Bill Vonnegut is a master of many things but definitely three stand out. Allow me to enumerate them briefly. First, he is a world class kayaker who is constantly innovating and striving to understand his own abilities in the watery world and pushing the limits of what is possible, always seeking to improve what he can do and challenging himself to go beyond what is just standard and rote. He is an exemplar of the sport and if you are fortunate to be alongside him you cannot miss having you own skills improve just by osmosis, seeing him with graceful effort meet the dynamics of the situation and glide about oh so beautifully. Second, Bill excels at providing leadership to the kayaking community. He is always cooking up challenging trips in big water as he is extremely knowledgeable about sea conditions, safety procedures and how to assess other people’s strengths and weakness. Whenever Bill launches you can be sure, if you are lucky to accompany him, that you will have the time of your life. And third, Bill is an extraordinary teacher who can see and evaluate his students’ limits as well as their prowess and assuredly guide them along at a pace that suits them best, elevating what they can do while making it both riveting, rewarding and fun. I have been fortunate to take numerous classes from him and we have gone out on many many paddles together and to my great fortune my skills have advanced tremendously by his watchful care and thoughtful procedures, if not just by association. He is one of a kind and the greater community is so much better by having him at its center stirring it up and leading it on. You just cannot miss out if you are looking to take your game up a notch by going with Bill “Big Thunder” Vonnegut. His classes fill up fast so you got to act now and sign up right away. I did. Go for it.
Five years ago, Bill' surf zone class introduced me to rough water. Then came pool rolling, rock gardens, surfing classes and culminating in the ACA L4 Coastal Kayak Skills Assessment. Throughout the classes, Bill displayed great enthusiasm, attention to safety and cheered us upon accomplishing the skills. He is generous with his knowledge and initiates paddles with the local club, Bay Area Sea Kayakers. It is no surprise that these paddles draw the largest attendance. Bill is very approachable; you can hear him talking about or answering questions on kayaking at weekly rolling sessions at the Richmond Plunge. I highly recommend taking a class taught by Bill.
Bill Vonnegut is the best kayak leader and instructor on this planet. He has a natural capacity to make you feel safe and push you to do more. His ability to kayak in rough water is inspiring to witness. To see him deal with situations in the ocean is educational. I appreciate how he drills students to practice rescue skills, and is intelligent about the risks he takes. He knows when to bail out and play it safe. His penchant for the rough water is infectious. If you are looking to take your paddling skills to a new level, then I cannot recommend Bill enough.
Bill has been instrumental in my love of kayaking. I am relatively new to the sport. I fell in love with kayaking within months of my first class. Bill was one of my very first instructors and his passion for the sport is contagious. In just three years, I have advanced to the point where I kayak surf and rock garden for fun and I am starting to compete in distance paddling. My caution and confidence are carefully balanced because Bill taught (and still teaches) me how to keep myself safe while I reach further and do more amazing (and incredibly fun) things with the sport than I could ever have imagined existed. I am forever grateful to him for his guidance and mentoring. Those who know me well will tell you that kayaking saved my life and it is very true. Thanks, Bill!
Bill’s passion for kayaking was evident in his enthusiastic teaching style of the Blending Strokes class. Throughout the class Bill gave each student individual attention and feedback while keeping the class packed with exercises, drills and fun games. I learned how many strokes can be blended and what to practice in order to commit them to memory. Thanks, Bill for a great day!
Would like to thank Bill for a most excellent class. A full morning of instruction was perfect for the afternoon lessons in dynamic water. It was a great group to paddle with and everyone was smiling.
I've been progressing through the classes ( most of all the L4's ) and this was the best yet. This is the type of class that opens up a lot of paddling opportunities by instilling the ability and confidence to journey further.