Thursday, October 1, 2009

Taking a break

To all the folks who visit my blog regularly, there wont be any updates because Im 1200m above sea level in Switzerland.
Im high and dry and wont be back till next year.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

More press on the River Clean-Up

SIM Canoeing Club was featured in Gaia Discovery, an online lifestyle magazine dedicated to give people around the world an insight into sustainable development and tourism.

You can read the article here

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Canoe Polo!

Joined the SIM Canoe Polo club for their training session today. The newbies (thats us) train separately, so the whole group was basically a bunch of newbies led by one experienced player.
I found it quite tough to do so many things simultaneously. Not only do I have to paddle, there's the added element of the ball.
The boat was so easy to roll I managed an elbow roll with no difficulty. Since I could easily roll the boat, I can concentrate on other skills such as ball handling.

One of the newbies just got his 1 star a month ago and is on his way towards a hand roll. Im quite interested in how rolling is taught. Seems they have been taught the hand roll without first learning the C-to-C or Sweep style eskimo rolls. I suppose boat design has got something to do with it, but I've got to give some credit to the teaching methods. Almost all of them can hand roll while holding the paddle blade to give additional support.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Paddling down the Singapore River

The SIM Canoeing Club organised a freshman orientation camp over the weekend. I only joined in from Saturday onwards due to some prior commitments.
One of the highlights for the camp was the river clean up on the final day. All of us got into kayaks and paddled into the Singapore River. As we paddled along, we collected rubbish that we could find in the river.

Apparently this was the first social responsibility event ever organised by a sports club in SIM. We created SIM history!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Yet another 1 Star course for SIM

There was yet another 1 Star course for SIM held over the weekend and it was their biggest one yet with a total of 28 participants!
Couldnt really clique with the group this time so it wasnt that enjoyable for me.
As usual, we have the obligatory Singapore Flyer pics.

Rest of them can be found here

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I recieved an SMS from Eddy regarding a coaching assignment on the 22nd and 29th of August for NJC. I then checked my calendar and realised I was free and accepted the assignment.
So yesterday I left my phone in the living room while I was busy playing some computer game for practically the whole day. My phone started to ring at about 3.20pm and when I answered it, Eddy asked where was I. It seems he gave me the wrong date. It was supposed to be 22 and 29 JULY instead of August.
Rushed down to Macritchie on my bike and reached there to find a bunch of unmotivated Sec 1 students carrying boats. These kids were totally uninterested! They moved slowly and the only thing they did in the water was raft up and chit chat or day dream. Not being that experienced, I couldnt really motivate them in such a short time span so I made them demonstrate the skills to me individually.
After 50min we had to end the session because there have been feedback from parents that the students are coming home very late. Honestly, if they moved faster, they can be dismissed earlier.
It took 1 hour to move all the equipment back. Some of them would carry a boat back and hide somewhere. When there was 2 boats left, Eddy and myself decided to carry the boats back to save time because the kids were no where to be found. On the way to the storage shed we saw a few loitering around and when they saw us, they ran away. The worse thing was that as we were carrying the 2 boats back, 6 kids sneaked off.
Goodness. Cant help but feel disappointed that this is the standard of our future leaders.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Just did a kayak orientation at Water-Venture Kallang on Sunday with 2 other trainers. Quite unhappy with the way things went.
One of the instructors is a trainee who has been putting off taking his assessment since he did the L1 coaching course in 2007 and the other trainer is ignorant and proud of it. The trainee established his presence from the beginning and took charge. He began the session by getting the participants to carry all the equipment to the beach.
This was the trainee's 1st KOP and he wanted to do the theory part so after carrying stuff around he gave a theory session that lasted 30 minutes! There was constant use of jargon, talk about hull shapes, etc. Being 6 hours long, this KOP session is twice as long as usual but I dont see the need for so much talk. He also gave the usual ill informed canoe vs kayak explanation.

That wasn't the main issue though. When discussing about teaching rescues, I suggested showing the participants a rafted TX rescue. I was then treated like a blasphemer. The trainee went on to say how its almost impossible to do a rafted TX rescue with a tandem kayak and how we should use the H rescue. Was then told by the other trainer that a TX rescue will snap the boat in half.
From past experience, the "H" rescue usually ends up as a "N" or "Z" rescue after the boats get pushed around by wind and waves. Also annoying how the 2 rescuers are fighting against each other as they try to pull the victims bow/stern onto their respective decks.
Later on, while actually demonstrating the rescue, he told the rescuers to do a "see-saw" motion after lifting the victims kayak. From my understanding, in a "H" rescue you just lift up the capsized kayak and water flows out on its own due to the boat design. No need to do a "see-saw".

Later on as the session was ending, the other 2 trainers talked to the participants about the certification courses and told them the usual PA Water-Venture propaganda. No rentals without 1 star, no crossing of channels without 2 star, etc.
The one that really took the cake was the trainee telling them that if you're 1 star certified, you do the rafted TX rescue and only 2 star certified paddlers do the TX rescue.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Walk-in participants

Met up with Huanda and Ziyang at Pasir Ris yesterday. We planned to paddle round Seletar Island which would be about 26km. However we met 2 paddlers at the club and Huanda invited them to join us. Unfortunatley, they were slow compared to us and I decided not to go further after reaching Punggol Jetty.
They were out to have fun and having them chase us all the way to Seletar Island would definitely not be fun for them. So we chilled out on Punggol jetty. One of the guys said you can buy ice cream there. I thought he was joking, but he walked off and returned with ice cream and 100plus! Was quite interesting.

We then went on to Coney Island to take some pics and practice our skills before heading back. Although we didn't manage to complete the 26km, the 2 guys were quite funny and interesting. They made good company and the trip was actually quite enjoyable.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Virgin whitewater trip

Just returned from a whitewater paddling trip on 14-15th July. Went up to Sungkai for this trip to paddle in a grade 2-3 river.
The first day went by very slowly. Started out with drills and other stuff since it was the first time for most of us. We learnt about the safe swimmer position, how to swim across a river and how to jump in. Once that was settled, we got into the boats and played around in the eddy to get used to the boats. We were then taught to ferry glide and eddy in/out.
Personally felt it was dry, but then these are necessary skills.

Things were better on the second day when we did a run down the river. Got the chance to practice whatever we learnt the day before. There was more free play and it definitely felt more fun than the first day.

I did have higher expectations after hearing comments from people who've been on such trips. Guess the stories have been exaggerated a wee bit. Anyone who has a decent roll and quick enough reflexes can have fun.

Durian time!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Unscrupulous practices revealed

I spent my last 2 days at SIM HQ manning the Canoeing Club booth for its recruitment drive. Basically freshmen from UOL are down in the school for their Freshman Orientation Day where the OGLs will guide them around the school and let them play games to know their coursemates. One of the activities is a massive recruitment by the clubs and societies in SIM.

So there I was manning the booth when 2 girls approached. One girl was interested in the 1 Star and another later revealed that she's already certified. The certified girl was telling her friend to go for the 1 Star. At first I thought it was great that this girl was doing my job for me, but then she told her friend 1 Star very good, can become instructor. What the hell?

I wanted to find out more, so I smiled and told her you need 2 Star before you can become an instructor. She replied that you only need 1 Star to be an instructor at Camelot. She also revealed that she worked there before.
To make matters worse, Camelot is the operator that MOE has chosen to run its Adventure campsite in Changi.

Oops. Let the cat out of the bag.

Monday, June 29, 2009

I hate red tape

As usual, many permits and paperwork is required if you want to paddle to certain places in Singapore. Its almost as if the authorities are trying to discourage any paddling outside of the confined reservoirs.

The SIM Canoeing Club is trying to organise a trip up the Singapore River. I've done it in the past and gone all the way to Clarke Quay. At that time you only needed to ask permission from PUB and have a powerboat escort.
However, PUB is now asking for acknowledgment emails from SDBA, NCC, SCF, PA, Waterways Watch Society, Singapore River Cruise, Duck Tours, Singapore Explorer, MINDEF, URA, Singapore Tourism Board and an endorsement from SCF.
On top of that, they are limiting us to the UOB Plaza. So basically, all these permits are required just to go pass the Anderson Bridge and Cavenagh Bridge. Pathetic.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Culture of Fear

I've heard stories and have had first hand experiences. It seems to me that some of the staff and trainers at Water-Venture (Changi) are spreading a Culture of Fear amongst the paddling fraternity.

Here are some of the highlights.

There's an escort that brings you to the equipment when you do a rental. For fear that you might take a boat other than the fiberglass slaloms. For some reason, they dont like renting the plastic whitewater kayaks.

Here's an interesting story. A fellow paddler was told not to venture out of the demarcated area even though, he was allowed to do so, according to Water-Venture rules. He is at least 2 star certified. The staff on duty at that time told him not to go out because it was drizzling. Some weird safety precaution perhaps? Acid rain may burn into the paddlers skin and it would be good if they were near shore to seek shelter.
He ignored the instructions and ventured out. Soon after, he recieved a phone call and was told to come back immediately. The staff on duty was watching them!
Probably has some control issues.

On another occasion, one of the trainers was wearing a helmet to teach either a 2 or 3 star certification course. Maybe he was afraid of swimmers kicking his head when he tries to demonstrate the eskimo bow rescue or the eskimo roll?

I've also read comments left online and heard the Changi trainers exaggerating the conditions at Changi. If you didnt know better, you'd think you're up against 5foot high waves and unrelenting seas that will toss you around like a washing machine.
Currents and tides? Big deal. I think the biggest danger out there are the swimmers near the beach.

Kayaking/Canoeing is a safe sport, especially in Singapore. Perhaps they are trying to make the place less inviting so it becomes exclusive to them?
Or is it just one-upmanship? I paddle in Changi, therefore Im more experienced! You lower echoleon paddlers dont waste my time.

Most annoying is how they seemingly "worship" some of the old birds. Gushing like little school girls when talking about their idols. But only false gods give bad intel about their own playground.

Oh btw. I just did a trip through the Ubin mangroves without having to back track. No need to worship any false gods...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Round Ubin in my Feathercraft

Led the NJC Outdoor Adventure Club on a day trip around Pulau Ubin on Saturday. We started off from Ubin Chalet where the Asian Detours boats are stored.
While Kian Seng co-ordinated the students to move out the kayaks from the shed, I rushed to assemble the Feathercraft, this time, I remembered to put in the foot pedals! Took about 20min to assemble.
RX told me he once assembled one in 10mins! But that was with the help of another person.

The aim was to let the OAC leaders lead the trip on their own. I was attached to the expedition leaders and paddled in front with them. All I did was to provide the local knowledge and give them tips on leading the group.

Nice blue skies

Say "cheese"!

All in all, it was a good trip. Nice weather and following seas most of the way even though we took 5 hours to complete the entire trip...

My kayak managed to track fairly well and had no problems going straight. However, the boat would flex as it went over a wave making it quite hard to surf. Maybe next time I should try tensioning it to the maximum.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

3 Star Course Date (UPDATE!)

Kindly note that the dates of the previously mentioned 3 STAR Personal Course has been adjusted as follows:

Day1 - 07/06/09 (Sun)
Day2 - 14/06/09 (Sun)
Day3 - 28/06/09 (Sun)
Day4 - 05/07/09 (Sun)

Time: 0900hrs to 1600hrs
Venue: Kallang (SCF)
Cost ranges from $90-$125

For sign-up or more information please email: Lim Jun Ping (

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Minute of Silence

A friend of mine who was a freelance canoeing/dragonboat instructor drowned yesterday evening at Macritchie.
An avid adventurer and champion for Diabetes, he has paddled around Singapore within 24hrs while in a canoe and dragonboat. I believe the dragonboat event made it to the Singapore book of records.

Last I heard he was planning to do a marathon swim in aid of diabetes too.

Alas, another life lost.

Read the news article here

Friday, May 22, 2009

3 Star Course at SCF

Got this news from the twodegreesnorth mailing list.

Dear friends,

Please be informed that Singapore Canoe Federation will be conducting a 3Star Personal Skills (Training Course) on the following dates:

Day1 - 31/05/09 (Sun)
Day2 - 07/06/09 (Sun)
Day3 - 14/06/09 (Sun)
Day4 - 21/06/09 (Sun)

Time: 0900hrs to 1600hrs
Venue: Kallang (SCF)
Cost ranges from $90-$125

For sign-up or more information please email:
Lim Jun Ping (

Course syllabus can be found under Awards -> Personal Skill at

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Round Ubin again and again!

Coney Island in the background

Paddled round ubin twice over this weekend after having been out of the water for more than a month! The last time I even touched a kayak was on 5th April...
On Saturday, I brought Seh Suan and KC who had just passed their 2 star course last weekend. They managed to survive the trip but took 5 hours to complete the whole distance.

Seh Suan posing

House No.1 near Chek Jawa

Today, I went with Huanda and Zi Yang who are better paddlers. It was also their first time though.
A total of 4.5hrs was spent to complete the journey but that included a 1 hour lunch break at a seafood restaurant on Ubin. Doubt Huanda will go on a round Ubin trip anytime soon though. Haha!

Now I've got some muscle aches. Better stretch again before I sleep tonight or I'll wake up or sore tmr!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Rolling Clinic

Rolling clinic by Paddle Culture

Date: 17th of May and 24th of May
Time: 1pm to 4pm (free and easy after that until 6pm)
Cost: $25 per day (non-Friend of PC) $20 a day (Friend of PC)
Maximum number of participants: 10 on the 17th, and 20 on the 24th.
Minimum requirement: 2 Star. If 1 star and have prior knowledge or skils, email/call us first.
Things to bring: Yourself and paddling gear. If you feel you need a nose clip, do purchase one beforehand.

Contact Details
Please email us at or call us at 96552337. Please indicate the subject line as Learn to Roll Class. Please also indicate your skill level. You are also welcome to join if you already know how to roll and want to refine or pick up a different roll.

Places on a first come first served basis. See you in the water!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Cognitive Dissonance.

Took up a module on marketing some time back. During which I learnt about the consumer buying process. One of the last stages is cognitive dissonance.
Basically its when you regret making that purchase when you realise there's 2 conflicting thoughts in your mind.

Eg. You bought a $1000 Gucci bag and later feel guilty because you also would like to have saved that money.

Likewise, I bought a Feathercraft Kahuna and now I regret the purchase. I've used it a grand total of 3 times since I bought it and in the process damaged the hatch rim.


Find it a hassle to dry before packing it up. I dont drive and bring that humongous thing around by bus. Washing up at home is also a chore.

Plan to use it a few more times after my diploma and then sell it off by September where I would hopefully be at the Kandersteg International Scout Center in Switzerland as a short term staff.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Water Sports Licensing

Some time last year, Teo Ser Luck suggested a water safety license. No news on that so far.

But SIM has taken matters into their own hands and gone ahead with starting their own version.
From now on, any person joining a watersports club in SIM is required to show proof of ability to swim or take a swimming test.
The test will include:
  1. treading water for 3min
  2. drownproofing for 1minute
  3. swim 50m in any recognised stroke
Personally I am against such a rule because I feel it is the personal responsibility of core members of the various clubs to ensure they are proficient in swimming. Making it compulsory takes away the personal responsibility from people and usually such rules are put in place for an organisation to cover themselves.

Quick shocked to hear the windsurfers saying people might have difficulty treading water for 3min. Dont think its too much to ask from a person doing watersports.
Then there was this weird ODAC guy who was saying that getting the members to know how to swim isnt enough. He suggesting getting the ODAC exco to be trained as lifeguards.
If you are really so concerned about safety, you would have taken it upon yourself to equip yourself with such knowledge. Not wait till now to do ask. Im guessing he probably wants to do it for free or at some subsidized rate.

What I found funny was that the diving club has to go through this test too. Haha.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

1st Failure

Results so far.
I've used the alternative capsize drill coaching technique 3 times so far.

Have since made some changes over my original idea.
I basically split the whole capsize drill into 2 parts. For the first part, I get the paddlers to capsize but stay in kayak till I flip them over.
For the second part, they do the usual capsize drill.

This is what I do.
  1. Get 2 boats out in the water.
  2. 1st boat does part 1, 2nd boat watch.
  3. 2nd boat does part 1, 1st boat watch.
  4. 1st boat does part 2, 2nd boat watch.
  5. 1st boat goes back to shore and empty water, 2nd boat does part 2
  6. 2nd boat goes back to shore, 1st boat does part 1.
  7. Repeat.
This has been successful so far till today. I got the water phobia group. Out of 9 paddlers, 4 were afraid of doing the capsize. After some coaxing, I got the kids to do the capsize drill.
3 of them managed to overcome their fear and do the drill after completing part 1.
But the last boy was just too afraid of water. He couldnt even do part 1.
The first time he tried, he wet exited on his own. On the second try, he held on to the kayak with only one hand and I couldnt flip him over. During the third try, he grabbed on to my leg underwater!!!
He wouldnt even try the normal capsize drill, he only wanted to do part 1 because I would be there holding him and flipping him. Physical contact was a big factor in calming him. He needed someone to hold him.

Guess even this method is not fail proof.

Some funny things happened though. The 4 boys who were afraid of capsizing kept giving excuses. One particular excuse really took the cake.
The boy said: " I cannot do, I got block nose."
His friend replied: "Nobody can breathe underwater lah!"
Well said. Haha.

At the end of the day after washing the boats, their teacher came up to me and thanked me. She said that she knew some of them were quite "scaredy cats" and she really appreciated my patience when teaching them.

Hearing things like that are nice.
Great for the ego :)

Monday, March 30, 2009


Just conducted a 1 Star course on Sunday and it was horrible. Didnt feel like there was much learning involved, though I tried to make the best of the situation.

An NPCC unit had signed up for the course held at Water-Venture through a company called PaddleH2O. This company is run by 2 trainers from Water-Venture, Richard Lim and Mary Zoe Lek.

So I more or less just let things happen the way Mary wanted it. This went on till I couldnt take it anymore and voiced my opinions to Mary. We then split the group and carried on coaching in smaller more condusive numbers.

Here's why:
During the split to do the capsize drill, she got her entire group to raft up and wait in the water and take turns to do the capsize. It looked all nice and organised at first, but in the end the group just ended up floating around in a mess.

It all started to go downhill when Mary started demonstrating embarking and disembarking to 28 paddlers sitting in the kayaks on the beach alongside each other. How did she expect the paddlers at the extreme ends to see her?

When I questioned her on this, she said the other instructors were supposed to teach/facilitate while she did her coaching. Whats the point? So I have to repeat everything WHILE she is talking? Who do the paddlers pay attention to then? Herself or me?

Next, she basically dispatched the whole group of 28 participants into the water at one shot. While she stood on the beach. She got them to paddle towards a pontoon abt 10m away and reverse paddle back to shore.
So there we had 28 pple floating around paddling in circles and myself and Sam had to herd them back to shore.

She did not even take a boat out into the water! Coaching a 1 Star course without getting into a boat? So you can guess the kids spent alot of time at the beach or near it.

All that techincal stuff and jargon she used didnt help facilitate learning either.

Sam also wasn't too interested in coaching. He condemned the group before they even arrived and ended up shouting most of the session. Could see that the teacher in charge was worried at this and spent most of the time hanging around his group.

Lost my watch too :( I guess one of the links came loose.
The new club manager Joyce kept coming out to the beach. Judging from her character, chacnes are she was "assessing" myself and Sam.

Quite a bad day.

But, at least 3 things brightened up my day.
1. The new capsize drill thingy worked. Got the kids all excited about capsizing. Even the non-swimmers! They found the technique fun and awesome. Saw a few smiles and heard a few screams of delight!

2. The teacher in charge was cute. Really cute :)

3. I got an exciting trip home, cycling in the rain.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Eventful Paddle Round Ubin

Went round Ubin with Kevin again. Quite an eventful paddle.
He used a Bandit this time while I switched from a wooden paddle to a wing paddle. So I was way ahead of him.

Looking for a workout

He mananged to paddle 22km in a whitewater boat within 4hours. Quite an achievement I'd say.

East Nenas Beacon

It was the 1st time I used a wing paddle since January and the stronger catch of those blades wreak havoc on my shoulder for longer distances. Was paddling quite leisurely, so my shoulders didnt really hurt. But I could feel the strain.

Sea snake!

On our way back to Pasir Ris we paddled past a group in open deck kayaks. I think it was led by Jessica with Addison at the back. Looked like them.
Then we saw a group of SMU paddlers launching when we finally reached Pasir Ris beach.

Got Kevin to help me take some videos, so here they are!

Top Hat Roll

Balance Brace

Friday, March 20, 2009

Fear of Capsize

It seems that the most feared thing during the 1 Star course is the capsize drill.
Sometimes I feel that the only thing thats on the participant's mind is getting out of the kayak. I often see them dropping out of the kayak before it even turns upside down. Sometimes I see the capsized boat shaking violently from the violent kicking and trashing from a panicked participant.

I've had ideas of getting the participants to capsize and stay in the boat for as long as possible, but "as long as possible" could only mean 1 second to a panicked person.

For those who are really panicky I usually get them to hug the kayak, telling them to hug the kayak until they hear a loud thud from my banging on the hull. I then flip the kayak over, count to 5 before banging the hull.
There have been few successes with this method, but I've been using this as a last option.
Should I use this method from the start? A stepping stone leading up to an actual capsize?
Kinda feels like too much hand holding from the start though. Not really my style and it would take up quite a bit of time.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Lots of coaching

All my paddling for the past 2 months have been limited to coaching. I have not trained or done any leisure paddling on my own.
Hopefully it does not rain tomorrow so I can do a short paddle from Pasir Ris to Coney Island and do some rolling after that. The skills are getting a little rusty.
There's lots of cool stuff in Water-Venture Pasir Ris, including a store room full of different types of paddle. Planning to try using the wooden paddle I saw inside.

Not forgetting the Greenland paddle that I plan to make. Will have to find a 2.2m long piece of wood. Now where am I gonna find one?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Good Day.

Today was the 2nd day of the 1 star course that I am conducting for SIM. There were 16 participants and when we split up the group during the first day, I ended up with the older group, everyone in the group was older than me. Except of my younger sis.
The other group consisted of all girls, 21yrs old and below. Lucky I didnt get them, they didnt seem to motivated.

Quickly settled the TX rescue and went on to do other fun stuff like the all-in rescue, went for an early lunch afterwards.
Did a leisure paddle around Kallang and brought them out to the Singapore Flyer. As usual, functioning like a tour guide, stopping at certain places to take pics. All in all a good day

Went for makan at Lau Pat Sat after the course and pigged out on satay, sting ray and nasi briyani. Ended the meal with a mango ice dessert too!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Its not just our drivers

I've spent the last 2 days conducting kayak orientation programmes for St. Patrick's School at Lower Seletar Reservoir. That is also where Republic Poly and Nanyang Poly canoeists train.

The Water Venture outlet there doesnt get much business. So basically, these kids have the entire area all to themselves most of the time.

So they weren't too happy about it when we had a bunch of newbies on sit-on-top kayaks in the water. The poly kids were just sprinting and bashing through the newbies shouting things like "hold your boat".
Unfortunately for these kings of the road. They were talking to a bunch of newbies who had no idea what "hold your boat" means and even if they knew they needed to stop, they didnt know what to do. Shouting probably just makes them to panic.
Too bad for those folks, they just banged their expensive racing kayaks into indestructible sit-on-tops.

That was yesterday. What they did today defines the meaning of "assholes".
I got the kids to go back to shore after our session. This invovles having the kids to come alongside a small pontoon, get out and carry the boats to shore.
With only 3 pontoons, it does get kinda squeezy.

Seems that squeezing doesnt bother the Republic Poly kids too much. When we were halfway through the recovery, they just paddled in and recovered their boats too. So 20 boats trying to get up isnt enough, they added another 10 or so.

Im sure waiting another 5-10mins wont kill you. Or maybe their fingers have wrinkled too much and they were desperately trying to get out of the water before the fingers drop off?
Looks like we dont only have impatient and psychotic drivers on our roads, we've got them in boats too!
Does seem that these things happen when some people think they have some sort of god given right. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, even when the power is imaginary.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Smelly Smelly Tevas

My sandals stink!
Once they get wet, they stink like hell. Unfortunately, I wear them for kayaking and other outdoor stuff when Im too lazy to wear shoes.
Putting them in the sun doesnt help much. I tried soaking those buggers in Dettol and scrubbing the sole, the smell went away for a while, until I used them for kayaking again.
They just freaking stink!

Looks like I have to resort to soaking them in Dettol every 2 weeks or so.
All that Microban anti-microbial stuff is bullshit man... Doesnt work. Or maybe it worked in the beginning and doesnt last.

Monday, March 9, 2009

People skills!

The new club manager of Water-Venture Kallang is the latest of my encounters with WV staff that need to work on their people skills.
Since, she took over as manager, all emails she has sent to trainers have included a short threat to kick them out should they not fufill their minimum coaching quota for the year.
In her latest email, she invites trainers to attend a gathering with food and booze. Encouraging trainers to attend. Might seem like a harmless invite.
But she goes on to say:

As the saying goes.."out of sight, out of mind" this case it's out of the trainers attendance is STRONGLY encouraged!

These new generation of PA Staff seriously need to work on their people skills. This reminds me of the army where you are given options. You know, the kind of options where you get screwed no matter what you choose?

Oh yeah, she's gonna implement more guidelines too. Its just another fucking euphemism for RULES.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Different Methods

Coached a 1 Star course under Asian Detours today. This was my first time coaching for them and I have a feeling my teaching methods are quite different from theirs.

1st, the other instructor tried demonstrating a TX rescue to 18 students while they were not rafted up. On the 2nd try, the raft was so wide those at the ends could hardly see whats going on.

We split up after the demonstration and I took 9 kids with me. Unsure if they saw how the victim was supposed to re-enter the kayak, I did a demonstration again. I split them up into 3 groups and we started on the rescues.
My teaching style is to allow the kids to suffer a bit and experiment with what works instead of just telling them what to do from the start which would eliminate any authority on the rescuers part.
As you can guess, this might take some time...
Well, the other instructor managed to finish everything with her grp by the time I finished my first rotation.
The other instructor helped out with my group after she was done with hers. Perhaps with good intentions. But I felt it kinda messes things up and adds chaos. Especially when she just left her group hanging around.

I noticed the other instructor got the kids to demonstrate the skills one by one. I tried this once during my attachment and found that kids didnt like waiting for their turn to demonstrate the skill. Not only is it boring, it feels alot like school.

Maybe my teaching style is too casual and laidback. Its quite obvious I have a more lassier faire of coaching compared to most other coaches. Probably look like I couldnt care less. But I feel that it should be a chance for the kids to experiment. Most times the kids will tell me they cant do a TX rescue, but leave them alone long enough and they end up emptying the boat of water and performing the rescue.

Well, at the end of the day. Im glad the reluctant boy who didnt want to capsize and found 101 excuses to go back to shore had fun. And its also quite hard to forget the boy that cant stop singing and randomly spouting verses from songs like "baby, come back!"
So I guess there are some redeeming qualities about today.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Round 1 Fight!

Helped Cher to coach the first session of a 1 Star course for Bukit Panjang Govt High. The kids were a handful. They consisted of a bunch of Sec 1 boys trying to get into the school canoeing team and 6 NCC boys.
During the swim test, Cher got the boys to take off the lifevest and swim. Higher standard for future competitive canoeists? Non-swimmers were told to stay on shore and weak swimmers were identified and given until the next session to at least be able to swim a short distance.
This is the first time I have seen anyone do a swim test without lifevest. Heard of another incident with Mary when teaching a bunch of future canoe polo players.
Well, I guess it makes sense. These people would be a liability to their team if they cannot swim.

During the lunch break, Cher got me to bring the kids to lunch and there were fights between 2 pairs of boys. Go to lunch also must fight.
There was this annoying boy, most likely a 小霸王 . Who pissed off another boy and got a punch in return.
Then another 2 NCC boys started grabbing each other and I had to pull them apart. All this while walking to the food center in full view of public. So paiseh.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

1 Star Course for SIM Students

The SIM Canoeing club will be organising a 1 Star course on the 14th and 15th of March.
Only 20 slots are available. To book a slot, please email
Updates and more info will be posted on

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Water-Venture (Kallang) Course Forecast

March '09 to May '09


1 Star
7th & 8th
14th & 15th
21st & 22nd
15th & 29th

2 Star
14th, 15th & 22nd

3 Star Training Course
21st, 22nd, 28th & 29th

1 Star
11th & 12th
19th & 26st

2 Star
11th, 12th, 18th

1 Star
9th & 10th
23rd & 24th
17th & 31st

2 Star
10th, 16th & 17th

3 Star Training Course
9th, 10th, 16th & 17th

Please Note:
  1. Go to for info on cost.
  2. All courses are open to public, just providing info
  3. Information may be outdated by the time you view this, please check with Water-Venture to confirm

Leisure Paddling

Finally managed to do some leisure paddling, which meant I spent half the time rolling! (:
Kevin who had been posted to Taiwan for his National Service ORD-ed yesterday and asked me to paddle today.
His skills are now rusty from lack of practice. Sorta like when I went to gay beach with Aaron after I POP-ed. Couldnt catch up with him.
So to help him improve and at the same time clock some distance for the 4 Star kayaking course next year, we've sorta decided to paddle round Ubin at least once a week. Hopefully we can actually pull it off.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Busy Busy

I've been so busy with school and trainings that I've been putting aside my Greenland paddle and throwing stick projects.
Got reminded of these uncompleted projects when I saw Jun Bin paddling with a Greenland paddle yesterday. Will start on these projects first thing after my exams.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Tired of rushing

Training starts at 8.30am on Saturdays and my lectures begin at 2pm. Finding it a hassle to rush from training to school.
I end up being late and have no time to eat my lunch. So I've decided not to go for the Saturday training sessions and only go for the Sunday sessions.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


The time trials for MR500 was held yesterday. Wont be entering the finals with that sort of timing achieved.

For the T1, I finished the 500m sprint in 2:58, 5 seconds slower than Junsheng. Paired up with Jason for the T2 and finished in 2:48, 1 second behind the pairing of Junsheng and Nizam.
I lose stamina and speed after the first 200m and start to slow down, allowing the others to catch up.

Just for fun, I tried to do the 500m sprint in a K1, was unstable moving at sprinting speed and took 2:53 to complete.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Time Trials

The upcoming MR500 race regulations limits the number of participants a team can send for each category. Only 2 rowers are allowed per category.

So to select the best rowers, the team is conducting a time trial.

I am aiming to take part in the T1 category. However, Jun Sheng wants to take part in that too, meaning there's only one slot left. There was talk last night about getting Alex to try out for the T1 category too.
I will need to row hard to ensure I get that slot!

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Got my butt into a K1 again today. Balance was has improved since the last time I tried. Managed to paddle 6km and do some sprints. I did capsize twice though.

At the end of the training session, everyone who came down tried the K1, including Alex. That guy is incredible. He managed to balance in a K1 with just 5minutes of trying. 15minutes later, he was paddling around!!! Incredible lah.
The first time I tried a K1, I spent almost an hour on the beach just trying to balance.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Singapore Canoe Marathon 2009 Results

The SCF website is full of broken links. But you can download the results here

SCF finally released the results for the Singapore Canoe Marathon with adjustments made.
I missed a medal placing by 2minutes :( So close, yet so far.
But the timing of 1:29.35 is decent for a 14km paddle. Will just have to buck up.

Anyway, congrats to Sarah who came in 1st for the Women's T1 Novice category, Nizam and Jason for coming in 5th, Vincent and Alex for their 10th placing in the T2 Novice Mens category and Junsheng and Lex for coming in 9th for the K2 Novice Mens category.

The timing for this medal haul couldn't have been better. We've recently spoke to the Student Care Services manager who has agreed to get 6 kayaks for the team. More reason for them to get the boats now.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

When Your Best Just Isn't Good Enough

Well, well, more disappointments. Didn't manage to win anything for the SCM.
However, I did manage to keep up with the T2 pairing of Alex and Vincent for the first round which is quite a feat for me.
Also finished ahead of Sarah, which is a first.
So although I've come home empty-handed, I guess I've improved?

Its been said, it isn't all about winning, but winning sure would be nice. Feels worse when it seems that its so easy to get a medal in the T2 Novice and T1 Womens categories.

To quote Vincent "Try again next race".

I shall end this post with some smiling pics. Cant be all doom and gloom.

The racers

The SIM Canoeing Gang

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Early last year, I volunteered to take over Yizhen as SA Rovers' champion for a project with Touch Diabetes Support (TDS). This was not to be a one off event but rather a long term project to help TDS start up a Scout group.

Long story short, I unknowingly volunteered myself to be the overall champion from SA Rovers for this project. And instead of a Scout group, it turned out to be more of an activity group for diabetic kids and their siblings with some Scouting elements in the programme structure.

Today we organised a kayak orientation for the parents and kids. Winds were strong which meant most of the time was spent kayaking away from hazards. But thankfully everyone seemed to have fun. (phew!)

Many thanks to Kian Seng who runs Splashaxis, without him, this activity would not have been possible. He even helped out on a volunteer basis. He is also much better than me at dealing with kids!!!

Thanks also goes out to David, who came down to help run this activity. Apologies for not updating you on the change in venue.

Btw, some background knowledge.

TOUCH Diabetes Support (TDS) is a service of TOUCH Community Services, a not-for-profit charitable organisation was formed in 1992 to reach out to people living with insulin-treated diabetes. TDS offers a community of care and support made up of people and families living with diabetes, volunteer healthcare professionals and many who have a heart for this community.

Here's their contact details:
TOUCH Diabetes Support
Blk 149 Lorong 1, Toa Payoh, #01-943, Singapore 310149
Tel: 6252 2861 Fax: 6252 9695

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I've been feeling breathless the past few days. Can't believe my asthma is acting up days before the race.
Pre-race anxiety? Unlikely.
Probably due to the cold weather. The winds have been blowing hard and the nights have been cooler recently. The damned LT in school is also freezing. Can still feel cold even when Im wearing my windbreaker.

Singapore Canoe Marathon Goals

The SCM will be held on 11th Jan which is this Sunday at Kallang. I will be taking part in the T1 Novice Men category which is a short 14km paddle.
Targeted timing for this distance would be 1:35:00 and below. Probably wont be winning any medals with this kind of timing but will be an acheivement considering my lack of training.

Friday, January 2, 2009


It has become increasingly difficult to organise activities with PA. They used to be quite supportive in the past, but recently perhaps due to a change in personnel, there's been lots of red tape. All these restrictions hamper efforts to organise activities.

Things were much better back when Terry was around. Now everyone is kiasee and annoyed when they have to do extra. Seriously lah, 3/4 of the week is spent not doing anything in the office.

On top of that, trainers now have to start filling up rental forms when taking out the racing K1 or T1 boats. Sigh... Lost faith.