New York Paddlefest Clinics

At New York Paddlefest you can attend free clinics by paddling industry experts. Learn new techniques and pick up great hints on how to paddle more efficiently and safely. The clinics are always fun and a big hit with Paddlefest visitors. The clinics and schedule are subject to change, so check back for changes and additions.

Paddlefest Class & Clinic Schedule

John Oast, Old Town Kayaks

Johnson  Outdoors Pro Staff, John “Toast” Oast will be presenting two clinics. John is one of the pioneers of kayak fishing and publisher of Susquewhanna Fishing Magazine.

  • Clinic Locations: Old Forge
  • Choosing a Fishing Kayak: John will cover everything you need to know when buying a fishing kayak: Sit-in vs. Sit-on; weight and budgetary considerations; what features to look for; the various construction materials, and much more. If you’re in the market for a fishing kayak, make sure you attend this clinic first!
  • Rigging a Kayak for Fishing: John will cover all the “ins and outs” of rigging your kayak, from the most basic to advanced. Whether you are rigging a sit-on-top or sit-in kayak, there are some basic rigging you must do for fishing. John will cover these, then move on to discuss the various options for customizing your boat for your particular needs and fishing style.

Werner Paddles

  • Clinic Locations: Saratoga Springs & Old Forge
  • How to Choose a Kayak Paddle: Whether you are in the market for your first kayak paddle, or looking to upgrade, the half hour interactive conversation will have you up to date with how to personalize your paddle selection. Topics include: parts of the paddle, techniques to compare the on water benefits of paddles, and basic paddling instruction.

Wilderness Systems

Members from Wilderness Systems' Pro Staff will be presenting clinics at their booth.

  • Clinic Locations: Saratoga Springs & Old Forge
  • Fishing Kayaks 101: This clinic covers all the features you should consider when choosing a fishing kayak. We will cover the features you should look for, depending on how and where you plan to fish.
  • Fishing Kayak Rigging and Customization: Whether you have a sit-on-top or traditional kayak, you have a lot of options when it comes to outfitting your fishing kayak. Learn how to turn your kayak into a fishing machine. You can add accessible storage containers, an anchor systems, and even adjustable set-ups for your electronics. After this clinic you’ll be ready to hit the water and really catch some fish!
  • Which Kayak is Right for You?:  You are a beginner. You desire to get out on your favorite body of water, but you are lost on where to begin. All kayaks look the same to you. We'll help guide you towards the type of kayak that will work best for your future adventures.


  • Clinic Locations: Saratoga Springs & Old Forge
  • How to Choose a SUP: We’ll talk about the different shapes and their intended uses. We’ll also talk about different construction materials of SUPs and the many choices of materials in the market place, and the pros and cons of all the different materials.

Danny Mongno, NRS

Danny is a 30 year veteran in the Paddlesport industry, and for over 10 years, a popular presenter at Paddlefest. Always a crowd favorite, Danny mixes humor with his presentations. Don't miss him!

  • Clinic Locations: Saratoga Springs & Old Forge
  • The Basics of Dressing for Paddling: Being comfortable when paddling will only help you get the most enjoyment out of the sport.  Whether staying dry in the morning mist, managing moisture on your workouts, keeping the August sun at bay or staying warm when completely soaked, the gear for you is out there.  But, it is somewhat complicated to sort through all of the choices.  Join veteran Paddlefest presenter, Danny Mongno, to pick up some tips on the best way to dress for your paddling adventure.
  • Key Paddle Strokes for the Beginner Kayaker: Whether you are looking to explore, get a workout, or chase your favorite species of fish, we all the share the same common goal…using the least amount of energy.  Because after all, the easier we can paddle, the more fun we are going to have.  Join Danny Mongno, of NRS, to pick up some simple tips to improve the key strokes you need for your paddling adventures. Don't miss this one!
  • Whitewater Paddling, Rolling your Kayak: An essential skill to help you progress the level of whitewater rivers you want to challenge yourself with is to roll. (The skill to be able to bring your boat upright after you flip over.)  Join NRS paddling instructor, Danny Mongno, to look at some land based exercises you can work on before attempting your roll on the water.  From there, Danny will break the skill down on water himself, and with a student.

Laurie Chandler, Author: Upwards

On June 20, 2015, Laurie set off from Old Forge, NY in a new 13-foot Kevlar canoe with the goal of thru-paddling the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe to northern Maine. The inspirational adventure memoir Upwards, the story of that solo journey, is her first book.

  • Clinic location: Old Forge
  • Paddling the Northern Forest Canoe Trail Solo: Laurie will discuss her adventures as  the first woman to solo thru-paddle New England’s Northern Forest Canoe Trail. Achieving her improbable dream, to travel 740 miles alone in a small canoe, was by no means certain. Relatively new to wilderness paddling, she encountered challenges, expected and unexpected, that pushed her to the limits of her courage and endurance.

Ian Ferketich, Cascade Designs

Representing ThermaRest, SealLine,  MSR, PackTowl and Platypus, Ian enjoys everything in the outdoors from backpacking to climbing.

  • Clinic locations: Saratoga Springs & Old Forge
  • Canister Stoves vs Liquid Fuel Stoves:  Get ready to learn the difference between canister stoves and liquid fuel stoves to decide which type best suits your needs while you're out enjoying your favorite outdoor activity. Topics include how to prime and light a liquid fuel stove, environmental variables to consider when choosing your stove and which type is best suited for your cooking style.

Skip Taylor, Swift Canoe & Kayak

Skip's passion for paddlesports grew out of attending clinics in the era of Harry Roberts, Mike Gault, Dave Curtis, and David Yost. Skip has paddled and guided trips in the Adirondacks, Algonquin Parks and many other areas. He resides in Western NY and also just outside Algonquin Park.

  • Clinic locations: Saratoga Springs & Old Forge
  • Solo Canoe Choices: This clinic demonstrates Canoeing Solo in a Tandem Canoe, Solo Canoe and Pack Canoe. Skip will go through solo paddling a Canadian style Prospector Canoe, a sleek American style Solo Canoe and a lightweight Pack Canoe.

Charlie Wilson,Swift Canoe & Kayak

Charlie’s involvement in paddlesports began with a revolutionary pack for canoe camping. As a principal in Bell Canoe Works, Charlie conceptualized and specified the Fire and North series canoes and designed Bell’s hallmark trim while he was marketing director.

  • Clinic locations: Saratoga Springs & Old Forge
  • Pack Boat Clinic: Charlie will discuss pack canoe design concepts, including comfort versus performance.  He will demonstrate how to load gear into a pack canoe and paddler entry and egress. He will also demonstrate various strokes and maneuvers.
  • Canoe Skills, Solo & Tandem: This is an entertaining clinic on the essential skills paddlers need in both solo and tandem canoeing. Charlie will cover the basic strokes paddlers need to move efficiently and effectively on the water.

Rob Scharges, Osprey Packs

Backpack Q & A: Rob will be discussing how to choose the proper backpack, how to fit it to your body size, and teach you tips and tricks on packing it for your trip. Rob will also be taking your questions. If you're in the market for a new backpack, make sure you attend this one. During the weekend Rob will be happy to help you fit a new backpack.

  • Clinic locations: Saratoga Springs & Old Forge



Old Forge Locations
Paddlesports, Outdoor Gear and Rental Store
2855 Route 28, Old Forge, NY 13420

Paddlesports Shop: (315) 369-6672 ext. 1
Moose River Trips & Boat Rentals: (315) 369-6672 ext. 2
Outdoor Gear & Apparel Shop: (315) 369-6672 ext. 3

Saratoga Springs Locations

Saratoga Outdoor Gear & Apparel Shop
490 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
(518) 584-3500

Saratoga Paddlesports Shop
251 Staffords Bridge Road on Fish Creek, Saratoga Springs, NY
(518) 584-0600

Copyright Mountainman Outdoor Supply Company. 2014.

Prices are subject to change with out notice. Call us at (315) 369-6672 to verify prices and availability. Mountainman is not responsible for typographical errors.