Monday 3 March 2014

Kayaking Skills Training Sessions in The Lake District. Rydal Water. Thursday 27th February 2014.

Last Thursday, Iain found himself out on one of The Lake Districts many lakes with Colin Brooke. Colin enjoys adventure racing and is currently in preparation for such a forthcoming event in Ireland involving a 15 mile Kayaking section.

Because of this, Colin decided to book a refresher course in Kayaking. He "Googled" Kayaking Courses in The Lake District and found that Kendal Mountaineering Services offered just such courses.

A quick call to Iain confirmed that yes - he was available to work with Colin and that yes, Thursdays were convenient. This suited Colin, as most weeks, both he & his wife are in  Kendal visiting a relative on this day.

As Colin was staying literally just up the road, Iain was happy to collect him and drop him off again at the end of the session. We drove to Rydal water which Iain figured would be suitable for the aims of Colin's kayaking session, got kitted up and were on the lake by 10am. Thursday was a bright, sunny day with a few light showers in the morning and a fair breeze which sprang up on occasion - making paddling quite interesting!

We still have snow in The Lake District as you'll see in photo two. The snow covered top in the distance is High Raise which is approximately the most central fell in the Lake District National Park.

So what did we do on Rydal Water? Well, Iain started off by going back to basics, how to hold the paddle and setting up of the kayak for the paddler - important this - you have to be correctly fitted to your boat in order to paddle effectively!

Once on the water, Iain demonstrated efficient forward paddling strokes, stopping and paddling backwards and then coached Colin in order to get these strokes right! Colin's forward paddling was quite good and it was clear that he had kayaked before and had remembered some things - even if it was 30 years since he was last in a Kayak!

In photo three, Colin is practicing a more advanced kayaking stroke - the Sculling Draw. This involves holding the paddle as shown and slicing the paddle backwards & forwards down the side of the kayak always making sure that the leading edge of the paddle blade is angled slightly away from the boat. The stroke is done in line with the paddlers body which should be rotated towards the side of the craft. Doing the stroke too far forwards or backwards will translate into a turning stroke rather than a sideways movement.

We did a complete circuit of Rydal Water practicing various manoeuvres and strokes including a combination of forward & backwards paddling strokes to execute a 360 degree turn and also other turning strokes such as the Stern Rudder and Sweep Stroke.

We broke at around mid-day for some lunch and then got back on the water - practicing some moving water skills on the River Rothay where it flows into the lake before heading back on to Rydal Water to consolidate those skills already learned.

In photo four, Colin practices the Low Brace Support Stroke - useful if you think you are about to capsize! Fortunately, Colin remained upright & dry throughout our session - probably because he was very relaxed and happy about being in a kayak again.

We packed up about 2pm and headed back to town. Iain wold like to wish Colin all the best with his forthcoming adventure race and maybe we will see him again at some point for some more Kayaking or Canadian Canoeing.

For Colin's 5 hour bespoke Kayaking Skills Training Session he paid £100. This included the provision of a kayak & paddle, a wet suit (although Colin had his own), a cagoule and buoyancy aid and one on one tuition with a kayaking coach. We do not usually offer transport but on this occasion it made sense to do so and we are happy to help if & where we can. This session was slightly longer than our usual 4 hour half day session priced at £90 for a minimum of two or one persons but, we are happy to be flexible in order to ensure you get what you want!

To book your own half day Kayaking Session in The Lake District with Iain contact him here. We look forward to working with you.

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