Wednesday, 19 January 2011 15:44

Playing in the rocks and swell with Michael Pardy

Michael Pardy on the rocks.

Nick Castro from Active Sea Kayaking has posted another interesting video that we can learn from. This time he puts the deck camera on Michael Pardy, owner of SKILS and the two decided to mix it up in the rocks which is a nice break from the big water surfing that I have been watching and posting over the past couple of weeks.

Playing in and around rocks is a great skill to work on. It's a quick way to develop excellent boat control and gets you thinking about boat handling not from just a going forward perspective but also going backwards. You learn quick how to control both ends of the boat. It's also quite a challenge to get around a rock and not get pushed into it by the wave swells so you learn about timing and hull acceleration.

If getting involved in rockhopping is of interest to you, it's easy to get started. On a calm day find some rocks and get as close as you can without touching them. Once you get more confident do the same thing with a little bit more waves and swell. Work on going forward then backwards then add some speed to the whole thing. It's sometimes a nice change from just going out paddling and putting some miles under your hull. Go slow and start playing.

Finally, once you get more confident and start to look for rocks and medium swell, do yourself a favour and put on a helmet. Waves, rocks and that big melon on your shoulders often don't mix well.

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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