Last year, our trip to the ACC’s School of Recreational Kayaking was our first real instruction in boating. Mandy was out of town, so she missed it, but Bryan and I spent the weekend in our first kayaks, the LiquidLogic XPs, and we learned a lot. This year, we approached the school in a much different way. We’ve all become much better paddlers in the last year, but there’s still a tremendous amount to learn. Bryan pitched in as a ‘safety boater’ for one of the basic kayak classes; I borrowed a whitewater canoe and enrolled in the canoe class.
Mandy’s back kept us from making a decision about what she’d do for the weekend. At the last minute, she got the blessing of her new orthopedic doctor. He had some concerns about the body position required by a kayak – her hamstrings are very tight, which puts her lower back in a strained position – so he suggested a little time in a canoe. On very short notice, she borrowed a Spanish Fly from our friend Cole. She had a great weekend getting to know a new boat. Continue reading “Rec School 2013”
This year, since we just bought boats, we decided to enroll in the ACC’s ‘School of Recreational Paddling.’ In order to feel useful (I like to feel useful) I wrote this article about it for Arkansas Outside. Rather than writing a separate blog post about Rec School, I’m just going to plagiarize my own work and cut and paste it here.The Arkansas Canoe Club is about forty years old, and they’ve organized training weekends for thirty-seven of those years – Canoe School evolved into Whitewater School, and then about ten years ago they began offering a Recreational School as well. That experience shows in the really good programs the club puts together. Those good at organizing organize. Other paddlers work to be certified instructors, and they teach the classes. Experienced boaters who are trained and comfortable with safety hang toward the back of the groups, and are available to help students with fitting issues and one-on one instruction. These are people who love what they do, and further, they’re GOOD at it.
Continue reading “Paddling School”