Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Unintended Consequences

A subject that came up at the IDW was what happens to us after we become instructors. Well, lots of things. We become more engaged in the sport. We find ourselves reading on technique. We feel a part of another fraternity. We think about what comes next and, in many instances, we start to become less expertise in our own techniques! Huh?

It's true. Spend a lot of time teaching beginners and your technique starts to slip away. After a while you realize that you have been paddling only on flat water and have not been practicing your own stuff in conditions. One day you realize that it has been a while since you did a T-rescue in 3-4 footers or executed a scoop rescue. And when was the last time you did a high brace, a real high brace, where you went all the way horizontal before recovering?

All too aware of this, Sherri and I were out Monday in an offshore wind. There was just enough fetch across the harbor to produce nice clapotis slop along the inside of the breakwater. Although the pictures don't really capture the action, those waves were going over our laps. It was a chance to relax the hips and swing and sway with Sammy Kaye (did I just date myself?). Needless to say, it felt good to be in a boat that was dancing and on water that seemed to say, "Welcome back. Let's see how much of your edge you've lost."

Want to teach? Want to be a good teacher? Then take time to teach yourself and one another. To this day, a part of every one of my paddles is to work on one or two strokes or some technique. Hey, at my age I can't afford to lose my edge.

Paddle safe...


RoyM said...

Yes....I did the same thing with Kelly Blades at Grand Marais...first time in a long time I actually got out of my boat ...I always just roll.
it was a blast, did a little rescue and be rescued and a little towing. and some other stuff
always a worthwile endevor
Best Wishes

DaveO said...

I agree and I've only been in the instructor fraternity for a couple months. If you spend all your time on the bunny hill teaching beginners to snowplow, its a bit daunting when you get back to the steeps for the first time. It feels really good then it comes back however.