Summary of Kayaking Class June 2018
What a great night for a beginner kayaking class. The weather was absolutely beautiful. Not too hot and not too cold. Just right.
I would like to thank everyone who came out for this class. You did an amazing job. I was very impressed with how quickly everyone in the group grasped the concepts and mastered the techniques.
The first 1.5 hours was the beginner class. We learned the differences between performance boats and recreational boats. We looked at a sea kayak and compared it to a whitewater kayak. It was pretty obvious why a person would want a smaller boat for whitewater and a longer sleeker boat for sea kayaking. We also pointed out that performance boats have smaller cockpits and a tighter fit on the hips. This improves performance on rough waters. It also requires a person to master a technique known as a wet exit in order to get out of the boat. Please contact us if you are thinking of buying a performance boat and we can set up a one on one session to teach you how to wet exit if your boat capsizes.
We used our Wilderness System Aspire 105 rental kayaks for our class. This kayak is considered more of an intermediate recreational boat. It has the stability of a normal recreation boat, but it also handles well on gentle moving water.
Recreation boats generally have larger cockpit openings and more primary stability than performance boats. The design allows for the paddler to be able to fall out of the boat should the boat flip over. You do not need to master the wet exit technique in order to paddle them.
During the class we learned a variety of beginner strokes and introduced a few more advanced strokes. Everyone mastered the forward stroke, the reverse stroke, the forward and reverse sweeps. Sweeps are used for turning the boat while forward and reverse strokes are used for moving in a straight line.
We also earned how to rudder on the left and right side of the boat. This is a simple technique used to make small corrections when we have forward momentum and want to make small changes in direction we are traveling. In addition, we threw in a J-lean which assists us with our rudder techniques.
Since the class was doing so well, we introduced a more advance technique known as the high brace. This is a great technique used to upright a kayak which may be tipping to far to one side or the other. This is very useful when one accidentally runs up on top of a log or rock and finds ourselves off balance. It's also helpful to master this technique before moving into whitewater or sea kayaking.