Greenland or Bust’s April Newsletter


With the launch of Storm Gathering USA, February and March were very busy months for Greenland or Bust. So busy, in fact, that we never got around to sending our March newsletter. Busy is good however, and we’re looking forward to a busy and wonderful summer.

Storm Gathering USA took place in Trinidad, California from March 6 to 8, and it was an absolute blast! There wasn’t much of a “storm” weather wise, but people didn’t seem to mind, and instead welcomed the sunshine, calm seas and large numbers of whales that made an appearance. Despite the calm seas, excitement was found amongst rock gardens and surf, and mild conditions meant that classes could get into places that are usually inaccessible. We’ve put together a little video of the event, which can be viewed HERE. Thank you to all of the participants, coaches, safety boaters, volunteers, sponsors, chefs and Coast Guards who took part in the event. The next UK Storm Gathering takes place February 20 to 22 in Anglesey, Wales, and the next Storm Gathering USA event on the West Coast takes place March 3 to 5, 2017.

We’re currently in Wales, and will be running Simplifying the Roll and a Traditional Paddling and Greenland Rolling Day this weekend. After that we’ve got a five-day BCU 4 Star Sea Training combined with BCU Coastal Navigation and Tidal Planning. We’ll take a break for Easter and then run a second Simplifying the Roll class and Combat Rolling. After that Helen heads to Charleston, South Carolina for the East Coast Paddlesports and Outdoor Festival. Then she’ll run private and semi-private classes during the ENC Kayaking Social before heading to Bacalar, Mexico for Paddle Marathon Laguna Bacalar 2015. Meanwhile, Mark will be in Wales at the Essentials Sea Kayak Weekend, as well as running a BCU 4 Star Sea Assessment and a BCU 4 Star Refresher Week. After that we’ve got more BCU programs, classes in Lodi, California, and then our Rebel Kayaks supported Nordic Tour begins.

This year’s tour is bigger and better than ever, and we have classes scheduled in Norway, Sweden and Denmark. We are very excited to be back for another tour, and look forward to seeing all of our Scandinavian friends again. Click HERE for our 2015 tour schedule.

Have you ever dreamed of kayaking in Antarctica? We are guiding an expedition there from December 31, 2015 to January 27/28, 2016. E-mail us at for details.

As usual, visit 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:

Happy paddling!

Helen and Mark

Dr. T’s Coaching Corner

In December’s newsletter, we began talking about the technical, tactical, physiological and psychological factors (TTPP) that make up a paddler’s performance.

This month we look at ways to develop a kayaker’s technical ability. To recap, this element represents the individual skill that, when executed well, forms the technical template of ‘best practice’ for a stroke. Progress occurs through the use of instruction and structured practice, with the coach evaluating each movement and providing feedback. Skills practiced well will set a paddler up for future success.

To learn a skill, it is likely that an individual will need initial input via demonstration or instruction.

Whole Method – a skill can be taught or shown as a whole so the paddler can appreciate the complete movement and execution of a technique. Simple skills benefit from this method.

Part Method – When a skill is complex it is more appropriate to breakdown the compound movement into its constituent parts. The parts can then be taught and linked together to develop the final skill.

Whole / Part / Whole – Initially the individual attempts the whole skill and the coach records those parts that not being executed well. Part instruction can be used to address the issues, followed by the paddler repeating the whole skill with the coach monitoring progress.

Once a skill has been taught, then it is a matter of structuring the right practice format to aid learning, of which there are several formats:

Fixed – a specific movement is practiced repeatedly. Closed skills are often practiced in this way.

Massed – a skill is practiced continuously until the skill is becomes ingrained. Suitable with simple tasks and high levels of motivation.

Variable – the skill is practiced in the range of conditions that it could be experienced. Open skills are best practiced in this way.

Distributed – breaks are taken whilst developing the skill. This is suitable when the skill is new or complex, as fatigue can result in injury, reduced motivation or environmental conditions become poor.

However, whilst developing a technical template of ‘best practice’ is important to a paddler, the real value comes when they can apply these skills in a strategic or tactical way. More on that next time 🙂

Program Schedule

Simplifying the Roll:
March 28, Anglesey, Wales

Traditional Paddling & Greenland Rolling:
March 29, Anglesey, Wales

BCU 4 Star Sea Training and Coastal Navigation:
March 30 to April 3, Anglesey, Wales

Simplifying the Roll:
April 11, Anglesey, Wales

Combat Rolling:
April 12, Anglesey, Wales

East Coast Paddlesports and Outdoor Festival:
April 17 to 19, Charleston, South Carolina

Kayak Essentials Festival:
April 18 to 19, Anglesey, Wales

BCU 4 Star Sea Assessment:
April 20 to 21, Anglesey, Wales

Private and Semi-Private Classes during the ENC Kayaking Social:
April 23 to 26, Trinidad, California

BCU 4 Star Refresher Week:
April 27 to May 1, Pembrokeshire, Wales

Paddle Marathon Laguna Bacalar 2015:
May 1 to 3, Bacalar, Mexico

BCU 4 Star Sea Training:
May 5 to 6, Anglesey, Wales

BCU 4 Star Sea Assessment:
May 7 to 8, Anglesey, Wales

Simplifying the Roll
May 16 and 17, Lodi, California

Simplifying the Rescue:
May 16, Lodi, California

Nordic Tour:
May 23 to August 30, Norway, Denmark and Sweden

 …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

Yoga for Outdoor People can also be purchased as a download from the Digital Goods Store.

Copyright © 2015 Greenland or Bust, All rights reserved.

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

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