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Skills Development

In addition to the regular Saturday social paddling and weekday paddling sessions, extra training sessions are sheduled periodically through the year - particularly around the beginning of semester when there is an influx of new members. These training sessions usually have an emphasis on a particular canoeing discipline, but don't be put off. The skills covered in these sessions include many that are useful for ALL types of kayaking. Training with different types of boat is also desirable because it helps you to adapt your skills, practice, and gain more experience. Sometimes a skill is easier to learn in a particular type of kayak.

Skills sessions for any kayak discipline are open to all club members
Sessions cover many basic skills used with all kayaks

Training arrangements for the different disciplines are generally as follows.

  • Sea Kayaking skills - Periodic sea kayak assisted rescue and paddle stroke training on the UQ pool. Sessions typically cover basic and then advanced paddle strokes, manoeuvring, wet exits, recoveries, and rescues. Check the pool calendar for sessions (training takes place alongside canoe polo). Introductory sea kayaking sessions are generally held later as a separate trip.
  • Canoe polo skills (pool training) - a series of evening sessions in the university pool, using "polobats" and other smaller kayaks, or any kayak if desired. Sessions typically cover paddling techniques, manoeuvring, wet exits, recoveries, rolling, ball skills, etc. These sessions are a chance to practice your skills in fresh water.
  • Flatwater skills - sessions on the UQ pool that include beginner and advanced paddle stroke training, and occasionally assisted rescues specific to fragile flatwater boats (TKs and Ks). Check the pool calendar for sessions (training takes place alongside canoe polo). Other flatwater trips to local dams are periodically organised with the aim of helping members progress from basic kayaks to racing kayaks (TK1s and K1s).
  • Whitewater skills (intro day) - these training sessions are typically held only once per semester. They are day trips that take place below Wivenhoe dam using whitewater kayaks. It helps to have attended other skills sessions prior to this. Sessions typically cover paddling techniques, manoeuvring, wet exits, recoveries, rolling, moving water techniques (ferrying, eddy turns, peel-outs), with the option of negotiating a rapid. [Note these sessions no longer run after the 2011 floods destroyed the location]. Playing canoe polo is a useful way to develop necessary whitewater skills.
  • Internet Resources - a great deal of training information is available by searching the net. A great place to obtain information and demonstrations of basic paddle and rescue techniques is http://kayakpaddling.net.

New Members

New members with little paddling experience will find the most convenient and useful training sessions are the polo sessions in the pool, followed by the sea kayaking pool training and river paddle sessions. These will help you to get more out of the training trips in Moreton Bay and at the dams, although they are not a prerequisite.

Remember that if you are very new to paddling, and have little idea what to do, then you should come to the regular Saturday, or Tuesday/Thursday morning paddling sessions(at least until you are competent by yourself). On Saturday mornings there are other more experienced club members available to give you tips, help you choose the right boat, and to assist you should you get into difficulty.

LM: Oct 15