This weekend I got back in a kayak after taking the pool classes at Meyers. My adventure started Friday when I went to rent the kayak. There was no need to make a reservation, I don’t think they wrote down what I needed. I did get a practically new medium Pyranha burn, 198cm paddle, spray skirt with super cockpit and large tunnel, fairly beat up PFD and practically new helmet. I was also able to rent a spray top. Loading it onto the car was fairly easy and it was secure the entire ride home. I looked into fleece pants, but given that I was wearing a wetsuit, that would have been overkill.
The drive out to Bear Creek Lake was easy enough and I did not forget anything except sunscreen. In the future, I also want to have a car key on a carabiner to stash in my pfd. We went around and made introductions. Nick and Leslie taught the other class which was a little larger than ours. We reviewed gear and then headed out onto the water.
Front stroke – keep paddle vertical and stroke close to the boat
Sweep stroke – swing paddle wider for correction
?? stroke – enter the paddle just behind hip and stroke in to pull tail of boat in that direction for correction
Getting into an eddy – start sweep stroke to initiate turn and then front stroke aggressively
We also talked about degrees of tilt, (1) wallet, (2) engage opposite knee, and (3) engage core.
Finally we talked about safety and grabbing the rock to keep water pressure from sinking your boat, avoiding foot entrapment, self rescue, reading the river, avoiding manmade and natural hazards. The instructors at Colorado Whitewater are incredible and the classes included a lot of really fun people.
Between the pool class and flat water session several individuals had purchased boats and quite a bit of gear. 3 of the 4 instructors and several students had dry suits. One guy even had pogies for his paddle.
As we were wrapping up the class decided to go to the South Platte near C-470. I considered joining them, but felt more comfortable returning my rental and calling it a day. I was concerned about the weather and starting to lose my fascination with kayaking. It was a lot of fun and I could actually control my boat by the end of the day.
As day two was postponed, there is a credit on my account at Golden River Sports. Hopefully I can get the same set up for the make-up session whether that is an after work session or a weekend session possibly on the Poudre River.
If I were to purchase gear, I would start with PFD as the rental was safe, but not as comfortable as I would have liked. Everything else was perfectly acceptable rental equipment and met my expectations entirely. Golden River Sports is a great company and really patient with beginners like myself.