Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ocean Paddler - Digital or Paper?

Last weekend I received my paper copy of Ocean Paddler (OP) magazine. That was almost 2 weeks after Richard Parkin sent a message that delivery of issue 24 had started; overseas delivery takes a bit longer than UK-delivery.
To make waiting bearable (?) Richard included 2 weblinks in his mail for the digital versions of the magazine. The first is an "online/page turning" version which can be viewed in the web-browser. The second version is in PDF-format (for printing, off-line viewing or to be transferred to an E-reader). I first logged in to have a look at the "online/page turning" version on the PC. Technically it worked fine, but I didn't like the reading experience. I quickly browsed through the magazine and decided to wait for the paper copy to read issue nr. 24. A little later I experimented with the e-reader on my Smartphone and I transferred the PDF-file to the phone. Beforehand I didn't have any serious expectations about reading OP on the tiny 3.2" screen of the phone, so I was amazed: I read most articles of issue 24 on the phone (in the train commuting from work to home), before the paper version arrived!

Today I got a new message from Richard. My subscription to OP came to an end with issue nr. 24. To resubscribe I had the choice between 2 offers: a fully Digital subscription or a paper/hard copy subscription. I decided to go for "fully digital" and to invest the money I saved in an e-reader. No longer "dead trees" for my OP!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A new boathouse for KV Wyrda

After 24 years the local kayakclub Wyrda had to leave the site in the center of the city Woerden. Wyrda was almost homeless, but found (just in the last minute) a temporary solution. The club now rents an old shed along one of the exit roads. It's not 100% perfect (it's pricey, not all the boats fit in, it's quit a walk to the water) but for the time being it's a good solution. The club now has at least some time to search for a permanent location.
Moving over went very fast - thanks to a lot of helping hands!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Sea kayak rescue - different methods of getting back into the kayak

Scoop rescue - optimized: swimmer facing the stern of his kayak, embracing the kayak with both arms.

Last week I gave a rescue-workshop with a focus on the different methods to get a swimmer back into his seakayak. The standard method which is usually practised in the teaching-programs of the NKB is the "conventional X-rescue with lie back re-entry between the kayaks". It's important to have a standard, but there are different (proven) methods to help someone back into his kayak. It's good for an advanced sea kayaker to get familiar with a wide range of methods: the more methods you're familiar with, the better you can adapt the rescue-method to the circumstances.

To prepare the participants for the workshop I searched the web for video's and/or illustrated articles of different re-entry methods. This proved not to be an easy search. There is an enormous number of (good) video's and articles on sea kayak rescues on the web, but I couldn't find a single resource that offers a systematic overview. (Tip for the members of the Dutch NKB: the article on Sea kayak rescues in Mededelingen 2008/2, by Axel Schoevers. Axel's article gives a good overview but is not illustrated and only available printed).

The result of my web-research for assisted rescues (excluding the eskimo-rescues - that's for another workshop ;-):

I - Kayaks parallel:
a. Swimmer between the kayaks
Conventional X-rescue with lie back re-entry (= the method practised in NKB courses)

b. Swimmer alongside of the kayaks (side entry)
Traditional side entry (pulling up chest and stomach on the kayak first, legs later)
Variation climbing over rescuer's kayak (entry from the side of the rescuers kayak instead of from the side of the swimmers kayak - offers a more stable platform)
Heel hook rescue (leg in first, to make use of the stronger leg and core muscles) - instructive animation on http://www.kayakpaddling.net/(check: safety basics - assisted re-entry).

c. Scoop rescues
Conventional (swimmer facing towards bow of the kayak)
Optimized (swimmer facing the stern of the kayak, embracing the back deck)

II. Kayaks perpendicular:

Ladder rescue

III. Panic rescues
Methods for righting a passive paddler in a capsized kayak:
Hand of god rescue
Bow roll rescue

My little summery is not comprehensive. It's what I stumbled across in my Google-search. I couldn't find video's for all the rescues (and I was not convinced by every video I found..). Suggestions for additions are welcome!
It would be an interesting project to make a series of rescue video's dedicated for the Dutch sea kayak community (but time...). Then we could take into account some typical Dutch habits. Like the fact that Dutch seakayakers rarely use a paddle leash. "What to do with the paddles" is often an issue with rescues trainings in the Netherlands. (The solution is simple: store the paddles under your arms, use them across the kayaks to stabilize the raft, etc.. ;-)

Update 9-2-2011:
- replaced the Youtube-video's of the Heel-hook, Ladder and Hand of God-rescue by weblinks to new (better) videos (from www.kajakk1.no).