We have just finished the first six sessions of kayak coaching at TSC. There will be another six sessions starting on 23 July 2015 for a new set of people. The sessions certainly got off to a wild, wet and windy start on 28 May when we were met with F5-6 westerlies and rain, however, the other 5 weeks were fortunately more forgiving, and we even had one night where everyone got to experience some F3 waves coming in at the bay. Group sizes varied from 7-10 people with an an age spread from children to adults and an experience spread from novice to some experience, all of which were catered for by our mix of coaches and leaders.
So we asked the question: how did the attendees feel about these first six sessions? Here is what they had to say:
“It’s been a great experience. I like the way the plan for the evening was explained in advance, and everyone was included. I don’t think anyone could have felt as if they weren’t part of the team.
I am looking forward to some wee paddles over the summer.”
“I have found the sessions to be invaluable. They have run on schedule and on time each evening. The 90 minutes in the water feels like a good choice, anything less would feel too little and anything more would be too tiring as our bodies adjust to the sport.
The content has also felt good, getting in and out of the kayak, paddling technique, paddling in a straight line, turning on the spot, long radius turns and course correction via edging and rescues (assisted and self).
The coaching and on hand support at each of the sessions have been excellent. I have felt I have been in the company of people that are knowledgeable; I have also felt safe being on and in the water given the expertise to hand each night.”
“It was a fantastic experience. This course catered for a wide range of ages and also for paddlers who had some previous experience as well those of us with no experience at all. At all times I felt included in the group and the atmosphere was friendly. The coaches were very experienced and supportive.
Having at least 2 coaches meant that everyone who needed a bit of extra help was able to have sufficient ‘one to one’ instruction which was a big bonus in a large group. As a more nervous paddler I always felt safe and found myself trying things on the water which I would have normally avoided. I think this says a lot about the calibre of the coaching.
All in all I would highly recommend TSC to anyone who would like to give the sport a go!”
– Karen Mc
“From the start we were advised that there would be no backing out if it rained! The weather was suitably varied which was ideal for learning about paddling in various conditions. The tutors and support team gave us a clear idea of what was expected of us, and each week fears or insecurities were mastered. For me and my daughter it was something we could do together that would take us outdoors and give us both physical and mental exercise.
The one unexpected aspect of kayaking is that it is a real stress buster – you really have to focus on what your whole body is doing, especially in choppy water. Your feet, legs, core, and upper body are constantly adjusting in reaction to external forces on the kayak. This focus means that the time on the water completely clears your head of other pressures. The final week of the 6 week block saw us all capsizing and being rescued, not everyone’s idea of fun, but a vital part of our safety training, and it is actually so much more enjoyable than you might expect. I can’t wait to get back out on the water.”
– Karen K
“What a great experience joining the TSC Kayak section, 6 week training course. With professional coaches and supportive helpers. My confidence grew every week and I now feel confident and safe out in the open water with my sons and friends. Everyone from novices to experts, willing to help make the experience, enjoyable and fun and one on one coaching to improve techniques. I’m fully confident my 13 year old and 12 year old sons are safe out with me and learning more and more, every contact we have with the skilled coaches and members of the Kayak section.
I joined to be part of a club, with like minded people and to encourage more to join. As a new member of TSC I have been welcomed by everyone in all sections of TSC and invited to take part in other activities. Such a welcoming bunch of sailors, surfers and Kayakers all round good bunch of people.”