Sea Kayaking Safety & Quality

Sea Conditions - Being Adaptable

 

The sea is a dynamic environment, ever changing, because of this each sea kayaking course has to be flexible, to be able to adapt to conditions. If the weather or conditions on the sea are rough, we will aim to use this to our advantage and maximize the relevant training on the water wherever possible.  Depending on the level and aims of the course, while also considering the group and individuals sea kayaking experience, this may mean in some cases beginning on a local lake or postponing the weekend or course. 

 

In North Wales, with the Island of Anglesey being a reasonably size (approx 120k) it is normally fairly easy to find shelter. With the various weather forecasts available, accuracy is far better assured these days, which further supports the decision making process regarding which venues are to be used.  These decisions will be shared with you.

 

Frequently asked questions (FAQ):

  • I don't want to do a capsize drill? There is no need to do a capsize drill in the water unless you want to, at the end of a weekend. Before going afloat, we talk through a capsize and what to do and also how to get back in.  Some times a dry land drill can be useful, as the photo shows below.

 

 
  • What if I fall in, will I get trapped in the sea kayak? All our sea kayaks have a large key hole cockpit, so if you did capsize, its easy to fall out and your buoyancy aid will float you to the surface.
  • Is the water cold? If you ask a Sicilian, even at the peak of our summer temperatures then the answer would be yes! The wet suit you are given works best when wet, so although their may be that initial surprise, it will help to insulate you.  During the Winter, clients need to bring their own drysuit for the courses of Intermediate and above.

 

 

  • How do I get back in, if we can't land on a beach? It's called a deep water or assisted rescue and as mentioned before, this can be demonstrated pre going afloat, on dry land. 
  • How stable are the sea kayaks? We have a number of different designs of sea kayak so our aim is to put you in the most suitable craft.  Overall it really comes down to your balance. Within the first 5 minutes a sea kayak may feel twitchy or responsive, but as you relax and allow your lower body to flex, from your upper body your kayak will become much more stable. 

  • I won't be able to paddle for a whole day? Rather than a long lunch break, 2-3 short breaks can be taken during the day. This keeps the fuel trickling in (food and water) and your legs fresh, which further helps your concentration.
  • I don't want to put on wet kit?  We have a small drying room so if you want us to take your wetsuit, jacket and spray deck we can and there's a really good chance it will be dry for you the next day. 

 

Risk & Benefit

Perceived negative risks surrounding health and safety seems to have become part of our culture. Risk benefit encourages us to look more closely at the associated gains rather than just the risks.

 

Coastal Spirit aims to balance risk against the benefit.  This is different to simply attempting to remove all risks, and enables you to learn about them.  Risks and their benefits will be discussed and shared with you, during your sea kayaking course, so that you can develop your awareness for the future and increase your own understanding.  This begins over a coffee were plans for the day are discussed and shared.

 

 

Kit & Equipment

We use high quality kit & equipment, which is well maintained.

 

  • Buoyancy aids (many have pockets and a hydration pouch on the back -bring your own water bag), long john wet suits, touring neoprene and nylon spray decks and paddle jackets with hoods.  All paddle kit is washed following courses and returned to our drying room, so they even smell new! 

 

 

  • Paddles are either split Mitchell Blades which are composite or Werner paddles with the carbon shafts.  Both are great for right or left handed paddlers.
  • Sea kayaks are currently composite (glass fiber) by Nigel Dennis Design and P& H Custom Sea Kayaks.  These are lighter, reasonable robust and easy to control. 

 

 

Sea Kayak Coaching and Guiding Experience

Roger has been involved in coaching and guiding within the outdoors since 1990 and is a qualified British Canoeing (BC) Level 5 Coach sea,  the highest BC award, for Coaching & Guiding. This is a stamp of a "competent, experienced, motivated paddle sport coach with a depth and wealth of knowledge, who can be relied upon to provide practical coaching, advice and guidance up to the highest level". (BC web site).

 

photo of Roger - taken by Olly Sanders 12/2010 

 

Roger has paddled and led groups in the Southern Ocean and Chilean Patagonia (3 x 3 week out expeditions), the Mediterranean Sea, such as Majorca, Sardinia, Turkey and a circumnavigation of Sicily (1000k in Oct 2010).  Throughout the UK, West Coast Canada, and the Gulf Islands and above the Arctic Circle, to Norway's Lofoten islands (10 day circumnavigation of the 5 main islands).

 

Norway, Lofoten expedition

 

Rogers coaching and guiding experience spans 20 years. He currently manages the sea kayaking courses, journeys & expeditions and BCU performance and leadership awards run by Coastal Spirit. 

 

Living and working in the heart of North Wales and having in-depth knowledge of the Anglesey coast line, its various venues and conditions, ideally places Roger for Sea Kayak Coaching & Guiding in this exciting area.

 

 

Articles

Roger has written various articles for:

  • Canoe Wales
  • Canoe Focus (BCU magazine)
  • Canoe & Kayak UK

 

Sea Kayak Symposiums and Festivals 

Roger has worked and led work shops and BCU courses on the following sea kayaking symposiums and festivals:

  • Norway, Lofoten 2006 
  • North Wales, Anglesey 2007
  • Pembrokeshire, Stackpole 2007/10
  • North Wales, Indefatigable - Joint Services 2008/09
  • Italy, Sicily & The Aeolian Islands 2010

 

Qualifications

  • BCU Level 5 Coach (Sea)
  • 5 Star Advanced Sea Kayak Leader Trainer & Assessor
  • Coastal Navigation & Tidal Planning (CNTP) Trainer
  • BCU Level 4 Coach (Open Canoe)
  • BCU Level 3 Coach (inland)
  • Rescue and Emergency Care (REC) First Aid
  • Mountain Instructor Award (MIA)
  • Summer Mountain Leader
  • PADI Open Water Diver
  • NLP practitioner
  • BA (Hons) Social Sciences/ Development Training
  • Diploma in Youth & Community Work and Higher Education
Our adventures on Facebook
Our Facebook reviews
Simon Turnbull

"I've just completed a two day 4* Sea kayak training course with Roger. Having been coached by Roger in the past, I choose to do this course with Roger because I knew I would get a great deal from the course. My expectations were certainly well and truly met"

Stella King

"There are a number of wonderful things about Roger. He has a very light touch in his coaching, and he's always smiling and encouraging you to relax into the enjoyment of the day"

Tavi Murray

"And I'm probably learning more from his mentoring now, as my paddling horizons expand, than ever before. I can't count how many questions I've asked... and he's answered. Roger has the knack of making that suggestion that radically changes your thinking and moves your paddling on in leaps and bounds."

We come recommended
Great week, top tips, unfailing humour and Roger keeping a straight face at key moments!
Craig from Manchester