ACA Letter


About Tom

Before relocating to Washington, DC in the Summer of 2007, Tom spent nearly 15  years kayaking in Charleston, SC – during the last five he operated the successful sea kayak training and tour company OceanAir Sea Kayak. He began volunteering for the Charleston Parks and Recreation Department water-based program and later advanced to  a part-time paid safety staff position in the kayak program. In April, 2002, he advanced to “Lead Instructor” status.

He received his ACA Open Water certification in February 2002. In October 2002 he continued his kayak instruction by taking and passing the BCU 4 Star, held at Sea Kayak Georgia. Nigel Dennis was the instructor. He worked for two seasons, in 2002 & 2003, for a local SC outfitter,  on a contract basis, where his role was to provide guide and nature interpretation services for wide variety of kayak tours. He also provided ACA kayak class  instruction. He has been a presenter/instructor of the BCU 3* and 4* class and various ACA classes at the East Coast Canoe and Kayak Festival held in Charleston, SC. He is now a regular coach at the “BCU Safety Symposium” held in North Carolina, the Sweetwater Kayak Symposium held in Tampa in  February and BCU Week/Sea Kayak Georgia on Tybee Island.

In 2002 Tom founded OceanAir Sea Kayak, a successful sea kayak tour and instruction business in Folly Beach, SC. For five years he offered the finest private and small class instruction in the Charleston area while also conducting a wide range of interpretive, scenic and challenging paddling tours.

In June 2007, Tom and his wife Gloria sold OceanAir Sea Kayak and moved to  Washington, DC where Tom was the director of the sea kayak instruction program at Potomac Paddle Sports. Tom also teaches at numerous BCU and ACA sea kayak symposia along the east coast.  RiverWind Kayak now operates up and down the East Coast.

       NDK Sponsored Paddlerimages[9]

Current / Prior Certifications & Projects:

  • ACA (L-4) Open Water Instructor Trainer
  • ACA (L-4) Open Water Instructor Trainer Educator (2010-2014)
  • ACA  Open Water Sea Kayak Instructor
  • BCU Coach Level 3 Award A-1
  • BCU 4* Star Open Water Award
  • BCU Endorsed Center and Endorsed Coach Status
  • BCU Canoe Safety Award
  • Leave No Trace (LNT) Training Award
  • Wilderness First Responder First Aid Certification
  • NDK Sponsored Paddler
  • ACA National Conference Instructor Certification Presenter 2008 & 2009
  • Co-creator of the Mid-Atlantic Kayak Festival
  • Sea Kayak Program Director, Potomac Paddle Sports (2010-2013)
  • White Water Instructor , Potomac Paddle Sports

Travels & Expeditions

  • 2004 – Wales: ten days at the former Anglesey Sea & Surf Centre, with Nigel Denis; among famous tide races, surf, off shore islands,  caves and arches.
  • 2006 – Alaska: Shuyak  Island Solstice Circumnavigation,
  • 2015 – Orcas Island : Deception Pass
  • 2016 – France / Spain
  • 2018 – Faroe Islands


Tom t PPS