Wednesday, 28 December 2011


Normally I edit out the tantrums and add music for fun. This time there is a hint of frustration left in and the music is essential to mask the hysterical laughter at my bendy 'invisible paddle'. Luckily Santa brought me a new more robust invisible paddle to practice with when the pool opens for kayaking business again in January. Typically it was the first thing I did when I got in and it worked OK but after  I had picked up the real paddle I lost the way of it.

The music is by some talented young Orkney folk Broken Strings who have won a prestigious prize for their music already. They played at our Paddle Orkney Symposium and everyone was impressed at how accomplished they were. They have their first album out called Halda. Check out their Facebook band page and find them on itunes and amazon uk. The track I chose is called 'The Duggid Yowe' (the stubborn or determined female sheep) for obvious (non-sheep related!) reasons.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Paddling with spoons and playing with sticks

In an attempt to create cards which follow up from coached skills we have been working on in the pool with beginners, I found myself referring to Christopher Crowhurst's Rolling with Sticks for inspiration.
The idea was to support folk to go practice the strokes in their own time, and seek out one to one guidance on the particular areas they wanted to work on while being a bit more independent. The advantage being that it is the same langauge and same points emphasised as in the original coached sessions with us.

My 'paddling with spoons' cards.

I ended up really wanting to have a simple illustration to go with the instructions so I invented my own prototype paddler. It made me think very hard about how many things we were asking folk to do at once and forced me to describe it in clear language.

Meanwhile back in a sea boat session in the pool, I was playing around with a vertical paddle. Could I hold the paddle vertical in a static brace? Its really hard to know when the paddle is vertical, though I think I did manage it. Unfortunately, and not surprisingly, the photographer did not know what I was aiming for so random photos of a waggling paddle were taken.

I later realised that other folk set the end of the paddle in the water. That would have been easier!

Happy with storm and reverse sweep I turned upside down with norsaq in hand to attempt a forward finish norsaq roll, experienced extreme disorientation and mental confusion, and returned to the surface none the wiser!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Why do you roll?

I wanted to have a go at this web based animation software, so I used the first topic that came to mind. Not too far removed from some conversations I have had from time to time.