" /> Paddle Log: October 2006 Archives

« September 2006 | Main | November 2006 »

29 October 2006


After a few months of thinking about it and a few weeks of eager anticipation, having placed an order, I picked up an open canoe yesterday and took it out on the water for the first time today.

The original plan was to put in on the River Arun at Pulborough but the flow looked very fast and the put in rather steep and slippery. Instead, we headed to the lake at Southwater and all the family enjoyed playing around in our new toy in the warm autumn sunshine.

open canoe at Southwater (click to enlarge)

24 October 2006

Introductory course week 2

Tonight was the second week of one of our club's three week introductory courses and, even at this time of year, they continue to prove popular. I was away last week and although I gathered we had lost two or three participants we still had a group of eight. I was coaching with one of the club's other trainee coaches and so we were able to give plenty of individual attention as we looked at forward and backward paddling, stopping and draw strokes.

We finished up with a game of 'stuck-in-the-mud' which was a great workout for the chasers and which I think everyone enjoyed. It is also encouraging as a coach to see how this sort of thing frees people from thinking about what they are doing and how their paddling improves dramatically.

Coaching time: 1.5 hours

11 October 2006

Playing in the dark

Despite the autumn weather and dark evenings, we still seem to have a lot of enthusiastic newcomers at THCC. Last night we had a beginners group of twelve that had apparently only diminished by two or three since they began three weeks ago.

After a warm up we introduced them to some of the more technical strokes: draw stroke, low brace and stern rudder. With four instructors in the group we were able to give them plenty of attention and progress was evident.

After all that learning we played a couple of games. Firstly, rounders, which has a lot of potential but is quite difficult to marshal in the dark with so many boats, then we finished up with a frantic game of stuck-in-the-mud and some of the participants got their first taste of rescue practices.

Everyone went away with a one star award and seemed keen to come back next week to start on the two star.

Coaching: 1.5 hours

3 October 2006

Fun and games

Tonight I had another open canoing session on Shadwell Basin. Open boating seems to be gaining popularity in our club and tonight there were five of us out together. This gave me more confidence to try some wet skills including rescues - much easier than in a kayak - and climbing back in, which I found hard work.

One trick that amused the kayakers was the 'stack': two boats rafted together with two more stacked across these and a fifth boat (with person standing) stacked on top of them.

Practicing my canoeing skills in a group was a lot more fun than trying to teach myself and it looks like I will have a few more open boaters to learn with over the winter.