Monday, March 2, 2009

You can teach an old kayaker new tricks

Sharon completes a low brace recovery.

This is week three of the solo canoe class. It's strange and wonderful to be a student again. We experience every lesson on two levels: as students learning new skills, and as instructors fascinated by how other instructors teach.
Our paddling skills do and don't translate. Many of the strokes are familiar but different. Our draw strokes are almost identical, but the canoe pry has no counterpart in the kayak repertoire. The low brace is pretty similar, but the canoe high brace is an act of faith compared to the high brace recovery stroke we do in a kayak (the end of a roll).
Open boats sink much more quickly than kayaks containing flotation or bulkheads. And yet the strategies for assisted rescues are quite similar. The canoe folks just discovered the fabulous heel-hook reentry that sea kayakers began using a couple of years ago.
Stick around in any paddle sport and you'll witness techniques evolve. As we learned the high brace, IT (Instructor Trainer) Tom Lindblade noted that the ACA (American Canoe Association) has recently begun recommending a pry stroke instead.
We're enjoying watching another discipline's instructors adopt and teach techniques that change over time.

Alec attempts to roll a canoe.


Lyn Stone said...

Gee, I thought there was at least one clear photo. Nice motion though.

Lyn Stone said...

Ok, tonight was compound reverse - really fun
cross strokes, like cross bow