Friday, October 31, 2008

Optimist kayak club symposium

Counting the empty beer and wine bottles this morning tells me that something unusual happened last night. This may or may not have an effect on todays lessons.Derrick can improvise as he does his Greenland rolling lessons with groups of 6 to 10 people every day, even twice a day, as for Jeff and Phil, coming from that great beer drinking nation across the water, makes me worry that they didnt have enough to drink, and hope that this lack of sustainance does not affect their abilities on the water at all.
Up to now, 2 days in all, it has been a great beginning. The rolling lessons have been a great hit, as its the first time in the history of Israel that we have had any official Greenland style lessons.Derricks way of teaching has been an inspiration with many of us managing to do the first few rolls and giving the rest of us a good feeling about the ability to roll. Somehow we managed to get a collection of paddles that have been made by various people , probably rivalling the variations in style that you see in more traditional societies. And the days go on filled to the brim with activity. Jeff and Phill have been giving BCU training as well as incident managing and forward paddling classes . There is something for everyone and always new stuff to learn . What a great life .

Thursday, October 30, 2008

the day before our symposium

Well, the world famous trio arrived early in the morning and before they could go and catch up on their sleep we were out in the surf. Later in the day we went out to see Jerusalem and only then did they get some well deserved sleep.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Optimists in Milos .The book

I have just made a book of our trip to Milos through the website blurb. All those who want to order a copy of the book can go to the site, preview the book and order a copy. This is a non profit book, the costs are whatever Blurb charges, they give a discount for more than 10, so if you guys want to order together you can get it cheaper and also cut down on the postage fees.
Have a look and see what you think.

Friday, October 24, 2008

dont mess with mother nature

Every year the beach is rearranged by the Kibbutz members [who exactly decided this is a mystery] They bring in bulldozers and tractors and move the sand around , I suppose its to prevent the small cliff from being washed away and endangering their houses, and every winter the sea reclaims the beach during the winter storms. Now I see they are building a huge stone wall or rockery to help them this time. Lets see how mother nature responds. Watch this space during and after the winter .

Hadas has just returned from a symposium in the USA, lnote the relaxed posture when assisting in a rescue.

Hats off to Arele , almost every week he brings a new friend to the kayak world amd gets them off to a good start. The younger the better, I guess its easier to teach youngsters , they seem to pick up the techniques easier than us old folks, at least in the beginning.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The need for speed

Did someone mention chicken

Two wooden kayaks, one strip built one stitch and glue, not related to the need for speed.
Some people just want to go fast, faster and fastest. Be it on land or sea or in the air we all sometimes just want to go as fast as we can. When you take away the big engines and all that moves you forwards is you own power you begin to feel the limits of your body. Some bodies are faster and more powerful than others, some are more trained and practiced and more efficient. We all have the potential to go faster to improve and to develope our skills to get the maximum efficiency. When it comes to kayak paddling, you dont always need to be faster or stronger, but sometimes you do need that extra power and speed. for example when surfing you need power and speed to catch the wave, you need strength and efficiency to break through the surf, and in emergency situations you may need a burst of speed to get past a danger point or to help someone else out of trouble. Nevertheless , even if you are not interested is speed you still should try to be as efficient as possible in your paddling, this will let you go for longer without getting exhausted, let you keep up with the group, and in times of emergency you will be able to perform as needed. Speed is not a result of strength, rather a function of correct and efficient forward padling, so if you concentrate on the correct technique your regular paddling will improve . There are many different opinions as to the best technique, but they all have the basics in common. That is to use yor torso with good rotation, to keep the blade as close and parallel to the boat as you can and to exit sooner than later. Lately I have been paracticing the Brent Reitz chicken wing technique and am finding it to be a very positive and efficient forward stroke,{ as well as a tasty meal.}

Saturday, October 18, 2008

not just for kayaks


The last few days our beach has been the site for a sailing championship. At first there were a couple of days practice, and then yesterday, today and tomorrow is the actual championships. This means that the place is totally crowded with windsurfers, small medium and larger boats and hundreds of hopeful sailors. it makes for a very colourful picture and its nice to see so many young participants . This afternoon the wind was gusting up to 22knots, making it a great time for all the kite surfers, and watching them at sunset was a real treat. Luckily they started their day late in the morning and did not interfere with our usual kayak outings.
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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Team patagonia practicing

The sms at 6 am said that there is no paddling today due to the strong winds, BUT the Patagonia team was going to practice. So it was a logical choice to join them.Rain and wind do not deter an optimist and when I arrived at the club I found Avital and Ohad there too. Luckily Avital had not got the message. the rain and wind had blown down a tree in the parking lot, luckily no one was parked there at the time. together with team manager Hadas we all went down to the water and the rest is history as you can see in the video. The lesson of the day was surfing and bracing in the surf. Time will tell how much these practice sessions help the team on their trip to Patagonia, but the learning process is a lot of fun.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

the holiday season

Here its the Holiday season, nothing gets done till after the holidays, and it goes on almost a whole month. First its New Year, then its Yom Hakippur, then comes The week of Succot. For us kayaker its means more time on the water, great. The water is still warm and the air temp is nice and comfortable.The sea is variable now, some days its like a lake, and others its a wild stormy place. Guess which days I prefer.
Heres a short video of my friend Rami Gil, taking his new kayakers out to teach them how to handle the surf. There is only one way to get good in the surf, and thats to spend lots of time there. See what you think, there are some close calls, but on the whole its a great day.The video was taken by Hadas Feldman

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

digitus primus

A new malady has been discovered, affecting the paddling community of planet earth. It affects about 90% of paddlers, is not debilitating in any way, is not painful, at least in the later stages and lasts for a long time. At this time there is no known cure.In common terms I am calling it PADDLERS THUMB, or to give it the medical term, Callous Paddlous. It appears at first as a simple blister on the inside aspect of the thumb at the joint and a bit lower down too, later on it developes into a distinct hard skinned area with a groove in the middle of 2 callouses. If you give the afflicted one a paddle to hold you will note a perfect fit of the shaft in the hollow between the 2 calloused humps.
This malady is not a cause for concern and no vaccine is expected in the near future.
It is usually seen in the dominant hand only.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

optimists in milos, the party at the monastery

And now heres the movie, this was the most unexpected surprise end to a fantastic first day on the water.