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

Author: chrislockyer

Christopher grew up on the North Atlantic in Newfoundland has been paddling since 1994. He has been fortunate enough to paddle with many of the worlds best sea kayak coaches. He owes a great deal to the mentor-ship mentality of the sea kayaking community. Chris is currently the owner and driving force behind Committed to the Core Sea Kayak Coaching www.committed2thecore.com He holds certifications with the British Canoe Union and Paddle Canada, Outward Bound Instructor, KANAWA magazine’s “Ask a Pro” Columnist and Co-chair of the Atlantic Paddle Symposium. When not working as a GIE Tech you can find him covered in mud on the Shubie tidal bore as featured in Eastern Horizons.

P&H Hammer Vs “The Shubie”

We just had Canadian Thanksgiving last weekend and what better way to burn off the turkey then to head out for a paddle. Not just any paddle but a paddle on “The Shubie” tidal bore.

There as no bore on this day but the tidal range was around 49 feet and it would be the first time I would use the hammer.

“The Shubie” tidal bore is a world class sea kayak play sport. It bore runs on a river called the Shubenacadie River located at the top of the Bay of Fundy. This video was shot on a tidal range of 49.3 feet. The river is a magical place and the hammer has to be in the top 3 boats I have used on the “The Shubie”.

Once the hammer was up to speed I was able to do cutbacks, bottom turns and surf waves for 2 to 3 minutes at a time. My fears were eased after the first small set on the river.  The hammer picked up the waves quickly.

ThePddler

 

I was once told the hammer was to slow for “The Shubie” but after paddling it I would have to say it was one of my best days on the river. In this video there was no Bore wave to speak of but depending on the conditions there is a great front leading wave that forms a fun play wave and once it does up the river it leave us with plenty more things to play on. come to Nova Scotia.

You will be glad you did. There is a full writeup about “The Shubie” in ThePaddler online magazine

I hope you like the video

From Cold to Gold (en) Gate that is….

Golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium www.ggsks.com

When I  left my home in Hilden it was -5 and we had just gotten a bunch of freezing rain. The heat on high I drive to the airport hoping the weather is warmer in San Francisco. I am also filled with excitement (which provides at least a bit more warmth) as I am heading to California to take part in the Golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium January 31 – February 2.

The schedule was action packed; three full days of sea kayak skills session including a standard day paddle around the San Francisco Bay, a paddling trip to Alcatraz, and 2 rock garden sessions. Event Organizers Sean Morley and Matthew Palmariello have really done a great job to plan what will assuredly be a great event. This would be the third Golden Gate event I had been to and I was sure there was going to be plenty of excitement.

I was joined by several P&H Paddlers at the event. This event is the official kick off to the season followed by several events that we P&H paddlers travel to all over North America.  We are truly privileged to be ambassadors for one of the leading sea kayak manufacturers.

Several of the team paddlers got out for a little Play the day before the event.

Day 1 – Bay Journey

Sunshine and calm seas.  What a great day on the water. We got to paddle over to Alcatraz with the flood which proved to be a very gentle paddle.  Once around the island we worked out way over to Angel Island where we would have lunch. Student got to work on tidal paddling and work out the angle we would have to take in order for us to cross the tail end of the flood tide. Everyone did well and were happy to get out for a bite and some route planning.  The day took us all around Angel island and through Raccoon strait where the Ebb tide had started which provided us with a little current and a eddy line to cross as well as some nice waves to play on.  All and all a wonderful day on he water. A big thanks to Sean Morley and Ginny for your leadership and great chats along the way.

Day 2 – Rock Garden safety and rescue

Another California sunny day was in store. I was paired with Paul Kuthe, my friend from Eastern Horizons to run a rock garden safety and rescue session along with Jarrod Gunn McQuillan. We had a very enthusiastic group that enjoyed there day in and out of their boats. We agreed to two themes for the day:

  1. Quick rescues instead of dry rescues
  2. Big picture zooming into little picture to deal with situations.

We feel the students got a great deal out of the day.  We worked around the Gate for most of the morning then went outside to enjoy some of the coastline and the swell that was rolling in. All and all it was a great day on the water.

Day 3 – Rock Gardening Advanced Play

We had every intention of launching from the beach at Rodeo beach but when we arrived the conditions had deteriorated from the time we had check in the morning till the time we were ready to paddle. The forecast was for he surf to build which might mean a very dangerous landing situation so we decided to launch from Horseshoe Cove and Paddle out through the Gate and play outside the gate.  The flood was in full flow when we attempted  to get around the corner and under the gate. With a stiff 20 knot wind from the South East it provided a good warm up for the group. Once outside the gate we had some fun on several areas to make the most of the day.

Weather/swell conditions aside, the Golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium had a little bit of something for every kayaker and every ability;  Tidal streams, waves and rocky coastline, Top notch coaches and wonderful scenery  at every glance, The San Francisco’s famous Anchor Steam Beer did not disappoint either!!! I look forward to going back to this event next year and feel truly fortunate to have been a participant this year.

For more information on this year’s event and to stay current for next year’s event visit http://www.ggsks.com/ or follow them on Facebook. Search golden Gate Sea Kayak Symposium

A huge Thanks you for goes out to P&H sea kayak for bringing boats down to the event and for your continued support for team paddlers.

Bay of Fundy Sea Kayak Symposium 2013

Photo Credit: Sue Hutchins

Photo Credit: Sue Hutchins

On September 20-23 paddlers converged upon the first annual Bay of Fundy Sea Kayak Symposium hosted at the Ye Olde Argyler Lodge in Argyle, Nova Scotia.  The event jumped in with both feet and welcomed over 120 paddlers to the picturesque Bay of Fundy coast.

The diverse locations found in Nova Scotia’s Yarmouth and Argyle counties were utilized to introduce paddlers from as far as Europe and the United States and from all across Canada to dynamic paddling environments created by the largest tides in the world.

Photo Credit: Nate Hanson

Photo Credit: Nate Hanson

The event brought guest coaches offering a variety of skill development sessions including rock hopping, surfing, coastal journeys and introductions to paddling in lumpy waters, however, the highlight was certainly focused on the paddling environment provided by the tides in the area.  Multiple sessions focused on paddling tide races and overfalls as well as finding fun and operating in the tidal currents that flow between the Tusket Islands and the archipelago within Lobster Bay. Team Paddles Paul Kuthe, Matt Nelson and Christopher Lockyer were at the event waving the Flag for P&H. Lots of people got a chnace to try the Hammer.

Photo Credit: Sue Hutchins

Photo Credit: Sue Hutchins

One of the highlights for attendees was the Saturday evening guest presentation from Justine Curgenven.   She provided a riveting and engaging recount of her adventure around Tierra del Fuego.  She finished her presentation with a brief video from only a few days earlier while she paddled amongst humpback whales in the Bay of Fundy with Christopher Lockyer, the Executive Director for the Bay of Fundy Sea Kayak Symposium.

Photo Credit: Sue Hutchins

Photo Credit: Sue Hutchins

The event started early for some with sessions on the tidal races and overfalls within the Shubenacadie Tidal Bore.  Guest coaches worked with keen and excited students on one of the most exhilarating 3 hours of paddling in the world, working on paddling in moving waters as well as surfing on big brown glassy waves and crossing strong eddy lines.

Photo Credit Clif Pratt

Photo Credit Clif Pratt

Coaches at Play

Coaches at Play

The coaches all had a go at the Walton Whopper as well Off 2 the Races Vol 1

The event was such a success and has received so much positive feedback that they have already set the dates for the 2014 event for September 12-15.

 

East Coast Kayaking

The East coast is alive with paddlers. Christopher Lockyer www.committed2thecore.com

Well it has been a busy spring for all the P&H team members.  I have been fortunate to paddle in the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean and the Bay of Fundy in the month of May.

South Island Sea Kayak Association  http://www.siska.ca/

I had the pleasure to work with SISKA on a number of paddling sessions while I was in Victoria.  It was great to have 30 plus enthusiastic paddlers out on the water during the sessions.  I got to see some great paddling area, Baynes Channel, Trial Island and Race Rock area. Team Member Matt Nelson and I went out to Trial Island for a fun paddle.

Matt Nelson and I hit up Trial Island for a nice little paddle in Victoria area

Matt Nelson and I hit up Trial Island for a nice little paddle in Victoria area

DSC_0900

Great bald eagle.

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Trial Island Lighthouse

Pacific Paddle Symposium http://www.pacificpaddlingsymposium.ca/

Right after working with SISKA I was off to the Pacific Paddle Symposium. This is a new paddle symposium on Vancouver Island.  It is the newest symposium for Paddle Canada.  Janette and her crew sold this event out in a little over 12 days.  The event took place at Pearson Collage. The area had so many options for an event like this.  Race Rock one of the most exposed tide races on the Vancouver Island was going to be used by plenty of the session during the event. We had plenty of fun during the event.  Friday was a coach update fun day, Saturday and Sunday were a mix of sessions on and off the water.

End of the day review

End of the day review

Matt Nelson taking it all in

Matt Nelson taking it all in

Fun and games in boats

Fun and games in boats

Instructor development day.

Instructor development day.

A talented coach and an up and comer for sure. I will be back on Vancouver Island in October and I can’t wait to see the pacific in Fall mode with a little more energy.

MEC Paddlefest Toronto and Halifax

MEC has been running Paddlefest for many years. It started in Toronto and has spread across the country.  I was invited by Erik to take part in the Instructor development program that would run at Harbor Front on Friday.  We had a great turnout of 20 or so Paddle Canada instructors. The aim was to share some new idea about SUP, Kayaking and Canoeing.

I was only able to attend day of of Paddlefest but it turned out to be a great day. Plenty of eager students and people walking around looking at gear and boats. The P&H crew was there Kelly Blades, David Johnson and Erik Ogaard. The event was very well organized. MEC Paddlefest will be in Halifax on June 16th.

MEC Paddlefest Toronto booth

SUP portion of that instructor development day

SUP portion of that instructor development day

CN Tower with David Johnson

CN Tower with David Johnson

Coastal Adventure Kayakers Meeting

After jumping on the plane at 8:00 pm in Toronto I got home repacked and headed down to Tangier Nova Scotia to take part in day two of the Coastal Adventures Kayakers meeting.  After hearing the stories from Day one I was kind of glad to have missed the driving rains and winds they experienced.  We spent the morning working on skills development and then heading out for a little rock hopping session in the afternoon. The swell was kicking up which provided a great deal of energy for us to play.

photo by Ryan Brake

Watching the swell – photo by Ryan Brake

photo by Ryan Brake

photo by Ryan Brake

 Sea you out there

Christopher Lockyer – Committed 2 the core Sea Kayak coaching  We need the sea because it teaches us.

 

The Gales on Lake Superior

The Gales on Lake Superior

Naturally Superior Adventures located at the mouth of the was the host for the 2012 Gale.
The event brought participants from all around the Canadian and United States shores of Lake Superior and the inland sea did not disappoint.
The three day events allowed participants to explore the rocky shores of the lake in calm conditions and also in some interesting conditions. The forecast for all three days were winds greater then 20 knots.
I was joined by several guest coaches Shawna and Leon from Body Boat Blade as well as Nick Cunliffe level 5 BCU coach from Wales as well as a number of local Lake Superior coaches.
It was a pleasure to paddle with all the enthusiastic paddles. Day one brought flurries for my group and I to start out session, I can honestly say that I have never been blinded by snow flurries why teaching a rock hopping session. Day two stated off at -5 and ice coated sea kayaks and gear. We had a great paddle brown Indian Beach back to the base.  The 25 know winds from the west created a very exciting sea state for the participant, we did a great down wind run, surfed at sandy cove and then played in the tide race at the river opening. It was an action packed day. It is the first time someone has told me that it was there best day paddling ever. Not just one but three of the participant came up to Nick and I and told us that directly. It put a smile on my face. Day three brought the largest conditions of the event. Most participant had a go in the surf  the retreated to the river as the condition out in front of the lodge reached 12 feet. Nick and Ryan had a go in the surf. The pictures speak for themselves.
 Looking forward to the 2013 event in the apostle islands.
http://www.galesstormgathering.com/

For all the pictures from the event please visit this Facebook Gales picture

Atlantic Paddle Symposium 2012

Photo of Christopher Lockyer Taken by: Clif Pratt

Liscombe Lodge http://www.liscombelodge.ca/ is  hidden gem located outside a small village about two and a half hours away from Halifax.  It is one of only three resorts owned and operated by the Province of Nova Scotia.

On May 11 of this year 75 paddlers traveled from as far away as England and Seattle to gather for the 5th Annual Atlantic Paddle Symposium. www.atlanticpaddlesymposium.com .  Light winds, warm dry weather, and easy swell made for three extremely pleasant days on the water.

The Atlantic Paddle Symposium is our region’s premier paddling event.  The Atlantic Canada paddling community meets for a 4-day event focusing on skill development, outdoor, leadership, education and paddling safety.  The Symposium facilitates relationship building, both within our regional paddling community and allows us to forge relationships with some of the best known paddlers and instructors in the world.

The schedule, as it has been in previous years, was packed with a variety of skills sessions for all levels, covering each of the four paddling styles supported by  Paddle Canada paddling programs. Stand Up Paddling sessions were added (and enthusiastically received) to our roster of sessions for canoe, sea kayak and white water kayak.

The venue offered us great locations and a variery of conditions. Sean Morley, Christopher Lockyer and Mat Nelson ran rock hopping, sea kayak surfing, and Incident management sessions.

Highlights from this year’s event were:

  • Zac Crouse’s opened the event with a presentation on the Paddle to the Ocean project  mixing skillful muscianship with his story telling to keep the group engaged.  Big thanks to Zac and Ian for the great music.!
  • Andrew Westwood is a true ambassador of the sport of canoeing. His presentation on keeping instruction relevant, current, engaging and fun was inspiring, timely, and well received.
  • Sean Morley’s presentation about paddling around Great Britain, Vancouver Island as well as some of the coast of California.
  • We were blessed with sun shine, light winds and a bit of swell for the event.
Photo by: Ryan Brake

Photo by: Ryan Brake

Without the support from our sponsor this year we would not have been able to make the event so accessible and also would not have been able to have such a talented group of coaches.

Special Thanks to Sean Morley and Matt Nelson for making the trip to Nova Scotia. Hope to see you both back next year.

Picture gallery can be found at:

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150905072819706.430161.269008074705&type=3&l=f9877313a5 

Sponsor a Coach:

Lendal Paddle (Christopher Lockyer), P&H sea kayaks (Matt Nelson)

Submitted by Christopher Lockyer www.committed2thecore.com

 

Atlantic Paddle Symposium 2012

Well we are about 5 weeks out from the start

of the 2012 Atlantic Paddle Symposium. This will be the official kick start to the 2012 season on the North East Coast.

The Atlantic Paddle Symposium is the premier paddling event in Atlantic Canada.  It brings together the Atlantic Canada paddling community for a 4-day event focused on skill development, outdoor, leadership, education and paddling safety.  The Symposium facilitates relationship building within the Atlantic Canada paddling community as well as among top paddling leaders within the sport.

For all the details on the event please visit the website Symposium Webpage

P&H Team members that will be at this years event:

Sean Morley

Originating from the UK and now a resident of Marin Co, CA, Sean began kayaking at the age of ten with the Boy Scouts and often paddled alone, exploring the relatively sheltered waters on the south coast of Cornwall, England. He took part in his first kayak race in 1978 and has competed in many disciplines of paddle sport since then including white water slalom and downriver racing, maratho

n, sprint, wave ski, surf life saving and surf kayaking with success at national and international level. He began expedition sea kayaking in 1996 and in 1998 set a record for the fastest crossing of the Irish Sea. In 2004 he achieved his childhood dream by completing the first solo circumnavigation of the UK and Ireland by sea kayak; the first ever to include all of the inhabited islands. The 4500 mile expedition to

ok 183 days and is the longest kayak journey ever undertaken in British waters. His achievement was featured in the DVD ‘This is the Sea 2’ by Justine Curgenven (Cackle TV). Sean is an ACA Level 5 Coastal Kayak Instructor and Level 3 Surf Kayak Instructor.

Matthew Nelson

Matt met Shawna and Leon at Body Boat Blade in 2004 and within a year began coaching for Body Boat Blade, progressing as a coach and paddler, fuelled by the passion for blending knowledge of the marine environment with the enthusiasm for a very physical, and engaging way to interact with the water.  Since then, he has delved into whitewater, surf kayaking, rock gardening and expeditions.  In 2008, he and his wife Djuna circumnavigated the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska, while raising funds for an environmental no

n-profit.  Matt appeared in Bryan Smith’s “Pacific Horizons”, and has been involved with other kayaking films focusing on technique. Matt is a coach level 3 and holds the five-star award for sea kayak.  Matt is also a P&H team paddler, and teaches at symposiums in North America. Matt is featured in Pacific Horizons and in This is the Sea film series.

Christopher Lockyer

Christopher has been paddling since 1994 in locations as far away as the UK, New Zealand, Iceland, Norway as well as countless places in North America. A graduate of Acadia University with a degree in Recreation Management, Chris is currently the owner and driving force behind Committed to the Core Sea Kayak Coaching. www.committed2tecore.com  He holds certifications with the British Canoe Union and Paddle Canada, is a former Outward Bound Instructor, and is KANAWA /Rapid Media  magazine’s “Ask a Pro” Columnist

I hope to see you there

 

Christopher Lockyer – Executive director 2012 Atlantic Paddle Symposium

 

 

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.  (www.atlanticpaddlesymposium.com)   If you are in Ireland and are looking for a great place to paddle and learn, check out the Tollymore Outdoor Centre (www.tollymore.com), 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

www.committed2thecore.com

Atlantic Paddle Symposium 2012

Fifth Annual Atlantic Paddle Symposium

 May 11-14, 2012  www.atlanticpaddlesymposium.com

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 http://www.esquif.com     Mountain Equipment Co-op www.mec.ca

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 info@atlanticpaddlesymposium.com

Christopher Lockyer Executive Director  Atlantic Paddle Symposium

 

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