DVD Reviews

BCU Level 3 Coach, Nick Cunliffe and Matt Giblin recently released their second instructional DVD in the Sea Kayak Essentials series. Last time they focused on foundation kayak skills aimed at beginner and intermediate paddlers but this time they are stopping it up a notch as they focus on intermediate and advanced boat handling skills. Sea Kayak Essentials covers a wide range of topics including open water forward paddling, moving water skills, tide race paddling, rock hopping and surfing skills. The paddling nerd in me really liked this video. Be warned that in some areas it’s very technical which could turn of casual paddlers looking for pure entertainment. That being said; they do a fantastic job breaking down some very technical skills (eg. tidal race paddling) and present it in easy to digest chunks. If you are the self learning type of paddler then this DVD will appeal to you. You know who you are; you read info in books or watch a DVD then go out and practice yourself and figure it out. This DVD will be right up your alley. One thing that I do really appreciate is that the producers have also written 40 pages of technical notes to go along with the DVD allowing you to get even more detail out of the video. It’s a great resource for students but I believe it will also be a fantastic resource for instructors who are looking to increase their technical knowledge for rough water paddling skills. You can grab a copy of it on their website. Except for Jennifer Lopez’s masterpiece Gigli, no film is perfect. One thing that I do wish Nick and Matt did was to spend more time explaining some techniques from a boat. Nick does a great job as host and instructor but I sometimes noticed the editing formula would be to introduce the skill and explain the key concepts while standing on a rock then cut to a boater in rough water doing it with nice background music. There was a couple times where I was longing for a voice over or…
Thursday, 08 April 2010 15:27

DVD Review: This is Canoeing

This is Canoeing is the next DVD in a growing list of award winning films by Justine Curgenven who is best known for her groundbreaking sea kayaking, “This is the Sea” series. Justine was one of the first to really show what a sea kayak could do and bring that footage to the masses.With her newest film This is Canoeing, Justine steps out of her kayak and into a canoe with the goal of celebrating the many versatile uses is this fantastic watercraft. Running over three and a half hours; the 2 DVD set can be more described as 12 short films highlighting different people or different styles of paddling. Included in the film is Kevin Callan, Becky Mason, Paul Mason, Mark Scriver, Andrew Westwood, Karen Knight, Bob Foote and Wendy Grater.Like her sea kayaking films, This is Canoeing was shot in many exotic places including Northern Canada, the United States, Scotland & Wales.I will be honest with you, I really wanted to love this movie but I just couldn’t. Don’t get me wrong; I liked the move a lot, I just didn’t love it. It’s thoroughly entertaining with some great whitewater action and very funny interviews throughout but I just found that it was missing something that I still find difficult to put my finger on.
Tuesday, 30 March 2010 11:37

DVD Review: Kayak Essentials

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a new kayak skills DVD just released called Kayak Essentials. I was very pleased to get a copy in the mail to review.Kayak Essentials is produced by BCU coaches Nick Cunliffe, Matt Giblin and Lynsey Evans. They are all extremely well qualified instructors and it’s very evident that they did their homework with this project. The kayaking skills demonstrated throughout the DVD are good and the production for a training video is top rate.Clocking in at roughly an hour and an half, Kayak Essentials focuses on the core skills for flatwater, whitewater and sea kayaking.The one thing I noticed right off the start is that the video isn’t flashy at all. At first I was thinking, “Ugh oh, what have we got here?” but then I was pleasantly surprised that the lack of flash was made up for by the depth of knowledge in skills that the DVD presented. Every time a new skill is introduced they take the time to go through the stroke; carefully pointing out the key elements as well as common problems beginners usually have. Scattered throughout are extra challenges and simple coaching tips to remember when out paddling on your own.
Simon Willis was very kind to send me late last week a preview copy of the new DVD that he produced and directed; Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown.Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown was developed to be an extension to Gordon’s very good book by the same name. Like the book, the DVD is aimed at intermediate paddlers and provides a video reference to the many skills need on the water.
Saturday, 05 January 2008 20:28

DVD Review: Pacific Horizons

Pacific Horizons is the latest film released to the growing trend of big water sea kayaking. Filmed and produced by Bryan Smith, it is entirely shot in the Pacific Northwest. Even before its release, Pacific Horizons was generating a significant amount of buzz. Bryan had to rush a pre-release version of it so it would be ready in time for its headline debut at the 2007 West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium. The biggest news came when it was chosen as a finalist for the famed 2007 Banff Mountain Film Festival. Clocking at 60 minutes, it takes the viewer through many different aspects of sea kayaking including placid flatwater paddling, tripping, surfing and Greenland rolling.
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