Wednesday, June 04, 2014

June's Newsletter

We're writing this newsletter from a campsite in Norway, where it's easy to say that summer has arrived. Surrounding us are tall trees and steep mountains, and although some of them have snow on their peaks, the sun is hot and bright at the base of the mountain. We're dressed in shorts and sun hats, and our bare legs and feet are soaking up the warm sun. We're here for our 2014 Nordic Tour, which started last weekend in Helsingborg, Sweden.
This year's tour is supported by Rebel Kayaks, and on Saturday morning we met up with Johan Wirsen, who owns the company. Johan is the designer of the Tahe Greenland, which was renamed the Zegul Greenland, but he's taken his design to his new company and it is now calling it the Rebel Ilaga, which Helen is using during the tour. Mark is using another of Johan's designs, the Greenland T, a larger version of the Ilaga that is also part of the Rebel line. Both kayaks are made in Poland by Aquarius.
After getting our kayaks we hit the water, running a general sea kayaking class on Saturday and two sessions of Simplifying the Roll on Sunday. We also had the opportunity to explore the active seaside community by both bike and foot before beginning the long drive to Norway on Monday afternoon. We've been steadily making our way to Bergen, stopping at campsites along the way and exploring as much as we can. We're teaching classes in Bergen on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and we'll be sticking around and teaching classes in Norway for most of June. At the end of June we head to Denmark, and in July we have classes in Sweden and an expedition in South Greenland. August takes us back to Sweden and Denmark, and the tour continues through August 31. It's going to be a busy summer!
Earlier this month Helen ran Simplifying the Roll and Simplifying the Rescue at Whiskeytown Lake in Northern California while Mark taught Rolling and Rescues, Incident Management, Coastal Navigation and Tidal Planning and a BCU 4 Star Training and Assessment at the Anglesey Symposium in Wales. The following weekend Helen headed to Denmark for the Danish Canoe Federation's Weekend for Coaches, where she taught Simplifying the Greenland Stroke, Fun - Balance - Games and two sessions of Simplifying the Roll. She also ran a morning session of Yoga for Paddlers and was the Saturday evening presenter, with a presentation titled "Greenland Kayaking: The Past, The Present and the Future."
Later this year we have classes and symposia scheduled in the U.S., Wales, Scotland, Israel and Mexico. More on all of that later.
As usual, visit for more information and our current Events calendar, Shop and  Blog postings. For questions, comments or to schedule us in your neighborhood, email
Wherever you are, enjoy the summer, and happy paddling!
- Helen and Mark
Dr. T's Coaching Corner
When paddling in areas where we might find moving water, be that from the current or flow from estuaries, we need to think more tactically (choice of angle) and accurately (use of speed) when maneuvering our kayak. It might be that we want to cross the stream without loosing ground, or enter the stream to make progress downstream / exit the stream to find safe water, or even progress upstream to play on a wave / go round a corner. Your target will determine your angle and the speed of flow, as well as your paddling speed will determine how quickly you get there.
To help understand our position as it relates to angle, think of upstream being 12 o’clock on a clock face. Now you can experiment when entering and leaving the flow by pointing your kayak at different hours (angles). For example, by aiming the kayak at 1 o’clock you may find that the kayak makes a wider turn and ends up further from the eddy line. If you aim the kayak for 3 o’clock then you may find yourself turning more rapidly and heading down the flow, perhaps closer to the eddy line. What you should discover is the more the kayak points across the flow, the sharper any maneuvers become.
Now you can experiment with how fast you are paddling when you enter and leave the current to see how much that effects any maneuvers. From this you should see that the faster you paddle, the wider the turn and the further you travel into the flow or eddy. The slower you go, the sharper the turn. As it takes time to build speed, plan ahead and think about how much room your long boat needs to do this before entering / exiting the flow. Remember, with the right speed and angle you will eventually reach the intended target!
Program Schedule
South Greenland Expedition: July 9 to 20, South Greenland
Nordic Tour:
• May 23 to July 4 and July 24 to August 31
• May 24 to 25 – Helsingborg, Sweden
• May 30 to June 1 – Bergen, Norway
• June 7 to 9 – Fitjar, Norway
• June 14 to 15 - Bekkjarvik, Norway
• June 19 to 22 – Oslo, Norway
• June 27 to 29 – Copenhagen, Denmark
• July 4 to 5 – Grebbestad, Sweden
• July 24 to August 4 – Nynashamn, Sweden
• August 5 to 7 - Stockholm, Sweden
• August 9 to 10 – Mora, Sweden
• August 12 to 14 – Karlstad, Sweden
• August 16 to 17 – Frederiksv√¶rk, Denmark
• August 20 to 21 – Svendborg, Denmark
• August 23 – Malmo, Sweden
• August 24 – Karlshamn, Sweden
• August 29 to 31 – Sandhamn, Sweden
Copyright © 2014 Greenland or Bust, All rights reserved.
Helen Wilson and Mark Tozer • (707) 834-5501