Archive | Safety and Leadership

Sea Kayak Incident Management Training

At the recent Sea Kayak Expedition Gathering we ran some Incident Management training sessions. Here are a couple of videos showing some of the work we did with the RNLI. For details of sea kayak training, rescue and incident management courses contact me at

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Adapting Your Sea Kayak Towline

Tailoring Your Sea Kayak Towline Towlines are one of the most important pieces of kit when leading and coaching on the sea.  I use a waist mounted line which gives me the flexibility to pass it on to other group members and keep me ‘out of the system’.  As I frequently paddle different kayaks it […]

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Using Language to Inspire Confidence

Effective Language for Canoe and Kayak Leadership We all know that confident leadership can inspire the rest of the group and help canoeists and kayakers perform at their best – but what can we do to come across as being confident? We need to be confident in our decisions, and confident in our instructions.  We […]

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Briefing Check List for Leaders

For the BCU Four and Five Star Leader awards, candidates need to have a simple and effective brief for the group they are leading. Sometimes, it seems like there are so many things to remember that it can help to have a mental checklist to make sure that everything is covered. One way to remember […]

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The Focus of Canoe and Kayak Leadership

Decision Making for Canoe and Kayak Leaders Have you ever wondered how really good leaders make the right decisions?  How do they know when to stop the group and put them in a safe place while they paddle something or scout ahead?  How do they know when to stop the group and change strategy? One […]

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Canoeing and Kayaking Leadership – is that all a group needs?

White Water Canoe and Kayak Leadership I’ve taken part in numerous canoe and kayak training and assessment courses – skills courses, coaching courses, BCU courses, update courses – and all stress the importance of good leadership in outdoor adventurous activities. Leadership is the topic of articles and chapters in books – it almost seems that […]

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All in Rescue/Swamped Rafted Canoe Recovery

Rescuing a Swamped Canoe Raft Many people raft canoes together on open water, perhaps thinking that the additional stability offered by the raft provides a greater margin of safety.  This may be true in some circumstances, but rafting canoes does create additional hazards which should be considered. Should your raft become swamped, then you have […]

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Canoe Rescue Saws and Air Bags

Canoe Rescue Saws and Air Bags While paddling with a very good friend and exceptional paddler we pinned an open canoe on white water.  His boat quickly folded around him, but he was well equipped and exceptionally calm.  As the folding boat trapped his legs under his kneeling thwart he reached for his rescue saw, […]

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‘Grading’ Open Water for Canoe and Kayak Paddlers

‘Grading’ Open Water for Canoe and Kayak Paddlers Many people who canoe or kayak on white water or rivers use the grading system to help them understand and anticipate what they are likely to be up against when they get onto the water.  No such system exists for canoeists on large lakes or lochs.  The […]

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White Water Strategy – Eddy Hopping

White Water Strategy – Eddy Hopping In any good white water canoe and kayak course (perhaps your BCU four star or five star training, or your safety and rescue course), you’ll learn several different river running strategies. One important one is called Eddy Hopping. Eddy hopping is illustrated here- With all the paddlers in seperate […]

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