Tuesday, 24 April 2012 10:25

DVD Review: Advanced Classic Solo Canoeing with Becky Mason

I recently had the pleasure to watch Becky Mason’s new instructional DVD, Advanced Classic Solo Canoeing.

Advanced Classic Solo Canoeing builds on the foundation strokes that were taught in her first DVD, Classic Solo Canoeing. This time round Becky covers a wide variety of intermediate and advanced strokes including the Canadian, Indian, Sculling Draw, and the Running Draw Slideslip. Most of them are practical but some like the Low Circle are only practical to impress your friends. That doesn’t mean you should learn it. In fact it should be moved to the top of your stroke list for that reason alone. Never underestimate the importance of impressing friends.

From an instructional point of view I have got to say that this is easily one of the best I have seen. The narration shows right from the start that Becky has been teaching this stuff for a very long time. She has a great ability to take very complex maneuver and break it down to 3-4 key points making it easy to remember.

It’s clear that a lot of planning went into the production of the video and the proof is that all throughout the film the narration describing the fine details of the stoke actually matches up with what you are seeing. It might sound simple but it’s actually very a tricky thing to do and requires a huge amount of pre-planning long before production starts.

Advanced Classic Solo Canoeing

I think that Advanced Classic Solo Canoeing will be appealing to students as well as instructors and dreamers. If you are an instructor this is a good opportunity to watch a pro on the water teaching. Make notes of how she demonstrates the skills, steal the ideas and use it the next time you are teaching. You will be a better instructor for it guaranteed. Just don’t take all the credit.

If you are a dreamer I think you will also enjoy this DVD. Yeah, it’s an instructional film but it’s easily the most beautiful thing you will watch this month. Picture your perfect day out canoeing on the water. It likely involves paddling around on a very small lake in the early morning. The water is like glass and there is still a hint of morning mist hovering over the water. That scene in your head is pretty much 80% of the film. You are going to love watching it just for that.

Advanced Classic Solo Canoeing - Overhead Shot

I could keep going on about nerdy things like the excellent sound editing and the subtle sounds of the canoe moving through the water or the great selection of overhead and underwater shots to tie it all together but this is clearly a film the you need to see for yourself.

A couple of extra treats do come with the DVD including a full copy of her first instructional film, Classic Solo Canoeing as well as a beautiful canoe dance video set to the music of Ian Tamblym.

Oh yeah, did I mention that Advanced Classic Solo Canoeing won a bunch of awards at both the Reel Paddling Film Festival and the Waterwalker Film Festival? Yes it did.

You should be able to get this DVD at your local paddling shop or from Becky Mason directly via redcanoes.ca. For a limited time canoe and kayak instructors can get a 20% discount. You just need need to be a paid-up member of your local or national paddling body. Here are all the the details.

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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