Archive for June, 2012

Jun 26 2012

Discipline

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments.”  Jim Rohn

Our students often share with us how much they value our instruction and appreciate our patience. (Jeff is patient.  I am stubborn).

Paddlers come to us to become better paddlers.  We have the easy job – coaching them.

They have the hard part – making it happen.

In our classes and lessons this weekend, we had some seasoned paddlers working on rolling and surf zone skills.  Sometimes the hard part is learning a skill that is counter intuitive to our natural instincts – like keeping our head down on the roll.

Or dropping a stern rudder on the shore side of a wave.

For many adults it is difficult to turn the brain off and let the body do what it needs to do.  We encourage students to use tools like positive self-talk, visualization, kinesthetic cues, and lots of perfect practice to retrain the brain and develop muscle memory.

Even more difficult is finding the self-discipline to go out and practice – especially skills that some find cumbersome like swimming with a sea kayak.

We often want to spend our recreational paddling time touring with friends, wildlife watching, running whitewater, surfing or rock gardening.  For many paddlers there is seemingly no glory in flat water perfection skill sessions or surfing knee high waves, but this is where skills are built and committed to muscle memory so that in rough water they are automatic and effective.

Our recommendation to out students is to get out and paddle!!! Each time you are on the water commit 10 minutes to perfecting one of your skills.  Whether it is the draw stroke or the roll, commit to mindful practice.  Talk yourself through the key components of the skill and practice them.

Even better yet, get your friends to practice too so that you all become more skilled paddlers together.

Please comment and share any strategies that you have found helpful.

“Without self-discipline, success is impossible – period.”  Lou Holtz

 

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Jun 15 2012

Surf n Turf

Surf n Turf – Not sure where Jeff got this notion, but a morning of surfing and mountain biking sounded like Maximum Mendo Funness so we loaded up the truck with our toys.

The winds have been cranking on the coast, kicking up quite a wind swell and creating surf at one of our favorite surf spots.  The conditions have been tough with on-shore winds in the 10-15kt range in the early mornings then ramping up to 25-35kt in the afternoon.  Waves have been stacked tightly on top of each other and often doubling up in the surf zone.  However when the set waves come in, there were some green faces and shoulders to ride.

To beat the wind, we conspired to get up and get out on the water early.  There is something magical about starting the day on the water.  Warm, sunny weather always helps with early mornings.  It was great to be back in my surf kayak.  With a couple of strokes it effortlessly catches waves and glides down the line.  The waves weren’t the best, and my surf skills are a bit rusty but it sure was FUN.

A quick change on the beach (loving my fleece changing station), and we are driving just a couple of miles to meet some friends for some Mendocino mountain biking.

Our North Coast Coniferous Forest is beautiful in the spring with rhododendron petals and a symphony of birds singing.  Even sweeter is the mountain biking on the Mendocino Coast – lots of tight twisting single track built specifically for mountain biking.

Can’t wait for the next Surf n Turf Day.

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Jun 13 2012

A Rock’n Sunday Paddle

Typical windy spring time conditions are here on the Mendocino Coast.  High pressure systems make for sunny warm days but also tighten the pressure gradient and kick up winds off-shore.  Predictions of gale force conditions have been hit or miss, and this Sunday looked like another miss.  On Saturday morning, Sunday’s swell prediction of 2 feet had us giddy about the possibility of some serious sea cave exploration.  As the winds kicked up on Saturday, we knew that our paddle the next day wasn’t going to be a lily-dip sea cave exploration.
Captain Jeff

We started our Second Sunday Paddle with a little warm up in the bay and admired a handsome horned grebe (which isn’t common on the Mendocino Coast this time of the year).

As we went to exit the protected bay, seas steepened and the wind conspired to blow us off course as we tried to thread the needle through the rocky reefs guarding another protected bay.  Back into the Gulch we went.  To the delight of everyone, Sunday’s exploration became a rock garden play session.

Heather knocked the rust off and showed good form and lots of smiles.
Heck Yea!!!  Great ride Heather!!!

Dick tested his combat rolling skills.

I got a nice saltwater facial.
Cate gets a salt water facial.

Of course, Jeff styled it in his Valley Avocet who after 10 months now has a name – “The Red Scorpion”

Just another Mendo Sunday with LFK.

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Jun 01 2012

Waves n Caves

Whew!!! Our website is back up so now its time to report on our first Mendocino Kayaking Waves n Caves Weekend.

It was awesome!!!  Three days of kayaking, exploring, and playing in the sea caves and rock gardens of the Mendocino Coast in whitewater kayaks.

Five of our students had never paddled whitewater kayaks before so it was a fun introduction for them.  They were amazed at the maneuverability of these playful craft.  Sea cave exploration was a breeze in the 8-10 foot boats especially when compared to their previous experiences maneuvering 14-17 foot sea kayaks in caves.

It was fun to see our students’ confidence build and to see them playing in whitewater features with comfort and ease.

Especially cool was on the third day when we went into the Devil’s Punch Bowl.  This is a narrow tunnel that leads to a large sinkhole.  With the whitewater kayaks, we landed the whole group on the gravel beach in the punch bowl.

We also had fun paddling into a scenic beach for lunch, tidepooling, and beachcombing.

Psssst – We are having another Mendocino Waves n Caves Adventure Labor Day Weekend.  Register today for the early bird discount.

Also, Jeff and I had so much fun outfitting this trip (providing food, camping, and guiding) that we have plans to host more in 2013.  Continuing the Waves n Caves but also including a couple of sea kayak overnight trips as well as a whitewater river trip.  We have lots of options and are open to designing custom trips so drop us a line if you have some friends and want to come kayak and explore the Mendocino Coast with us.

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