Paddling In Waves

Uncategorized Nov 24, 2022

Sea kayaks are an incredibly sea worthy craft. With the right skipper they are capable of being paddled in a range of conditions including wind, swell, surf, tidal currents and waves. Waves are something that most paddlers are going to encounter at some point whilst out on the water. In our most recent set of lessons we set out to share some tips and exercises to help paddlers be better prepared for paddling in waves.

 

One of the first things we talk about in this course is the importance of staying loose. When we are relaxed, chilled and loose our kayak is free to move around underneath us. The kayak can move from side to side absorbing the motion of the ocean whilst our body is tall and neutral. For many people paddling in waves can be a little unnerving. The default reaction then is to panic a little and go tight and stiff in the boat. When this happens our upper body is more likely to rock from side to side and make the boat feel really unstable.

  Phil keeping...
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Emergency boat repairs

Uncategorized Nov 03, 2022
 

It is so much fun to paddle in-between rocks and close to cliffs but this does come with the risk of damaging your sea kayak.  If you are out for the day and some distance from a get out point you will need to make an emergency repair to get you home.  There are a few different materials you can use to repair a sea kayak that suit different situations.  In our new lesson in the Core Lessons section to our Library James starts off by looking at what to carry in your emergency boat repair kit before smashing a hole in a sea kayak so he can show you different ways to fix it.  Some methods suit small holes while others work well with large holes.  Some methods work even if you cant get the boat dry.  If you paddle regularly along rocky coastlines with limited access points this lesson will be essential to make sure you are fully prepared for a situation where you have a hole in you sea kayak.  

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Greenland paddle forwards stroke technique

Uncategorized Sep 21, 2022
 

We have just released a new series of lessons in our forwards paddling course where we look at using a Greenland paddle to paddle forwards efficiently.  The are many aspects to the stroke that are contrastingly different to the Euro blade stroke.  These differences are driven by the different blade shape but also by the paddles heritage and how it was used by the inuits to hunt.  

For this course we worked with Dirk and Rachel from How We Roll Kayaking and used they incredible knowledge and enthusiasm for Greenland paddling.  They break the stroke down into 3 areas - Catch, Power and Recovery.  

The key difference to the Greenland stroke is that the power comes from the last part of the stroke past the hips.  To a euro paddler this is a particularly strange concept but when you use the technique with a Greenalnd Paddle you quickly realise that it works incredibly well and is a really smooth motion.  As a result the Greenland forwards...

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Sleeping Giants

Uncategorized Jul 14, 2022

Online Sea Kayaking started out with a focus on high quality skills development courses. We still have quite a few courses we want to film and produce but we know that, in time, we will have a complete library of courses. The Bonus Material section of the Online Sea Kayaking website has proven to be a popular area and we have received numerous requests for more lifestyle/inspirational content. So in May 2022 we set out for Iceland to test out filming a new style of content for the OSK Library.  

Inspired by the many white water kayaking films, where groups of paddlers head off to a destination and drive around and paddle the best rivers they can find and document it, we thought, why cant we do this with a sea kayaking film. Rather than film a multi day sea kayak expedition we decided to do a 10 day road trip and pick the best sea kayaking locations a country has to offer. This approach allows us to be flexible with the weather and conditions and...

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OSK NRS Partnership

Uncategorized Jun 13, 2022
 

We have recently started working with NRS and both of us will be wearing NRS equipment out on the water.  We are really excited to form this partnership as it will not only keep us warm and dry out on the water but it will also help us share our content with some new paddlers from around the world.  We will be producing some short 1minute videos for NRS social channels over the next year so keep an eye on facebook and insta for these short little top tip videos. 

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General Safety Lesson

Uncategorized Apr 03, 2022
 

Some of our subscribers suggested that we should release our general safety video so that it is available for all sea kayakers.  So we have added it to our YouTube channel and here on the blog.  We had not edited the video together thinking it was a stand alone lesson but it was part of the OSK Library.  There are a couple of areas where we have not gone into too much detail as we cover these in our courses.  Our very comprehensive Navigation and Planning course goes into lots of detail about planning safe trips and understanding the forecast and our rescues course has every type of rescue you can think of! 

Most incidents that happen when sea kayaking can be worked back to decisions that were made before you get on the water, like, not bringing the right equipment or choosing the wrong place to paddle with the forecasted conditions.  This lesson covers the key safety advice we would recommend as a minimum for anyone starting out in the world of sea...

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New Forwards Paddling Course

Uncategorized Mar 10, 2022
 

We had been asked by our subscribers for a course on the forwards stroke.  As it is the stroke you use the most as a sea kayaker it was certainly something we wanted to cover.  We were lucky enough to have the perfect winter weather with a massive high pressure throughout our filming period.  We knew that we would need some high quality slow motion shots to clearly show the technique and also we wanted to capture James paddling and talking to the camera at the same time.  We managed to achieve this by filming from an electric powered boat.  The silent motor and limited wake meant we could film James close up and record the audio without the noise of a conventional outboard engine.  We hope you agree that the resulting filming is nice to watch and really clear audio.  

There is a lot of technical information in the course and we had to be careful not to go into too much detail as the forwards stroke is a large topic.  We will be adding...

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New course now live - Moving Sideways Course

Uncategorized Feb 01, 2022
 

A sea kayak is designed to be paddled forwards efficiently so they are not that great at moving sideways! It is therefore, really important to have an efficient draw stroke.  We often move our kayaks sideways when we are manoeuvring in to perform a rescue, rafting up with a buddy or exploring amongst the rocks.  This new course is filmed on the Island of Rab in Croatia.  We chose this location for its crystal clear waters and sheltered bays.  The course covers the 3 key strokes to move you sideways:- Classic Draw, Sculling Draw and the Hanging Draw.  We break each of these strokes down looking at each component part to develop an efficient stroke that you can use with control.  The hanging draw is a really challenging stroke to get consistent.  Most paddlers when they are learning will find that the kayak turns towards the side the paddle is on.  There are 3 key reasons why a hanging draw stroke might turn your kayak rather than...

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Sea Kayak Paddles

Uncategorized Dec 29, 2021

Getting the right paddle for our size, build and paddling style is going to make an enormous difference to our enjoyment out on the sea. The paddle is like our surgeon’s knife, we use it to control the kayak, provide power and precision and it’s the bit of kit we need to pick carefully. Of course, we can pick up any old pole with blades attached to the end and it will get the job done. However, a nice blade is going to feel amazing, be efficient and (very importantly) help prevent injury. 

It’s worth noting that this article is aimed towards folk selecting a euro paddle. Greenland paddles are slightly different and maybe we can come back to them at another time.

When selecting a paddle we can consider the following options –

  • Material
  • Length
  • Feather
  • Blade Size

Injury prevention –

When we paddle we put a lot of force through our joints and ligaments. It is not unusual for paddlers, particularly on multi day trips, to develop niggling problems....

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New Rolling Course

Uncategorized Nov 29, 2021
 

The Rolling a Sea Kayak Online Course has been the most challenging course to film and edit so far.  We wanted to create a course that went further than just showing you how to roll.  There are lots of YouTube videos out there of how to roll but they are missing a key element.  How do you learn the roll.  In this course we give you stages to the learning process and tech you how to work with a partner to develop your roll.  

We must have rolled a thousand times during the filming to capture every angle.  We filmed the course in 8 different shoots at a variety of locations.  The underwater filming was particularly challenging but when watched in 8 x slow motion it really shows the details you need to see to understand the motion.  

The angles with the drone gave us a new perspective on the roll and enabled us to show the path of the paddle and the motion of the body clearly.  Unfortunately the drone went for a bit of a swim...

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