Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Whitewater Canoe Course on the Similkameen River

Last month we took the opportunity to do some professional development and signed up for a 4 day whitewater canoe course on the Similkameen River near Princeton, BC.  Allyson Phillips and Roger Warnatsch of Green Wave Canoeing put on a fantastic course and we learned a ton. 
On the final day of the course giving soloing a try - it's A LOT more work but fun!

Like many people, our paddling experiences have mostly been self-directed but as we have been paddling for over 25 years we are looking to do more difficult trips (namely to Northern Canada) and so getting some instruction seemed the next logical step.

Instructor Roger doing what he loves - teaching
During our 4 day course there was lots to review and even more new things to learn.  Our favourite stroke and what we believe, is one of the most valued in our arsenal is the reverse stroke.  My least favourite, the offside forward stroke for solo canoeing.  That is the most unnatural stroke I have ever done and I know I will need to practice that one A LOT!

Mark, instructor Allyson and Phil
We were complimented on our edging as we moved in and and out of eddies - that was nice to hear and our "go for it attitude".  We swam once, trying to surf a wave in our Esquif Pocket Canyon and although we didn't get points for style we put all of our rescue skills to good practice. 

Since our course we have been out once on the Vedder River and our looking forward to the possibility of some time on the Slocan River this coming weekend too. 

Mark having a great time!
 If you are ever interested in canoe instruction let us know and we will connect you with the folks at Green Wave Canoeing.  They've got a busy schedule teaching in the programs at Capilano University and College of the Rockies but they always make time for teaching outside of those programs too.  If anyone is interested in a smaller private course that can be accommodated as well.

Green River, UT

Green River, UT
Photo: Shawna Franklin