Sunday, October 28, 2007

Trick Roll

Had to go down to Kallang to submit forms and make copies of my certificates to apply for my Level 1 Coaching Certification. Decided to play a little bit in the water.

Lotsa dragon boats so I went to the beach along the park to practice my handrolls! Haha, so after a few rolls, I decide to try the "dry cap hand roll". Its a hand roll where you capsize holding the cap in your right hand, pass it over to the left hand when you're upside down and do a roll up, all while keeping the cap above the water's surface.

A really good party trick.

As luck would have it, it rained VERY heavily after I showered and I couldn't walk to the hawker centre.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I know what you did last weekend...

I am of course happy to have passed my Level 1 Coaching Assessment.
Having a nice assessor who was a Scout certainly helped. It was even better when half the class were Scouts and the other half were nice adults.

I kinda screwed up on the first day though, I got nervous and skipped the niceties. I introduced myself, asked where the people were from and went on to start the lesson.
And boy was I sweating buckets!

Missing out major portions of the lesson such as forward paddling and neglecting to brief the participants on the risks involved, I barely survived the first day.
Thank goodness for the briefing by the assessor, Vincent, after the first day.

I was feeling quite pathetic and down the 2nd day, however, it changed when I started injecting humour into my lesson and things started to flow better. Restarting my whole lesson, it ended up being sort of like a 1 day crash course for the participants.
I didnt really bring them far out due to some paddlers who didn't seem confident for a longer journey, but I guess they all enjoyed themselves.

The thing I feel best about is helping one participants overcome if only a little, his phobia of the water. He managed to do his capsize drill! Luckily he was a nice guy and teaching him wasn't very hard to do.
And of course I must thank Vincent for teaching me the incredible trick for helping participants who have difficulty doing the capsize drill. Teaching me even when I was doing my assessment!

Lots of tips and tricks learnt from him. I better write it down somewhere and accumulate them to pass on in future.


I passed my coaching assessment! Im now a Level 1 Coach!!!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Cheapskate Paddler

As a 2 STAR paddler, you're now going for more expeditions and spending more time in the sport.
So here's a how to article.

How to have essential gear for kayaking and not burn a hole in your wallet.

1. Footwear
I strongly advise paddlers not to wear slippers. You have trouble keeping them on and may lose them when you capsize. Walking around barefoot might get you injured and its worse if you haven't had a tetanus jab in the last 5 years.
Sandals are better, but they still leave a large portion of your feet exposed. However, I believe they are adequate for paddling in Singapore.

If you'd like, a pair of low cut wetsuit boots only cost about $22 and can be bought at Beach Road Army Market. Avoid those with the bungee/elastic cord at the ankle. The bungee can get caught in the foot pedals of the kayak. High cut ones cost more and have a zip at the side. Sand tends to jam the zip and requires you to rinse with water to get it free, so I'd recommend low cut boots.

2. Sun Protection
This comes in the form of hat, sunglasses and sunblock.
Let's talk about hats first, they block out 50% of UV light entering your eyes, so wearing one while paddling can save your eyes!
Baseball caps with a peak in front only shield your face, leaving your ears and the back of your neck exposed.
Consider a wide brimmed hat, aka jungle hat.
Commonly found at beach road and available in all sorts of camouflage designs, black, blue and khaki.
The camouflage ones are free, for guys in the army who have e-mart credits. Hehe... The rest of us will have to part with $8 for one.

Next up, sunglasses. Not a necessity, but they block out 95% of the remaining 50% of UV rays still entering your eyes if you wear a hat.
What's more, a pair of polarized sunglasses cost as little as $20 and can be found at petrol stations with many designs to choose from too.

Ahh... we now come to sun block. How many of you actually apply sunblock before paddling? Consider Banana Boat's Sport series. They are waterproof and sweat resistant. It is best to get one with a SPF 30 rating.
$16.90 at most pharmacies.

3. Clothing
Avoid cotton, it sucks away body heat 25 times faster when its wet. Not a good thing if the weather turns foul during a kayaking expedition. Get yourself a wicking shirt like Nike's Dri-fit or Adidas's ClimaCool. Reebok has Play-dry which is cheaper at about $29.
Please don't wear singlets, they provide zero coverage and expose you to wind chill.
Event tees are now usually quick dry type, so if you participate or volunteer your services for triathlons, marathons or adventure races you can get a free shirt which you can use for paddling.

4. Hydration
Want an alterative to Nalgene bottles popular with the outdoors fanatics?

A Gatorade bottle with the slightly wider mouth is hardy and easier to clean compared to the flimsy pepsi bottles. Unfortunately they only come in 700ml bottles. At around $2 a bottle that's 10 times less than a Nalgene, plus you get a sports drink!

Floating hat modification

I recently "modded" a jungle hat that I've been using for kayaking. Since the hat has survived, sun, sea and washing machine cycles to become well seasoned, I don't really want to lose it. Even if it only cost me $7 and is easily replaced.

Most of us know that when a cap or hat drops into the sea, it floats for a while, before sinking into the abysmal depths of the ocean. An offering to King Neptune.

So... to get to the point, I "modded" the hat with a little fishing net float that cost 15 cents. I got this float from a wholesaler opposite The Concourse near the Malay Heritage Centre.
They come in a many different shapes and sizes too.

Here are some pics.
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New Blog! :)

Hey folks! This will be my kayaking blog, mostly to document my personal progress in the sport as well as share my stories and pictures of the little day trips I like to go on when I'm free.