Tuesday, 5 May 2009

New learning experience or mad paper chase?

For sometime now, I’ve been toying with the idea of getting into coaching, some kind of in-put to the sport; maybe. However the long list of “pre-requisites” and courses that have to be worked through is daunting to say the least. I, like the vast majority of kayaker, never bothered with all that BCU star tests, meaningless bits of paper. I grew out of that sort of thing with the bronze swimming certificate at ten years of age etc. Still, if you want to do the job you have to work with their system. Last year I went over to Largs and did my three star sea kayak.

But I also needed the generic two star, which covers both kayaks and canoes. It would seem the BCU has this vision of people turning up at a club and being introduced to a wide variety of padlesports. This isn't how it really is, clubs tend to just do one type of paddling.

Now I haven’t been in an open canoe for at least fifteen years. I’ve nothing against open boats, I even had one once, but time and money is tight and sea kayaking is my thing. The old open canoe was hardly ever used so I sold it. Anyway, I went off and managed to make one go in a straight-ish line, turn etc and did a rescue; all well and good. Yesterday, I spent the bank holiday Monday back at Ardmay House on Loch Long doing my “Foundation safety and rescue training”. So, now I have the first two ticks on my list of pre-requisites, I could go ahead and book onto a level one coach’s course now. But first I think I need to go and brush up on my open canoe skills. Passing the two star just isn’t really enough, being just about able to manoeuvre your own canoe wont inspire much confidence in those you are trying to coach.

So now, to show people how to do a sport I know about and have expertises in, know and understand the environment where it’s practiced, I have to go away and learn another sport in a different environment. Seems like a huge distraction to me, especially as I'll have to hunt around looking for people to coach whereas my sea kayaking club has lots of people to coach in kayaking; but we’ll run with in and see.


  1. Also did my 2* a while back and felt much the same way.

    The club I am with had arranged for an open Canoe training weekend with the aim to getting a few other members their 2* for them to progress to coaching, I went today for the 1st day and had a great time.

    Right after the 2* I had decided that open boats were not for me, but after some good coaching and a great day on the water with them I think they could acutally be fun after all.


    (Also mostly a Sea Paddler)

  2. I'd agree with aliwil. I went along for a crash course in open canoeing and had a great time. I then redid my 2*. I don't think I'll do much more of it other than when coaching- life's too short to do it all, but good fun for a wee while.
    Did I once but a red Perception Carolina from you?

  3. Hi, Ali & Iain,
    I've only just noticed your comments, thanks for the interest. Yes open boatings is fun now and again but lifes short. Iain it could have been you I sold the Carolina to; how did you get on with it.