level 3 Coastal Kayak Instructor and BCU 4-Star Leader.
Colleen O’Neill is a passionate outdoor enthusiast living in Saranac Lake, NY, the heart of the breathtaking Adirondack region. When she’s not exploring the endless water and mountain trails of her home, she enjoys traveling to National Parks in the western U.S. and exploring other remote and rugged locations that offer adventure. Her favorite activities include hiking, backpacking, camping, paddling, biking and simply wandering around with her camera capturing beauty in nature. Although nature photography is her specialty, Colleen also captures moments to remember at some of our Babes with Blades events. You can see Colleen’s photography at www.colleenoneillphotography.com.
Paula Riegel is the female half of Kayak Waveology – a sea kayaking school in northeastern Connecticut and Rhode Island. She is an ACA Level 4 Open Water instructor, BCU Level 2 coach, Registered Maine Guide, and BCU 5 Star Leader/Sea. Paula has paddled along the Maine coast and Canada, North Wales, Outer Hebrides, Isle of Man, and Baja Mexico. Paula’s been coaching for almost a decade and focuses on building and introducing new skills with a paddle smarter, not harder, methodology. Paula’s approach to learning is all about strength through technique and confidence through knowledge.
Caroline Zeiss hails from landlocked Pretoria, South Africa. Happily, since arriving on these fair shores, she has become a small boat omnivore. Canoes, surf skis, sea kayaks, whitewater boats and surf kayaks are all fair game. She is a BCU 5 Star Leader/Sea, ACA Level 3 Open Water instructor, and is working towards awards along the BCU surf track. She has paddled extensively along the Maine, Connecticut and Rhode Island Coasts as well as in Wales. Her interests have strayed far and wide, but finally settled on two main areas – blending with rough water through efficient use of core technique, and leadership through awareness of a complex marine environment. Photo: Dave Grainger
Ann Sharpe knew the first time she kayaked that she wanted to share this exhilarating experience with others especially women. Ann is understanding and compassionate about the mental and physical issues that can inhibit women from trying the sport and works to instill confidence with an emphasis on safety and fun in her classes at the Jersey Paddler in Brick Town, New Jersey. Ann is an ACA Level 3 Coastal Kayak Instructor and holds an Endorsement in Adaptive Paddling. She is a long time member of the Jersey Shore Sea Kayak Association.