Intro to Kayaking Class, New Lessons Learned!

I had a great course last weekend with a woman who wanted to learn the basics of kayaking. She was primarily interested in photography and bird watching, and while she had paddled in ponds and lakes she'd never been in the ocean.

Our lesson that day was at the Willows in Salem, and while I sometimes think that flat water is the best for learning precision stroke work, I think a little bump is best for folks new to ocean paddling so they can learn in a real environment, and face the challenges that they would face taking their own boat out. For a BCU 2 or 3* I want flat water, but for a person looking to get out in the ocean and be safe, I want real texture to the water.

It was wonderful because she learned some really important things, as did I. First of all she learned that taking photo's from our coastlines, might not be as easy as she thought - who wants to put their paddle down and take pictures with 1 ft swells on the beam? Not me! And definitely not her!! It's also interesting that smaller paddlers really have trouble edging the more recreational style sea kayaks because they're built for straight tracking. She had to lean her whole body over in order to get a very slight edge which is definitely not what I wanted to see, so we modified turning by focusing on good strong sweep strokes and that seemed to help.

Finally, should I have taken her into the rocks? Okay maybe not, but she learned boat maneuvering REALLY QUICKLY! Hurrah for her, and okay I had fun too :)