Your quickest entry to kayaking skills is to attend our five hour beginners course. Attend one of the sheduled courses and if you cannot match one of the available we try to organise one suitable for you. For groups larger than 4 people we can organise a bespoke class.
The structure and emphasis in the course contents will vary to meet the skills and needs of the clients while the goal is to cover and develop skills and understanding needed for a 1 Star certificate. This course is also the basis for continuing towards 2 and 3 star asessments.
Approximately half an hour will be used on land to become familiar with basic paddle handling, kayak parts and adjustments for comfortable paddling posture, and fitting a Personal Floatation Device. Basic bracing skills or balancing using the paddle and the kayak will also be introduced before and when going afloat. After approximately a kilometer of paddling, during which some individual instruction will be given, we ´will go into more detailed techinques of paddle and kayak handling. These involve turning, edging, leaning and bracing. In some cases they mix together and there are many of them to be learnt for different situations and to build up paddler confidence. The teaching and blended exersices is a step by step approach where your skills will improve gradually. Since the five hours is a relatively short time with loads of information it will be beneficial especially for most beginners to come back for a second session or for a BCU 2 star class where skills are improved and some new skills are introduced.
Major changes has been done to class contents (Syllabus) as outlined in detail on the British canoeing website. As a summary the contents of the older BCU1 are:
- Boat handling
- Lift, carry and launch the kayak or canoe
- Forward paddling over a distance of 100m
- Steering and controlling the boat
- Return to the bank and get out
- Resque skills
- Capsise and be rescued or capsize and swim to the shore
- Emptying boats
- Safety, leadership and group skills
- Hypothermia/First aid
Personally Jöns who works as an instructor used years and thousands of kilometers together with feedback discussions, racing, clocking and speed measurements to improve his forward paddling skills towards perfection. The same could be done with many of the techiques listed for 1 Star training, and you will be surprised on techinques and feel for water developed and contained within steering and bracing.