Archive for December, 2011

Happy Holidays!

We hope that 2011 was a wonderful year for you, and wish you a 2012 filled with adventure, fun and lots of salty water. Happy Holidays!

Mark and Helen

Simplifying the Roll: May 5, Big Lagoon, California

Date: May 5, 2012

Location: Big Lagoon, California

Description: This class is for those working on a beginning roll, an other-side roll or cleaning up an existing roll. The class will move through a steady progression of on-land exercises, in-water exercises and in-kayak exercises and will include techniques such as the Balance Brace, the Standard Greenland Roll and/or the Butterfly Roll. 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

Simplifying the Rescue: September 17, Whiskeytown, California

Date: September 17

Location: Whiskeytown, California

Description: Performing a deep-water rescue does not have to be a complex task. The aim of this program is to enable participants to come away with a clear understanding of the key principles involved when rescuing a fellow paddler in open waters. Simplifying The Rescue looks at a range of common rescue scenarios and offers up straightforward strategies that participants can practice with confidence. Capsize drills, buddy systems and self-rescue are all part of the program.

Contact: For more information, course fees or to register, e-mail

Private Roll Coaching: October 3 to 5, Portland, Oregon

Dates: October 3 to 5

Location: Portland, Oregon

Description: Helen will be offering private roll coaching for one or two students at a time. Learning to roll is a game changer. Nothing gives you as much confidence and peace of mind on the water as having a reliable roll. Often, the barriers to rolling are very unique to the individual. Too many poor attempts and you can engrain the wrong muscle memory and create bad habits that can be hard to break. It’s valuable to have immediate individual feedback to avoid picking up bad habits.

Contact: For more information, click HERE.

BCU Foundation Safety and Rescue Training: Sunday, February 12, Big Lagoon, California

Date: February 12, 2012

Location: Big Lagoon, California

Description: This full day class offers participants the opportunity to learn a wide range of deep-water rescue techniques for solo and group paddlers in both canoes and kayaks. The course aims to provide particpants with the key safety and risk assessment skills required to operate in a sheltered water environment and to be able to deal with common emergencies on the water. These skills form the basis of all safety and rescue training throughout the BCU scheme. The FSRT is also a prerequisite for the UKCC Level 1 and Level 2 coaching awards. Completion of the training course will lead to a personalised action plan. The course will cover:

  • Safety theory and rescue principles
  • Bank based rescues
  • Coaching a swimmer to shore
  • Use of throwlines
  • Boat based rescues
  • Use of towlines
  • Self rescues
  • Group rescues
  • Scenarios

Prerequisites: BCU 2 Star skills, or equivalent

BCU Information: For syllabus details, visit the BCU North America website.

Contact: For more information, course fees or to register, e-mail

Big Lagoon Performance Paddling Clinic: February 25, Big Lagoon, California

Date: February 25

Location: Big Lagoon, California

Description: The aim of this program is to look at the principles of power, pressure and posture to enable a more effective performance in your boat. The focus of this class is concerned with improving your forward paddling, maneuvering and directional control skills through stroke analysis and dynamic coaching activities. Our goal is to enable you to become an efficient paddler in the ocean environment.

Contact: For more information, course fees or to register, e-mail


Intermediate Boat Handling: January 15, Crescent City, California

Date: January 15

Location: Crescent City, California

Description: Participants will explore a number of techniques and tools to improve their boat handling skills whilst exploring the ocean coastline. The day will cover a broad spectrum of topics including blending strokes for efficiency, scenarios, sea safety and group management.

Contact: For more information or to register, e-mail

Traditional Paddling and Rolling: November 7, Horseshoe Cove, California

Date: November 7

Location: Horseshoe Cove, California

Description: Modern sea kayaking has its roots firmly based in the traditions of Greenland qajaqing. The Inuit have used ‘qajaqs’ as a means of hunting and fishing for centuries. Rolling a kayak was considered an essential self-rescue skill that was learned and practiced on a regular basis.

This day offers the opportunity to learn Greenland rolling skills and paddling strokes, as well as be immersed in the culture of Greenland. It is a chance to find out about Avataqs, Akuilisaqs and Norsat, as well as get to know the difference between a Tuilik and a Tupilaq.

Equipment: Dress for immersion. No need to be a Greenland-style kayaker, but there will be paddles available for participants to try if they wish.

Booking: For more information or to register, contact

Rough Water Boat Handling: January 8, Trinidad, California

Date: January 8

Location: Trinidad, California

Description: This class is for intermediate and advanced paddlers who want to master the skills needed to maneuver a sea kayak efficiently in rough water and challenging conditions. Through practical coaching activities participants will learn how to negotiate surf zones and rock gardens as well as develop confident boat control using swell and waves.

Contact: For more information, or to register, e-mail

Advancing the Rescue: January 7, Trinidad, California

Date: January 7

Location: Trinidad, California

Description: This class will take self and assisted rescues to the next level. We’ll work on rescues in dynamic conditions that occur in reflecting waves, amongst rock gardens and in open water conditions.

Contact: For more information, course fees or to register, e-mail

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