Sunday, 15 January 2012

Herts Canoe Club

Had a nice (if cold) paddle round the River Lea today out of Hertford with Herts Canoe Club.

Herts Canoe Club was where I started paddling, they have a club house ideally situated right next to the Lea and a comprehensive set of boats covering pretty much every avenue of kayaking (I should say canoeing as we are in the UK). The coaches and members are a really good bunch of people too. If you're local to Hertfordshire and fancy a go they run beginner sessions from April onwards, these do however get booked up really quick so you have to be early.

The air temperature was -2°C when I arrived at the club and frost was on all the banks! I can't guarantee Anglesey will be as still as this, but I can guarantee it won't be as cold! My fingers were frozen by the end. 

The two images above show a fellow kayaker demonstrating
some sculling support

Some of the open canoes were out too.

We only covered about 7km or so but that was plenty enough to keep practicing different stroke techniques. Down towards Ware is it also nice and wide to you can try a lot of turning strokes. Sea Kayaks take a bit more persuasion to turn than shorter river ones, you usually run out of water on rivers unless you are doing low brace turns or something like that.

Couldn't quite force myself to practice self rescues today because of the temperature, so instead here's a video on YouTube that shows a very good one (well, the clambering on part at least). Letting go of the paddle isn't a good idea! I assume he's done it because it's not a windy enough to push the exposed kayak away from the sumerged paddle:

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