If you love the San Marcos River like we do, then you can’t get enough time on the water! For those curious to see more than the average tuber, Paddle With Style offers guided canoe and kayak tours of the San Marcos River, as well as paddling classes.
The Paddle With Style website explains, “It is our mission to introduce people to the sport of paddling by education, river conservation, and adventures.” Paddle With Style teaches canoe or kayak paddling classes for newbies, those needing a refresher, or those choosing to improve their skills. The local business even coaches individuals and crews wanting to enter Texas Water Safari.
Texas Water Safari is the “world’s toughest canoe race,” held in June every year. The racers paddle right past Pecan Park Riverside RV Park on their way from Spring Lake at The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment to Seadrift, Texas! This is a 260-mile canoe race that must be completed within 100 hours. Turning to professionals like the Paddle With Style instructors is a wise race-preparation choice.
Paddle With Style’s guided tours of the San Marcos River come in various packages that explore specific sections of river. The packages range from a simple 1.5-hour tour to a 4-hour tour, and paddlers will travel between 2-7 miles, depending on the tour. Prices start at $65.
All tours are on the San Marcos River, with several options for guided tours on canoes and kayaks provided by Paddle With Style. Paddlers can book some already scheduled tours as individuals or as a group.
Besides the regular guided tours, here are some of the unique tour options Paddle With Style leads:
- Wild Rice Tour: This tour starts in the headwaters of the river and travels down to Rio Vista Dam. Participants learn the history of the dam. They will glide over the endangered Texas wild rice that only grows in the San Marcos River.
- Martindale Tour: This is for people who want a slight challenge, as it navigates through Class I rapids.
- Night Paddle: Everything looks different at night, and you may even see an owl as you take this leisurely trip after dark.
- Wine Tasting Tour: After a 7-mile tour, paddlers will enjoy wine and light snacks at Three Dudes Winery, a Pecan Park favorite located less than a mile from our campground.
Group deals are available to schedule separately, either for those wanting a party package including the kayaks or canoes, or for those with kayaks and canoes already who want a more structured, educational experience.
Paddling classes also run the gamut, starting with a 3-hour flat-water course teaching all of the essential knowledge one needs to become a responsible paddler. Instructors cover everything in this class, including basic water safety, entering and getting out of a canoe, plus the four basic strokes (forward, draw, sweep, and cross bow).
Paddle With Style encourages everyone to take this class before moving onto the river paddling classes. From there, the classes hit the river and each one is slightly more advanced than the other. They have Introduction to River Paddling actually on the river, then Down the River I and II.
They have private instruction geared toward competitive canoe racing, as well. The instructor comes to you and works a stretch of the river with you in this class. Group courses can be customized. They have helped Boy Scouts get their merit badges, trained camp counselors in safety and rescue, run a corporate team building (that actually sounds fun), and PE classes for schools and home-schooled children.
The company offers Kids and Scout Camps in the summer, and not only in San Marcos. Paddle With Style will travel to you, within a reasonable distance, for a Kids or Scouts Camp.
If you decide paddling is more than a hobby, if thoughts of traveling to work or the grocery store via river appeals to you, you can actually become an American Canoe Association certified canoe instructor or prep yourself for a race by training with the experts. The Paddle With Style instructor(s) will travel to you (within reason) when needed.
Paddle With Style Guides and Instructors
The owner, Senior Instructor and Lead Guide Holly Orr, comes from a background growing up on Texas rivers. The skill and passion for canoeing and kayaking is apparent not only because she runs a paddling business, but also because she has earned several certifications.
Orr’s impressive list of race wins, finishes, and placements is a page long. It proves she knows what she’s talking about when she’s talking paddling. Paddling with Holly or one of her hand-picked instructors and guides instills confidence in participants.
When was the last time you took a canoe or kayak trip? Maybe today’s the day!