Saturday, May 1, 2010

The complete paddler

Among the rocks

Sometimes I hear musings on who is the best Newfoundland paddler. That is so subjective. Is it who is the fastest, most skilled etc. I prefer to think in terms of being a "complete" paddler, which is something to aspire towards.

So, what makes a complete paddler? Here's my list (and a reminder to myself):
  • ability to paddle in Paddle Canada level IV conditions;
  • close boat control in surf and rock gardens;
  • command of all paddle strokes;
  • competency in self and assisted rescues;
  • navigation skills;
  • good judgement and risk management;
  • seamanship;
  • leadership skills; and
  • weather prediction.
It doesn't look to be that long a list but there's lots under the surface of each bullet. I like to do a list like this from time to time as a reminder of what I still need to address. Its a good time too as the meat of the paddling season is right in front of us.

Now, I need to set a few goals for the summer!


  1. that is actually a very good list. I may tweak it and appropriate it - with your permission.


  2. Yes, help yourself PO. Its a fairly broad list that I didn't want to make too specific. Like, self rescue can include so many things from simple rolls to being able to roll with half a paddle taken off the fore or rear deck.

    Tony :-)

  3. That is so subjective indeed!

  4. The most complete paddler is Jim Price. Not merely can he do it it, but he has already done it! And he did so before the rest of us ever got our rear ends into a kayak.