Though gone from BCU syllabus...

why would you assume from a distance that someone falling out of their boat repeatedly was not a beginner?

and how does that reflect on the training being offered by the coach/instructor? aren’t you supposed to coach and instruct people to NOT fall outta their boats?

in theory. but…and a BIG BUT (and I know a few of them!) it’s quite different for people who don’t practice it and/or have a boat NOT designed to go well in reverse. and BTW there’s a bunch of 'em out there!


Canoes are fun!
Hey - 20202 - silly you - canoes are fun!

I thought I was just going to endure it in my recent Level 1 training/assesment. BUT I found I loved it. Would love to have the time to play around in a canoe along with the kayak but alas, pushed it to the back burner for awhile.

We were using the equivalent of a recreational canoe for the assessment but and the goal is to be able to go forward, backward sideways and perform a rescue. Nothing exotic. Think doing those same things in a rec kayak, that’s it.

I am a bit busy now with work and training but I think I have a sweet canoe in my future!


Who’s saying they’re not?
Lots of things are fun.

By that logic, maybe the BCU would consider adding some stuff on cooking/dining? Maybe some relationship and sex ed components too?

While I can’t speak for anyone else on this, I certainly enjoy practice and some experimentation in both of those areas. Besides, we all know how the Brit’s are World renowned for their cuisine and romantic prowess :wink:

Certs? Aren’t those sort of like minty Lifesavers candies with the holes filled in? Guess those really could come in handy if my suggestions were adopted.

About that reverse thing
Many go fine in reverse, they just like to go straight.

Long LWL can make it more interesting. Pintail, cheating. QCC700 - doable but gonna take a little more practice to make it look graceful.

If I’m not mistaken, it’s also not “anything goes” with strokes, as that’s far lees challenging. Must be certain strokes only, no?

It was obvious that the guy was…
a absolute beginner.

The others were not.

I knew the instructor.

Sorry to hurt a few of you paddlers feelings.

I kind of figured I would get a few responses like this.

And for the guy above that implied I was watching from a distance, try about 30 feet!

The beach area is only about ten or fifteen feet wide, and we were waiting patiently to launch our kayaks.



Backwards boat control
Hard to figure out what this is all about. Who ever denigrated the “old “ backwards figure of 8? I never heard it denigrated.

The new BCU system has plenty of backwards boat handling. You won’t go far unless you demonstrate ability to control your boat, on edge, in reverse.

I just did the new 2* and 3*, and didn’t find the canoe work to be any impediment at all. I don’t own a canoe.

The canoe stuff is included so that those who wish to further explore canoeing will be equipped to do so, and for people to grasp that skills (eg blade awareness, edging) transfer between canoes and kayaks.

I like the changes in BCU , especially the emphasis on edging, and the elevation of 2*, which fewer people took seriously before. The old 2* was described to me once as “3* without the edging”. Now, edging is integrated from the get- go, which is a good thing

It looks like the bar has been set pretty high for the new 4*.

All in all, a good system, IMO Thought has been put into these changes by coaches/kayakers who know a lot. People who keep an open mind & get over the old system will be rewarded as in the past.

Just did a new 3 star sea assessment

– Last Updated: Sep-14-08 10:37 AM EST –

Just to get this part out of the way, I got kudos for being close as well as making a great come-back but I had some issues early in the day. I came back up to game by the afternoon, but the bad start wasn't something that I could have asked any assessor to overlook.

In the backwards part - we were asked to demonstrate backwards control by going in a circle around two lobster buoys that were a lot closer together than anything I had to manage in the old 3 star. Add the remit for wind (something like 11-18 knots) and frankly that made the old 3 star figure 8 exercise look easy. I can't say the wave dimensions had any particular impact - we were at the bottom end of the remit and there wasn't anything that someone with seat time in conditions should even have noticed. But we both found that the smaller backwards circle in some wind was much tougher to keep tight and even than any amount of larger figure 8's. (So to Dog - I'd not worry about the BCU going soft on this one just because it's no longer specified to be a figure 8.)

As to the need for a 2 star as a pre-req - it was ONLY because we had the old 3 star that we could actually have received an assessment if we had passed. But even that was largely attributable to there having been virtually no new 2 star assessments available in this first year because there were barely assessors certed to do it. I know that this has been looser at other events this season, but I suspect that has been because the RCO's and coaches were still sorting out how to move in the new program while they were still getting certed themselves. I think that by spring of 2009 you'll see much more solidified guidelines.

My impression, from conversations with an RCO, is that by this coming spring my old 3 star will no longer do. I will have to have passed the 2 star (and 1 but that can be done as part of the 2) to assess for the new sea 3 star again.

The assessor asked about whether we had some First Aid training, which I thought was a improvement. We were asked to take a couple of headings plus ID stuff on the chart and were asked about cross-training. The fact that we both also have some WW work covered that. The last part is to demonstrate trips, but it only takes a few and we have trained with enough of these coaches by now anyway that they know we have that. They are not asking for the true log on the order of the four star stuff.

As to the canoe part - I completely agreed and have whined, a lot, that this will be a dreadful requirement for the US because we are not structured in paddling clubs that make this all easy. But I heard the same thing that Suzanne said above from every kayak-only coach that I talked with at the symposium, that having to go thru the canoe work left them with a greater appreciation of what fun that could be and whetted their appetite for more.

It's no particular matter for me - I want to do some paddling and overnight camping in the Adirondacks this coming year anyway, and that means a canoe is in my future because of the portages. So all the BCU requirement means is that I know what strokes I most need to target for some help as I try to recover 30 year old skills. But it was interesting to hear again and again that canoes can be very cool - something that I suspect the long time single-blade folks on this board find enjoyable.

Fun isn’t the point
The point is that it’s required, whether one has any interest in canoeing or not. This is just plain stupid, as many kayakers have neither the money to buy or rent a canoe and accessories, nor the time to learn canoe skills that are largely pointless. It seems to me that that BCU has shot themselves in the foot, not that I’m bothered by that in the least (watching them self-destruct is pretty funny).

I’m surprise that more of the proponents of training aren’t voicing opposition to this, as it’s simply going to drive people away from getting kayaking training that would otherwise be very beneficial. The ACA must be licking their chops, as they will inevitably pick up some of the business that the BCU drives away. Unfortunately, some people will simply opt out of training altogether, which is bad for them and the kayaking community in general.

As for the reverse figure-8, I think it’s a great exercise for improving boat control. It’s much more useful and relevant for a kayaker than paddling a canoe is.

Still doing reverse figure of 8s
I and a few friends still regularly practice reverse figure of 8s. I first encountered the exercise in 3* training and have found it effective exercise in boat control ever since. As Steve noted - that is why it is in the ACA syllabus.

don’t know whose
feelings you hurt…I for one am just confused by your admitted assumption being the basis to indict anything and certainly it’s scant reason to publicly castigate an organization and evolving methodology that’s been at work to advance paddle sport for, oh…80 odd years.

Rather than actually look into it, you’ve chosen to discard the whole thing based on something you’ve seen without benefit of knowing exactly what you’ve seen. You “…watched a course, or test or whatever you call it…” and other than someone falling out of their boat, you don’t know what you saw or what the outcome of that day was for those paddlers. If you do, you have not communicated that knowledge. So your opinion doesn’t seem to be too terribly researched or thought out. Kind of worthless and seems to be just knee jerk bashing.

The canoe thing is new. Okay. Do it or don’t and feel about it as you will.

Getting rid of the figure 8…there are certainly other ways to determine someone’s boat control skill from from an assessor’s point of view over the course of the day.

Opt out or opt in?
First on the reverse figure 8 - a great little exercise. Combines edging and strokes to do a fun little game.

On the canoe thing, at some point who cares, a stupid thing is a stupid thing. It is very good to see some rumblings from the ACA that they may be getting their act together. There has been too much dead air, politics, and money grubbing from those cats in the past few years as well. Seems to me both these organizations don’t get it that they need to get people to ‘opt-in’ to a program by addressing the interest and needs of a majority of paddlers rather than the elitist minority.

OK, so I didn’t hurt your feeelings, but
I sure must have stepped on your toes.

I am like thousands of other kayakers who could care less about the BCU, what they do, what they accomplish and their ratings.

It never ceases to amaze me how some people on Paddling. net enjoy jumping on other people because of a incident that they relate.

You don’t have a clue what I saw, who the people were or what I witnessed, but yet you are going to make a judgement on the incident as I related it and my thoughts on it.

Many of us paddle for the pure joy of paddling.

Hopefully ypou do also.



don’t have a clue what you saw
but I have a clue as to your reason for not being interested in what the BCU may have to offer.

“Up intil that day, I thought it might be worth while checking into the whole process, but after watching that, decided to just keep doing our own thing…”

THAT was the straw that broke the camels bake in your decision making process? THAT?!? SERIOUSLY!?! Is that how you make other decisions in your life? That is like saying ‘I was going to buy a Ford truck, but I saw one rear end a car the other day. I guess that is out of the question now’. Or, ‘I was going to buy a QCC700 but I saw a buy paddling one who could control his boat. But after seeing that there is no way I would every buy one.’

Dude, you need to open your freakin’ mind a bit.

if you were to relate

– Last Updated: Sep-14-08 1:02 PM EST –

the incident without assumptions that's one thing - but then you wouldn't have much to say other than "I saw someone fall out of their boat."

What I'm jumping on is what seems to be your assumption and then tossing out and bashing a means that many have found to be worthwhile based on an incident you saw but perhaps didn't understand. I don't doubt what you saw. I question your understanding of it.

You're absolutely right, I don't know you, or the folks involved or the day or anything OTHER than what you've typed....based only on your written post, your argument is weak at best and clearly open to other interpretation.

You've related a kernel of fact and then a boatload of opinion based on that observation.

I do agree with you though that it is always and should remain about enjoying paddling.

So cheers right back at ya, it's alright to have a friendly disagreement.

Single touring sculls are a lot of fun!
The BCU obviously overlooked something here. Learning to row is not hard and a touring scull is very stable. Rowing is not that different from paddling a kayak of canoe. The skills are even transferable to that aluminum fishing boat you have. And we certainly don’t want overly narrow training. :slight_smile:

I’m scratching my head on this one

– Last Updated: Sep-14-08 1:49 PM EST –

Yeah, I wasn't there but I've been in classes where paddlers overrated their own skills and really should have been in a different group. I've seen larger guys have trouble hopping into rented or borrowed boats where the fit was much tighter than their own boat. And while I can roll in most situations, generally can execute a reasonably efficient if not spiffy rescue and am comfortable paddling in waves and swells higher than my head, my Vela puts me into the water getting in or out on perfectly flat water once a year whether I need it or not. Apparently she feels I need a periodic dose of humility.

I have to assume that there was more than one guy having an embarrassing moment and falling out of a boat that formed the basis for a long term decision like this. At least, given that Jackl has been a long term and valuable contributor to this board, I'd like to assume that. I seem to recall a story about a bad rolling experience too, posted here, and the reality is that you have only a short road to go with either the BCU or the ACA in a kayak if rolling in increasingly challenging environments isn't part of the plan.

As to the guy who fell out, at least he got back in. From an old horse riding background, I have to give him credit for that.

Wow are you ever mad !
It’s nice to be quoted.

It makes me feel loved.

You were so mad when you wrote your response you didn’t even preview it.

You might want to go back and correct a few of your errors and calm down a a bit.

Oh, and I do have a Ford Truck and three QCC’s.

A 700, a 600, and their new baby one.



What argument ?
I am not arguing.

You are.

I saw a BCU class/test/whatever taking place and related what I saw and what my thoughts were on it, and you and a few others took offense.

You can argue till dooms day and it’s Ok with me.

If that is a closed mine on my part then so be it.



Not sure if you are talking about my …
shark experience, or my upside down nogging bumping experience in our wild unclassified rapids trout stream.

I probably related both stories here.

It basically boils down to I am not interested in rolling, and see no need to.

I do need to apologize to the many of you though, (not the ones above under my post) for even jumping into a post about the BCU.