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Monday, June 11, 2012

Kayaking

This past Saturday I had my first kayaking lesson, and it was awesome!

I've been in a kayak before, but it was more of a tourism thing, and we didn't learn any specific stroke or technique. I remember enjoying it, though, so I thought it'd be fun to give it a try for real.

Saturday was a gorgeous day - sunny and not too hot. We learned about the different types of kayaks and paddles, and then we all tried out a few kayaks before deciding which one fit the best. I was in a sea kayak, which tend to be longer and have higher cruising speed than white water kayaks, but can be harder to turn.

After some more land-based chatting, we each got into our own kayak and off we went. We learned a few different strokes: forward, backward, draw and sculling draw (to move sideways), the sweep (to turn in place), and the stern rudder (to turn while going forward). We also learned how to raft together our kayaks for safety purposes.

We spent a lot of time practicing, which was amazing. I loved being on the water in my own little kayak-bubble, concentrating on my movement and technique, and enjoying my surroundings.

At the end of the lesson, the teacher demonstrated the wet-exit - basically how to get out of your kayak safely if it capsizes.



Gotta say, I was really nervous about it. I'm not a huge fan of putting my head under water, especially when I'm in something. But, after three attempts at rolling the kayak over*, I went under and got out pretty quick. 

Looking forward to the next lesson in a couple of weeks!

*It was actually nice to know how hard it was to tip it over!