Canoeing Development on the River Dee

I actually got the chance to do some skills development of my own today! I don’t get that much opportunity, so it was great to spend the day on the River Dee with fellow instructor Colin Crockart.

Colin and I are both looking to move our paddling qualifications further along the BCU’s scheme, and today offered each of us a chance to develop appropriate skills. Whilst I am looking to work on my own paddling, Colin is wanting to develop his coaching skills and techniques. So spending a day with Colin coaching me was good value for both of us.

We met up in the drizzle at The Old Mill site, just upstream of Llangollen to plan our day. Rather than spend time shuttling vehicles, we opted to simply work on the stretch of river accessible from The Old Mill. At most places, just using a couple of hundred meters of river would not offer much in the way of variety. However, there is a surprising amount on offer here which is why it’s become so popular, attracting paddlers from long distances.

Over the course of the day, we worked on fine tuning skills and techniques such as ferry gliding (concentrating on getting the speed, angle and edge of the canoe right), eddie turns, making adjustments to my bow cut and experimenting with reverse ferry gliding.

I certainly found it a really helpful day, but need to make time to get out and practice on my own to get things embedded properly. Thanks for your input Colin – much appreciated!

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