In the past, paddling skills were taught as individual skills, practiced and perfected (hopefully) and then used by the paddler to achieve a particular task. This has changed in that instructors and coaches are now tasked with setting challenges to the trainee paddler and let them learn by experimentation, making mistakes and learning from them. I know having talked to both new instructors and experienced coaches that this given rise to some confusion. How do you teach paddling skills without describing, demonstrating and teaching them?
Over the coming months I aim to help newer paddlers using this blog and I welcome and encourage other instructor/coaches to support this as well, with some theory on paddling skills, that they can digest at anytime and practice when at the club. I hope will also help those leading sessions to deliver a consistent message.
I am no expert in this sport and do not claim to be a great paddler – I have just been around at the club for some time, paddled many different craft, paddled many types of water and over the years have had access to plenty of information of the subject. As a member of British Canoeing for 27 years I have three copies of the paddling bibles – The Canoeing Handbook, The Canoe & Kayak Handbook and whatever the latest one is called that I cannot find amongst my library of paddling books! So using these resources and my experience I hope to take one skill at a time and break them down to something digestible chunks without getting too technical. None of us are looking to win gold medals at CVCC, just paddle efficiently and use our energy reserves to best effect.
If any instructors or coaches out there wish to contribute with a write up on a particular kill, please raise your hand ( or paddle if on the water) and help me with this.
The first topic I though we would look at is good forward paddling in a kayak. So look out for a separate blog on this particular skill that is fundamental to our paddling.