Sea Kayak Instructor Training
Canoeing Ireland Level 3 Sea Instructor
I recently attended a Sea Kayak Instructor training course run by Canoeing Ireland. A four day course run over 2 weekends. This course does not run very often and to my knowledge this was the first one in 3 years. Luckily we had some of Irelands best sea kayak instructors delivering the course and a group of eager students with a wide variety of backgrounds and experience to soak it up.
The location for both weekends was in the South West of Ireland. Weekend one took place in Kinsale, Co.Cork and weekend 2 in Kells Bay, Co. Kerry. Over the course of the two weekends we covered a huge amount of topics.
Weekend one in Kinsale was delivered by Jon Hynes and Kevin O'Callaghan (Geo) both very experienced sea kayak instructors with a wealth of knowledge to share. Topics covered over the weekend included Single and Multi-day Trip Planning, Leadership, Teaching Models, Navigation, Safety Equipment and Stroke analysis. Each student also had to deliver a session on a specific topic during the course. Below is a picture taken during my forward stroke session. The aim of the session was to identify the key elements of an efficient forward stroke and create awareness of what people really do when we paddle forward and what we should be doing especially below the deck.
On weekend two we moved location to Co.Kerry. Again Jon Hynes was on hand to offer his expertise, but this weekend we were also joined by kayaking legend Jim Kennedy of Atlantic Sea Kayaking. Jim has a long history in kayaking-from world championship sprinting to guiding trips around the world.
The second weekend's focus was more on safety and rescue, working on tows, first aid scenarios and self rescue. We also covered topics as diverse as Leave No Trace sea kayaking, Irish sea kayaking history, boat packing and adaptive kayaking. On the Saturday evening we got a rare opportunity to visit Valentia CG station, you can read more on a separate post here.
The weather for weekend two was certainly challenging with a force 8-9 SW blowing on Saturday and occasionally force10 on Sunday. We did manage to find some shelter for our last water based session on Sunday... just about!
Well done to all participants (Pat,Donal,Alayne,Sandra,Richard,Leon,Mary and myself) and to Jon, Geo and Jim for delivering such a great course.
I believe there is another course planned for 2016. Contact Jon Hynes at H2O Sea Kayaking for more info.
*Thanks to Jon Hynes for the pics.
Next up: Level 5 sea skills training.
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Kayak instructor, athlete, business owner and outdoor enthusiast from the west coast of Ireland.
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