Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sometimes You Don't Need a Boat
Sometimes we just need to hit the books and sometimes we need to practice on land. Kayak lessons often start with the instructor discussing parts of the kayak, how to lift it, etc.. Basics of the forward stroke are introduced on land where the beginner doesn't have to be concerned with the twitchy little boat tipping over. In fact, one of the best classes I have ever participated in as an instructor was on the forward stroke. 3 of us took turns for over an hour showing various exercises to the class. When we finally launched, the instructors smiled at one another as every single student in that class demonstrated remarkable torso rotation. So it is with navigation.
My friend and mentor, JB, specializes in the subject and generally has an on shore session where charts and compasses, headings and ranges, deviation and drift can be learned before actually trying it on moving targets. Here, seen at Grand Marais, he works with a group before going onto the water for the practical part of the course.

Ben Lawry, one of the most innovative teachers I know, has a dry land rolling class that many have found helpful in learning the set up position, etc. before trying to cope with it all in an inverteed craft.

If you are an instructor, consider what can be covered on land where the students feel more comfortable (at first) and can learn without fear of tipping.

Paddle safe...

1 comment:

DaveO said...

I struggle to lecture on land when I could be modeling and demo-ing in the water but there are times when it just makes more sense.