Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Stability in Dynamic Water

This weekend Jeff and I taught Liquid Fusion Kayaking's Sea Kayak Rock Gardening Class.  We built our students skills as individuals and as a team as we guided them through the rock gardens and sea caves of the Mendocino Coast.  Our students had many key learning moments.  One particular skill that worked for them this weekend was this pry that helps with looking behind when paddling in dynamic water.

360 degree awareness is key when kayaking in dynamic ocean waters.  One needs to be aware of waves, the environment, wildlife, and paddling teammates.  When the water gets bouncy, paddlers tend to have difficulty turning and looking over their shoulders.  Dynamic water is one of the most critical times to be able to effectively look over ones shoulder but one of the most difficult.

I have found this pry technique to work.  I call it the owl pry.

Sitting in your kayak, take your left paddle blade and place it next to your right foot.  Anchor your blade against your kayak and use this to gain stability to rotate your torso to look behind you.  The stretch feels good, improves stability, and allows you to increase your range of torso rotation and safely look over your shoulder.
The "Owl Pry"
Start practicing it in flat water on both sides, then give it a try in dynamic water and let me know if it works for you.

So why do I call it the owl pry?  Might have to take a class with me to find out - it will definitely be a hoot.

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