Canoe instruction... why do so few of us pay for it?

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yarnellboat
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Re: Canoe instruction... why do so few of us pay for it?

Post by yarnellboat »

If, on the other hand, you just want to get better and start paddling class IV and V rivers then go out and start paddling with people that paddle the harder rivers...
The problem with school of hard knocks approach, as Tommy called it, is that it's actually more expensive than paying to paddle with a qualified instructor/coach! Expensive because you need to spend so much time on the river that you can't fit in a job!! :o

The just-go-for-it approach to learning is not for everyone anyone anyway, but even more limiting is that you really have to be able paddle a lot of days - the number of days you spend on the river, as much as your personal style, ability, guts & ambition, has a lot to do with how you might want to improve.

Good point on the distinction between "instruction" and "coaching"! I think what most people here are talking about is being able to find good coaching.

Pat.
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Re: Canoe instruction... why do so few of us pay for it?

Post by burly »

Boat riders in my area are a very independant and informal lot. We just want to be on the water,jump boats and have fun. I learn something and have fun everytime i am on the water,"hey follow me" style of learning . Not against paid instruction,just never had a day on the water i did not learn something,or came home thinking i need to give someone some money so i can have more fun. Plus you would have to schedule that shat,. Dont get me wrong, i take my boat riding seriously, just not that seriously. Just get out there and take your chundering i say.
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Re: Canoe instruction... why do so few of us pay for it?

Post by ian123 »

boat riding?
...
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Shep
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Re: Canoe instruction... why do so few of us pay for it?

Post by Shep »

New auto-replace software? Maybe he meant to say "kayaking". :)
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Re: Canoe instruction... why do so few of us pay for it?

Post by Sir Adam »

Let's just remember not everyone is from the good ol' US of A (and even within the US there are certainly different terms used...). All are welcome (and encouraged) to post.
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Re: Canoe instruction... why do so few of us pay for it?

Post by FullGnarlzOC »

I, too, like to go boat riding.

Here's my question - what's the difference between class III skill and class IV skill? it is one in the same. With the exception of boofing, class IV skill is just class III skill w/ confidence.

Tell you guys what... Fly me out there, pay for my food and alcohol, and I'll learn you guys a thing or two. hades with the amount of people you got that want some kind of instruction... it would be like $50. and I'll teach for as long as food and alcohol r provided. 2 weeks no problem.
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Re: Canoe instruction... why do so few of us pay for it?

Post by Yukon »

Pat
The Yukon is a short 2 1/2 hour flight north :)

I tell my students that excelling at Paddling is like learning to play an instrument- you have to put in the time, do the drills and push yourself. Very few paddlers are willing to spend much time on flatwater doing drills. As a paddler progresses you need coaching and the learning curve can be pretty gradual. I do not not get many students that want to be pushed past grade 3 water.
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Re: Canoe instruction... why do so few of us pay for it?

Post by Jim Michaud »

Tell you guys what... Fly me out there, pay for my food and alcohol, and I'll learn you guys a thing or two
I want to learn your offside J-stroke :) :) :)
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Re: Canoe instruction... why do so few of us pay for it?

Post by burly »

whitewater boat riding; the paddling of a whitewater vessel. boat jumping; whitewater boat riding in a tomfoolery manner. If paying for lessons is going to get you more enjoyment,then why wouldnt you? Plenty of people i would like a lesson from and probally benefit greatly. But to answer the question, i am not training for anything.Watching videos,trolling internet paddling resources, and watching my friends lines(c1,k1), i get the progression and enjoyment i am looking for. So instead of taking the time,energy,and money to make a lesson happen, i will just go whitewater canoeing. :D
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Re: Canoe instruction... why do so few of us pay for it?

Post by FullGnarlzOC »

Jim - that is only remaining thing you need to add to your extensive paddling repertoire... Mastery of the X-J :lol:
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Re: Canoe instruction... why do so few of us pay for it?

Post by valhallalongboats »

I'm coming on to this thread late! But as a former ACA Instructor who spent 10 years teaching the game, and is now back into it (always just river-running, though, not playboating) I've noticed a few things with clients, and I've noticed some things that I felt when I took clinics from instructors more skilled than I (of which there are quite a few :lol: )

When I took a class from Bob Foote back in 99' (he had mellowed a bit by then, or so I was told, still a pretty intense dude; but an awesome paddler) I thought I was pretty good. I was paddling class III and some IV regularly, so I wasn't sure what he would say. Well, he watched me paddle and essentially told me my style was antiquated a bit and I needed to scrap 90% of what I knew and pretty much start over. I have to tell you, it was a pretty crushing blow. When someone watches you and just says 'you suck, dude, you need to start over' its pretty hard to accept it. I learned a lot at that clinic, but my paddling wasn't much better at the end of the 2 days than it had been at the beginning. At the time though, I considered Bob Foote to be 'Lord of the OC-1' so I did what he told me to do. I went back to flat-water, and I paddled on lakes and ponds all winter long working on what he had shown me. By spring, I was a whole different animal, and I owe Mr. Foote a great deal for those 2 days, because I could do things after that winter I wouldn't have been able to do in a decade left on my own.

What really struck me, though, was what Bob said to some of the other people in the class (who were taking it for perhaps the 12th time). He asked 'why don't you listen to me? Why don't you go home and practice this stuff like I tell you to? You will never develop muscle memory if you don't go home and practice!' In essence, I think these folks (who were nice people, don't get me wrong) were just taking the class to say they had taken classes from Bob Foote. They didn't go home and PRACTICE.

When I worked as an instructor, I often saw the same thing. Honestly, it sometimes irritated the crap out of me. Someone would show up to a clinic, and all they wanted to talk about was what they had done in the past. Sometimes they would enjoy the class, but they never actually LEARNED anything. We would show them a new way to do something, and they would do it, but they would never 'take it home' and practice it until it became 'muscle memory'. I know this because they would show up the next year, and the year after that, and maybe the year after that, and they were barley better than when we started 3 years ago. I loved paddling with pretty much all of my clients, and obviously they had a good time with us (as they kept coming back) but after awhile I was left wondering 'why are we doing this? why are we bothering to set up all these drills? what's the point?' I even asked people if they'd rather just skip the drills and mess around all day, but they always said they wanted more drills.

In any case, I understand how it can be pretty devastating to have someone tell you 'look dude, you're doing this wrong, do it like this you knucklehead'. You might think 'hey, I've been doing this for 20 years, and it works fine'...well, that is where you separate the people who WANT TO LEARN from those who really don't. I think its an ego thing, (I'm an expert on egos, mine is approximately the size of the Hindenburg, and just as likely to catch fire) but maybe I'm wrong. I think this is why some people are down on lessons. They don't WANT to be told they're doing it wrong, and they're scared of having to push the 'reset' button on their paddling. If you want to get better, though, there is really only one thing you can do. You MUST paddle with people who are better than YOU. If you're the best paddler on the river: then you're on the wrong river. Sometimes you have to look at a situation with cold logic, and accept the consequences without making excuses. If someone is doing things you've never even contemplated doing before, sometimes your best course is to swallow your pride and ask them.

As I said, I've taken classes from people better than me, and one great thing about my own skill level is that it looks as though I'll have the opportunity to continue to take classes from people better than me for some time :D . If you want to get better, there ISN'T a faster way than taking a class from someone who IS amazing. I've see that video of Eli and I have to say, yeah, dude looks pretty dam polished, I'd love to take a class from him. Sorry this is so long, but if you want to get better, go into some lessons with an open mind, take home what you've learned, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, and you WILL get better, FASTER. Or don't.

-Rob
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Re: Canoe instruction... why do so few of us pay for it?

Post by Craig Smerda »

The best instruction I ever received was from my friends. One fellow (an instructor) Craig Reidner introduced me to a fun game called "Let's see who can hit the least amount of rocks." from the top to the bottom of Boy Scout Rapid on the Wolf River while only paddling with forward strokes my first summer during a drought. This taught me boat control. Another friend of mine Dewey Ewers (also an instructor) encouraged me at the beginning to try slalom racing... I did. This taught me not only how to paddle forward but how to be efficient and precise. Roy Crimmins got me hooked on playboating... this taught me what to do in a hole or on a wave, it also gave me a bomber roll. Thing is... when I started paddling I was driving an hour to the river and an hour back three to four times a week. I put in the t-i-m-e to keep improving my skills... it also didn't hurt that gas was less than $1 per gallon. Thanks to these guys and the fundamentals they laid down as well as some others (yes... even some evil smelly kayakers) I kept progressing and continued to be able to paddle harder and more challenging rivers, to play in/on bigger waves and holes and to become the totally awesome boat rider (kidding here) that I am today. :lol:

My advise... I'll fill this in later... time to go fishing. :wink:
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Jim Michaud
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Re: Canoe instruction... why do so few of us pay for it?

Post by Jim Michaud »

If someone is doing things you've never even contemplated doing before, sometimes your best course is to swallow your pride and ask them.
I totally agree with this statement. Most good paddlers can spot someone doing bad technique but are afraid to give unsolicited advice. All you need to do is ask and they would be flattered and anxious to help.

Jim
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Re: Canoe instruction... why do so few of us pay for it?

Post by Einar »

I like Valhalla's points.
Whether you take instruction or you rise to your potential on your own it takes desire and perseverance and that can't be taught or bought.

Several paddlers have blown past me in ability; started later, risen further. They were innately more talented but they also practiced a lot, more than me.
And I practice a lot.

(ed.: In context I live 10 minutes from two rivers, making practice easier)
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Re: Canoe instruction... why do so few of us pay for it?

Post by yarnellboat »

When I think about it, time for practice is the reason why I'm not seriously looking to pay for coaching now (I'd happily take a course if Eli or somebody was arranged to be in the neighbourhood, but I'm not arranging it and I'm not travelling for it) - 1) I wouldn't get much out of the instruction because I wouldn't practice/paddle enough, and 2) on the extremely limited time I have to paddle, I'd rather just enjoy the river than think about canoeing. So no training excursion to Yukon.

But, for ww canoeing generally if not for me personally, I do wish there was more opportunity for quality clinics around here.

I agree with Einar - several people who started later but paddled more have exceeded his skills! 8)

Mine too, people I mentored a bit as raw rookies I now can't keep pace with - which I'm about to prove again in our T50 slalom race - because they make more time to paddle, and paddle lots of different rivers with lots of different people. Time has a lot to with advancing (or avoiding decline), as much as attitude, and more than coaching.

P.
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