The Director’s Strokes Kanawa Early Summer 2015

Be the Best Paddler You Can Be

(The Director’s Strokes is published in Kanawa section of Rapid Media Magazine’s Early Summer 2015 editions)

How much outdoor sports training have you done in your lifetime? Never enough is my answer. If you like an outdoor sport such as paddling, the best way to enjoy it is to continually develop and refresh your skills. Learning new techniques is vital to the long-term enjoyment of any sport.  So many people I encounter take a snowboard, ski, sailing or paddling lesson only once and then off they go, thinking that’s enough. It’s fine for a while, but there is always more discover. Coaches will tell you: if you want to truly master a sport, then learn how to teach it to someone else.

Next month I will be taking my first SUP Instructor course.  I already consider myself a pretty compentent paddleboarder, but know I can do better. Two years ago I took a big canoe instructor course and learned a ton, even though I spent two summers in my youth guiding voyageur canoes down the Nahanni River and have solo canoeing since age seven.  I have continually taught sea kayaking courses for the last 20 years, with a variety of coaches more experienced than me, and I continue to be challenged and progress my knowledge. 

About six years back, I took a telemark ski instructor course and continue to attend recert clinics.  Even though I don’t teach others, it does help me stay upright on double diamond pitches.  All this training has contributed to a lifetime of enjoyment of these sports with the ability to tackle more varied conditions, both of the liquid and frozen kind. 

So what are you waiting for? The learning never stops.  Find the Paddle Canada skill or instructor course that suits your craft and become the better paddler you want to be. Even if you think there is no more to learn, seek and you shall be amazed.  I know (because I talk to them daily at the office) that the Paddle Canada Instructor members are ready and waiting to teach you this season.  It’s in their best intereset to keep you kayaking, canoeing and paddleboarding down the river of life.  Find what your looking for on the Search for A Course page.

Graham Ketcheson