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Discontinued model which I think has been replaced by the Astral Nova.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.