Sea Kayaking Articles from P&H Staff, Team Paddlers, and Friends

Month: December 2011

The Level 5 BCU process has begun

Committed2thecore’s 2012 sea kayaking schedule will have lots of great new ideas, many of them inspired by my BCU Level 5 training.

I recently spent an incredible week in Ireland with 11 other eager paddlers and two of the world’s best sea kayaking instructors, Oisin Hallisay and Mike McClure, as part of the intensive British Canoe Union Level 5 training program.

In most programs I have taken or delivered, the first meeting is all about who you are, what you want to get out of the program, and getting to know your fellow paddlers.  Well the instructors turned that idea on its ear.  They told us that there was a mini bus with a trailer loaded with boats, and we were to pack up our stuff because we were heading out to an island to spend the night.  That was just the start of some unexpected, and pleasant, surprises.

Our group was made up of 8 sea kayakers and 4 white water kayakers.  During the 7-day program we were exposed to many different classroom based sessions:  visualization exercise, learning styles, learning types, personality profiling, and how to work with all types of people in groups. Once the classroom-based sessions were done, we moved onto the water. Oisin brought in Howard Jeffs, Gordon Brown, Kevin Mansell, Andy Stamp and Nigel Robinson for two days of practical coaching.  I had the pleasure of two days of on water coaching with Nigel Robinson (a fellow P&H team member).

I am now planning the 2012 Committed2theCore sea kayaking programs.  Some of the innovations I plan to introduce as a result of the BCU training include:

  • Having a wide range of exercise for different types of learning in different conditions (flat water, current, waves and wind)
  • Taking the time to obverse the students at the start of a program to get a clear understanding of where they are, and what they need to work on.
  • After an on water session, have 2 or 3 tips and tricks to pass along to the student.

My BCU training will conclude in November 2012, when I return to the UK with 6 sea kayaking students.  I will develop a customized training plan for each of the six and work with them to attain their goals.  They will take part in an assessment, in which I will be observed by two other level 5 instructors to see if my training plan worked.  I will also be assessed on my ability to develop practical teaching situations.

I hope to see many of you on the water in 2012.  If you want to brush up on your skills, and learn some new ones, register now for the Atlantic Paddle Symposium, May 11 to 14, at Liscombe Lodge on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore.  (   If you are in Ireland and are looking for a great place to paddle and learn, check out the Tollymore Outdoor Centre (, the base for the BCU training.

Special thanks to Jim and all the crew at P&H kayaks for all the support.

Yours in Adventure,

Christopher Lockyer

Atlantic Paddle Symposium 2012

Fifth Annual Atlantic Paddle Symposium

 May 11-14, 2012

Registration for the 5th annual Atlantic Paddle Symposium is now open!   LINK  Register now to guarantee your place, as we only have room at beautiful Liscombe Lodge for the first 75.

By registering now, you will be entered for the Early Bird prize draw.  Prizes include

a white water canoe from Esquif, a dry suit from Kokatat, plus many other great prizes.  Check them all out at LINK

This event is open to all paddlers, of all levels, who have a keen interest in improving their skills. We are reprising past successful sessions, and introducing new lessons. Check them out at LINK

 The Atlantic Paddle Symposium is recognized as the premier paddling event in Atlantic Canada.  Always timed to start off the paddling season, it brings together a dedicated paddling community for a 4-day event focused on skill development, outdoor leadership, education, and paddling safety.  Now in its fifth successful year, the symposium facilitates relationship building within the Atlantic Canada paddling community, as well as introducing top international paddling instructors to the Atlantic Canada paddling community.

If you are wondering who is going to be coaching at this year’s event, check LINK

When you are relaxing in the evening, you can enjoy some of our top-notch presenters:

  • Sean Morley (P&H and Kokatat sponsored coach);
  • Andrew Westwood (Esquif sponsored coach);
  • Zac Crouse “Paddle to the ocean”;

A special thanks goes out to P&H kayaks for help to bring Matt Nelson in again this year. We hope to have a bunch of P&H demo kayaks to be used at the 2011 event

Liscombe Lodge, located on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore and just one and a half hours from Halifax International Airport, will provide us with a white water, canoe and sea kayak playground this year.  Liscombe Lodge will provide us with accommodations, meals, and use of all facilities.  For those of you who are looking for a single room we have that option. If you are coming alone not to worry and want the double occupancy rate that is an option as well. We will assign you a roommate.

Highlighted sessions for this years event include:

  • Intro to solo white water canoeing (Esquif sponsored sessions)
  • Learn to stand up paddle board
  • Canoe style
  • Sea kayak spring tune-up
    • for the ladies
    • and the guys
  • Incident management (P&H sponsored session)
  • Rock hopping (Lendal sponsored session)
  • Surfing
    • In sea kayaks
    • and on stand up paddle boards
  • Plus many more.  Details to follow.

We could not offer registration fees of for a symposium of this calibre without the support of our corporate sponsors.

Carbon-fibre sponsors for the 5th Annual Paddling Sympoisum:

Esquif Canoes     Mountain Equipment Co-op

To see a full list of our sponsors see LINK.  To become a sponsor, please contact me at LINK.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at

Christopher Lockyer Executive Director  Atlantic Paddle Symposium


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