Are You Aware of How Your Boat Moves? Episode 4

When a student who has been paddling for a bit comes to me and expresses they want better boat control, they are specifically referring to their ability to make the boat move the way they want relative to the current. When they say they want the ability to read water better, they mean they want to know how to discern how the motion of the boat relative to the currents momentum will make them move through the river and features. But more on the latter next week.

This week, I tackle a daunting subject that I feel will be further developed in future articles and videos, but in this case I wanted to introduce my thoughts and dispel some more dogmatic thinking and teaching practices. Is it correct? Well, that’s relative, but it has worked in my teaching. Originally I wanted to move into this subject and discuss how at the offset of teaching a beginner we spend too much time teaching edging and carving, instead of keeping the boat flat and sliding and driving (gliding).

I figured I would offer this in chewable bites and hopefully get more people in on this discussion. On a side note, I am not trying to reinvent the wheel, in fact I teach folksĀ just aboutĀ the same things that any instructor does. My style and progression differs however. I do not introduce edging to the rank beginner at the offset. Instead I discuss the importance of strokes to maintain momentum and stability (spin kills momentum and stability). But before I delve into the abyss in this short article, I will let the video lead the rest of my discussion for now. More to follow on this subject soon however.

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