2009 Central Canadian Instructor Conference Wrap-Up

Wednesday, 30 September 2009
Erik Ogaard - Serious Solo Canoeing

This past weekend I attended the Central Canadian Instructor Conference held at Madawaska Kanu Centre just outside of Barry’s Bay, Ontario.

About 50 canoe, whitewater kayak and sea kayak instructors were in attendance forming a solid group of active instructors looking to learn from each other.

The thing that made this instructor conference different from others was that there was a strong encouragement for participants to take clinics for activities they didn’t normally participate in or teach. For example, if you were a canoeist, try your hand at learning how to carve a whitewater kayak or if you have never picked up a Greenland paddle, get out there on the water.

I had the pleasure of leading a couple of sessions there which were really fun (at least for me!). I helped out with an intermediate kayak rescue clinic, a “how to teach rolling” clinic as well as the intro to Greenland Paddling.

The Greenland paddling clinic was really fun for me. It was different then other sessions taught in the past as everybody had intermediate to advanced skills for this one. What surprised me was that with all that paddling skill, only about half of them had ever paddled with a Greenland blade before. It was really fun watching the light bulbs go off in their heads when see the huge advantage of Greenland over Euro blades for support strokes like bracing or sculling.

Other highlights for the weekend included:
  • Getting out and doing a bit of white water paddling in my sea kayak (nothing big, just some light class II) then getting out later in some bigger stuff in a regular whitewater kayak.
  • Meeting up with some old friends who I haven’t seen in a while like Michael Pardy from Victoria and Alex Stuit from Kugluktuk, Nunavut.
  • Going for a mid morning paddle in a 36 foot Voyageur boat. Those things were massive!
  • Watching Erik Ogaard attempt to take out a Voyageur boat solo.

Update: Event organizer, Rick Wise from Horizons Adventures posted this short video of the gang out on the Voyageur boats.

David Johnston

David Johnston

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.

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