Archive for Training


Peer Practice

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From Lynne:

“On Monday, May 5th, NACK held its first Peer Practice of the new season at Timber Point Park, Great River. It was the first time back on the water for some, while others braved a few cold-water paddles throughout the winter. The evening started out with plenty of sun and a light wind, which soon faded away making the water look like a large reflecting pool. There was a nice turnout of paddlers anxious to take to the water, but not before taking time for an enjoyable reunion, making it as if the long, cold months dividing the seasons and the members never existed. The evening ended with a fun-filled session and a breath-taking sunset over the Connetquot River. Peer Practice sessions are held each Monday through August 25 and begin at 6 PM. It is an opportunity for members to get together to improve or learn new skills, prepare for ACA Skill and Level assessments, or to just paddle around and have fun. Sessions are open to both beginner and experienced paddlers. Check the Spring 2014/2nd Quarter Schedule, previously sent via email, for a listing of Peer Practice locations.
Lynne Basileo
Photographs by: Lynne Basileo and Alan Mayors”

Click here to view NACK_5-5-14_Peer Practice_#1

(Lynne shared these files using Dropbox. Enjoy!)

Timber Pt (32)

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Hudson Valley Kayak Symposium 2014

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The Hudson Valley Kayak Symposium will be held July 18-20, 2014 in Cold Spring, NY. The driving force behind this event is Matt Kane, a longtime Hudson River guide and instructor. Having recognized the need for stronger kayak instruction and better training opportunities along the Hudson River, Matt has arranged for a lineup of talented kayak instructors to be available to work with those looking to fine tune and build skills.

The Symposium includes an outstanding group of instructors, lodging at the Taconic Outdoor Education Center, and food all three days. Paddling instruction will be conducted on the Hudson River between Peekskill and Beacon near such scenic attractions as the United States Military Academy at West Point, Bear Mountain, Storm King Mountain and Bannermann’s Castle.

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DANGER: Cold Water

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It’s mid April, there have been some really nice days, but it’s possibly the most dangerous time to be on the water.  The reason is Cold Water. It is essential that you dress for immersion, not the air temperature.

There have already been several unfortunate incidents in our area.  A couple of days ago the news media carried the story of two fishermen who capsized their canoe in Smithtown Bay at the mouth of the Nissequogue River.  Luckily for them a bird watcher spotted them in the water and was able to notify 911. Nevertheless they were last reported to be in critical condition at a local hospital

In another incident two young men lost their lives in the Hudson.  One apparently fell from a pier and the other jumped in to rescue him.  Neither made it out alive.

Newsday recently published a couple of photos showing people enjoying their day on the water.  The first picture was of a couple of fishermen in their boat on Lake Ronkonkoma.  Both appeared to be wearing heavy thermal hooded sweatshirts…..and apparently no Personal Flotation Device (PFDs or Life Jackets).  That is in violation of NYS Law which requires PFDs be worn until May 1.  The second photo depicted a father and son on the Connetquot River.  The son is in a kayak and wearing a PFD but the father, on a stand up paddle board, appeared to be wearing just a tee shirt and shorts…. no PFD as required.  I will assume that the folks in these photos ended their day successfully but I wonder how things would have turned out if they had gone into the 40 degree water.

Cold water presents two lethal hazards.  The first is Cold Shock.  That’s an uncontrollable gasping reflex-action that occurs when your body gets immersed in cold water.  If you’re gasping uncontrollably while your head is under water you are finished right then and there.  The second hazard is Hypothermia.  That’s the lowering of your body temperature which in itself can be fatal.  It quickly results in a loss of muscular control which causes swimming failure.  You might be a good swimmer but the lack of muscle control will quickly take away even your ability to tread water. Without a PFD you won’t be able to keep your head above water.

At this time of the year, with water temperatures still in the 40’s, it is essential that you’re dressed for immersion in cold water.  Either a drysuit or a wetsuit will provide adequate protection for a brief immersion, and properly fitted PFD will help keep your head out of the water. A heavy cotton sweatshirt will afford absolutely no protection in the water, it will soak up so much water and weight it will be harder to pull yourself out, and once soaked it has no insulating value.  Wet clothing and wind will just add to evaporative cooling and hypothermia.

Don’t take chances, dress for immersion and wear your PFD.

A Public Service Message from North Atlantic Canoe & Kayak. We’re serious about fun!!



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Autumn Gales 2013

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Just heard from Greg Paquin of Kayak Waveology about this years’ Autumn Gales event. Autumn Gales is a rough water sea kayak training event for intermediate and advanced paddlers based out of Stonington, CT. The event, scheduled for November 8, 9 and 10, is timed with the higher current flows of Fishers Island Sound to take advantage of the tide races in the area. Kayak Waveology hosts the event and brings in internationally known BCU (British Canoe Union) coaches and local rough water guides.  Preceding the event is BCU Skills Training and Assessments from November 4 thru the 7th.

Greg is a BCU Coach 3, BCU 4 Star Assessor, BCU 5*, ACA Level 5 Instructor and Founder of Kayak Waveology.  Greg has been sea kayaking for 24 years and teaching it for over 10 years.  Renown for his rough water coaching skills, Greg has taught at international symposiums in Wales, Isle of Mann and Spain. Kayak Waveology has been voted Best Kayaking School In the North East by the readers of Sea Kayaker magazine.

If your looking to take your skills to the next level, with expert guidance, you need to check out Autumn Gales 2013. Here’s a link to a slideshow from Autumn Gales 2012.


Categories : Announcements, Training
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This weekend, the largest canoe, kayak and standup paddling show on the East Coast is taking place in Somerset, NJ. The show features manufacturers of kayaks, canoes, accessories, sportswear, paddling clubs professional instruction and expeditions, as well as lectures and video and slide shows of paddling trips, expeditions and paddling techniques. Paddlesport hosts over 100 exhibitors, including the top names in canoes, kayaks and SUPs, such as Hobie, Ocean Kayak, Epic Kayaks, Perception, Wilderness Systems, Wave Sport, Mad River Canoe, Old Town, Surftech and much more! North Atlantic Canoe & Kayak and the American Canoe Association will both be at the Paddlesport Show all weekend so be sure to stop by and visit. You can talk with NACK members to get first hand information on our club and programs, and see Sarah Kadis, ACA Safety, Education and Instruction Coordinator, to grab some ACA materials or to hear about what’s new with the ACA!


Rolling with Sticks® Guidebook and Video by Chris Crowhurst now available for free download

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Our recent kayak rolling class with Cheri Perry and Turner Wilson demonstrated a strong interest in Greenland style kayak rolling among NACK members.  While there are many exotic Greenland rolls, the Standard Greenland Roll is probably the easiest roll to master and can be done just as well using the familiar “Euro” paddle.

Anyone who has tried to learn how to roll their kayak is certainly familiar  with the frustration involved in mastering this skill.  Fortunately there is a wealth of information on how to do it. Now Christopher Crowhurst, the creator of  the Rolling with Sticks® Guidebook and Video, has decided to make both the book and video available for a free download.  Heres the story as Chris puts it.

Rolling with Sticks® started as a fun project to document the progress I was making as I learned the different Greenland style kayak rolls. This work evolved into the water proof guidebook that is available for sale in the webstore. After completing the book I realized that during the time I learned the rolls I had recorded enough video to assemble a video guide of all the rolls. I used video extensively to critique my rolls and sent them to many great rollers for their feedback. For the past two years I have provided the book and a DVD of the video for sale, and I will continue to do that. Both projects have now paid for themselves and rather than continue to make money from these projects I have decided to release both and make them freely available for download. You can continue to buy printed copies of the book on waterproof paper, as well as copies of the DVD if you want a physical copy, they are both available from my webstore

Download Rolling with Sticks®

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Kayak Rolling Instruction with Cheri Perry and Turner Wilson & “This is the Roll” DVD

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With the NACK Winter Pool Program now in full swing, and in keeping with the NACK philosophy of providing the very best instruction available,  we were fortunate to have Cherri Perry and Turner Wilson on hand today to provide some terrific rolling instruction.  A bunch of NACK members spent a couple of hours learning aft and forward-finishing rolls.

Cheri and Turner were standout competitors, winning numerous Gold Medals, at the 2005 Greenland National Kayaking Championships, in Paamiut, Greenland. Since then they have travelled the world teaching kayak rolling.  They have also recently produced a terrific instructional DVD titled “This is the Roll”

To make this DVD Cheri and Turner teamed with adventure cinematographer, Justine Curgenven, the creator of the ‘This Is The Sea‘ kayaking series, to create  the most comprehensive video yet on learning to roll your kayak. Shot in HD,  it’s a full two and a half hours of truly epic proportions. Each scene is done from several different angles, in many different kayaks, using different blades. The DVD focuses on the primary real-water paddle rolls, the Standard Greenland Roll, the Reverse Sweep Roll, and the Storm Roll. Breaking these down, in great detail, in an open and progressive method, you see real students making and correcting real mistakes along their learning path, and you also see these rolls done well in the conditions that they are REALLY meant for. (Hint: that does not involve flat mill pond water or a pool!).

This DVD features only sea kayaks and skin-on-frames; you won’t see any white water kayaks or C-to-C rolls. And while the rolls originate from Greenlandic heritage you will see them done just as well with conventional euro paddles. The extensive coverage of common errors should be of considerable benefit to both those trying to learn to roll and instructors teaching rolling.

You can view the trailer and order the DVD from Cheri and Turner on their Kayakways website.


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NACK Kayak Instructor Training Program

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This year NACK was extremely fortunate in being able to acquire the instructional services of Chris Raab. For anyone unfamiliar with Chris he is the owner of Tuktu Paddles, a company that has provided canoe and kayak instruction and custom canoe and kayak paddles to the paddling community for over 12 years. Chris lives in New Jersey and has over 35 years of paddling experience in white water, sea kayaking, and wilderness expeditions. Chris is an ACA Open Water Instructor Trainer, Traditional Skills Instructor and Trainer Educator. He also holds ACA certifications in solo and tandem canoe and is BCU 5 star trained, along with other equally impressive achievements and qualifications.  Chris is also a NAI certified guide, and a registered Maine sea kayak guide. His qualifications and relaxed teaching styles make him one of the most sort after kayak instructors in the northeastern U.S.

Chris started his Long Island instructional services to NACK this season when seven of our members Roy Baillard, Dara Fee, Buddy Ficarelli, Ann Kaiser, Steve McDonald, Colin Mullen and John Weickert Jr. attended Chris’s two day ACA Instructor Development Workshop (IDW) in June. He continued his services to NACK by supplying rough water and surf zone training. That training had taken place in the Atlantic Ocean off of Hampton Bays. The next day he gave our members a more relaxed strokes and refinement class. In July the seven NACK members who participated in the IDW attended the ACA’s Instructor Certification Examination (ICE) given by Chris.  Thanks to Chris NACK now have an additional ACA level 2 Essentials of Kayak Touring instructor and some additional level 3 Coastal Kayaking instructors.

NACK is also fortunate to have another member to join the instructor ranks, Maria Hampson. After years of being an assistant to Dan and Elizabeth at Empire Kayak in Oceanside, Maria has become a level 2 Essentials of Kayaking Instructor.

If you have ever attended the canoe and kayak show sponsored by the Jersey Paddlers in Summerset NJ. You have probably seen Chris. He is the guy at the Tuktu Paddle booth near the food court. He is the guy with the big smile, hands in his pockets, talking to everyone. I don’t know if he has ever sold a paddle at the Jersey Paddlers show but everyone that walks away from his booth leaves it with a smile, feeling a little more happy and enthusiastic for having met him.

By Colin Mullen


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