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Old 04-14-2012   #1
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 75
Did Instructor Training help your boating?

Did instructor training has help you as a paddler? How exactly? Do you feel like you learned a framework for better understanding paddling technique, theory, and safety? I am curious because I am preparing my instructor development and certification courses for this spring, and want to tweak my curriculum for the best long term effect.

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Old 04-14-2012   #2
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 22
YES!!!!!!!!! I have never done any formal instruction since taking the class, but the class was the best thing I've ever done for my growth as a paddler. Learning basic skills and drills, safety, and teaching techniques, from the best instructor on the planet , what more could you ask for? All the parts of the class were helpful. Everyone, not just people who want to be instructors, should take this course if they want to be a better and smarter paddler. I can't think of anything I'd change about the course. Maybe not the feedback you're looking for, but it's all I's got. You do a great job, Kent, and so it's not too surprising to me that you're still looking to improve. Keep up the good work. The planet is much better off with you a part of it.

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Old 04-14-2012   #3
MT4Runner's Avatar
Kalispell, Montana
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,436
I got my sea kayak instructor's certification back in '02. It didn't specifically improve my boating skills, but absolutely made me a more well-rounded paddler. I did get a bit more refined in my techniques, since you want to model good body movements for your students. You'll inevitably pick up some tips and tricks from other students.

It improved my communication and instruction skills A LOT! I am an engineer by training and by personality, and forcing myself to learn to teach another human to perform a technique--when they have different learning and spatial skills than me--was an incredible asset.
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Old 04-14-2012   #4
Flying_Spaghetti_Monster's Avatar
Farmington, Utah
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 707
I take my Level 4 Kayak Instructor class in May at the NOC. I will post back, but from everything I here Kayak Instructing helps kayak technique.
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Old 04-15-2012   #5
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 75
Originally Posted by tea View Post
YES!!!!!!!!! I have never done any formal instruction since taking the class, but the class was the best thing I've ever done for my growth as a paddler.
Thanks Tea! I've got courses in Salida, Durango, Missoula, and Portland this year if you know anyone interested. - Cheers Kent
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Old 04-15-2012   #6
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,408
Got my initial kayak WW instructor certification with John Brennan as the I/T from 4 Corners Marine back in the Nancy Wiley days.

Done updates with Mary DeRiemer, Gordon Black and others over the years.

Every time I get to do a clinic, I come away with more knowledge than when I started the clinic.

The training in presentation, how to coach others and research in paddle technique has helped me personally analyze and improve my own skill set, as well as helping me help others learn about our sport.

Finally, the people I have met and places I have visited over the years have made my getting into kayak instructor certification one of the most fun and rewarding things I have ever done.

I have seen kayak instruction evolve from the early years at NOC to now. I think ACA training techniques have moved forward with the times and don't have much to offer as far as needed changes. Just keep on the excellence I see going on at places like NOC and 4 Corners River Sports and our sport will continue to prosper.

Bottom line if a boater wants to give something back to the sport and have tons of fun at the same time - check into ACA's many certification programs.
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Old 04-15-2012   #7
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 3
ACA instructor training has improved and focused my kayaking. I certified with Miah Wheeler, and recertified with Miah and other instructors since. It would be impossible to separate my understanding of technique, theory and safety from Miahs and I am deeply grateful. His influence has altered CWs practices as well as mine. I have suggested half a dozen people take the ACA instructor training because of Miah. They have changed the club.
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Old 04-15-2012   #8
Park City, Utah
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 6
The ACA course I took did help my paddling. Learning proper technique was probably the most beneficial thing I took from the course. Specifically for me:
-edge control
-turning strokes
-forward stroke
-boat control using either edging, paddle strokes or combination of both

Learning on my own, I felt like I didn't have a good idea what I was doing on the water and taking the course changed that. I remember paddling the Upper Yough with a friend who is a pro and he spent the entire three mile paddle-in warming up and practicing drills with many of the same things we did in the course. That made a big impression on me. I'm curious to know what the advanced course is like as we spent a lot of time on entry-level things that I was already comfortable with like basic river safety and teaching theory.
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Old 04-16-2012   #9
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 311
My instructor training saved my life. Years ago I started Fort Collins Kayak School and taught for three years. On that fateful day I missed the boof and got struck in the Toilet Bowl on Gore Canyon. After a 45 second throbulation trying to be one of the few who paddled out of the Bowl, panic ensued as my oxygen ran out. I desperately tried to wet exit by leaning back and sliding out. After my legs became entrapped trying to exit the wrong way my instructor training angel reminded me that a proper wet exit entails a forward lean accompanied by pushing on the cockpit with my hands. Well that worked. Once out I had grabbed my PDF with my thumbs by my armpits and only had energy to paddle towards the light with the movement of my fingers. My first breath echoed through the canyon.

If you really want to learn something.......teach it.
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Old 04-16-2012   #10
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,408
If you really want to learn something.......teach it."

Agreed, 100 percent true!

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