Teaching

If you are a canoe or kayak instructor make sure you check out the latest issue of the American Canoe Associations, Journal of Paddlesport Education. The Journal is a fantastic resource filled with tips and ideas to make your teaching easier and more fun. Here is the description on the ACA website: The Journal of Paddlesport Education is a monthly electronic newsletter from the Safety Education & Instruction Department that provides valuable information to paddlesport Instructors, Clubs and Affiliates. From intriguing articles to new initiatives, updated course curricula, and policy changes, the monthly JPE newsletter is a primary tool for professional paddlesport development and disseminating pertinent information.
You might have noticed that things have been a touch slow around here over the past little while. The reason is because I was away in Calgary, Albertafor the past two and a half weeks teaching several sea kayaking courses with my good friend, Tony Palmer from the local paddling shop, Undercurrents. Over the 10 days I was teaching we ran a bunch of Paddle Canada courses including Level 1 Skills, Level 2 Skills, Intro to Kayaking Instructor and a Level 1 Instructor course. I know that there are those of you who are thinking, “Alberta? Sea Kayaking? What?” While it’s true that Alberta is known more for canoeing and whitewater kayaking there is some nice places to get out in the long boats including the many lakes all over the place and the long rivers that are perfect for the weekend of week-long trip. Also, the ocean is a quick 12h hop from Calgary to Vancouver if you are planning a paddling vacation. A couple of quick highlights from my time out there include an overnight on the Bow River just south of Calgary. Along the 50km stretch that we paddled, the Bow is a meandering class 1 swift that runs along a valley carved out of the prairie grasslands. It was a totally fun experience. We also got a chance (also part of the level 2 skills course) to get out on the Kananaskis River at Canoe Meadows and play in the moving water there. In the part that we paddled it wasn’t massive but a lot of whitewater kayakers did get kinda weirded out watching 16-foot sea kayaks take over the little eddies. Good times. View Larger Map Check out the Google Streetview of the Canoe Meadows parking lot below. I’m not sure what they are doing but it looks like a game of tag by a group of adults all topless and in wetsuits. I can understand why the Google car kept driving by. I would have done the same. View Larger Map One of the major goals of the courses in Calgary was to increase…
If you are interested in teaching yourself about Greenland rolling Christopher Crowhurst is the guy you need to talk to (or at least shift through his fantastic kayak rolling website, qajaqrolls.com. A while back Christopher released the Rolling with Sticks Guide Book which is a really innovative and simple book that breaks down each individual Greenland kayak roll. The stick guys do a great job highlighting the key steps for each roll. The brilliant idea with the book is that it’s printed and bound on waterproof paper so you can take it with you on the water Now Christopher has moved to the next step and produced an instructional DVD called Rolling with Sticks which looks pretty good. Rolling with Sticks DVD preview from Christopher Crowhurst on Vimeo. As the preview demonstrates, each video is clearly demonstrated showing it in multiple angles both above and below the water. You can purchase just the book for $29.95, DVD for $19.99 or as a package deal for $39.95. More info and image credits: qajaqrolls.com
If you are like me there is a very good chance that you struggle to explain to your students the basics of how tides work. To help solve the mystery, the gang from Minute Physics produced a very cool video that explains the basics so simply that that my 10 year-old could understand. Also, if you have also got an extra minute why don’t you learn why some rocks on the shoreline are round while other rocks are flat and perfect for skipping across the water. Who knew that gravity affected our lives so much? I didn’t. Flickr Photo Credit: Low Tide Turnagain Arm / Travis / CC BY-NC 2.0
David Wooldridge from Ridge Wilderness Adventures in Maple Ridge, British Columbia assembled a really well done instructional video specifically for Big Canoe paddling. Over the past couple of weeks I have seen a large uptick in the number of Big Canoe videos released. By large uptick, I really mean I went from seeing zero big canoe videos to 3 in the past month. As you might know, Paddle Canada rolled out their Big Canoe instructional program this year and what’s happening is the newly certified instructors are developing teaching resources for everybody else to use. Creative Commons Licence on Flickr by tlindenbaum.
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