Bob Foote & Karen Knight Canoe Clinics in Virginia


Bob Foote & Karen Knight Freestyle Canoe Clinic

April 26, 2006 and again on July 29 and 30, 2006

Hungry Mother State Park, Marion, Virginia

Contact for more information

Bob Foote and Karen Knight are extraordinary canoe paddlers. Bob is one time National Men’s Freestyle Canoe Champion, and has open canoed the Grand Canyon 36 times. He leads several canoe and kayak expeditions every year in the Grand Canyon and in Central and South America. Bob has designed canoes and paddles for several companies including Sawyer, Dagger, Bell and Navarro, and is one of 7 canoeists chosen by Paddler Magazine as Paddlers of the Century. Karen Knight is four time National Women’s Freestyle Canoe Champion, a registered Maine Guide, yoga and ski instructor, and she is also one of 7 canoeists chosen by Paddler Magazine as Paddlers of the Century. Both Bob and Karen are American Canoe Association Instructor trainers in canoe and kayak, and they are both featured in the video Drilltime; Solo Playboating, along with Kent Ford, whitewater announcer in the Olympics, and Wayne Dickert of Nantahala Outdoor Center fame. The video is available from Together, Bob and Karen travel across America teaching what they have learned and discovered about the wonderful world of canoeing, kayaking and wilderness tripping. Learn more about Bob and Karen at and

There are two fundamental challenges in canoeing. Getting the canoe to go straight, and getting the canoe to turn when and where you want. With the proper technique any canoe trip can be more enjoyable, more efficient and just plain fun. Freestyle Canoeing is variously described as “taking your canoe to obedience class” or “water ballet” or simply “Canoe Dancing”. The paddler uses body positioning and weight shifts along with precise paddle placement to cause the canoe to respond efficiently and effortlessly. The grace and harmony of a well trained paddler and canoe is simply amazing. A seemingly effortless stroke and a subtle weight shift can spin the canoe on a dime and position the paddler for the next stroke. Many folks use the Freestyle maneuvers to enjoy their canoeing time on quiet water, even if their lake is just a large swimming pool. But, the strokes and balance and weight shifts are incredibly useful in whitewater and wilderness tripping. Negotiating a rock garden on a twisty, whitewater stream, or putting miles beneath your hull on a wilderness lake are so much easier and just plain thrilling when the paddler and the canoe and the paddle are all working harmoniously.

Regardless of your paddling skill level or whether you are solo or tandem, you will learn many useful techniques during the 1 and 2 day clinics. Even if you are learning the very basics of choosing a canoe and paddle, how to go straight and how to turn when you want to, or if you want to advance your skills to 180-degree spins and reverse and cross strokes. Wherever you are on the learning curve Bob and Karen can help you achieve the next level. Bob has been working on a video presentation of his 25 years in the Grand Canyon, and will show that video one evening during the clinics. I personally can tell you that Bob and Karen are two of the best canoe instructors in the industry. They are patient, calm, soft spoken, sincere and will take the time you need to help you get it right. So, don’t be shy y’all! Learning how to canoe, and learning how to do it better, is fun, lots of fun. Just shoot me an email and let’s talk.

Hungry Mother State Park is just a few miles off I-81 at Marion, in Southwest Virginia and features excellent campsites with water and electricity. Hungry Mother Lake is a deep, creek-fed impoundment well known for big catfish and delicious walleye.

Andy Lee
Canoe Dancer
Buena Vista, Virginia