Rolling at West Lakes 21 April 2024

Michael, Pavel, Terry and Warwick joined Anne for some rolling and rescue training at West Lakes. After some introductory exercises to limber up on the grass we took to the water armed with paddle floats and lots of courage. Starting in the small white-water kayak it wasn’t long before the paddle floats were removed and a real roll was happening. Then the challenge – repeating the roll in their larger sea kayaks.

At the end of the session there were some very happy paddlers.






Basic Skills Training — 8 October 2022


Preparing the boats

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.


Basic Skills Session

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.


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.

Beginner Rolling Session, Westminster Swimming Pool — 9 August 2022


About to roll

A great turnout for our Beginner Rolling Session at Westminster School Tuesday evening with eight rollers on their way to learning the process for achieving a successful roll. Anne and Simon Langsford conducted the training drills supported by Charlie Walker and Scott Zrna with Mark Loram looking on wishing he was in the water while photographing. Our budding rollers were Nathan and Zac Elgar, Pawel Winiarz, Ron Hamilton, John Glover, Anthony Keller, Berny Lohmann and Michael Grundy. Nathan was helping son Zac consolidate his off side rolling.

We started off the session with introductions followed by matching everyone up with the range of whitewater kayaks we had nominated for the training. A few adjustments were required to get everyone into their boats, but all worked out well. Anne and Simon then had the group working out and limbering up with a range of warmup exercises to minimise the chance of injury, before getting on water for more warmup. As well as Daggers we had a few Jackson kayaks in the group, and I’m sure Eric would have been proud of how the session progressed.

Practicing the Hip Snap

Flexing for rolling

This was the first of two beginner roller sessions, so the emphasis was on getting the group comfortable with capsize and exit before working on edging techniques and supported bracing using the benefit of paddle floats.

The evening was very successful and I could see plenty of smiling faces. Many Thanks to Westminster for access to the pool and to Anne and Simon, Charlie and Scott for conducted the training drills.

Advanced Rolling Session, Westminster Swimming Pool — 26 July 2022


Kayaker in pool receiving advice before a roll

Learning to roll

Another great rolling session at Westminster School last night for our second Advanced Rollers session. Eight (8) rollers were on water practicing their skills this session –  Phil Doddridge, Scott Zrna, Gianni Caso, Leigh Aardenburg, Matt Eldred, Abelardo Pardo, Reg Brown and Clark Ernst.

Mark and Terry on the bench taking photos in addition to dedicated partners watching the antics.

Again we had plenty of pool room, especially with a few less rollers this time. Very interesting to see how the Playboats perform in relation to the more traditional whitewater kayaks- all great entertainment from the sidelines.

All of the group achieved multiple rolls, both left and right side Greenland Rolls as well as others and lots of learning happening.

Freestyle kayaker performing some movements in the pool

Freestyle kayaker

The evening was very successful and I could see plenty of smiling faces. Many Thanks to Westminster for access to the pool and to Phil Doddridge for making arrangements with Westminster and running the evening.


I look forward to the upcoming Beginner Session on Tuesday 9th August. There are still tickets remaining, give Phil a call if you are unsure about attending.

kayaker in the pool preparing to rool with a partner overseeing the process

Action in the pool

Training rolling

Advanced Rolling Session, Westminster Swimming Pool — 12 July 2022

Check in at Westminster

Preparing the rollGreat rolling session at Westminster School last night for our Advanced Rollers. Fourteen (14) rollers were on water practicing their skills –  Simon Langsford, Hugh Stewart, Charlie Walker, Andrew Adams, Tony Wallace, Scott Zrna, Gianni Caso, Clark Ernst, Anthony Aardenburg, David Adams, Abelardo Pardo, Leigh Aardenburg, Hugh Macmillan and Reg Brown.

Phil called in sick, so Mark did the briefing and outlined the rules to ensure we protected the pool perimeter and adjacent lanes. Big welcome to new Club members Reg Brown, Clark Ernst and Terry Holder and special thanks to Gianni for encouraging them to join ACC. Terry has booked for Beginner sessions but took advantage of coming along to see what the sessions where all about. Was also good to catch up with Benita Rosario supporting Gianni and taking photos of the Freestyle kayaks.

All arrived at 6.30pm and lucky to get on water before our scheduled 7pm kick-off. We started with three (3) lanes but ended up being offered another lane after most of the swimmers finished their session at 7.30pm. All paddlers had previously achieved a roll, either going back to summer or more regularly for our Polo Players. Most worked in pairs and everyone had plenty of on-water time with a good 2 hours playing.

Fun in the pool

Finishing the rollMost of the group were straight into their rolling, while others conducted warm-up exercises such as capsizing in Tuck Position and Balanced Brace.

It wasn’t long before all were achieving serious rolls, some on both sides and Leigh and a few others also tried out the Freestyle kayaks. I could see Euro blades and Greenland paddles being used as well as a few nibble hands!

The evening was very successful and there were plenty of smiling faces. Many Thanks to Westminster for access to the pool and to Phil Doddridge for making arrangements with Westminster and arranging kayaks for all participants.

Next training session

I look forward to the next Advanced Session on Tuesday 26th July followed by Beginner Sessions in August.

Mark Loram

Training around the ship wreck

Basic Skills Training, Garden Island — 6 June 2022

Between the mangrovesGhanshyam and Terry joined Anne and Simon for some training at Garden Island on Sunday. The aim of the day was to refine strokes and provide tips to improve technique. Both Ghanshyam and Terry worked hard on the exercises and showed improvements in their paddling.

The dolphins visited us to inspect their style and surfaced very close a couple of times. We then challenged our manoeuvring strokes by paddling up one of the mangrove creeks. The plan was to finish the day doing rescues, however, Ghanshyam overbalanced working on a support stroke and had an early lesson in the water. After lunch we revised the heel hook rescue on land and then returned to the warmer water near the power station to practice.

Both Terry and Ghanshyam succeeded in getting back into their boats easily. The afternoon concluded with a paddle around to the ship’s graveyard then the incoming tide pushed us back to the boat ramp and a change into warm dry clothes.Training in Garden Island

Paddle your own. Introduction to paddling, kayaks, canoes and SOTs

By Peter Carter, Editor, Education and Safety Technical Committee PaddleSA

PDF book created by Peter Carter based on the flatwater resources for the Paddle Australia Qualification Scheme. It contains the foundation knowledge for paddling on waters described in the Award Scheme Handbook as “areas such as lakes, dams, slow moving rivers, etc.” In other words, waters without rapids of any grade, surf, effects of swell, tidal currents greater than 1 knot, distances greater than 400 metres from shore, and being in the entrance structure to an estuary or embayment.

There are sections about kayaks, canoes, rescues, tips on weather, finding your way, hazards and risks, boat maintenance, knots, and much more! Click on the image below to download the PDF document.

Bookcover of Paddle Your Own

Surf Play at Middleton — 6 February 2022

About to catch the wave

Four intrepid paddlers had a very wet Sunday morning playing in the surf at Middleton. Apart from the side wind, which made conditions a bit choppy and caused us to drift away from the carpark, conditions were great, with mostly manageable waves and the occasional bit of rolling practice.

It was a nice warm sunny day, and the beach was busy with surfers and swimmers taking advantage of the good conditions. The waves were a manageable 1-meter waves, and the SE wind tended to push us along the beach, but at least did not make for steep waves.

After a warm up in the smaller surf near the beach (with a couple of worrying capsizes on my part, but at least my roll was working), we threaded our way through all the swimmers and surfers to find some bigger, cleaner waves out near the backline. We sometimes had a long wait between sets, but were rewarded with some lovely rides, with the waves dying out as they reached the deeper water of a gully rather than breaking right on top of you!

Anthony had a great time in his new boat, and couldn’t stop smiling. He must have doing ok because he had fewer capsizes than me. Simon was looking very comfortable, and even managed to show off by waving at the camera as he surfed past.

After a couple of hours of play aching muscles suggested that maybe it was time to call it quits. Unfortunately, while we had been having fun the wind had pushed us quite far down the beach, so we had a stiff paddle to get back to the launching spot. Deciding to catch one last wave back to the beach, we waited patiently for a good looking wave, and were rewarded with an excellent one, and had a good run in. This wave however was not so well behaved, and promptly broke right on top of me, tumbling me over a few times, knocking the breath out of me and wrenching the paddle out of one hand. Choosing discretion over valour, I did a wet exit and had the walk of shame back to the beach while the others watched, having made it back to the beach with their kayaks.

We retired to the nearest bakery for the customary pie and de-brief, and all agreed that it was an excellent day!

Basic Skills Certificate Garden Island — 16 January 2022

Great day at Garden Island on Sunday 16/January/2022 for Basic Skills training provided by Anne and Simon. We had ten (10) members attending with five (5) being new members.  Many thanks to Anne and Simon for offering and conducting a great training day.

Five members of Adelaide Canoe Club achieved their Basic Skills certificate. They demonstrated good paddling strokes, doing a rescue as both ‘swimmer’ and ‘rescuer’ and showing they can swim in their full paddling gear. Well done to Liz, Esther, Kaye, Stephen, and Ron. Simon and Anne led the instruction, assisted throughout the day by Courtney, Lisa and Mark, especially when we teamed up for the rescues in the afternoon. It might have bemused the onlookers seeing a paddling group with 3 or 4 capsizes at the same time. It was a good opportunity to practice rescues.

The day finished with a gentle paddle up one of the mangrove creeks, enjoying the beauty, peace and quiet.