Got the recent newsletter from Tim Dyer over at White Squall Paddling Centre. I always jump right to Tim's Tips as it is usually practical. Not always as one time there was advice on how to run a gas powered post hole digger. I'm sure somebody out there found the advice practical...
Sign yourself up at the White Squall website at whitesquall.com.
Tune Your Stroke - When paddling along, get a favorite song going in your head - and maybe even sing it out loud (depending on who's listening!) You'll be pleasantly surprised as your stroke becomes more relaxed, fluid and efficient. The goal is to relax and let the paddle do its work. My Dad always taught me in carpentry to let the hammer swing free, instead of forcing it...the same applies to a kayak paddle, which is really your watery tool. I'm partial to Gordon Lightfoot and Stan Rogers - but different strokes for different folks and to each his own.
Loose Hips and Lips - In the war, they used to say that "Loose Lips Sink Ships" Apparently a little alcohol in a warm pub with a sweet-talking lady could squeeze all sorts of secrets from a soldier on leave. Well, the latter day kayaking version of this is "Loose Hips Save Ships" so often I've seen otherwise good paddlers tense up as the waves build. That tension is automatically transferred to the hull with a stiff upper/lower body and the boat and padder start bobbing like a buoy. The end game of this is usually a dump. But if you loosen up and imagine a hinge between your upper and lower body - the stress evaporates and you realize your kayak really doesn't want to tip over. I think of it as letting the boat do what it was meant to do. ie- float upright!
A Couple of Tim's TipsWednesday, 17 January 2007
Published in: Teaching
David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.