NEW! Kayak Building Classes in Ohio

After many requests we now have a mid-west location for kayak building classes! New for 2015, you can build a Pygmy kayak in a class with these wonderful, experienced instructors in the historic town of Marietta, OH. The folks we have chosen to work with share our commitment to quality and a passion for getting folks on the water in crafts they have built with their own hands.

Meet the Instructors: Dan Jones & Teresa Grifith 

All together Dan and Teresa have built and helped to build over 25 Pygmy kayaks (ranging from the early Queen Charlotte to the Osprey Triple, Pinguino and Murrelet).


Teresa kayak launching

Dan and Teresa at the launch of Teresa’s Osprey Standard.

Dan Jones, a long time member of the Pygmy family has been building boats for over two decades and racing them for even longer. He not only enjoys helping others build boats but is an avid paddler with an impressive paddling curriculum vitae. When asked what his favorite kind of paddling is, his answer is ironically brief: “Long trips.”  In short, he’s participated in the Finlandia Clean Water Challenge (1,000 miles from Chicago to New York City- it lasts 5 weeks and paddlers average 36 miles a day), has won his age division for the Run of the Charles (19 miles with 6 portages, two of which are over a mile, no wheels allowed), and has organized long trips to raise money for good causes, including a bike-paddle trip from Ipswich, MA to Marietta, OH, which raised money for the Boy’s & Girl’s club in Marietta. On all of these trips Dan has paddled a Pygmy. Dan flatters us in explaining why he enjoys working with Pygmy, “Pygmy has the best designed boats in the world, and the kits go together very well.”


Dan’ participated in Woodcraft Magazine’s blog a couple of years ago when he helped Nancy Miller build her Coho.

While Teresa is newer to paddling she is not new to teaching. “Teaching is simply in my genes. I recently retired from 38 years in public education. Whenever I find myself truly passionate about an idea or activity, I love sharing it with others. I especially want women to realize that they too can build their own kayak, with no previous woodworking experience. It is truly an empowering experience.”

Teresa further explains why she enjoys the unique quality of wood, “The grain and color vary with each object that is constructed. This enables you, the builder, to have a kayak that is one of a kind.” Dan jokes, “Wood is beautiful. Besides when was the last time you saw a fiberglass or composite tree?” These guys are a great team and their classes will most certainly reflect their enthusiasm and passion.

To see a current schedule of classes in Ohio, click here.  

For those attending Canoecopia Dan and Teresa will both be volunteering at the Pygmy booth. Be sure to drop in and say hello!


Dan and Teresa both helped out at Canoecopia last year and will be returning again this year. Stop by and say hello!

About Marietta, Ohio: Marietta is a quiet small town, founded in 1788 by a group of Revolutionary war veterans, and is the “Gateway to the Northwest Territory”. In 2014 it was voted the number 6 Best Small Town to Visit by the Smithsonian Magazine. History buffs enjoy the Campus Martius and Ohio River Museums, along with the ancient earthworks constructed by the prehistoric Adena culture. Paddlers are enthusiastic about Marietta’s location at the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum rivers. Peddlers and runners can enjoy the multi-use path which runs along both rivers. During the summer and fall months, horse drawn carriage and trolley tours, as well as walking ghost tours are available. Antique shops, artist galleries, a wine cellar, and unique boutiques keep shoppers busy. Careful, there are so many options that you might have trouble finishing your boat!


Marietta is a quiet, historic town located at the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum rivers.

Where to Stay:



Comments are closed.