Greetings -

I’m curious if anyone has found value in watching kayaking technique videos. By value I simply mean getting the most “bang for the buck”. The reason I ask is that Paddling.net is offering a set of five “University of the Sea” videos for $125.

Tim B.

Those are gr8!
Those plus Nigel Foster’s DVD set and you have a kayaking school in a box.

Now everyone can chime in about how one cannot learn kayaking from a DVD. But I didk and look at me, I’m almost a pro. If there was a pro kayaking division, I mean.

videos are fun, but
For that price you could get a half day of private instruction from a really good paddling coach. I don’t think any number of videos could come close to what you’d learn from a coach.

I find them valuable,
not a substitute for good instruction, but as a supplement. I frequently review The Kayak Roll and EJs Bracing and Rolling before I assist teaching rolling classes and often before I got to practice on my own. I particularly like some of EJs tips and use them when I’m working on my own roll.

Since I’m primarily an inland kayaker and don’t get to the coast frequently, I’ve found the surf videos from USK and others vendors to be helpful refreshers before I visit the coast.

I also periodically review safety and rescue videos and some of the directional control videos. All have some great tips and remind you of what you need to practice/work on.

So, no they aren’t a substitute for good instruction, but they are a wonderful supplement.


See what I mean, balassie.

love videos
I have no problem going out and learning what they show me on a video. Given the choice between a class and a video to show me something I want to work on, I personally would take the video. I imagine you have to try both for yourself to make the determination of which you prefer. There is the class argument of having someone right there to point out things you are doing of which you may not be aware. (I could make a list of pros and cons for both formats). But I have more time than money, I get enjoyment out of figuring things out, and I have turned video instruction into everyday paddling technique. (I suppose a person would have to paddle with me to assess the value of that statement.) I like to get out in the water and make adjustments until it works most effectively, keeping an awareness of what each part of my body is doing vs what was shown to me. That’s universally beneficial though. Neither a video nor a couple hours with an insructor form a truly learned paddling habit.

Got them

– Last Updated: Jan-27-09 8:13 PM EST –

They are great. I had them shipped to Canada for about 35 per video with duty etc... Could not find them for sale in Canada. Have watched them and I am very happy with the quality although they are a bit dated. The videos give you advise to right down a list of skills to work on when doing your water sessions. I do agree with the advise that taking lessons from a certified instructor is the best, but this gives you a good start and a place to review in the off season. I give them 10 out 10.

This is the sea 2 and 3 seem to have a lot of repeat footage. I highly reccommend videos. I really liked brent reitz and greg barton’s

Did you buy any dvd’s yet? I’m looking to do the same but have no idea which ones to buy. I don’t want to waste money. Thanks

Basics DVDs
are good IMO, but you will likely outgrow them quickly. My advice would be to try an rent these, or maybe buy and then resell once you find them of less value. My local dealer rents DVDs and videos. Maybe dealers or clubs in your area do the same. Many DVDs will give you plenty of information that you can use to hone your skills over time. I like some of the Nigel Foster series, some from the University of Sea Kayaking and several others. Directional Control, Essential Strokes and Forward Stroke from the Nigel Foster series are good for technique development. You might also find one on rescues and recoveries useful.


I’m with wetz.

– Last Updated: Feb-14-09 11:02 AM EST –

I think the USK Series and the Nigel series are best, and some within the series are more informational than others. Hard to find on loan or rent, though, so buy and use and enjoy and pass along to family and kids, or resell on eBay where they actually fetch almost your initial investment in them.

I have Intermediate Sea Kayaking video by Peter Casson, which is truly outstanding, and rescues vid. All gr8!

Here's Peter's DVD reviews (not available on Pnet)

Here's the rescues one that Bohemia turned me on to; I like it (but Wayne H's USK rescues is superb also):

Key is: buy a DVD for $25-30 bucks, always can sell for at least $15, and maybe $20. Cheap lesson, really.

different questions
I’ve gotten a lot out of DVDs, but can only recommend Nigel Foster DVD #3. Haven’t seen the ones you’re talking about. If it’s Wayne Horodowich, they’re a little slow.

agree and disagree
There’s nothing like the instant feedback of personal instruction, but if you’re anything like me your brain cells/memory have only a certain half life. With DVDs, on the other hand, you’re able to play them over, again and again, and assimilate the “rules” over time. Basketball players who close their eyes and visualize shooting freethrows have a higher freethrow average than those who just practice at the freethrow line alone. In the same way, I think watching good kayakers doing things right helps. Like baby bird watches mommy bird. If you’ve had kids, you’ll know what I mean. Mimicry is hardwired into us, it would seem.

said perfectly

Need to figure out how this board works …

Anyway, thanks to all who responded to my post (and previous posts, for that matter). I haven’t yet purchased any DVDs, as I just spent some cash on a drysuit.

I will repost with reviews if I can get hold of some in a timely manner.

Thanks again,

Tim B.