Monday, June 29, 2009

Kayak lessons

It has been a while sine I posted - sorry about that.

Sylvia and I attended a kayak class led by Derek Hutchison and Wayne Horodowich, called Beyond the Cockpit (there is also a video out on it, which we also own). Good fun, and interesting to expand kayak skills.

The goal of the class is to teach you that while a kayak at first feels a bit unsteady and you feel you need to keep your balance above the boat, there are ways to let you extend your balance to the side or (with the help of a friend) even stand up in your boat. The picture above are of Sylvia being assisted by Derek Hutchison as she stood up.

That skill didn't have a lot of practical value, but another similar skill does. It was formed by kayakers trying to find a way to fix a damaged boat while on the water. The traditional method would have the kayaker get into the water while the second kayaker would fix the boat, but that would often leave you with a hypothermic kayaker. Derek developed the method shown in this picture that has the kayaker sit on the front deck of the rescuer's boat. Once the second kayak is brought on board, their is amazing balance. When Sylvia and I did this, I was able to stand up without trouble and I don't think I could have flipped Sylvia even if I tried. This skill is useful should you need to fix a boat, get something out of one of the main hatches of a kayak, or just take a break and stretch your legs.

Many of the skills were not as photogenic, but still quite useful. Things like extended paddle brace turns and such. More skills to have in my bag of tricks when kayaking.

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