Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Outward Bound

To top off one of my best seasons ever, I had the opportunity to work with SKILS and Outward Bound on a course in the Gulf Islands. It was outstanding! I was very lucky to work with Kate Hives, she was amazing. We spent a week with a polite, eager, and absolutely hilarious group of grade elevens from Toronto. It was an an honour to be "pinned" and I look forward to running OB and SKILS courses in the future.

The view form South Portland...

Kate running a session on intertidal life...

The boats are ready for bed...
Kate has crabs...

Testing the REFLECTION

Please watch this vid at 720p...This is footage and commentary from my "test" of Sterling's new Reflection. The brain child of Reg Lake, the Reflection is one of the most playful boats I have tried in years. I'm not one of Sterling's employees nor am I a sponsored paddler - this is just my honest review of their new boat. For more information or question please feel free to message me.

One Wave in Sterling's Reflection

This is one surf in Sterling's Reflection Prototype - from start to finish with a little slow motion for fun. No music on this one so you'll have to turn up yours:)

Back Surfing Sterling's Reflection

We went to skook last weekend and I had Sterling's new Reflection prototype. It surf's really well - the boat carves like you wouldn't believe. It back surfs really well too. Thanks Sterling!

Sterling's Reflection

Reg Lake is my hero! He and Sterling have been working on a sea kayak that's designed for big water play sessions. The Reflection was created with back surfing in mind! How many sea kayaks do you know that are designed to back surf?
The prototype didn't look all that pretty, but it could surf!
When I bumped into Reg and Sterling at skook Reg had brought his new creation with him. I was speechless. It's like they went into my brain and stole all my ideas. I was super pumped to give it a go on the wave. As a dedicated Romany paddler I thought that I was already in one of the most maneuverable "play" boats out there. Well I was wrong.  The Reflection blew me away. 

The second time at Skook it showed up with a new paint job...nice!
Since then I have been begging Sterling and Reg to let me use it. I'm proud to say that the Reflection is now going to plug. I can't wait to see the finished boat. Thanks guys! sterlingskayak.com

Skook Course

So...I get to work at Skookumchuck. I don't know how I got so lucky...but it's a dream come true. This year we took Rory, Mark, and Mark.

Rory rippin it up on the wave.
...now that's a wave...
For the course we met in Deep Cove twice a week for 5 weeks. Classes we introduce the skills and theories needed to safely paddle in areas of current. Practices were on dates chosen by participants and we we used practices to solidify the skills taught during our classes. For overnight trip we met at Egmont Marina on the Sunshine Coast backeddy.ca where we spent two days learning and building confidence in the dynamic waters of the Sechelt Rapids. The course covered topics such as edging and bracing, rolling, moving water recoveries and rescues, crossing strategies, predicting time, speed, and direction of currents, navigating through currents, dealing with evacuations, assessing and avoiding hazards, and paddling techniques for dealing with eddy lines, eddies, boils, whirlpools, and standing waves.

The course was challenging, tiring, and absolutely unforgettable. Thanks guys!

Hooksum Outdoor School

Like nowhere else I've ever been. This was truly and unforgettable experience...

 Hooksum Outdoor School runs a West Coast Outdoor Leadership program. This intensive 28-day Training provides a solid foundation of outdoor and leadership skills and competencies. Hard skills — certifications in advanced wilderness first aid, lifesaving and sea kayaking — are taught in accordance with current professional standards. Learning about the natural world of Hesquiat Harbour, and indigenous values and culture is included in all activities. Using adventure-based, experiential learning, participants will gain the skills and knowledge necessary for safe and practical outdoor group leadership.

Stinky dead Grey whale. It looks like it was attacked by Orcas. There was large bit marks on the tale. 
Marty and I running a morning session...so beautiful.

I ran the PC Level 2 Skills courses for them. The program was excellent. We saw whales, bears, eagles, and speculator intertidal life. The students worked very hard, the location is outstanding, and Karen's food was amazing!  

Thank you Karen and Steve. I can't wait until next year!

PC Level 1 Instructors

As much as I love teaching skills courses...I really enjoy running Instructors courses. After we completed our Level 2 skills course with DC's new crew we then tackled the L1 Instructors. Working with Mike, Jack, Megan, Erin, and Kate was exhilarating. Thank you guys!

We play a game during my courses to stay hydrated. It's called cheers. Each group chooses what to say when we "cheers". This group it was Slangevar - Scottish Gaelic - to good health. 

It didn't rain the whole time...

PC Level 3 Skills

In April, JF from SKILS was kind enough to offer me a highly valued spot as an apprentice on his Level 3 Skills course in the Broken Islands. It was outstanding. JF delivered a well organized, challenging and thoughtful course.  I learned a lot! If you want high level instruction from experienced instructors. skils.ca
The group paddling around the north side of Dodd.
Taver finishing a quick and easy solo rescue.

Nice classroom eh...

PC Level 2 Skills

Megan, me, Jack, and Kate on the overnight...it was a little drizzly.
I was lucky to run the PC L2 Skills for Deep Cove Kayak School this year. I always look forward to working with DC's new instructor team. They are so excited, focused and willing to improve their paddling skills. Thanks to Jack, Kate, Erin, Megan, and Rocky for making this an excellent course.

DCKS Staff Trip to Skookumchuck

Cold drinks at the end of a great day...
Gaz loving the Skook...
This year the staff at Deep Cove Kayak headed to Skookumchuck Rapids! It was awesome. For some of our staff it was there first real introduction to paddling in currents. The focus this year was to enjoy "park and play" kayaking, develop an understanding of learning styles and skills progression and of course...have a little fun!  
Surfing Skook!

PC IK Instructors

In March I ran a Paddle Canada IK Instructors course for SKILS. I co-taught the course with Coreena Rorke from Rocky Point Kayak. The weather was great, the students worked really hard and it was a joy to work with Coreena. It was a lot of fun. I paddled from deep cove and back each day. It was about 40 miles over three days..it was a great way to start the season! rockypointkayak.com