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

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Rand C1
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Re: Canoe instruction... why do so few of us pay for it?

Post by Rand C1 »

I think we should start using the term chundering, that really covers it for me.
Rand

Oh and a fellow I know named Mark got some free schooling on the LBS on Sunday. Oh ya and Big Al got chundered pretty good at First Island, again aparently
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Re: Canoe instruction... why do so few of us pay for it?

Post by Mark8541 »

Rand, I sure did get some schooling yesterday. And I paid for it too. My arms are killing me :). It was great paddling with you. And nice to know someone was watching my back.
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Re: Canoe instruction... why do so few of us pay for it?

Post by PAC »

Heard you 2 had a great time..and had solid runs.... in spite of your "instructor"! ;-) LOL
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Rand C1
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Re: Canoe instruction... why do so few of us pay for it?

Post by Rand C1 »

Ya, I was in Big Al's LBS canoe school. It was my first run, very cool, learned a lot. Thanks for getting us down Al.
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Re: Canoe instruction... why do so few of us pay for it?

Post by Mark8541 »

Yeah, big thanks to Al for getting me down in one piece. I was a Lil worried I didn't belong on this run yet.
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Re: Canoe instruction... why do so few of us pay for it?

Post by TommyC1 »

Shep wrote: WRT to all of the others, I think, in canoeing we miss the critical difference between classes and coaching. The ski industry has gotten this right, I think. Rank beginners need classes in order to see what the basic skills are and how they are applied. This would be equivalent to the first ~2 days or so of ski school. Obviously some participants chafe at ANY program that is made up of rote exercises and skills checks. It sounds like, from Harry, that this is what the AMC clinic is set up like. I don't think this is a failure of the clinic, but if they won't allow Harry to learn in his own style (not through their intro classes), and rejoin the flow for more advanced coaching later, than they are really sticking their foot in it!


Thanks,
Shep
The NH AMC Spring School that Harry attended is a 2 day basic instructional. Day one is on flatwater. Day two on a class II river.
I believe that Harry did learn a few things there. But he got very frustrated with the pace of things by the end of day two.

Harry then proceeded to paddle everything he could get on with anybody who would go. The combination of athleticism, the ability to learn by watching others, and lots of river time seems to have worked well for Harry. In two seasons he has surpassed skills it's taken me some 20 years to acquire.

Sadly the AMC (in New England at least) can not offer much in the way of OC1/C1 coaching these days. Not enough interest, coaches or coachees.
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Re: Canoe instruction... why do so few of us pay for it?

Post by Sir Adam »

A few folks have brought up a few different points I really want to highlight for us all to think about - there is a difference between "classes", "clinics", and "coaching".... and each have their pros and cons:

Class - cheap (or free), lots of students, little one-on-one, geared towards the "lesson plan", not how an individual learns. Ok for intro to canoeing (imho)
Clinic - focussed on one aspect of paddling, like minded folks (all want to learn X), more expensive but still a group feel. More time with instructor
Coaching - (or "private lesson) - 1-3 folks and an instructor. Most expensive... BUT perhaps the best value as the instructor (if they are a good one) can tailor how they teach to how you learn (and paddle)... and focus on what you think you need, and what you really need;)
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Re: Canoe instruction... why do so few of us pay for it?

Post by the great gonzo »

Rand C1 wrote:Oh ya and Big Al got chundered pretty good at First Island, again aparently
Ahh, this brings back some good old memories... :lol: ...: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKqX-FuT6g4" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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

Post by Shep »

Tommy,

I do hope my comments didn't offend. I think what you are saying is very what you are saying. I agree it is very challenign to offer a formal "next step" for learning. I also like Sir Adam's post outlining the differences...

One big difference between paddling and the ski industry is the ease of traveling. As a snowboarder, it is realtively easy for me to pack my gear and fly to Utah to take an advanced class on riding steeps or powder or whatever. Definitely harder to pack a canoe and travel to a clinic somewhere else, but clearly events like ALF and WestFest are golden opportunities for this sort of thing.

This also links back to what yarnellboat mentioned not wanting to travel for coaching.

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

Post by past_pawn »

I had my instructions while getting the canoeing merit badge at Boy Scout camp. Camp Bomazeen in Maine, strange how we remember certain names. Even went down the Allagash river (one of the few undamed wild rivers in the USA) while in the scouts. Great adventure for a teen.
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Re: Canoe instruction... why do so few of us pay for it?

Post by FullGnarlzOC »

Non offense takin... I had to look back in post to even find what u may be refering too.

Hypothetically - My coaching would specialize in the getting over the Class III barrier, which in my opinion is related directly to confidence. I would coach the skills necessary to succeed at that level. Willingness to run things, ways to get confidence to run them, subtle boat control techniques, boofing techniques (an understanding of how your boat reacts to rock), techniques to stay dry through features, ect...

I coached college hockey at the National level - taught tons of clinics throughout 18 years of playing at all different levels - the theories of coaching apply across the board with all sports.

I have no doubt I could get you guys were you want to be if you were willing to do it. But I hate to break it to the every other week, weekend warriors - whitewater at the class IV level is a sport that demands practice, as well as mental toughness. There is a reason why Class III sees the largest amount of boaters. Not everyone has what it takes to go beyond. And that's the truth.
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Re: Canoe instruction... why do so few of us pay for it?

Post by FullGnarlzOC »

Also - I think goPro viewing sessions at campsite would have a considerable positive effect in the learning process. Being able to point out what people did wrong, after the day is over... where they can see and understand. As oppose to just straight on the river correction - which doesn't get picked up on as well in my opinion.

Offer still stands... fly me out there, I'll help u guys out. ;)
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Re: Canoe instruction... why do so few of us pay for it?

Post by yarnellboat »

Maybe it was the other Tommy he was referring to?...

I can't be bothered to fly out a coach, because, as you say, I "don't have what it takes" - and that would be the TIME to practice/paddle! Hey, I aspire to be an every-other-month warrior, it would be awesome to get out that often, even it can't be class IV!

And maybe that's why so few people pay for instruction beyond intro classes - ww canoeing is gear-intensive and time-intensive, so very few people can find the time between family & work to justify coaching and break much beyond class III. It's just a really small audience/market. If you're lucky, you have a local coach/mentor (or just go for it if you've got the gumption & time), but most places you don't have local coaches, and it doesn't matter much if you won't practice anyway.

The few folks who are willing to seek instruction at that level, even class III, are just too small a market, and there's too few instructors, all too spread out, so it's basically just something that's not realistic for our sport, and so be it. The fewer people who have the time to progress to class IV, the fewer coaches available for the class IIIers. In other words, yeah, things are the way are for obvious reasons.

We've got the intro group ww canoeing classes that we're all familiar with and beyond (class II)...

In most regions we've then got a no-man's land of peer-supported mentoring (class III), where there's no instructors available and/or people can't commit the time for advancing...

And then we've got a tiny elite minority with the desire & time to paddle lots, travel for coaching, etc. (class IV), and its a global niche for the likes of Esprit & Eli, but its never enough to exist most places for most paddlers.

The more we kick this around the more it seems about time. Or maybe I'm just obsessed with time because I'm not getting out much these years!

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

Post by Shep »

Tommy McGnarlz, I don't think I could offend you no matter how hard I tried. :roll: :D

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

Post by TommyC1 »

Shep wrote:Tommy McGnarlz, I don't think I could offend you no matter how hard I tried. :roll: :D

Shep
Shep you'd have to work pretty hard to offend me. :lol:

20 years back when I started canoeing I was fortunate in that the Boston AMC had a good OC program with lot's of decent paddlers contributing as well as teaching/coaching.
I was/am your classic nerd, untalented, uncoordinated and nonathletic. But I sure did enjoy paddling so I kept trying it. As well as from the AMC folks, I was fortunate to be able to get some lessons from Tom Foster and later Andrew and Carole Westwood.
When you don't have much talent, technique is a wonderful thing. Lessons from a really good instructor are gold when it comes to that. I'm still only a class II-III paddler and don't expect to progress much higher. But I've had a lot of fun and learning skills has been a major part of that.

It's too bad that nobody around here (New England) can maintain an OC program these days. That has as much to do with lack of interest from the younger paddlers as anything. The NH AMC Spring School, two days in April, is the only thing I'm aware of. Other than that the Westwoods seem to come by every few years and MKC is not too far away. Hey it could be worse.
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