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September 8, 2005

Hi Ross,

Thanks for your letter! I am very aware of the quality
of the Valley Mill staff and love them for their commitment to both my
products and instructional methods!

I am glad it helped you and your girlfriend also!

I will put your letter up on my website as a testimonial
to the great people on the Potomac!

🙂 EJ


I’m a beginning
kayaker enjoying what will be my first of many seasons paddling on the
Potomac in N. Virginia. Earlier this year I purchased a Fun from Colin
Kemp @ Valley Mill Boats. I can’t say enough about the personal service
I got from Colin and the quality of the outfitting that he provided. But
that’s only a small piece of why I’m writing you.

All summer,
I have been struggling with my roll. Buying my own kayak and having it
outfitted helped, but I was still inconsistent. The engineer in me was
determined to solve the problem and I started breaking it down into pieces
analyzing in my head what I thought was good and what I was doing wrong
often underwater after blowing 2 or 3 attempts. The struggle continued.
I consulted more experienced friends, bought your rolling DVD (which I
watched but only haphazardly applied more on this later), and found myself
bracing in situations when I should be rolling. Oh yeah I was trying to
do the traditional C-to-C & sweep roll that I had learned early in
the summer in a group lesson.

with my progress, I asked Colin for advice and help. Last night, my girlfriend
and I took a private lesson from Monique Hubshman, one of Valley Mill’s
excellent instructors. Monique walked us through your progression and
about half way through the session I had the proverbial "lightbulb"
moment. Suddenly all of the points I had seen (but not understood or correctly
applied) in your DVD came home I rolled so easily I was amazed I was up.
I’m told the look on my face was complete and utter surprise and that
I was bracing expecting the boat to go over when I was sitting stable
on my back deck.

Now I know
Follow the techniques in your DVD use the design of the boat to help you
and rolling is a snap. I’m not bombproof but I’m an order of magnitude
better in just one evening lesson.

To summarize
(these points I’m sure you know!): 1) Colin Kemp is a great representative
of your company. Low pressure sales, tons of free advice, huge amounts
of personal attention and service, and a level of outfitting and quality
that makes several of my friends jealous when they see my boat. 2) Your
instruction sequence is much more intuitive and natural feeling for me.
I wish I’d started this way and I wish somebody had said "do it this
way" when I first bought my boat oh well.. I’m doing it now. 3) Monique
is a great and patient instructor taking the time to explain the mechanics
and providing the right amount of motivation to push sometimes reluctant
paddlers to new achievements. 4) I absolutely love paddling my Fun I demo’d
6 other boats and knew I was buying a Fun within minutes of putting the
demo boat Colin lent me in the water. This enjoyment will only grow as
I bombproof my new roll!

for your efforts, your excellent designs, and your outstanding instruction