Monday, August 25, 2014

Tuning Up With Cowichan Bay Kayaks

Yesterday Robyn and I headed to Cowichan Bay for another tune up session with Dave Nichols of Cowichan Bay Kayaks in advance of our upcoming Paddle Canada Sea Kayak Level 3 course. We have been practicing hard the last few months in preparation for the course and Dave has been mentoring us along the way, so this session was more of trying to refine some of the skills we would be assessed on.

Robyn did some work on her rolls and then both of us worked on towing techniques and I got the opportunity to try a capsize, release and roll while towing for the first time. Although I consider my roll to be pretty reliable, adding the tow line release and then completing the roll was a bit of a challenge simply because of the time it took me to locate my quick release on my tow belt. Although I could easily locate the release toggle sitting in my kayak, under water it was like "where the heck is it?".

Not a good finish to my non set up roll. Head, paddle and torso are not where they should be and I knew it!

I almost completed the skill but it became evident that I need to work on my non set up roll recovery techniques as I am used to using the momentum of rolling 360 degrees. In a real situation there might not be an opportunity to set up on top of the water which means it would have to be done underwater resulting in a 180 degree roll from the inverted position.

Dave suggested a few exercises to practice my non set up roll which included just holding my paddle in one hand or tucked under my arm and then roll into the water. All the set up would have to be done under water and the key is patience while under the kayak. After all it's just a matter of relaxing and holding your breath while the set up is completed. So I have to ask the question, 'How many of you can do a non set up roll?' If you have never done it before I urge you to give a try because that is probably how you will need to roll when it matters.

So guess what Robyn and I will be doing this long weekend? Yes .... spending more time under our kayaks refining our skills. :-)

No, I'm not signaling boaters to come to me.  I'm preparing for a non set up roll.

With my Werner Ikelos paddle in the US being repaired because of a broken ferrule, I had the opportunity to try a demo 4 piece Lendal Paddle yesterday. I was really interested in obtaining a second paddle that I could use for my every day touring needs but that would also work good in surf conditions. I'm used to having a big blade like my Ikelos has and found that the Lendal Rebel blade was similar but with a little bit more acceleration. On thing that I really liked is the indexed oval shaft that allowed me to naturally locate my fingers around the shaft.

Back at the shop Huw and Dave put together a new paddle with Rebel blades and a 210 cm X Range 2 piece straight carbon shaft which I think will work great for my rock gardening / surf adventures.  Now its time to head out there and put it to use.

Testing out a Lendal Paddle for the first time.... I liked it so much that I bought one.

2014 Paddle # 36 Cowichan Bay 
Distance: 1.13 nm (2.09 km)
YTD: 220.34 nm (408.06 km)

No comments:

Post a Comment