Kayaking

White Water Kayaking

Last week, students of the Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation course took to the Derwent River, followed by the Leven River in the north of Tasmania to tackle a week of whitewater kayaking.

Students spent the first two days developing their white water skills on the Derwent River such as reading whitewater, ferry gliding, exiting/entering eddies and much more.  Over the rest of the week, students were given the opportunity to execute their newly learnt skills and push their limits kayaking down the Leven River.

Highlights of the week included the satisfaction of improving throughout the week, group bonding and Ciara calmly waving and accepting her fate of being washed into a hole (a white water feature).  The students were lucky enough to be instructed by one of Tasmania’s most experienced and greatest instructors Nate Welch, special thanks also goes to Technical Assistant, Matt Smith.

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Flat-Water Skills

Earlier this month the TasTAFE Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation students engaged in teaching and instruction of their flat-water skills to Kingston High School Year 9 students.  The teachings took place on the Huon River at Huonville Esplanade.  The student’s instruction was supervised by TasTAFE instructors, Nate Welsh and Matt Smith.

The Kingston High Students where able to learn to be comfortable in the kayaks as well as learn a number of strokes.  The students were also entertained by engaging in a number of games, including ‘bulrush’ and ‘kayak polo’.

The weather behaved itself for most of the day with a slight shower in the afternoon.  TasTAFE students were able to counteract the current in the river by starting kayak polo upstream near the bridge and drifted down to the jetty as they played.

Fun was had by all as some of the keen students attempted to Eskimo roll at the end of the day whilst others students battled to simply keep the boats going straight in the water.  This provided TasTAFE students ample opportunity to specifically target technique and practice in aiding struggling students.

 

Adventure Tour Guiding : Sea Kayaking

The Nunatak Adventure Tour Guiding students who chose sea kayaking as their specialisation skill cluster, spent their first week learning basic paddling skills, deep water rescue techniques and how to interpret weather.

Our group of nine students and two teachers – Tom Keith, from Roaring 40ᴼS Kayaking and Gemma Gooley spent the first day in the classroom, then headed down to Short Beach in Sandy Bay for their first paddle.  After a quick briefing, the group paddled from Short Beach to the Hobart Waterfront and back.  With the wind picking up, there was also time for a quick skills session before heading back to TasTAFE.

The next day was spent at the Clarence Aquatic Centre, where the group had the chance to learn and practice a variety of vital rescue techniques, including the wet-exit; self-rescue with the aid of a paddle float and how to assist others back into their kayak from the water.

Unfortunately, the final day of class for the week was cancelled due to the extreme weather and flooding in Hobart, but the short introduction to Sea Kayaking Guiding left the class eagerly awaiting their next session on the water.

Thank you to our wonderful teachers and guides for the day!

Flatwater Kayaking

The Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation students recently finished their second week of training to be Flatwater Kayaking Instructors.  We paddled the waterfront from Sandy Bay, took a trip down the Derwent River and went kayak surfing at Clifton Beach.

Thanks to instructors Nate Welch and Ange Cunningham, we all had the opportunity to consolidate our techniques in a variety of conditions and practiced delivering briefings.

It was a great week in challenging weather – a highlight was watching Sam carve some waves at Clifton, and come out smiling after a huge backflip wipe out!

Introduction – Flat Water Kayaking

Several weeks ago, the students from the Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation program conducted their three-day introduction into flat water kayaking on the beautiful Huon River.

Students spent three days learning the basic fundamentals of kayaking, rescue techniques, different types of strokes, operating a kayak safely, loading and unloading and setting up for safe kayak adventures.  The Autumn weather turned it on for the first two days with no rain or clouds in sight, however the third day was a little less favourable!

The highlight was the third day where students paddled for approximately four hours.  The day allowed students to consolidate what they had learnt over the first two days and culminated with some white water induction.

The students had a blast and are hungry for more white water action and will get plenty more opportunities as the course rolls forward over the next six months.

Leven River Trip

With the Certificate IV Outdoor Recreation course coming to an end, the white-water paddlers recently embarked on a week of white-water kayaking, and instructing students on the Leven River.  It was a new stretch of water for the group and had some fun rapids and features to play on (contend with!), at the level it was flowing.  After the first reconnaissance mission down the river, we all retired with the comfort of Paton Park Scout Camp facilities for the night.

The following day, we enjoyed another run down the river, which was flowing at a slightly lower level, and relished the opportunity to play on some waves and plough through a hole, before an afternoon of instruction that we were to provide to some of the outdoor education students from Don College.  It was decided that we should take the students to the mouth of the Forth River, where some flatter water could be utilised, with the possibility of surfing some waves at the end of the day, if the students were up to it.  Despite the broad range of abilities in the group of learners, all students ended up surfing waves and having an enjoyable experience together.

Given the level of the Leven River the following day, we decided to take the next group of Don College students there and provide instruction that would allow a short river trip to be run.  Again, the Don College students rose to the challenge and were able to negotiate some rapids and have a safe and enjoyable white-water experience.

As the following day was our last opportunity as a group to practice our paddling before our formal assessment, we spent the entire day being drilled by ‘Sergeant’ Nate Welch, who is largely responsible for the fantastic development of the group over the duration of the course.  There was more than one occasion where I stopped to think about how far we have all come with our white-water kayaking skills, ability to pass on those skills in an effective and empathetic manner and to safely facilitate a river trip with students who are quite new to kayaking.

Beyond the professional development that has occurred within the group, there has been a strong social connection between our student group and our leader, Nate Welch, which was clearly evident on the late-night drive back to Hobart.  I would like to thank all involved for making the trip such an enjoyable success!

White Water Expedition

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Two weeks ago the paddling students from the Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation were given the opportunity to introduce our climbing comrades to white water kayaking.  This was in the form of a four-day paddling expedition.

The plan was to have two days on the Huon River working our skills up to tackle the mighty Picton.  The first challenge however was to be overcome in the car park at Tahune Airwalk … this was how to pack all our equipment into the back of a white water boat.  With some helpful hints from Richard Guy there were many light bulb moments during this process.  We were then ready to “shread some gnar”.  We set off down the Huon River.

The climbers took to paddling like ducks to water, with Matty J even rolling in live water on the second day!  We finished the Huon and headed for the Farmhouse creek section of the Picton.  To start off with was a 600m walk in to the river with loaded boats.  Once on the river the fun really began.  The beautiful scenery mixed with more challenging water made for one of the best days on the river to date for all involved.

The next day the lower section of the Picton saw a few swims but also many victories with all the climbers successfully running the Gorge – finishing the trip on a high.

To watch the level of kayaking improve for both parties over the four days was fantastic.  Not only did the climbers take on and conquer, the paddling crew learnt many new skills in both group management and safety with the help of our instructors.  All left with a feeling of achievement in many different areas.

 Big thanks to everyone for such a fantastic week!

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