Friday, December 2, 2011

Water-Venture Pasir Ris Walkabout

Water-Venture Pasir Ris is located at 125 Elias Road. There is only one bus service that plys that route and the frequency can be quite slow at around 20minutes or so.
To get there, you can take bus service 403 from Pasir Ris Interchange and alight after the roundabout in Pasir Ris Park.
Personally, I prefer to cycle there from my home in Hougang.

Public Service Sports Carnival at Marina Barrage

The view at 7.15am from the middle of Marina Reservoir

Helped out in the water sports try out booth by Water-Venture at the Public Service Sports Carnival on the 26th of November.
There was dragonboating and kayaking. There was quite a number of people coming to paddle, which I honestly didn't expect.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Kayaking Ubin Mangroves with new friends

A friend of mine just completed his 2 star course a few weeks back and so we decided to go on a short journey.

Why did the paddler cross the road?

The river mouth

He invited 2 friends along so we made the trip with a total of 4 paddlers including myself. Starting from Water-Venture Pasir Ris, we headed over to the southern end of Ubin and entered the mangroves from the MCC Ubin Resort side. Took us 4hrs to complete the journey which is a decent amount of time for newbies to complete 14km in Perception Dancers.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Water-Venture Bedok Reservoir

Main entrance

Went down to Water-Venture's Bedok Reservoir for the first time today to conduct orientation programmes. Quite a nice place and it takes about 45minutes to travel there from my home.

I like the fact that the launch site for the recreational boats and the racing kayaks are separate. No issue of helpless newbie paddlers getting in the way of racers and being yelled at.

Friday, August 26, 2011

1 Star for SIM Canoeing Club

Picture by Rayyan

Taught a 1 Star group who signed up through the SIM Canoeing Club on 20-21 August. Its not often that I teach adult groups, but when I do get the chance, they tend to be more fun to teach.

Had a great weekend even though I was recovering from a runny nose.

Kind of coincidental that one of the participants is in my Buyer Behaviour class too!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Kolam Ayer CC River Vista Kayaking Clinic Review

In my last blog post, I blogged about a trip where I led a group of paddlers from Kolam Ayer CC's River Vista Kayaking Centre to the Marina Barrage. It was a fun trip with grandparents and kids paddling together.

Kolam Ayer CC runs the centre and organises kayak orientation programmes led by qualified instructors every 1st Saturday of the month.
While I applaud the initiative to start this kayak centre and organise activities for the residents, I find that it is a waste of time for anyone to join the monthly kayak orientation programmes.

Why is this so?

This is because the demarcated area for paddling is very small. Even with the qualifed instructors present as guides, the management from Kolam Ayer CC does not allow paddlers to go out of the demarcated area.
This would not be a problem if the boundary is big. However, during the last orientation programme I was involved in, it took a bunch of newbies 20 minutes to paddle from one end to the other. Participants pay $18 for a 3hours session, but the place is so small you would get bored in under an hour.

Im guessing the management from Kolam Ayer CC simply took the idea of a demarcated area from Water-Venture and implemented it without considering if it makes sense to apply it to their kayak centre.
Water-Venture allows unsupervised and unguided rentals of kayaks, having a demarcated area helps them limit where these people can wander. On the other hand, Kolam Ayer CC only opens up the centre once a month for guided orientation programmes.

If anyone is considering paddling there I'd rather you go to Water-Venture Kallang, located at 4876 Beach Road. They are open everyday except Mondays and you get to paddle freely, without a guide in a much bigger area.
Rental costs $15 for 2 hours. Or if you sign up for their bundled PAssion card and Water-Venture membership, it will only cost you $7.
For more details on membership and rates, check out

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Opening up of waterways: River Vista to Marina Barrage trip

Setting off from River Vista

Kolam Ayer CC has set up a kayak shed complete with toilets and shower facilities at the River Vista HDB estate at 38B Bendemeer Road #01-812.
You can get to paddle in the waterways that were beautified and opened up as part of the ABC Waters programme.
Paddlers used to be able to paddle all the way to the end of the Singapore River for a similar experience but authorities put a stop to it. So right now, this is probably as close as you would get to paddling in Amsterdam's canals.
Inside Marina Reservoir

Marina Barrage

The trip to Marina Barrage was a Kolam Ayer CC Active Aging activity which coincided with International Water Week. It was nice to see grandparents/parents and grandchildren/children paddling together.

More pictures here

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Kayaking Ubin Mangrove (K.U.M)

Not as narrow as the usual mangrove routes

Finally headed up to Ubin's mangrove for the first time in a year yesterday. With me were mostly new kakis who I've never really paddled with.
I also paddled in a Perception Dancer for what I think may be my first time in 4 years! I really dont like that boat, its so cramp!
I got the group going in circles for about 15 minutes because I forgot the route. The last time I paddled here was in June 2010! That's a year ago!
We eventually got on track and completed the entire journey in 4hours and 10min. Not bad for a group of out of practice paddlers.

Very wide entrance

Highest tide was 2.6m, more than enough clearance in the mangrove

Local resident

Remnants of an old sluice gate

Rest of the pictures here

Friday, May 27, 2011

Astral LDB

New piece of equipment, the Astral LDB.
Discontinued model which I think has been replaced by the Astral Nova.

Initial impressions:
  • simple to adjust
  • does not ride up
  • comfy
  • adequate buoyancy
  • pockets a bit tight
  • kind of bulky in the front
  • no idea how durable is the mesh
Havent used it much, but Im happy with it so far. The 3 straps on the side make for simple adjustment and Im able to adjust it to fit snugly without the PFD riding up when Im floating in the water.
The LDB does not require me to tighten it very tightly to prevent it from floating up which makes it comfortable.
However, the pockets dont hold much. A bottle of sun block and some chocolate bars will take up all the space available. Also, to make up for the reduced flotation at the back, the front is a bit more bulky. Although I dont find it obstructive so far.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Paddle Culture under new management

Taken off the PCI website:

"Wu You has purchased all paddling assets, copyright, trademarks to Paddle Culture International PTE LTD (PCI) as of 12-Mar-11 but not PCI itself. Our coaches would continue to support this new paddling player in the industry as they venture forth from therapy into overall wellness. For matters 2010 & before, please contact your previous liaisons."

They will pay you $5 if a course is cancelled, however, there has been at least one instance where they have used a coach's name and certification number without his knowledge to print certificates for a course he did not conduct. This resulted in the coach almost having his certification revoked.
Coaches should beware.

Crack down

Looks like the MOE is getting serious about uncertified coaches conducting 1 Star kayaking courses. I have already conducted 2 courses where the students are retaking the course because the instructor was not certified the previous time they had taken it.
I was told that one of the operators was Camelot running out of HomeTeam NS and another was SAFYC Sembawang.

To all certified coaches out there, I'd be wary about coaching for SAFYC. They only have 10 single slaloms, 8 dancers and some doubles. You are expected to conduct the 1 Star course using a mix of doubles and singles and swap around so everyone gets a chance to use a single.
I was told it was not possible to have 22 singles for a class of 20 students and 2 instructors as they did not have enough boats. Fortunately only 12 students turned up and I was able to convince them to allow the use of the dancers which are reserved for 2 star.
All of them had no knee braces installed and some were broken at the middle where the deck is screwed down to the seat.
In addition, the PFDs they provided had missing straps and were torn with the foam exposed.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

More Jurong Lake pictures

Took a bunch of Primary 5 kids for an orientation programme at Jurong Lake that stretched over a period of 5 weeks and decided to take some pictures on the last session.

Uncle Lau, my partner for the sessions

The usual pagoda shot

Kids posing for a pic

Trying to recreate the scene from Titanic

Obligatory standing up shot

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Chaco Z/1 Unaweep Review

Last April, my Teva sandals broke after 2 years of abuse. Shortly after, they were replaced by a pair of Chaco Z/1 Unaweep sandals. They were my first ever Chaco sandals and having used them for 10 months, I've decided to give them a quick review.

I've used this sandals in muddy and sandal conditions. They have been used while cycling, kayaking and just walking around town. They've even followed me to the Philippines and the Maldives.

Things I liked:
  • Good grip
  • Arch support is awesome
  • Sole is thick, feels like a shoe
  • Simple buckle
Things I didnt like:
  • Abrasion on big and last toe, even without the toe loops. Only slightly better than the toe loop version.
  • Straps are harder to adjust compared to my previous Teva
  • Straps are not as soft and comfy as my previous Teva
  • The portion of the strap that rubs against my big toe are fraying
  • Takes longer to dry than my Teva
  • Fairly heavy
Bottom line:

I'll probably get another pair if this one is worn out. The simple buckle reduces the point of failures on the sandals and the arch support provided by these Chacos are just wonderful.
However, I cant believe that the strap is fraying! Personally, I find it weird that its the part of the strap which rubs against my toe that is fraying. Is my skin really that abrasive?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Water-Venture early closure

The PA Water-Venture outlets will be closed earlier at 4pm on the eve of Chinese New Year, Wednesday, 2 February 2011. Last rental would be at 1pm.

All Water-Venture Outlets will be closed during the Chinese New Year Holidays on 3 and 4 February 2011, and reopen on Saturday, 5 February 2011.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Water-Venture Opening Hours

Water-Venture Opening Hours
  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday - Sunday: 0930 - 1800hrs
  • Open on all public holidays
    (Except Chinese New Year, Deepavali, Hari Raya Puasa, Christmas and National Day)
Directions and contact numbers for the various clubs can be found at:

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I helped to conduct a 1 star course for X-Current for the first time last week. X-Current is part of Exponent Asia and they are based in Kallang Watersports Center where they store their own equipment.

They use a mix of Dag, RTM and Eskimo boats with Feelfree and TNP paddles.

As usual, I find having to launch and recovery from a small pontoon very inconvenient especially when you are dealing with a big group. Its such a waste of time.
I wouldnt mind taking a class there if the participants are older and the group size is limited to 20. However, I find that I have to work harder for the pay here and lunch breaks are only 30min long.

Oh well, its just another option.