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Kayaking Trip Fundamentals: An On-The-Water Workshop 6/1 & 6/2/24

Sue H.

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Kayaking Trip Fundamentals: An On-The-Water Workshop 6/1 & 6/2/24

Instructor:  Todd Johnstone-Wright, Synaptic Sports LLC (see Todd’s Bio here:   http://www.pinnipedkayak.com/aca-bcu-sea-kayak-instructors)

Assistant:   Lorrie Allen, NSPN Member and BC Sea Leader

This workshop is for NSPN members and will take place in moderate open ocean conditions, at a to-be-determined North Shore location.  The focus is on refining skills needed to actively participate in ocean kayaking, on both day and multi-day trips.  Refine and active are the key words here, this is not an introductory workshop to teach basic skills from scratch.  Yet it is not for highly advanced and credentialed paddlers either (Former 4 Star or BC Sea Leaders are not the target group of this event.)  Most NSPN paddlers are somewhere in-between, so this likely means you ! Paddlers comfortable in Level 3 conditions are the target group, see NSPN’s Trip Levels here (https://www.nspn.org/trip-levels/). A reliable roll is not required to participate or a formal class in rescues, yet some basic practice & experience with rescues is expected. 

The purpose of this workshop is to enhance one’s skills, confidence and overall capacity as a participant and contributing member on-the-water.  This workshop falls under the umbrella of NSPN’s education mission, to support paddlers in their development journey.  The deeper the capacity of each NSPN member, the safer and more enjoyable our trips will be, adding to the enduring strength of our club. The areas to be covered over the 2 days are:                

1). Personal Paddling Skills On-The-Fly

Woven into the overall workshop is the practice and review of personal kayaking skills.  The efficient use of these skills in moderate sea states are useful to enjoy a day on the water and sometimes are critical to the overall safety of individuals and the group.

2).  Practical Navigation On-The-Water

Applying boating rules & etiquette, identifying and using navigational aides while underway, handheld and deck compass use, identifying bail out locations and more.

3).  Incident Management

Learning what to do when things go south.  Practice incident management scenarios to include various rescue skills as appropriate to the situation, and different methods of supporting, transporting and towing an impaired paddler or impaired boat.

4). Safety and the  Environment

Things to consider: 

Monitoring & observing the environment (what does that mean?)

Noticing water features and hazards (what do we do with this info?)

How to change the day’s plan when changes happen in the environment, or in the condition of a paddler or the pod.

Group awareness and what it means to be a responsible group member.

VHF radio scenarios if time allows.

5). Safety Continued: Transitioning to Facilitator Principals & Group Skills

Topics of interest:

What are the principles to facilitate paddlers on the water?

Herding Cats, you know… people management skills.

Facilitating judgement & decision making in a paddling group.

Recognizing & facilitating safety awareness & risk management. 

Facilitating group through recognizing the general welfare of other group members.

Tops Tips and Handy Hints. 

$$$ The Cost:  

NSPN is offering this event at bargain pricing !  The fee for the entire 2 day workshop is $150 !  Typical cost for a training workshop like this is $320-$350.  It gets even better… participants in this emerging paddlers development workshop will qualify for reimbursement under our Leadership Training Fund, ( https://www.nspn.org/leadership-training-fund/ ). Note: parking fees may apply depending on the venue.

The skinny is, If you subsequently post 3 club trips (don’t be shy to ask for help or to recruit a co-initiator) and write up the associated trip reports, you will be reimbursed the $150.  Over time, the cost to enhance your skills will be $0 !  Now that’s a good deal !

The Sign Up Process :

Participants are expected to have basic boat handling skills, applying them in a variety of moderate conditions. The Board is asking folks to email  us  at  nspnboard@nspn.org  to express interest in attending the event.  A board member will follow up to discuss the suitability of the course for you.  (If you are interested, but have questions, please contact the BOD to discuss your concerns.)  Once this step is completed, NSPN will collect your fee and your spot will be secured.  The workshop will be open to 8-10 emerging paddlers and the deadline for contacting the board to express interest is 3/16/24.  The board will make every effort to address the inquiries as soon as possible.

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