Self assessment can be challenging, so if you need help deciding if you are best suited for the Beginner or Intermediate Track, give us a call at (518) 524-4117. Assuring that you are on the correct track not only helps you get the most out of the classes, but also helps the entire group move at a similar pace. Please know that we have an excellent team of instructors, so no matter the track you take you are getting great instruction.
If you are thinking you are a beginner, you should have little to potentially no experience with formal paddling instruction. This track is going to assure we break any bad habits you may have formed and make sure you have a solid knowledge of the foundation skills needed to take your paddling to the next level.
Beginner Essentials of Kayaking. This class is specific to paddlers who have had no formal instruction and need to start building a foundation of both knowledge and skills. Starting on land, we will do some “classroom” work on knowing your boat, paddle and PFD. We will also cover carrying your kayak and if questions arise, input on safely loading and unloading from your car. Next we will warm up with some key stretches, to get you ready for a day of paddling. As we make it to the water, we will cover launching from a variety of situations, including from a sandy or rocky beach and from a dock. Building confidence in a controlled environment is what this event is all about, so once on the water we we’ll set you up for success when that “oh no” moment occurs. Falling out of your kayak can be unnerving, but our instructors have been here before. Let them guide you through the process safely. This class will require multiple immersions and lengthy periods of time in the water. If you are not sure what to wear to stay warm, click here for more info.
Forward Stroke 1.0. Arguably the most important of all strokes, as we all want to be more efficient as we travel in our kayaks. This class is designed for those with little to no training in forward stroke technique, building towards Forward Stoke 2.0. We will start with paddling styles and blade shapes and progress to how and where to hold onto the paddle. The forward stroke needs to be built on a tier system, so once we are comfortable the first two skills are covered, we will work on building the foundation of a more efficient stroke. Participants should leave this class able to get the most energy out of their paddle, reducing the risk of hand, wrist and shoulder injuries and relying less on small muscle groups to paddle.
Boat and Body Control 1.0. Throughout the Symposium we will introduce and reinforce boat and body control to be more efficient in turning and maneuvering your kayak. This class is intended for beginners with little to no experience in body control and maneuvering strokes. First, we will work on proper body positioning in your boat and make sure all points of contact are correct. From there we’ll work on maneuvering and turning strokes, with correct boat and body control. Students should leave this class with the skills to more easily maneuver and turn their kayaks, and a strong base to build on.
Rescues 1.0. This class is intended for paddlers who have never flipped in their kayak, or have and did not have a good experience when they did. This is very personal and different for every paddler, so we will have a coach to student ratio that offers a lot of one on one work. We will work on capsizing without and with spray skirts, in shallow and deeper water. Once swimming around outside your boat, we will work on basic self-rescue and tandem-rescue skills to keep you safe when you are out on your next adventure. This class will require multiple immersions and lengthy periods of time in the water. If you are not sure what to wear to stay warm, click here for more info.