Outdoor enthusiast, Joe Crespi moved from his home town of Orlando, FL to the frothy rivers of western North Carolina to earn a B.A. in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education from Brevard College. During his time in the mountains he worked as a raft, canoe, and kayak guide for local outfitters on the French Broad and the Nolichucky rivers.
Once he graduated College, Joe moved to Charleston, SC where he worked for Epic Kayaks Inc. in sales, marketing, event planning, and customer support. Soon after, Joe earned his Level 3 ACA Coastal Kayak Instructor Certification, his rolling instructor endorsement, and his Wilderness First Responder(WFR) certification.
Now in Atlantic Beach, he is the organizer of a local paddling Meetup group (The Jacksonville Kayaking Meetup Group), which has grown through his hard work and dedication to Jacksonville’s local paddling community. With over 12 years of experience, he offers his expertise in kayak instruction and safety to meet up members and clients of First Coast Outfitters.
Tom Nickles is one of the most highly respected ACA/BCU instructors on the East Coast. His certifications are beyond impressive, and the instruction he offers is that of a higher caliber. We are lucky to have someone of his experience living and working here in Jacksonville Beach! If your interested in becoming an ACA instructor, or are looking to push your self to the next level of instruction, then Tom is your man!
We are happy to have him as part of the FCO family!
- ACA (L-4) Open Water Instructor Trainer Educator
- ACA Advanced Open Water Sea Kayak Instructor
- BCU Coach Level 3 Award A-1
- BCU 4* Star Open Water Award
- BCU Endorsed Center and Endorsed Coach Status
- BCU Canoe Safety Award
- Leave No Trace (LNT) Training Award
- Wilderness First Responder
- Affiliate Board Member of the ACA Coastal Kayak Committee
- P & H Sea Kayak Paddling Team Member
Matt has been pulled toward Florida’s waters all his life, from fishing out of aluminum canoes on the small bass lakes of Central Florida, to paddling sea kayaks on expeditions throughout the state. He has logged nearly 2,000 expedition miles on Florida’s waterways, including thru-paddles of the St Johns River, Ocklawaha River, and the first-ever thru-paddle of the 1,515 mile Circumnavigational Trail. Currently Matt serves as the Region K Director of the Florida Paddling Trail Association.
“As the Expedition Guide for First Coast Outfitters, I look forward to the opportunity to explore Florida’s paddling destinations with you.” -Matt Keen
First Coast Outfitters is excited to have Walter Gomes leading our chartered kayaking excursions. A lifelong kayaker, Walter has been fishing out of a kayak for over 17 years. He has cast his line on the waters of British Columbia all the way down to Mexico, and is now residing here in Jacksonville where he is sharing his knowledge of kayaking and fishing with the First Coast Community.
Don’t let Wali’s extensive experience with kayak fishing intimidate you. He is happy to take to the water with anglers of all levels, including those who are new to the sport and those who have cherished the hobby as long as he has.
Peter Crespi “Fishy”
Having grown up in central Florida, Peter has spent the majority of his life either in or on the water. Whether he is surfing, fishing or kayaking he seems to always be drawn back to it! He is currently attending University of Florida, and is 2 semesters away from earning his undergraduate degree in engineering.
Being Joe’s brother, Peter has had the opportunity to paddle for many years in some of Florida’s most beautiful waters. You may see him in the shop one day and guiding a tour the next! We are excited to have him as an important part of the First Coast Outfitters team.
What Our Customers Say…
“Truly I can’t say enough about how great the guides at First Coast Outfitters are! They give experiences of a lifetime! Joe and Rachel, and all the guides do a fantastic job…It’s great to have people like this representing our paddling community in North Florida!”
“Joe and Rachel, Thanks for coming to the Mississippi Gulf Coast and training our staff to be efficient and safe guides! You guys did a great job, and we can’t wait to have you guys back again next year!!”
“Perfect location to learn the fundementals of bracing and rolling from two first-class instructors. Every kayaker should have these techniques in their paddling toolbox for safety security and…fun! Thanks to Joe and Rachel for a super weekend in the pool.”
“I really enjoyed this class — it was a great opportunity to get acquainted with my new kayak in safe water. Joe and Rachel are such great teachers — they make you actually look forward to falling out of the boat (again and again).”
“This was such an outstanding trip! Joe you did a fantastic job of putting on a truly wonderful and unbelieveable experience for all that were able to make it… The water so pretty and clear, all of the wildlife…the weather was perfect…It just couldn’t have been any better of a trip! This is one that is a “must do it again”!”
“Our family had an amazing time on the First Coast Outfitters Family Tour!! Rachel was great with the kids and an incredible story teller with a wealth of historical knowledge about the area…This trip was a year ago, and they are still talking about it!! We can’t wait to come back to Jacksonville, and take on the next adventure FCO will have planned for us!!”