After a lot of discussions, listening to feedback and trying to deliver sea kayak coaching differently, the Cumbria Canoeists sea kayak team, lead my Michele Reason, launched a fresh programme.
6 experienced leaders and coaches upskilled themselves and attended a Core Coaching course and a 2 day sea kayak coach course, delivered by Fiona Corfe, formerly of WildRiver – “teaching old dogs new tricks” and updating us all on “good coaching practice”
It was agreed that Mike Sunderland and mac Knowles would take a lead on the programme.
So starting in April, a series of taster sessions were delivered to Cumbria club members or newcomers to sea kayaking (who were encouraged to join a Cumbria canoe club) based from Killington Lake, where we built up a sea kayak resource for the season – x9 sea kayaks and gear.
These were followed by:
Comments from participants
“exceeding our expectations”
“A really big thank you for getting me organised and out on the water yesterday. A great day”
Sea kayaking weekend with Cumbria Canoeists 25-26 Sept 2021
By Anika Blood – 13yrs
The canoe trip was more than just a trip around Piel Island ; it was an unforgettable experience.
The waves parting at the kayaks nose as we desperately tried to keep paddling in the right direction, the wind whipping the sea salt smells into the fresh air. The seals bobbed up and down, curious to see what we were up to.
The second day was more of a challenge putting the previous days skills to good use whilst, experiencing wind over tide. It was exhilarating.
The constant encouragement and advice from the more experienced canoeists/instructors made learning the fundamentals techniques of paddling a breeze. I would highly recommend the experience to anyone wanting to learn about sea kayaking.”
It was a weekend our family won’t forget
A personal reflection from Graeme Wild – of the 2021 STARTER sea kayak programme and the “Salty Sea” weekend
My wife and I were fortunate enough to have been able to move into the South Lakes area last winter. And it was driving past the Kent Estuary everyday that inspired me to look at kayaking as a means to meet likeminded people, to keep fit, and to explore the Lake District and the surrounding area.
A quick search on the internet opened up the range of Clubs and activities, regularly running throughout the Cumbria area. I was very surprised at the opportunities and variety of kayaking and canoeing that were activity being held throughout the year.
I joined the Lakeland Canoe Club, and was advised by a number of people I started to talk too, to contact Cumbria Canoeists, as they were running a number of events over the summer for anyone wanting to learn about kayaking. LCC have been very
supportive particularly with their instructor’s patience in the Monday evening skills
My first taste of this was on a beautiful summer evening on the Lancaster canal from Tewitfield. Sure a canal trip is not like being on the sea, but this was as super introduction and taster session into the process of learning how to handle a sea kayak, especially getting into and out of the kayak from the canal bank!
Shortly after that, I managed to enrol onto the 2 day weekend course being run at Coniston. The boat and equipment were available through Cumbria Canoeists, and this meant that I could really try kayaking in more detail before committing to buying any equipment. With this session being held over 2 days, it allowed us all to pick up some basic knowledge very quickly, and to have any one-to-one tuition that is needed. It was hosted and run expertly by the coach/leaders, and provided a great step forward in learning how to manage a sea kayak.
At the end of September, Cumbria Canoeists then ran the fantastic ‘Salty Sea’ weekend event, which was my first experience of kayaking on the sea. Based at the Roa Island Boating Club, this allowed us all easy access to the low tide sea level, and a beer or coffee at the end of day!
Being based off Roa Island, it meant we could explore the Barrow channel, Piel Island, and the Walney Seal colony each day, and to experience the huge tides in the channel.
The 2 days were incredible, and really pushed us all to improve our skills very quickly. Again it was expertly run and resourced, by us splitting into small manageable groups of 6 or so people. This allowed for one-to-one advice when required, and kept everyone reassured when the wind and tide picked up late in the day!
It truly was, a very memorable weekend!
Holding these training sessions over a weekend really does allow for you to experience, and to get a taste for kayaking, very quickly. And with them being hosted by such experienced and knowledgeable instructors, allows you to feel safe at all times, even when you are outside of your comfort zone.
I am well and truly now hooked on kayaking, thanks to Mike and the coach/leader sea kayak team at Cumbria Canoeists.
Pictures from some of our adventures