Monday, June 15, 2009

White Water Certification Training, day 1

I decided I wanted to help teach kayaking as it goes with what I am doing with my meetup group plus it is fun to help get people interested and excited about kayaking. Although I am likely a better sea kayaker at the moment, I have been doing so much white water kayaking that I thought I would start with white water and look into whether I can transition into sea kayaking by the end of summer. I was accepted into the training class even though space was a bit tight. This required about a week off of work. This particular class was for ACA certification for levels 1 through 4.

The training begins
I wasn't really sure what to expect with the class. When the instructor trainer asked what I hoped to get out of the class, my response was to better my skills and learn how best to teach them. The class was mostly classroom lecture the first day with a little on the water work later in the afternoon. Since the training was taking place at a summer day camp, we had access to pools, and the 'lake'. Turned out the lake was a glorified pond with a tiny feeder stream, but it was water. The girls pool had just been filled and they were still repairing the boy's pool. I did have some trouble finding my way around as I wasn't familiar with the camp even though I have been to the boat shop before.

The students
I didn't realize I was going to be the only student in the class over the age of 25. In fact all the other students were working as counselors at the summer camp and were between 15 and 18 with one being 24. They were fun to hang out with and had been paddling for years. Some of them were really good with tricks but had a little trouble with some of the more basic strokes. I barely have one year of white water kayaking and while my strokes are mostly dead on from sea kayaking, I had a few things to learn on the first day. More it was about how to teach the strokes rather then me learning the strokes first.

Forward, sweep, and correction strokes
We all learned how to do a proper forward stroke with good torso rotation, vertical paddle shaft and extension to the front of the kayak. The forward and reverse sweeps as well as combination sweeps were next. This one requires a more horizontal paddle shaft with good extension forward and out. The combination sweeps are a forward combined with a reverse to really spin the kayak around. Correction strokes are simply the last quarter of a sweep. Also known as a stern pry and stern draw.

No comments:

Post a Comment