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558 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Okay, so it seems like the word is getting out that I do ACA instructor courses and Swiftwater Rescue courses. Here is my current schedule:

ACA Instructor Certification:
April 12-14th, cost $200/person. Location (front range)- contact me to sign up for this one. 303-809-8942
May 11-13th in vail. Contact Alpine Qwest Sports to sign up for this one.
June 3-5th in crested butte/gunnison. contact 3-Rivers Resort to sign up.

Swiftwater Rescue:
Women only: April 19(evening dryland) and April 21st (full day river)
April 26th (evening dryland) and April 28th (full day river)- only 2 spots left
cost is $150/person. location is most likely foxton or waterton (S. Platte river)
July 28th and 29th: Advanced Rescue class. contact CWWA to sign up for this one. I will be teaching this class with Mike Mather. Will be a great course for class IV and V boaters.
August 4-5th: Contact CWWA to sign up for this one.

A $50 deposit is required to reserve a spot in a class. You can send it to the address below. Just be sure to send it with a note of what you are signing up for and your contact information. If you need to contact me, feel free to email or call. Email is usually the most reliable, since I am in the moving process.

This is all I have scheduled at this point. If you have a group that wants to do a class, please let me know and I can set up a custom class for you.

Nick Wigston
[email protected]
54 Hummingbird Lane
Golden CO 80403

54 Posts
the dates for the first course, april 12-14, are a thursday through saturday. im just wondering if these are correct because it seemed more logical to have the class on friday through sunday. i just realized that the final class is sunday through tuesday though. id like to attend the first class but have obligations all day thursday. it is all on water or are there some class hours. what is the format of the class like and what would i end up with? thanks for the info

558 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Well, generally it is a 4 day class, from 9:30 to 4pm. I made it three day with significantly longer days. The class material is the same as the four day. I had feedback from past students that said it would be more convenient to do it in three days instead of four. If it is more convenient for everyone to do friday through sunday, I can change it. I wanted to leave sunday open so I could do a SWR class on that day.

Flounderbouy- if you are serious about taking the class let me know. I'll contact the other students and try and change it if it works for them. Some people are coming from wyoming and Utah, so they may need sunday to drive home.

Christine-how many people do you want to get certified? If you have enough, we could do a separate class for you guys. maybe flounder could join in on that one if it is more convenient.

Course content:
We'll have all this online soon enough, but here it is in a nutshell

day 1 (lake):
different gear and how to use it
wet exit
beginner lake progression. We will work on basic technique and master it. Each student will teach portions of the class and receive feedback from me and the rest of the class.

We will learn teaching methods and practice them. I tend to focus on having the class teach as much as possible so that you get a lot of practice as an instructor. It also helps to implant the information in your head.

I will also teach advanced technique to improve your skills as a paddler. I teach a lot of edge control and advanced carving techniques for eddy turns, peel outs, ferries, and surfing. As well as some advanced paddle and strokework.

Rolling: we will work on hipsnaps, T-rescues, and rolls. Each student will master the CtoC and the Sweep roll and learn how to teach it. I suggest watching Kent Ford's video (The Kayak Roll) beforehand.

Day 2 and 3: (on river)
Basic beginner river maneuvers such as ferries, peel outs, eddy turns, and basic surfing. Each student will master these techniques and learn how to teach them. Each student will teach several portions of the class on moving water and receive feedback from the class.

Basic safety: t-rescues in moving water, rescuing boats and swimmers, using throw bags, basic on-river communication and strategy.

Advanced technique: We will learn several advanced river maneuvers to improve paddling skills. Specific skills will depend on the skill level of the class, but everyone is guaranteed to improve their paddling skills over the three days.

I have done a lot of these classes, and my students have ranged from beginner/intermmediate paddlers to expert class V boaters. Every student has left the class a better boater than they were on day 1.

I am not one of those people who thinks that there is one way to paddle. I believe the opposite, there are many types of good paddling technique and I am always open to suggestions. A slalom boater is going to have different technique than a playboater or a creeker or a river runner, etc. etc. etc. The most important thing is that you learn to adapt your technique to help out a student or to accommodate for a certain situation. eg: you may need to change your forward stroke technique from a low volume creek to a large volume river. If you try to do a fully vertical slalom forward stroke on a shallow creek, you will most likely nail a rock with your paddle and miss your line, or flip over, or worse. Or if you are on the Zambezi and you try to do a sharp eddy turn, you'll most likely end up being squirted or sucked into the 15' wide swirly eddy line.
Or in a teaching situation, you may have a student who is not flexible enough to learn a CtoC roll. A sweep roll will work better for them, or maybe even EJ's roll. As an instructor, you should be able to adapt your own technique to help any student.

Anyway, I'm rambling. I'll get into this more during the class. Thanks for the interest everyone.



301 Posts
Hey Nick!
I think i can round up probably 5-6 people for the course. I was hoping we could do it on april 6th-8th... we (CU/CSM compete in the Ice Breaker...we have to, to get funding from the university and that is on the 14-15. We can use our pool for the flat water stuff on wed/ friday if we need too from 7-10.
Maybe others wanna join in with us as well.
um, let me know if you think that it may work.
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