Paddle Shack Kayak School

I took the Paddle Shack Flatwater Kayak school yesterday, which was great. It was up at Meech Lake.

Pam and Jeff helping the other students
Pam and Jeff helping the other students

There were only 10 students, and two instructors (Pam and Jeff), so there was lots of time for personalized instruction. We started off with familarization on land, such as equipment and parts of a kayak.

Next, we moved out onto the water for the morning exercises (wet exits). This involves deliberately rolling the kayak, and then escaping. I volunteered to try it first; I found the water was very nice, and once I had done one exit, I decided to swim around a bit, enjoying the water. I haven’t been swimming in so very long.

After lunch, we started working on the strokes. Although it wasn’t taught, I really liked performing the power stroke; with a nearly vertical paddle cutting deep into the water, I felt like an Olympian! Most of the strokes were intuitive at the basic level, although the nuance to make the stroke correctly requires much practice.

At the end of the day, some of the students took a tour of the lake, going up around a small island about 1.5 km up the lake. The tour took less than 45 minutes, but could have been about 3 km or more.

I thought my arms and back would be very sore today, but actually it’s not so bad. A little stiff, but not sore.

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