Archive for August, 2013

Greenland or Bust’s September newsletter

G or B Newsletter - September - small

Simplifying the Roll: July 22 and 23, Lodi, California

Photo Credit – Tom Humphries

Date: July 22 and 23 (two classes on July 22, two classes on July 23)

Location: Lodi, California

Description: Topics that can be covered include first rolls, other-side rolls, layback paddle rolls, forward finish paddle rolls, norsaq rolls, hand rolls and beyond. The techniques examined can be used with any type of paddle and any type of kayak.

Contact: For more information, course fees or to register, e-mail info@greenlandorbust.org.

Photo Credit – Tom Humphries

The end of the Nordic Tour

Our last week in Sweden was very busy. After leaving Nynashamn, we made our way to Sandhamn. Sandhamn is a gorgeous island just east of Stockholm. It can only be accessed by boat. John Sjoberg of Sandhamns Kajakskola picked us up and took us to the island, which has a very relaxed feel. The small harbor area hosts a couple of pubs and restaurants. The following day we conducted a rolling class in the morning, and a strokes class in the afternoon. During the strokes class we wound our way around several of the islands in the archipelago enjoying the gorgeous scenery.

The ride to Sandhamn.

The ride to Sandhamn.

Although Sandhamn is very close to Stockholm, it feels very secluded.

Although Sandhamn is very close to Stockholm, it feels secluded.

Mark talks about the forward stroke.

Mark talks about the forward stroke.

This sandy island was a great place to stop for coffee and cinnamon rolls.

This sandy island was a great place to stop for coffee and cinnamon rolls.

The archipelago can be very tranquil at times.

The archipelago can be very tranquil when the weather is calm.

The following day, John returned us to the mainland and we prepared for classes in Sickla that would take place in the morning. Although in distance, Sickla is not far from Sandhamn, it has busier feel, as it is very close to Stockholm’s center. Classes took place through Sjostaden Kajak. Mark and I conducted two rolling classes and a rescue class, all of which took place on a small lake that is part of a chain of lakes that run through the area.

The paddle to the lake was very pretty with lilly pads lining the narrow channel.

The paddle to the lake was very pretty with lily pads lining the narrow channel.

Rolling felt great in the warm lake.

Rolling felt great in the warm lake.

Mark demonstrates how to empty a kayak before performing a self rescue.

Mark demonstrates how to empty a kayak before performing a self rescue.

After teaching in Sickla, we made our way across Sweden for our last stop on the west coast. We arrived in Helsingborg and were greeted by Zsuzsanna, a lively and fun woman who organized our visit to Helsingborgs Kanotisterna. Upon arrival I was happy to realize that I’d been there during the first year of the Nordic Tour in 2010. I recognized the club and the active beach, which had lots of organized recreational activities for people to enjoy. The first day we taught two rolling classes, and the second day was filled with strokes, maneuvers and rescues in the harbor area.

Helsingborg has a wonderful sandy beach, with great views of Denmark in the distance.

Helsingborg has a wonderful sandy beach, with great views of Denmark in the distance.

Strong winds and cloudy skies created a dramatic backdrop for Sunday's classes.

Strong winds and cloudy skies created a dramatic backdrop for Sunday’s classes.

Hands-on activities on the dock provided a break from being on the water.

Demonstrations and activities on the dock provided a break from being on the water.

After leaving Helsingborg, we crossed the country one last time to return to Stockholm for our final day of classes before flying home. We met up with Karin and Martin of Ornsbergs Kanotsallskap. The following day we conducted a yoga session and a rolling class on another of Stockholm’s gorgeous lakes. We enjoyed hanging out with Karin and Martin in the evening and learning all about the beautiful city where they live.

The kayak club is right on the water.

The kayak club is right on the water.

Paddle tricks provided a fun after lunch warm up.

Paddle tricks provided a fun after lunch warm up.

We’re now back home, and this year’s tour is over. Thank you to everyone who helped organize it, and to all of the participants who came out to take classes from us. We’re in the process of organizing next year’s tour, and hope to see you all again!

Pictures by Helen, Mark and Mans Langert.

A week in Nynashamn, Sweden

After leaving Karlshamn, we made our way to Nynas Kajak and Upplevelse in Nynashamn, Sweden. This business has been part of the Nordic Tour since it started four years ago. Over the past four years, Pelle and Carina, who own Nynas Kajaks, have become good friends.

 

Not only do they run a fantastic business, they’re awesome kayakers and really fun people to hang out with. It was wonderful to be there for seven days, six of which we had classes.

 

Nynashamn is an ideal place to run classes. It has a fantastic archipelago which provides spectacular views, protected water, and when the afternoon wind hits, a challenging learning environment. Throughout the six days, I ran morning yoga sessions and rolling classes for all skill levels. We worked on everything from first rolls, to brick rolls. Mark ran a two-day BCU 3 Star Sea Training, a BCU 3 Star Sea Assessment, Coastal Navigation and Tidal Planning and a two-day BCU 4 Star Sea Training.

A great location for a rolling class. The weather wasn't too bad either!

A great location for a rolling class. The weather wasn’t too bad either!

Throughout the week we worked on all kinds of rolls.

Throughout the week we worked on all kinds of rolls.

Mark took his classes out for an adventure.

Mark took his classes out for an adventure.

Carina was happy about something, then again, Carina is usually smiling :-)

Carina was happy about something, then again, Carina is usually smiling 🙂

The BCU 4 Star Sea Training went well, and participants looked a little tired at the end of the two-days.

The BCU 4 Star Sea Training went well, and participants looked a little tired at the end of the two-days.

We had a day off in the middle of the week and spent it on the water with Pelle and Carina. We paddled to the Landsort Lighthouse on the island of Oja where we had a tasty picnic. It was a wonderful day off, and a fantastic place to explore, both on the island and on the water.

Gorgeous weather made our day off even better.

Gorgeous weather made our day off even better.

The Landsort Lighthouse is quite scenic.

The Landsort Lighthouse is quite scenic.

Thanks Pelle and Carina for hosting us again. See you next year!

Thanks Pelle and Carina for hosting us again. See you next year!

On another note, Nynas Kajaks and Upplevelse is our new Europe distributor. If you have a store, organization or business in Europe and are interested in carrying our DVDs, “Yoga for Outdoor People,” or “Simplifying the Roll with Helen Wilson,” please contact Nynas Kajak and Upplevelse at info@nynaskajak.se.

The inconsistent roll

Question: Should I push the recovery knee all the way throughout the roll? I kind of stop head down, and use lots of time to set up for the roll. Also, watching you roll in the video, it seems that you lean with your arms fixed and your hands on the side of the kayak in the set-up position from the start. It also seems that you bend your back elbow and already have your recovery arm up high when starting the roll. Is that right? The water kind of stops my upper body going around. What exercises can I do for flexibility? I am 56 years old and not at my strongest right now.

Answer: It is common for the roll to be inconsistent at first, but with practice, it will become consistent. The recovery knee is engaged from the underwater set-up through to the recovery onto the back deck. Essentially, the roll starts from the underwater set-up position. If you are finding that you are stopping head down, bend forward so that your face is just below the surface. Make sure that your shoulders are square to the ground and push your right hand above the surface (if rolling up on the right side). This is the position that you are referring to on the video where the arms and hands are on the side of the kayak.

Here’s a link that might help with the problems that you’re having capsizing: www.greenlandorbust.org/problems-capsizing/

As far as exercises to increase flexibility, please check out our new DVD, Yoga for Outdoor People, which will be available in August.

More adventures in Sweden

After leaving Norway, Mark and I made our way to the island of Oland, which is located off the east coast of Sweden. We were there to visit our good friend, Johan Wirsen. Johan is not only an awesome person, but he’s also the designer of the Greenland, which is how him and I met several years ago. We spent a couple of days hanging out with him and his friends, who were visiting from Australia, as well as his lovely lady Ann. It was wonderful to catch up and have a couple of days of down time from the tour, which has been very busy.

We spent an afternoon exploring a castle on http://www.haveriet.com.

We spent an afternoon with friends exploring a castle on Oland.

After a fun visit with Johan and company, we made our way south to Malmo. Malmo has a very active club, and throughout the day students worked on many different kinds of rolls. The weather was fantastic! One of the things that makes Malmo special is its setting. Our teaching venue provided great views of Malmo’s architecture, as well as the bridge that connects Denmark and Sweden. The spectacular city of Copenhagen could be seen just across the Baltic Sea.

Mark prepares to launch.

Mark prepares to launch from the kayak club.

Participants paddle back to the launch with Malmo's spectacular architecture as a backdrop.

Participants paddle back to the launch with Malmo’s spectacular architecture as a backdrop.

The following day we made our way to Karlshamn for classes on a warm lake. Classes were through Kajak Syd, and they took very good care of us. Participants were lively and fun, and it was great to see some familiar faces from last year. Thanks to Veronica and Goran for hosting us again!

A calm warm lake proved to be a fantastic venue for working on rolling skills.

A calm warm lake proved to be a fantastic venue for working on rolling skills.

Christo was happy with the day.

Christer was happy with his results from the day.

A happy couple enjoys a day on the water.

A happy couple enjoys the day on the water.

Kayaking is a great activity for the whole family.

Kayaking is a great activity for the whole family.

Thanks for hosting us!

Thanks for hosting us!

Greenland or Bust’s August newsletter

G or B Newsletter - August 2013 small

Storm Paddling Strategies and Practice with Roger Schumann!: December 7 and 8, Trinidad, California

Date: December 7 and 8

Location: Trinidad, California

Description: Roger Schumann will be running classes through Greenland or Bust on Saturday, Dec. 7 and Sunday, Dec. 8. The classes are titled Storm Paddling Strategies and Practice with Roger Schumann! This is a fantastic opportunity to take a class from a top notch international instructor.

Contact: For more information, course fees or to register, e-mail info@greenlandorbust.org.

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