Over the past week two really good articles were posted online that I would have a lifetime of regrets if I didn’t mention them.
Firstly, head over to paddling.net and read Wayne Horodowich’s fantastic post, The Seasick Paddler. Getting seasick while on the water is one of the worst things that a paddler can face. Simply put, your paddling day is done and you are in for some good times throwing up or feeling like you are about to.
If you are in any type of leadership position (or paddle with friends) then you owe it to your clients/students to read the article.
Here is a quick teaser of something I hadn’t thought about:
[blockquote]Anyone who has ever vomited knows that during the regurgitation process your normal breathing is interrupted. When your trunk muscles contract you are not able to inhale. However, after you do expel the contents of your stomach you usually feel a need for a big breath. Imagine if you leaned over the side of your kayak to vomit and you capsized in the process. Do you think you would have the control to hold your breath and not inhale while you were under the water? If you have that kind of control great. If not, you may suffer severe consequences. The protocol I developed for our classes and trips was to educate the paddlers when and how to vomit if they did get sick.[/blockquote]
Click through for the full article.
The other great article was written by Eric Soares on Entering the Surf Zone. Its chalk full chock-full of tips and ideas for anybody who is nervous or has had trouble leaving the beach while waves are rolling in around you.
[blockquote]The worst likely thing to happen is you get wet. Big deal. So don a wetsuit or drysuit or whatever clothing you need to make you comfortable in the surf, and then wade out in it. Let the breakers hit you. Practice jumping over the waves and diving under and right through them. Swim around in small surf and eventually progress up to 3-foot waves. Body surf until you get a few good rides under your belt. Once you feel good swimming in surf, the worst is over. The fear of getting wet is replaced with the joy of immersion in ionized water. You are now ready to paddle through the surf.[/blockquote]
Read the full article here.
There is a new kayak training DVD about to be released called Sea Kayak Essentials and it’s put together by the same gang that brought us Kayak Essentials last year which we were happy to review at the time.
This time round they are looking specifically at sea kayaking with a focus on the following skills:
There are also sections that go into more detail on how to paddle in advanced conditions including tidal races, surfing and rock hopping.
I’m really looking forward to seeing this DVD. Kayak Essentials was well produced and focused a lot on the technical skill development so there was a lot of material to work with. Sea Kayak Essentials looks to be in a similar vein and very promising.
A trailer was recently posted and it’s embedded below.
You can find more information about Sea Kayak Essentials on their website.
We have all been there. There is only an hour left in your lesson but you have two hours of material left to teach. Where did the time go?
A sign of a good instructor is the ability to keep on top of your lesson plan and finish things off in the allotted amount of time. With one eye on the students and the other on her watch, the instructor can keep the lesson going without getting flustered or stressed that she behind schedule.
Below is a set of random tips and ideas to help you manage your time while out teaching this summer:
Got other time saving ideas? Post them in the comments area below.
The Learn to Camp program involves a three pronged approach including an online website, community-based evening sessions and overnight classes at several provincial parks.
Throughout the camping season the Ontario Parks staff will be organizing free evening sessions in partnership with local community groups around the Greater Toronto area. The clinics will allow people who are thinking about going camping learn about provincial parks and how to make their first trip a success.
If you are a fan of emersion learning then you could sign-up for one of the overnight programs. It costs $46 and can have a maximum of six participants. It’s much more in-depth then the community sessions as it covers some of the key outdoor skills to make sure your camping experience is successful including settings up a tent, building a campfire, equipment choices, and food prep.
Finally, if you can’t get to an event in person, Ontario Parks has rolled out a fantastic online resource with all clinic materials online. I really appreciate that the site content is very practical and clearly aimed at the beginner camper with the goal of breaking down the intimidation factor. For example, the food section includes a sample meal plan as well as lots of information on things that I would never think about like how to actually cook on a stove safety or how to properly pack a cooler.
I love this initiative and congrats to Parks Ontario for rolling out.
Photo credit: Our camp at Nipigon Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
If you are new to SUP or an expert looking to get more performance from your paddling you need to watch this very technical breakdown of the stroke used during Stand Up Paddling. It’s developed by Jim Terrell, the creator of QuickBlade Paddles.
The SUP Instructors out there, watch closely when Jim breaks down each of the paddlers stroke pointing out some of the key elements to watch for along with the common mistakes that beginning SUP ‘ers often make.
The video is listed after the jump.
For those looking to get kayaking instruction this season there are several very interesting courses taking place in my neck of the woods that I thought I would pass along.
Coming up this June here in Toronto, Harbourfront Canoe and Kayak center is running a pilot program partnering with SKILS to offer a Day Guide program (Guide Level 1) from the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC (SKGABC). This is the first time that this type of program has been run out of British Columbia.
The 5-day program looks pretty solid and would appeal to anybody who is taking people out on the water. SKGABC certification has international recognition including places like New Zealand, Denmark and South America so if you are the working/traveling type, the certification card has traction in those parts as well.
More info: paddletoronto.com (1/2 way down the page)
If guiding isn’t your thing but you are interested in intermediate kayaking skills why not join Bonnie Perry and myself in Wawa, Ontario this August. We are putting on again a joint Paddle Canada Level 2 and BCU 3* program at Naturally Superior Adventures on the north shore of Lake Superior.
Bonnie and I were talking on the phone just the other day howling with laughter while remembering the good times from last year. Bonnie says that she has a whole new batch of jokes ready to go. I’m still on my jokes greatest hits tour so you are going to hear my recycled gems at least three times over the week.
If you interested the Naturally Superior Adventures blog has info as well as a great collection of photos from last year.
learntokayak.ca is hosting several exciting sea kayaking skill development courses this season including two Paddle Canada Level 3 courses running out of Byng Inlet in Georgian Bay. If you are taking vacation in Spring jump on their course in May or else ask your boss for extra time off in early October.
Level 3 is a fantastic course and is aimed at intermediate paddlers who want to develop their rough water paddling skills. It starts to get into topics with a lot more detail inclding incident management, leadership, multi-day trip planning and advanced navigation.
Here are the course details if you are keen.
Finally if you are busy in both June and August then book time off in October when White Squall Paddling Center in Parry Sound, Ontario will be offering a Paddle Canada Level 2 Instructor course.
This advanced instructor course is being held in conjunction with the Georgian Bay Storm Gathering (which you should be coming to anyways!) and taught by two of Ontario’s best instructors, Greg Mason and Graham Ketcheson (who also happens to be Paddle Canada’s executive director).
If you are interested in signing up, contact White Squall and they can give you all the details about the course.
Here are a couple photos from a trip last week up to Lake Superior last week. I had the pleasure of being invited to teach a Paddle Canada Level 2 sea kayaking course at Naturally Superior Adventures with my co-instructor; the very funny and hugely talented Rev. Bonnie Perry. Long-time readers will remember a piece I wrote a year ago when she was nominated to be the Bishop of Minnesota.
If you are a Paddle Canada Level 1 Instructor and thinking about moving up the certification ladder, you might be interested to know that White Squall Paddling Centre is going to be running a Level 2 Instructor Course this October. It is being held in conjunction with the Georgian Bay Storm Gathering so it’s more than just the course.
As far as I know, it’s the only one registered in Canada for 2010 so get yourself registered while there is space.
Here are all the details:
Just got an email from the Paddle Canada Program Development Committee (I'm part of the Sea Kayaking PDC) with the official announcement that they are in the process of completely rewriting the canoeing program and hope to have it out to Paddle Canada instructors in March 2009.