I have just returned from a truly excellent weekend of learning in Skye with Cheri Perry and Turner Wilson of Kayakways, hosted by Skyak Adventures.
Two days of traditional paddling and rolling skills meant there was a lot to learn and remember. Adjusting and refining some rolls I had built up on my own as well as beginning the elements of a forward finish roll was plenty on its own, but looking again at the paddle strokes with the skinny stick was a further challenge.
|Practice at Armadale.|
The opportunity to try a variety of paddles and get some expert advice was a great experience. Some were too heavy, some were too wide, but for me the 'razor' blade was just right.
No more splash and plop!
|Cheri at the end of a rainbow.|
Cheri and Turner demonstrated not only their own accomplished Greenland skills but their excellent coaching skills as they explained and broke down each skill for all of us and then helped us work on our individual goals.
|Justine films Cheri demonstrating how to use an avataq.|
|The view from Breakish, Skye.|
I was so busy learning new things, and with no pockets in my tuilik, there are only a few photos to post though lots of pages in my notebook were filled every evening as I trawled my memory for all the precious nuggets of knowledge and advice.
|Two traditional SOF boats join the fleet.|
|Cheri demonstrates and Turner explains in his own inimitable style!|
I have taken away so much to work on from this weekend - there is plenty to keep me busy until I have another opportunity like this. Most of all it was fun to learn new things with no assessment other than your own goals to work towards. Meeting other paddlers (and boat builders!) keen to get to grips with traditional skills was a novelty for me too. I highly recommend taking up the opportunity to be coached by Cheri and Turner if they are anywhere near your part of the world - their skills are inspirational!
Now I have a dilemma - to commit to the stick completely or continue Euro blade coaching commitments.... L2 assessment in 5 weeks....