BCU Paddlesport 1 star – Session 1

Posted: September 29, 2012 in Diary, Paddlesport
Tags: , , ,

Today was the first session of the paddlesport 1 star course. I have been really busy and it came round really quickly. After arriving and taking care of the course admin, I was issued some kit. The centre was well equipped and I was pleasantly surprised to be offered a wetsuit in place of the layers of tracksuit I had planned to wear. The kit issue also included a flotation aid, helmet and a cagool. I brought my own wetsuit boots – a relic from tge days I dived in a semi-dry diving suit.

We began by discussing the variety of boats available: sit on kayak, river kayaks, traditional canoe and playboats. I teamed up with another chap from the course and we took off in a two man canoe. This was a first for me, but we soon got the hang of going forwards. Soon we were practicing turning the canoe on the spot using sweep strokes and going backwards. Stopping the boat is acheived by reversing the forward paddle until the boat stops. We were told that this Myst be done in 4 strokes or less.

After a while we swapped to kayaks and practiced the same techniques, progressing to sideways movement using draw strokes. These are scooping motions made with the paddle. Too far towards the bow or stern will cause the kayak to spin.

At first, I found keeping the kayak in a straight line difficult, but some good advice helped:

Use body rotation to transfer power from the core of the body
Push against the footrest on the same side as the paddle
Grip the cockpit of the kayak with knees to keep upright
Lean forward to keep the stern of the boat from submerging

We played a few games and had a couple of races, finishing with a capsize drill. This consists of rolling the kayak over so it’s capsized and pushing out against the back of the boat while rolling forward. We didn’t have spreydecks, which would also need to be undone.

The weather was fine warm sunshine but with a cold wind that made it’s presence known immediately after I had swam to the bank and climbed out.

It was a nice couple of hours in the fresh air and I look forward to the next session, which we gave been told will very more intense!


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