In rather unpleasant weather and river conditions four complete beginners attended Coach’s Steve and Elaine’s beginners paddling course.
The original plan was based around a low tide occurring during the session. On the day the tidal conditions were changed by The Thames barrier being closed. This resulted in the river water level rising and falling, but the tidal flow remain in one direction, an ebb tide. These weren’t ideal conditions to teach in, nor for our students to learn in.
Coach’s Steve and Elaine met and greeted the first three students, where they were shortly joined by a forth introduced to us by Coach Michelle. Young Michelle was leading our Sunday club paddle rather than teaching this week. Gary our last student joined so our maximum contingent of four had arrived. With zero paddling experience Jason, Amal, Maia and Gary started their kayaking basics.
Paddle selection and paddle handling followed by kayak selection. With Coach Elaine on the we used the paddle across method of getting safely on the water. With everyone safely on the water coach Steve got in to his canoe and joined the group.
it was a tough day to teach forward paddling as the current remain strong throughout the session, but our students dealt with it admirably. Although not taught body rotation directly, they automatically required it to paddle against the deceptively strong ebbing tide.
We found eddies to teach sweep turns, moving sideways, backwards and stopping. We finished up by each of our students performing a ferry glide back to the pontoon.
We ended the session as we started in the rain and wind. Everyone helped to put the boats away and then there was a brief run down of what they had achieved in such a short amount of time in extremely tough conditions.
Thanks go to coach Elaine for all her efforts in keeping the group together.
If ever there was a day when our students needed waterproof clothes and or hats this was the day. It would have been an ideal kit testing day….!