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Gulf Coast Symposium Report – A GUEST BLOG

Posted Mar 17 2005 12:00am

. . .it takes a village. . .

So with that in mind, today I am going to post a friends report on the Gulf Coast Symposium held in Florida. Thanks for letting me post it Ross!

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Here is my report on the Gulf Coast Symposium:

On Feb. 22, I was a practice student for BCU Coach 2 certification – 2 hrs. each w/ 3 different candidates. This session was a good review of the strokes – front, back, draw – low brace – stopping (!) – turning into and with the wind, sweep stroke, bow and stern rudder, edging. There were details of several aspects which were new to me, esp. sculling, blade placement on the reverse stroke. Arm/shoulder/torso relations were stressed. I had my photo taken w/ Shawna Franklin (a highlight)!

The Symposium started on the 25th. My 1st planned course was an open water trip to Egmont Key which includes crossing a shipping lane. Due to a bit of thunder and lightening, the trip was cancelled, so our class group (4pupils, 2 instructors) went out and played in the breakers at the mouth of an outlet – good fun and good practice of low brace, spearing into breakers and loose hips.

Next class was Rolling 2. My goal was to learn the Sweep Roll. There were 3 students/1 instructor who was xlnt. I warmed up w/ 3 “C to C” rolls – no problem in my new orange NDK Explorer. The Sweep Roll was a problem. No success, but do have my practice points to work on: sculling practice, let the paddle find it’s own angle, skim the paddle, proper time to hip snap, don’t “arm” the paddle but draw it w/ your body, bent elbow of control arm and at end of sweep feather the blade forward. Also: take lessons, watch tapes, practice head dinks etc., etc.

On Saturday I had 2 invaluable classes: Assisted Rescues. 3 pupils, 1 instructor – Steve Maynard – my practice partner. Wow, this guy is verrrry good. We did various techniques of getting the swimmer back into boat – what to say and the sequence of what you tell the swimmer, getting disabled swimmer into boat. (I need to demo the “Water Buster Pump”, which I purchased after Steve’s recommendation). This was the best kayak instruction I’ve had – no offense, Dave … We also did all-in rescues.

Next class: Solo Rescue 4 pupils, 2 instructors (Steve Maynard and Lamar Hudgens). Lamar runs Barrier Island Kayaks out of N.C. and is the person I bought the NDK from. I need to demo the Cowboy Rescue, the favored rough water rescue – w/ and w/o paddle float. Also, we did re-enter and rolls.

Sunday: Symposium moved to the Sweetwater Kayak store due to severe storms/coastal flooding. I did not attend this, but heard it was 2 lectures “Tides” and Navigation.

Disappointments: All open water trips were no-go’s due to conditions. Surf class cancelled on Sunday.

Other points: I had specific questions to various instructors re: compasses: some refer the Suunto Orca as it is close to paddler and easier to see in dark or tough conditions. Where to store hand pump – 3 different answers from 3 different instr.. What to store on deck – as little as possible, Favored paddle . .. . etc. Oh – learned a bunch about towing . . .

- Ross

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What can I add? Sounds like a great experience. Now they just have to do something about that Florida weather!

-dm

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