Friday, 29 September 2006 19:39

Kayak Instructor? No! Kayak Salesperson!

As kayaking instructors, we take on the roll of "salesperson" as much as or even more than we do the roll of "instructor". I like using the metaphor of sales, because we are in a unique position in which students pay money for you to introduce them to the sport. If you don’t do a good enough job "selling" the sport of kayaking on the first day, they won’t enjoy themselves and move on to another sport. This is your only chance to help develop a passion for the sport you love.
Saturday, 12 August 2006 18:50

Teach Proper Sun Sense

If you were to look at the possible occupational hazards in your career as a sea kayak instructor probably the biggest hazard would be the sun. Photo Credit Dan Klein Nobody is completely safe from the sun. The risk of skin cancer today is much greater then it was 20 years ago. That is because we are exposed to more ultraviolet rays due to the thinning of the protective layer of ozone around the earth is becoming thinner due to pollution.
Over my years of talking to former kayakers, many of them have some sort of story along the following lines, "I tried kayaking once but it flipped over and I got trapped inside of it. I thought I was going to die!" Taking the time to teach the wet exit properly and professionally is extremely important because the reality is, if the wet exit exercise goes wrong for the student and they panic, they might not ever get in a kayak again!
Friday, 16 June 2006 08:59

How do I become a paddling instructor?

So you want to become a paddling instructor do you? Good choice. The first thing you need to do is to get connected with your local paddling club or school and take some classes to make sure that your paddling skills are at a demonstrative level. That means that you need to perform all the required skills for the level you are going to be teaching perfectly. Once your paddling chops are up to speed, you need to take an actual instructor course. During the course you will learn how to actually teach the skills that you have been diligently working on. You will also learn for example, how to look at a forward stoke and figure out what is wrong with it and how to help your student improve. You have chosen a wise and enlightened path young grasshopper. Take a peek at our links page for local schools and paddling Associations that can help you get started.
Some time ago I read in Sea Kayaker a not very complimentary review of a UK video on sea kayak rescues. I did not see the video until much later, but I can only say that I agree with Sea Kayaker’s reviewer: it is a video of value only for learning what not to do.
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