Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Committed 2 Using The Core More

This past weekend we started the what will be a very busy 3 weeks of upgrading our kayaking skills. With the Pacific Paddling Symposium coming up this weekend, SISKA was able to bring PPS Coach, Christopher Lockyer to the west coast a week early to put on some clinics for the members.

Christopher is the Director of Coaching for Committed 2 The Core Sea Kayak Coaching based in Hilden, Nova Scotia. He is also the driving force behind the Bay of Fundy Sea Kayak Symposium and the founder of the Atlantic Paddle Symposium.

On Saturday Robyn participated in the clinic designated for comfortable paddlers and I was able to tag along as a support kayaker in the group. On Sunday I also participated in the same clinic for comfortable intermediate paddlers.

The Saturday clinic included;
- Looking at ways to get more power out of our core to be able to paddle more miles.
- Practice ways to get more power out of our core in dynamic environments.
- Getting our kayak to do the work and finding ways to use the kayak to help us.
- Stability and control for the Comfortable Paddler
- Finding control in a number of different strokes and body positions.
- Linking strokes into manoeuvres.

The Sunday clinic included; 
- Looking at ways to get more power out of our core to be able to paddle more miles in conditions.
- Practicing ways to get more power out of our core in dynamic environments in conditions.
- Getting our kayak to do the work and finding ways to use the kayak more to help you in conditions.
- Stability and control for the Comfortable Intermediate Paddler
- Finding control in a number of different strokes and body positions in conditions.
- Linking strokes into manoeuvres in conditions.

Although the clinics both days covered similar topics, the Sunday clinic pushed the kayakers further into what Christopher calls areas of Sense of Humour Challenges or in my case Sense of Humour Failure(s).

On Saturday morning the clinic took place in the confined waters of Cadboro Bay and we soon learned that Christopher's method of east coast teaching and communication is definitely a little different to what we have experienced on the west coast. The session started out with a warm up on the beach with a little "Frankenstien" walk. The local beach walkers must have thought "aren't they supposed to in their kayaks instead of dancing on the beach?" It was just the beginning of Christopher's colorful ways of the day.

Christopher Lockyer (sunglasses) leads the "ghoulies" on a Frankenstien walk to warm up. 

The focus of the clinic was centered around using the core of the body to allow the kayak to move through the water more effectively and efficiently. For a few of the kayakers, this meant that changing their paddle stroke to allow the core to unwind resulted in increased speed with less effort. I really noticed a big difference with a few of the paddlers throughout the day including Robyn who picked up on a few of the edging techniques.

Christopher talks the group through a particular paddle stroke or maneuver before demonstrating it to the group.

On thing that I noticed was how Christopher asked the group if they had seen or done a particular skill and he explained it very well before demonstrating it to the group. Throughout the day, several of the skills were gradually linked together which allowed the paddlers to experience in some case increased maneuverability which they had never experienced before.

Discovery Island in the background as Christopher talks to the group

One term that I caught onto was what he called the Sense of Humour Challenge or Sense of Humour Failure. I (used to ;-) ) like to call it Pushing The Envelope which in some cases causes an almost in the water event. I think there were several of the "Challenges" seen throughout the day but no "Failures" Nice!

Christopher sports his new SISKA hat. This picture looks like a P&H Kayaks Delphin promo ;-)

Me the "apprentice" with the kayak master. I gotta work on color coordination! 

After a full day of skill development we headed back to beach where some of us worked on our rolls while Christopher showed the group a few of his styles of getting back into the kayak. Once the debrief was completed on the beach several of us headed to the Smugglers Inn for a couple of pints to celebrate another great day on the water.

Saturday in Cadboro Bay

2013 Paddle # 32 - Round and Round in Cadboro Bay
Distance:  11.30 km  (6.10 nm)
YTD: 337.20 km (182.07 nm)

On Sunday I participated in the clinic for Comfortable / Intermediate paddlers which started out from the Oak Bay Marina at 08:30 ish! Getting to the site became an adventure in itself as the Oak Bay Half Marathon was in progress and most of the streets leading to the marina were closed to traffic. 

After navigating our way through what seemed like every side road in Oak Bay we managed to get about 50 feet from the exit lane from the marina. Only through the logical thinking of one of the course volunteers did she manage to get us through the runners into the exit of the parking lot only 45 minutes late for the clinic. Turns out we weren't the only ones in the clinic that were late as Christopher and Sheila were right in front of us in the traffic snarl up. :-)

Once we did get all assembled on the beach Christopher led the group through his unique warm up routine and I only had to think that we must have looked like a bunch of well dressed monkeys frolicking on on the waters edge. And ... it started raining :-)

Once on the water we started working on some edging techniques and my goal for the day was to push my envelope beyond my normal limits and I knew what the repercussion could mean. Working through some aggressive edging combined with a bow rudder I simply had a Sense of Humour Failure and ended up in the water. Disappointed at first for a brief moment but I soon realized that by doing so that it is exactly what I need to advance my kayak training. The saddest part ...... I had just turn off my GoPro!

Applying a bow rudder while working the edge of the kayak. The edge angle doesn't look like much in the
picture but tilt your laptop, iPad or head until the island in the background becomes horizontal

I mentioned in the Saturday portion of the blog how Christopher clearly explains and demonstrates each new maneuver that we were about to work on. Not only did he demonstrate what the maneuver should look like but he also demonstrated the proper core movement to perform it. I was very impressed with his visual techniques of coaching.

After the morning part of the session we stopped for lunch on Jimmy Chicken Island where Sheila and I let Deb and Kathleen try our Delphins. Both of the girls paddle big Current Designs kayaks and they were having some difficulty getting them to turn effectively while on edge. Kathleen immediately noticed that she could turn the Delphin simply by edging it and I think she might be seriously now be thinking of getting another kayak.

Kathleen takes my Delphin on an edging test .... I think she was surprised how easy it was.

After lunch we worked on some forward stroke skills in the currents and again used multiple strokes in conjunction with each other to get the most maneuverability out of kayaks. Silly me as I asked Christopher "what about reverse strokes?" So he started putting us through the paces of reverse edging and gradually we added sweep strokes and sculling braces and guess what ...... Yup .... my envelope got a little bigger again and I had another east coast Sense of Humour Failure. And .... I didn't have my GoPro on again!!

Overall I really had a really great day of skill development but I was somewhat disappointed about one thing. In both of my Sense of Humour Failures I made no attempt to roll myself back up and yet my rolls (both sides) are almost 100% effective when I practice them. Why then do I just grab my spray skirt and wet exit?? Simple .... I don't practice rolls in the real conditions. New kayak bucket list item .... at least attempt to roll before wet exiting or in other words Get 'Er Done!!! Another Christopher term from Sheila's visit to the east coast last year. LOL

Sunday in Oak Bay

2013 Paddle # 33 - Oak Bay Sense of Humour Failures :-)
Distance:  13.26 km  (7.16 nm)
YTD: 350.46 km (189.23 nm)

NEXT UP: We are heading to the Pacific Paddling Symposium this weekend  for more training. Check back soon for a full report on what we are expecting will be a great experience.

No comments:

Post a Comment