Starting off a season on the river with a bang is far more exciting than easing into it.
For Wet Planet kayak instructors this means coming together as a team for our annual instructor training. Honestly, we just want to talk about kayaking every chance we get.
This year, Wet Planet brought in Sam Drevo, an ACA Instructor trainer and owner of Northwest River Guides, to lead the two day training.
Sam’s kayaking experience, both as a participant and instructor, is broader than the ocean and as diverse as the rainforest. He brought his vast pool of knowledge and specifically tailored the content to Wet Planet’s courses.
Discussions and practicals included:
- Different learning styles
- Theories behind different progressions of instruction
- Barriers to learning
- River reading for beginners and advanced students
- Hydrology discussions
- Intermediate and advanced strokes and techniques
- Proper range of motion
- Additional boat stability exercises
- Risk management and liability
During our afternoon session in the pool, Sam led instructors in alternate methods for teaching the roll to students. One of the most challenging manuevers to learn as a beginning kayaker, the “Eskimo Roll” is also one of the hardest to teach.
Students become overwhelmed quickly with being upside down and underwater. However, with proper progression and understanding of a few key concepts, any student can be successful in learning to roll.
Sam demonstrated different spotting techniques as well as other ideas about the progression of teaching this tricky maneuver. In this video, Molly practices her own position while fellow kayak instructore Brian acts as a student.
Sam’s insigts and experience in teaching kayaking offered the Wet Planet kayak instruction team loads of new ideas. By coming together every year at the beginning of the season, instructors are able to better prepare for a full season of kayak instruction.
At Wet Planet we believe that the best kayak instructors are ones who continually seek to better their methods. By offering additional training sessions, our staff has more opportunities to learn and therefore can offer better instruction of our students.
Afterall, it is all about creating an excited and competant paddling community!