Sunday, May 27, 2012

hybrid paddle.. prototype #1

Crossover technology in action. Here is Izzy showing how garden technology can be used to save a broken paddle

Paddles do break, joints come loose, and the usual repair is to stick them together to make a one piece paddle. Now with a simple garden pipe connector you can keep your paddle as a 2 piece, and then the possibilities are endless..

Some time ago in rough water, my storm paddle that I keep on my deck was broken . I kept the parts, because I never throw anything away, I always think that someday I will be able to use them. Yesterday was one of those days when an idea came to me.

Heres my answer to anybody who wants to try out the Greenland paddle but does not want to commit to its use, my new hybrid Greenland Euro paddle using Izzy`s garden hose connector. This is a prototype and will be tested on the water soon. Remember you saw it here first.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

more nonsense and rolling the double

The warm water and mild conditions are perfect for nonsense playing and rolling, maybe the champagne had something to do with it too.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Guys New kayak

Guy launched his new Night Heron this morning

After inspection and approval

We went down to the water, the kayak is amazing and only weighs about 18kg

No sitting on the scratchy beach for this one, launching and landing from the water only, for now anyway until the first few scratches

The ultimate test, how does it perform on the water..

Rightfully proud owner and builder.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

learning to surf

Learning to surf a sea kayak, or just to survive the surf zone is a vital skill and the time spent in rough water is well worth it. For starters your braces improve, then your balance and your rolling skills get better too. This gives you confidence when paddling as conditions can change pretty fast out there.Whenever you can I suggest you get out and play in the soup or surf, there`s only one way to learn and that by getting out there and getting wet. A good instructor is helpful but the time spent is what gets you there, and its a lot of fun too.
Today we had great surf, advanced surfers went out to the Rock for the serious stuff and the beginners stayed close to shore.
The day ended with Arak wine and olives back at the club, great way to start the weekend.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

this is the roll, maybe

Learning to roll is a lot of fun, there are lots of aides out there, Justine's  DVD is great  and so is Helen's, but what ever you use to learn there`s no substitute to getting our there on the water and practicing. Then when you think you have it  you go home  only to find that next time you're on the water its lost again. This is natural and it takes a while for  the roll to become instinctive. Here we see a couple of Optimists at the beginning of the learning curve, and Zohar practicing with half a paddle then failing, staying underwater, joining the paddle together and rolling .It seems like shes underwater for ages, but shes calm and comfortable in this position and makes it look easy.  Videos can help you troubleshoot your roll, you can see all your mistakes like that stupid head trying to get up first instead of last.

Friday, May 18, 2012

sunset is a sunrise in reverse

Its the weekend again and off to a great start with a skills lesson on Thursday evening.
The lesson was on turning with stern rudders and bow rudders, both good techniques to get to know.

The Channel of Death was cooperating nicely, not too aggressive, but just right for beginners to play in

As the sun went down we played among the rocks practicing those tight turns .

Here you can see how tight the turn needs to be in order not to get stuck on the rock, you also need to be quick enough to get out before the surge sucks all the water out leaving you in the channel of water between the rocks.

What a great way to end the working week, an evening paddle as the sun goes down is good for the soul.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

surfski competitions

My question is this,
What are competitions good for?
Are we competitive by nature?
Why do we often decline to compete, even at a fun level?
I am sure that all of us at some time or another have been invited to compete in some event or another, we either say yes gladly or decline saying we are not competitive.
The fear of losing is a strong  motivator, no one wants to loose but in competition there is only one winner, that's the nature of the game.If we are obsessive about winning it can be a bad thing as for sure sometimes we will win and sometimes not, and the sooner we learn that loosing is not the end of the world the better off we will be.
The advantages of competition are myriad.
It encourages you to do your best and to improve
It teaches you to set a goal and not give up against the odds
You can always learn something positive , about yourself or your sport
You may win and take home a trophy
It can be a lot of fun.
Last week some of our Optimists took part in the European surfski championships in Spain. We have only had surfskis for about a year and only a handful of our paddlers have taken to them. In fact in Israel its a new sport but from whats happening its going to grow very quickly.
Back to Spain, our team spent a week there, learning and paddling with the worlds best surfski paddlers  and did pretty well in the competition considering that they are new to the sport and amateurs at that.
Two of our lady paddlers were the only ones in their class and therefore by default brought home 2 Gold medals, this may  sound unfair but consider that they trained, traveled and competed to the best of their ability, and if no one else wants to compete then they deserve their medals.
The men also acquitted themselves very well and all things considered put on a very good show

Most importantly they had a lot of fun and had a great learning experience, this helped them in their next competition held this last weekend in Israel.
The Fantastic Optimists took 5 medals in the Surfski Competition
Well done team Optimist, and good luck for the next one.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

wekend fun

Skills lessons have begun again now that we are on Summer time and on Thursday I managed to finish work in time to get to the beach for the lesson. Not much needs to be said when paddling out to sea at sunset.

Friday morning found us at Rosh Hanikra at the northern border paddling with the SUP`S who had come to take part in the weekend competition for swimmers SUP`S and surfskis

What a way to finish a great day, supper beer and surfing movies

Sat morning we went exploring the rocky shores, here Racheli finds a sea cucumber

Muli going past the fishermen



makes great reflections

Surfskis getting ready

As we were not part of the races we went to see the other islands in the area.More about the competition in my next blog , just to say that the paddlers from Optimist took home 5 medals, details and photos to come soon

Thursday, May 10, 2012

teach your children well

Look whats available for your small kids, this from Spain where some of our  Optimists were taking part in the surfski competition. I love seeing small kids on the water with their parents, its a great way to introduce them to the sport and the younger the better. This picture  was sent to me by Rachel Einav one of our Optimists .

Racheli also sent me this one showing a variety of Inuit  paddles. As you can see there is a lorge variation in styles and as my wife said when she saw all the paddles, "looks like you can paddle with anything you like"
I guess that just about sums it up, you can really paddle with anything you like, its just a matter of learning to use the stick of choice and practicing with it. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

always fun at the optimist kayak club

Greenland paddles are beginning to be seen on the water

This morning we went westwards to the depths of the ocean

We lost sight of land for a while on the way back due to the haze. It was a good day to practice rolling and then when we got back to the beach......

Saturday, May 5, 2012

boys and toys

The weekend paddles are getting crowded now that summer is on the horizon. We have 2 groups that go out on Fridays and Saturdays, the first at 7am the second at 9.30.We also give lessons to newcomers and then they join the group and learn on the go.
One of our routes is North to Jisser a Zarka, an Arab fishing village about 6km up the coast. You can either make a sprint for it if you are into fitness, or you can meander up through the rocks and past ancient Cesearea. Either way its a pleasant outing .
Today Kobi Keren brought his new GOPRO video camera and made a nice video of the outing from his point of view. I was luck to appear in the movie a couple of times, once at the beginning and then at the end while helping Eyal with his roll.
We have a new movie mogul in the making, go Kobi go.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

this is the roll, get it right away and shorten your learning curve.

I remember learning to roll , it took me a long long time and was painful.
One lesson in particular stays in my memory, it was February, winter and very cold. Back then we did not have the proper clothing for cold water and cold weather.
 We also did not know any better, we were total beginners.
Our Instructor that day was a lady called Verka, she came from a whitewater background and tried to get us rolling without much success. All I remember was the intense cold and painful hands from the wind.
Since then we have come a long way, firstly we do our rolling lessons in warmer water and weather.
Secondly we now have better teaching aides,and with the popularity of  Greenland style paddles and rolling  experts , it makes learning to roll and teaching the roll a whole lot easier.
The latest teaching aide to come my way is Justines DVD, This is the Roll with Cheri Peri and Turner.
I love Justines This is the Sea Series, and watch them over and over while I ride my spinning bike. Now she has made this rolling DVD which has been making waves on the internet for a while.
Its a great learning experience watching  and makes it all look soooooo simple and easy
For those of us teaching rolling its full of info and tips that will make our lessons more efficient, and for those learning to roll it offers invaluable advice and tips. Of course getting out on the water is the only way to really learn, but watching the DVD first a few times can answer a lot of the questions that first time rollers ask.
If you haven`t yet seen the movie I highly recommend getting it and watching it a few times before going out and practicing your rolls.