Charlottesville kayaker

My first paddling lesson

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What happens when an expert paddler rolls into your town and offers a paddling clinic?

Why, of course, you immediately sign up for it.

That’s exactly what I did yesterday when Chuck Conley rolled into town and offered a forward stroke clinic.

I’ve never actually taken a paddling class and have only watched videos so it was incredibly useful to have an expert analyze my stroke and point out areas where I need to improve.  I was expecting some harsh critique since I’ve been self-taught and self-styled and knew I have some bad technique, so I was also pleasantly surprised that I’m doing a fair number of things correctly.

So I’ll get to work releasing my top hand and keeping my hands vertical so I don’t cock my wrists and also getting the full blade into the water at the catch as quickly as possible.

The video analysis was worth the price of admission and you sure get a more realistic view paddling straight toward a land-based camera than you do from a fisheye lens camera attached to the front of the boat.

If you’ve never had a professional lesson, I highly recommend it.

 

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