I recently had the pleasure of doing business with Dale Ponsford in Maui, and wish to express admiration for his professionalism as a surfski coach on and off the water. While on vacation in Hawaii with my family, I was still wearing an Epic hat as the regional sales manager for Epic Kayaks. Dale and his wife Melissa saw to it that I was able to participate in a couple of downwind sessions on the Maliko run, on the north shore of Maui. Dale was busy coaching and mentoring others during this time, but they still facilitated logistics for the sessions I wanted to join, and I observed Dale in action as he managed our group with ease on the water in a dynamic, challenging downwinder.
On the water, Dale demonstrates his skill and comfort in big downwind conditions by maneuvering around the group, and providing necessary directions to keep everyone focused, and together. I paddled in a double surfski with 2 different partners on 2 runs, and both times Dale stayed close to us for the entire 10 mile paddle. As a surfski instructor, I know this is not easy work, but Dale makes it look easy, and I had 100% confidence in his abilities.
I heard glowing testimonials from other, experienced surfski paddlers in Maui that they were delighted with Dale’s coaching and leadership. One client had been working with Dale in private technique sessions to improve his speed; he was thrilled with the results, and was planning to put it to use by passing all his paddle partners on the next downwinder! The owner of Surfski Maui, the Epic dealer on the island and a very experienced downwind paddler, also received some technique coaching from Dale; in a video analysis of stroke mechanics, Dale pointed out a hitch in the paddler’s stroke. It had been explained on the water, but the paddler didn’t believe it until he saw the video! So Dale’s coaching skills are well received by paddlers of all abilities.
With Dale and Melissa’s strong background in vacation planning in Costa Rica, Hawaii, and other exotic locales, they know how to provide a custom, fully-catered get away trip for surfski paddling, and other adventurous activities. I would recommend their services to anyone wishing to experience the excitement of surfski in Hawaii, and Costa Rica. I can’t wait to get back on the water with Dale myself!
Regional Marketing Representative
A week with Dale is a life changing experience for a paddler. I was definitely not his usual student and really came to Dale with no Surfski experience at all, and a lot of bad habits I had developed in my Sea Kayak. It was a good test of his coaching. Dale is not just a great Surf ski coach he is a good life coach because for me improving my paddling meant improving a lot of other things in my life. He was extremely patient and rather than push me to do things I couldn't yet; he put me in environments where I was comfortable and could absorb the lessons my muscles needed to process to transition to a different kind of paddling. No matter where you meet him for Coaching he will take you where you are and build a better paddler. Never in a million years would I have just hopped in a surfski and figured out the things he taught me. In addition to all that he and his wife Melissa helped smooth the way so I had an amazing time in Costa Rica and never had a worry about the logistics of getting to a remote place in a foreign country. It was an experience of a lifetime; you should definitely schedule one too.
Tami Rose - Feb 2018
Jim and I had a fantastic time in Maui with Dale and Melissa. Paddling the Maliko Bay Run was an amazing experience for both of us. We both learned so much from Dale about wave catching, reading the ocean and enjoying the experience. For someone like me who tends to be pretty tentative out there in rough conditions, I was amazed at how comfortable I was in the back of the double with Dale. It was really fun and we both were able to practice what Dale had taught us when we got home. Aside from paddling though, we got to see so much of Maui thanks to Dale and Melissa showing us all their favourite spots. Thanks guys. Awesome!
Michele Parker - Feb 2018