Monday, October 4, 2010


After reading about the BCU five star training that Simon Willis did, I couldn't help but give a couple of the things he mentioned a try. In particular the balance drill that he had to do. I will confess of the three things I was interested in trying, I only tried two of them. I was not able to stand up in the cockpit of my kayak. I am sure with practice I will be able to accomplish it, but on this particular day I didn't have it in me. I was successful at sitting on the back deck of my kayak, and turning 360º and then getting back into my kayak, though I will say it took me 2 minutes and 24 seconds. I envisioned it being much easier. I am curious how fast the people in his training did it? I am going to work on being able to do it faster. The third balance drill that he mentioned was this. Also sitting on the back deck, and rolling the kayak 360º under you. So you are sitting on the top, then the side, then the bottom, then the other side, then the top. I didn't even try this, as I wasn't sure what to do with my paddle. Perhaps Simon can offer some guidance. I should point out that I am very interested in doing a BCU assessment and I am only a few hours from a highly skilled east coast BCU five star instructor, but I just have had an opportunity to make it happen. Some day.

I shot video of the drill, but sped it up 500% so it isn't quite so painful to watch.

balance drill from Paddling Otaku on Vimeo.


  1. Hey really good video - and faster than me! (And in a lot nicer weather conditions than Scotland right now...)

    You might like to try starting and ending the sequence sitting in the seat. That way you have to take your legs out and lift your bum onto the back deck at the start, and drop back in at the end. That end usefully simulates the end of a self-rescue where you clamber on the back-deck of your kayak.

    As for standing up, that was something I completely failed to achieve, although the others on 5* training managed. I have since tried in flat water, ad just as my knees straighten I topple over.

    However, the big balance move was way too much. Rotating the kayak 360 degrees underneath you, so you sit on the gunwale, then the hull, then the other gunwale, then back in the seat of the kayak was somethng only Gordon Brown attempted and succeeded. We looked on open mouthed!

    I hope all this balance-stuff will be fully explained in our next DVD, when we eventually get around to shooting it in early next year.


  2. yes, I am sure the weather is better here than in Scotland, but you know what, I would come up there in a heartbeat!

    I did actually start and finish sitting in the cockpit, but I enjoyed the feeling of sitting up there, so I stayed a while. I edited it out for time sake - it took so long to just do the turn, 2 minutes 24 seconds! I need to work on standing... I'll keep you posted.

    If you guys recreate the format of the first video - with the kayak tour to explain use of the skills - and you want a yank along, let me know. I am on my way.