What a great inaugural Skills Day Session at Tiranna Way West Lakes we had today. Four (4) new, or recently new club members braving the chilly 15⁰C, ranging from 8 to 12kn SW. Well done to all, I didn’t see anyone shivering.
Our new members were Anthony Keller, Giresh Chandran, Jeff Nieuwenhuizen and Robert Phiddian. Our Instructors were Bernard Goble, Anne and Simon Langsford and Charlie Walker. Club President Mark Loram had the responsibility of photographer and the BBQ – no mean feat on a windy day!
Today’s session was the first of our monthly Basic Skills Days. We plan to have over Spring, Summer and Autumn to help integrate new members into the club and get new members joining trips. All trainees from today have successfully completed Basic Skills and should receive their certificates from Paddle Australia next week. Thanks Anne and Simon for submitting the paperwork.
After I welcomed the group I handed over to Bernard and the Team for the hard work (Bella, you did say I needed to delegate more)!
Bernard then explained the overall objective of Basic Skills. He then walked the group through kayak construction and what we normally have fitted to kayaks for safety as well as personal safety equipment. We then moved to the beach to demonstrate forward paddle stroke technique and torso rotation.
ON WATER TRAINING
Once in the water Bernard demonstrated the safest way to enter the cockpit by using the paddle to act as an outrigger and stabilise the kayak. The group were soon on the water to put all their new found knowledge into practice.
From the beach I could see the group enjoying the activity, a little apprehensive at first but soon building confidence and improving their techniques.
The first two (2) hours concentrated on forward paddle stroke, emergency stop and reverse paddle stroke. We then returned back to shore for a stretch and quick refresh.
In the next phase Bernard and the team introduced the concept of edging, leaning and support stroke. All done in the safety of the sandy beach at Tiranna Way. It wasn’t long before the group was starting to master the concept with good recovery being demonstrated.
The training ended up with everyone getting wet with wet exits before moving on to wedge rescue and heel hook re-entry to their kayaks. All looked good from the safety of the beach while I was cooking my onions and snags.
BBQ AND NEXT TRAINING DAY
After everyone was safely back on the beach and in warm clothes with a snag wrapped in bread and onions we debriefed the day. I think everyone enjoyed this first training and if you missed out the next one is scheduled for Saturday 12th November at Dotterel Reserve.