Archive for June, 2015

The Nordic Tour Continues

It’s hard to believe that we’re over a month into this year’s Rebel Kayaks supported Nordic Tour. Time definitely flies when you’re having fun! Since my last BLOG we’ve been on the west coast of Norway, running classes and playing.

Our time on the west coast started in Fitjar, where we ran a BCU 3 Star Sea training and assessment, Simplifying the Roll and did an evening presentation titled, “South Greenland Expedition & The Greenland National Kayaking Championship.”

Mark chats with 3 Star candidates.

Mark chats with 3 Star candidates.

Part of the 3 Star award deals with navigation.

Part of the 3 Star award deals with navigation.

Strong winds and offshore rocks created some nice play spots.

Strong winds and offshore rocks created some nice play spots.

Timing is key.

Timing is key.

Participants were given scenarios to find solutions to.

Participants were given scenarios to find solutions to.

Happy candidates.

Happy candidates.

We also ran a day of rolling, and participants worked on everything from first rolls to sculling rolls.

We also ran a day of rolling, and participants worked on everything from first rolls to sculling rolls.

A roll is born.

A roll is born.

Success!

Success!

After leaving Fitjar, we headed to Bergen. It was great to catch up with Ronny at God-Tur. If you’re in Norway, his store is well worth checking out.

We visited with Ronny at God-Tur.

Ronny.

We also visited the fish market for a tasty seafood fix.

We also visited the fish market for a tasty seafood fix.

In Bergen we ran "The Art of Teaching Rolling."

In Bergen we ran “The Art of Teaching Rolling.”

A happy group of instructors.

A happy group of instructors.

Then we made our way to Glesvaer for two days of rolling classes.

Participants chat on land before heading out into the water.

Participants chat on land before heading out into the water.

Glesvaer is a beautiful place to learn to roll.

Glesvaer is a beautiful place to learn to roll.

Happy rollers.

Happy rollers.

Next we made our way to Austevoll for Simplifying the Stroke and Simplifying the Roll.

Sunday started with Yoga for Paddlers.

Sunday started with Yoga for Paddlers.

Mark works with participants on strokes.

Mark works with participants on strokes.

Sigrun works on her forward stroke.

Sigrun works on her forward stroke.

Happy paddlers.

Happy paddlers.

We also ran Simplifying the Roll.

We also ran Simplifying the Roll.

The location was absolutely stunning.

The location was absolutely stunning.

While we were on Austevoll we met up with our friend Ingeborg and walked out to view the Marstein Lighthouse.

While we were on Austevoll we met up with our friend Ingeborg and walked out to view the Marstein Lighthouse.

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Ingeborg let me play with her excavator and a big pile of gravel.

We had a couple of days off before our next teaching day, so we made the spontaneous decision to head to the mountain town of Odda.

The sleepy town of Odda.

The sleepy town of Odda.

We decided to hike down up the trail toward Trolltunga. Thick, melting snow prevented us from completing the 22 kilometer hike, but we still had a wonderful day in the mountains.

We decided to hike the trail toward Trolltunga. Thick, melting snow prevented us from completing the 22 kilometer hike, but we still had a wonderful day in the mountains.

Bright snow and clear blue skies created a nice contrast.

Bright snow and clear blue skies created a nice contrast.

The melting snow made crossing snow bridges tricky.

The melting snow made crossing snow bridges tricky.

Fresh drinking water wasn't hard to come by. No filtration needed.

Fresh drinking water wasn’t hard to come by. No filtration needed.

On our way out of Odda, we stopped to enjoy several roadside waterfalls.

On our way out of Odda, we stopped to enjoy several roadside waterfalls.

Next we made our way to the charming town Skudeneshavn for an evening Simplifying the Roll class.

We started the class with a little Yoga for Paddlers.

We started the class with a little Yoga for Paddlers.

Then we headed into the water for some rolling instruction.

Then we headed into the water for some rolling instruction.

Body position is key.

Body position is key.

More happy rollers.

More happy rollers.

The following day we explored the town. We had coffee and a pancake at Ve, which translates to

The following day we explored the town. We enjoyed coffee and pancakes at Verdens Minste Kafe, which translates to “The World’s Smallest Cafe.”

We also browsed in some of the shops. Mark tried on some hats.

We also browsed in some of the shops. Mark tried on some hats.

Next we headed to Stavanger, our last teaching venue on the west coast of Norway.

Participants worked on the Balance Brace.

Participants worked on the Balance Brace before moving on to other rolls.

Another Balance Brace is born.

Another Balance Brace is born.

Torstein was stoked on learning to roll his surf kayak.

Torstein was stoked on learning to roll his surf kayak.

Another happy roller.

Another happy roller.

Rore grabs a quick bite between his rolling class and a surf ski race.

Rore grabs a quick bite between his rolling class and a surf ski race.

Erik tried out a surf ski.

Erik tried out a surf ski.

More happy rollers.

More happy rollers.

And still more.

And still more.

Special thanks to Geir Ingolf, Trond, Lillian, Dirk and Kalle for taking such good care of us!

Greenland or Bust’s June Newsletter

June NewsNORDIC TOUR ADVENTURES

We are writing this newsletter from Oslo, Norway, where we’re into the second week of our Nordic Tour. It’s hard to believe that the first tour took place six years ago! At that time, the tour was three weeks long. Over the years it has grown to over three months. We’re very thankful to Johan Wirsen and Rebel Kayaks for sponsoring the tour for the second year in a row and providing us with kayaks. Helen is in the Ilaga, and Mark is in a brand new design, the Husky.

At the beginning of May, Helen was enjoying the warmth of the tropics at the Paddle Marathon Laguna Bacalar 2015, which took place in Bacalar, Mexico. After that she headed to the warmth of the Mokelumne River in Lodi, California to teach three Simplifying the Roll classes and one Simplifying the Rescue class. Meanwhile, Mark was in Pembrokeshire, Wales, running a BCU 4 Star Sea Training week, as well as a BCU 3 Star Sea Training and then a couple of BCU 4 Star Sea Trainings on Anglesey, Wales. The Nordic Tour started on May 23 in Asker, Norway, and as mentioned, we’re now at our second stop, in Oslo, Norway.

We’ll be in Norway for most of June. Today is our last day of classes in Oslo, and tomorrow we’ll start to make our way to the west coast, for classes in Fitjar, Bergen, Bekkjarvik and Stavanger. At the end of June we’ll head to Copenhagen, Denmark, for classes there. Along the way we’ll be doing some hiking, paddling and exploring. Norway is a beautiful place to be if you like the outdoors. Click HERE for our complete 2015 Nordic Tour schedule.

As usual, visit www.greenlandorbust.org for more information and our current Events calendar and Blog postings. You can also follow us on Twitter. For questions, comments or to schedule us in your neighborhood, e-mail: info@greenlandorbust.org.

Happy paddling!

Helen and Mark

Dr T’s Coaching Corner

TTPP

In April’s Newsletter, we talked about the ‘technical’ element of the BCU’s TTPP model and the part it plays in developing a paddler’s performance.

This month we focus on a kayaker’s use of tactical strategies can help achieve a successful outcome. To recap, this element represents how we apply our technical skills in any given context through our understanding of timing, angle, edge, trim, speed, cadence, use of water features…and so on.

As paddlers, developing effective tactics to ensure success in our given environment is important. We might be able to demonstrate technically correct skills, but without considering the tactical element there is no guarantee of a good performance.

For example, we may be technically able to edge our kayak, but if we edge the wrong way when entering an eddy we are likely to capsize.

Completing a successful manouvre therefore requires the use of tactics which come from developing judgement, decision-making processes and the appropriate application of our skills in the chosen environment.

In order to master tactical decision-making and develop good paddling judgement / strategies then we need to actively think about where we are paddling to; which waves to ride; what line to take; how we shape our course; and ways to deal with environmental factors such as swell, surf and current.

Once we are able to combine our Technical ability with Tactical application, we can focus on the Psychological and Physiological aspects of our performance. More on that next time.

Program Schedule

Nordic Tour

May 23 to August 30, Norway, Denmark and Sweden

May 23 to 24 Asker, Norway

May 29 to 31 Oslo, Norway

June 6 to 7 Fitjar, Norway

June 9 to 11 Bergen, Norway

June 13 to 14 Bekkjarvik, Norway

June 18 Skudeneshavn, Norway

June 20 to 21 Stavanger, Norway

June 26 to 29 Copenhagen, Denmark

July 3 to 4 Grebbestad, Sweden

July 9 to 12 Stockholm, Sweden

July 16 to 18 Mora, Sweden

July 22 to 26 Nynashamn, Sweden

July 28 to 30 Sandhamn, Sweden

August 1 to 3 Karlstad, Sweden

August 8 to 9 Helsingborg, Sweden

August 11 to 12 Rungsted, Denmark

August 15 to 16 Frederiksværk, Denmark

August 22 to 23 Svendborg, Denmark

August 29 Malmo, Sweden

August 30 Karlshamn, Sweden

Simplifying the Roll September 5, Big Lagoon, California

Traditional Paddlers’ Gathering September 10 to 13, Lake Carlos State Park, Minnesota

Simplifying the Roll September 19 and 20, Whiskeytown, California

Simplifying the Rescue September 19, Whiskeytown, California

Private Rolling Classes during Mendo Madness September 25 to 27, Mendocino, California

 …And Finally

Working on your roll and need a little help? Simplifying the Roll with Helen Wilson and Yoga for Outdoor People are available from our on-line store HERE

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Copyright © 2015 Greenland or Bust, All rights reserved.

Helen Wilson and Mark Tozer • (707) 834-5501

info@greenlandorbust.org

 

The start of this year’s Nordic Tour

It’s hard to believe that this is the sixth summer that I’ve spent in Scandinavia. Time flies! When the Tour first started, it lasted three weeks, which I thought was long at the time. However, over the years it has grown to be over three months long, and we’re thrilled to be back!

We arrived in Sweden on May 21 and met up with our Nordic Tour sponsors, Johan Wirsen, owner of Rebel Kayaks and Janusz Ko of Aquarius Kayaks. I’ll be using the Rebel Ilaga throughout the tour, and Mark will be testing Johan’s new design, the Rebel Husky.

From left, Johan, Mark, myself and Janusz.

From left, Johan, Mark, myself and Janusz.

After catching up with Johan (which is always lots of fun) we headed to Asker, Norway, the first stop on this year’s tour. We were greeted by friendly people and a calm sea.

A gorgeous day to head out onto the water.

A gorgeous day to head out onto the water.

Asker's kayak club gave us a warm welcome (notice the flags).

Asker’s kayak club gave us a warm welcome (notice the flags). We started the day with Yoga for Paddlers.

Throughout the two days we taught two full-day sessions of Simplifying the Roll.

Throughout the two days we taught two full-day sessions of Simplifying the Roll.

It was wonderful to work with people on all types of rolls.

It was wonderful to work with people on everything from first rolls to sculling rolls.

Happy rollers.

Happy rollers.

After two days of classes we had the opportunity to explore the surrounding area.

We spent an entire day exploring the Fram Museum and the Natural History Museum.

We spent an entire day exploring the Fram Museum and the Natural History Museum.

The museums were both educational and fun.

The museums were both educational and fun.

We spent a night VWVWV.

We spent a night in Rognstranda Geopark, which felt like we were at the end of the world.

The following day we went to Verdens Ende, which translates to "the end of the world."

The following day we went to Verdens Ende, which really does mean “the end of the world.”

A lighthouse at Verdens Ende.

A replica of a Vippefyr, an early type of lighthouse at Verdens Ende.

Mark and I paddled to another lighthouse, this one was located seven kilometers offshore.

Mark and I paddled to another lighthouse, this one was located seven kilometers offshore.

It was a windy day, but the journey to the lighthouse and back was spectacular.

It was a windy day, but the journey to the lighthouse and back was spectacular.

After exploring for a couple of days, we made our way to Oslo to run more classes.

Participants "simplify" their rolls.

Participants “simplify” their rolls.

In Oslo we ran three sessions of Yoga for Paddlers, two Simplifying the Roll classes and one session of "The Art of Teaching Rolling" (shown here).

In Oslo we ran three sessions of Yoga for Paddlers, two Simplifying the Roll classes and one session of “The Art of Teaching Rolling” (shown here).

More happy rollers.

More happy rollers.

And still more...

And still more…

After three wonderful days in Oslo, we slowly made our way to the west coast. Norway is having a particularly cold June, and many roads were blocked by snow. Despite avoiding the snow as much as possible, we still got to enjoy some, even on the lower crossings.

We enjoyed a scenic drive to the west coast.

We enjoyed a scenic drive to the west coast.

Despite being beautiful, I was glad that we weren't teaching rolling in this lake.

Despite being beautiful, I was glad that we weren’t teaching rolling in this lake.

Special thanks to Jan, Joan, Einar and Inge for taking such good care of us in Asker and Oslo!

Photos by Mark and Helen.

Height of the back deck in relation to rolling

Question: I recently built a Black Pearl kayak for rolling practice. I really like this kayak, but I misinterpreted a plan, and have a back deck height (cockpit coaming included) of 20 cm instead of 17 cm. I am wondering what influence this can have on some more advanced layback rolls. I still have to learn the norsaq roll and the hand roll, and wondered if it is worthwhile correcting this building error.

Answer: Without seeing the kayak it is difficult to know how the raised back deck will effect layback rolls. It is often the hull shape, and not the height of the deck, that influences how a kayak rolls. Some kayaks with high back decks roll very easily, while some kayaks with low back decks can be tricky to roll. The best thing to do is to try it out and see how it feels before making adjustments.

– Helen

 

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