Welcome to winter, hope you are all keeping snugly, warm and well. I remember last winter was similar to this, we had rain on and off until mid to end of July and then we had not a trace of rain until the Australia day weekend.
This month I would like to start to talk about the basic skills that we teach to every adventurer before they paddle our magnificent kayaks into the Noosa Everglades.
Getting in & Out of the Kayak or Canoe – it is always best to keep your centre of gravity low, if you are paddling with a partner, one of you holds the canoe/kayak while the other places one foot into the centre of the canoe/kayak. Next the person puts their bottom down on the seat before bring the other leg into the canoe/kayak. The person in the canoe/kayak then stabilises the canoe/kayak for the second person with their paddle as entre the craft. Getting out of the canoe/kayak just happens in reverse of getting in remembering to keep your centre of gravity low and exiting one leg at a time while being steadied by your partner.
Balancing the Canoe/Kayak – At Kanu Kapers we call this the wiggle wiggle. You sit up straight in the craft and grip the canoe or kayak with the lower part of your body. Then using your hips you wiggle your canoe/kayak from side to side like you were trying to tip it over. With this movement it is like your head and hips go in the same direction and your ribs in the other direction creating a C in your curve with your body.
Holding the Paddle – You are now comfortable seated in your kayak. Holding your paddle in both hands with the raised area on the shaft (paddle keeper) in your right hand, place your paddle on top of your head. When your elbows are at right angles this is the perfect grip for you. The spoon of the right paddle faces towards the backs. The blades of the paddle are offset 90 degrees so you need to cock your right wrist a bit (like the throttle on a motor bike)too squarely place the left paddle scoop into the water most effectively. At all times keep your loose grip on the paddle to avoid blisters on your thumbs
Stay tuned for series two of basic skills and remember to always make sure you wear a PFD, carry food, water, first aid, clothing that you can get warm in and tell someone where you are going.
Happy paddling adventures!