Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Back to the old grindstone - so to speak

Of course, my grindstone is actually the South Fork of the American River where I get to teach people how to kayak. The last several months I have been doing a lot of paddling but not much teaching. Now I'm back in teaching mode and excited to get to share my sport with new people and help create more paddlers.

And with whitewater kayaking it's especially challenging to find that line between having a fun class and teaching skills. While it is often fairly easy to lead folks down fun rapids (which they tend to really enjoy) the truth is that the necessary skills are really best learned practicing in flat water and simple eddies. I always try to focus my teaching on the long term results - I assume that my students are going to keep paddling and I want them to have good habits and good technique that will serve them well for the rest of their life. But you also have to throw in some fun to get them hooked and realize what the sport has to offer. It's a balancing act...

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