Wednesday, April 23, 2008

How May I Help You?
I often drive half way across the county to meet JB at a Caribou coffee shop and to talk about...what else...paddling. Sitting with a good friend, who also happens to be my mentor, is one of the joys about being involved with the kayak community. From out conversations, it is clear that we both believe in strong fundamental skills. When the two of us are alone on the water we always take some time to practice the most basic exercises: strokes, braces, etc. So, while we talk about lots of stuff, most of our conversations are about our individual problems, our progress and what to do next.

It is clear that we have the equipment we need, and we talk about the toys we still want. We also talk about the sport we both love and what we can do for it. This is, in part, to challenge and stimulate ourselves and, in part, to give back to the game. In either instance, we want to grow and to help the paddling community grow (in size and competence).We consider ideas such as, is there enough written? Is there a good book on every aspect of paddling? Are there any/enough decent books on how to teach? Are there new exercises (this is one JB is always working on) that can be used in classes to help students learn and to keep them stimulated? And so goes the talk over coffee mugs.

If we are to continue to improve, if we are going to become better teachers and if our sport is to grow in not only numbers but numbers of competent paddlers, we will all need to have many conversations over coffee. Many of you are sitting with good ideas that ought to be shared with other like-minded kayakers. I see this happening on the on-line forums and discussion groups, and I trust it is happening all over the world on the local level, as well. If, however, you don't have a venue for your ideas, you are welcome to join us over coffee at the 'Bou during the week or Sven's after our Sunday paddle.

Paddle safe...
DS

4 comments:

suzette said...

Do you kayak daily? Even in the winter? Wow. I am amazed if you do it even in the spring.

DaveO said...

Its great that your guys want to 'share the knowledge'. I just want to see more people interested in paddling better and safer. The more good paddlers and good examples out there, the better it is for all of us.

Silbs said...

Suzette, we paddle 12 months out of the year up here. Daveo: well said, as usual.

JohnB said...

Actually Silbs, when you join me at the 'bou you have driven through Milwaukee County and into Waukesha County, not just half way across Milwaukee County--Silbs has left the county!

Now, back to thinking about paddling. . .