Wednesday, August 05, 2015

August's Newsletter


For us here at Greenland or Bust, it has been a wonderful summer. We hope that you're having just as much fun as we are, both on and off the water.

We're writing this newsletter as we leave the east coast of Sweden and head west, running classes as we make our way to Denmark. Time flies, and we can't believe that we're already ten weeks into this year's Rebel Kayaks supported Nordic Tour!

Throughout July we ran Simplifying the Roll in the charming fishing town of Grebbestad; Simplifying the Roll, Incident Management and Intermediate Boat Handling in the magnificent city of Stockholm; Simplifying the Roll in Mora, a place which is often referred to as "the heart of Sweden"; Simplifying the Roll, a BCU 3 Star Sea Training, a BCU 3 Star Sea Assessment and a BCU 4 Star Sea Training in the beautiful archipelago surrounding Nynäshamn; and a guide training program on the stunning island of Sandhamn, which is located off the east coast. All of these locations are in Sweden, and yet all of them are very different from one another, and the diversity has made this year's tour incredibly fun. In addition to on-water classes, we've also ran 15 sessions of Yoga for Paddlers.

We're currently on our way to Lake Vänern near Karlstad for the Värmlands Paddelfestival, after which we head to the west coast for two days of classes in Helsingborg before hopping on a ferry to Denmark for classes in Rungsted, Frederiksværk and Svendborg. We'll be in Denmark for most of August, and then we end the tour in Malmö and Karlshamn (Sweden) before heading home in early September. Click HERE for our complete 2015 Nordic Tour schedule.

This is the sixth year of the Nordic Tour, and every year it's great to be back and catch up with our Scandinavian paddling friends. It's also great to make so many new friends each year. Special thanks to Rebel Kayaks for supporting the tour, as well as the clubs, businesses and organizations that put the classes together in their neck of the woods, and a HUGE thank you to all of the participants.

The tour ends in September, but "kayaking season" will keep going full swing. We hope that you'll consider joining us for a class in California (Trinidad, Whiskeytown Lake, Mendocino, Dana Point, Marina Del Rey) or Wales (Pembrokeshire, Anglesey), or perhaps we'll see you at one of the symposiums that we'll be teaching at in the remainder of 2015 (Traditional Paddlers' Gathering - Minnesota, Sea Kayaking Cornwall Symposium - England or Lumpy Waters - Oregon).

In other news, Greenland or Bust is excited to announce that we are now an authorized center for the International Sea Kayak Guide Association (ISKGA) in the United States (located in Arcata/Trinidad, California). We're both ISKGA guides and are really excited to be running ISKGA training modules and observations.

And finally, are you interested in joining us for a Greenland expedition? The dates and location have been set! Next year's expedition will take place in the Disco Bay/Ilulissat area from July 20 to 31, 2016. Contact us at for more information.

As usual, visit for more information and our current Events calendar and Blog postings. You can also follow us on Twitter. For questions, comments or to schedule us in your neighbourhood, e-mail:

Happy paddling!

Helen and Mark 

Dr T's Coaching Corner

In April’s newsletter we talked about the ‘technical’ element of the BCU’s TTPP model, and in June’s edition we covered the ‘tactical’ aspect, as they relate to the development of a paddler’s performance.

This month we focus on how a kayaker’s use of psychological tools can help achieve successful outcomes. To recap, this element represents our ability to overcome anxiety, manage arousal, determine confidence levels and understand motivational reasoning.

At times, a paddler may find themselves in challenging or highly-dynamic waters that will cause them to react both physically and mentally in a manner which could negatively affect their performance. Stress, arousal and anxiety are terms used to describe this condition. It might be that they ‘talk’ themselves out of making a maneuver or feel their heart beat faster than normal, experience the sensation of ‘butterflies’ or just get ‘gripped.'

Adopting good psychological strategies and using goal setting techniques can help moderate these emotional states, thus enabling a person to perform under pressure. To assist an individual to master their anxieties, somatic techniques (e.g. relaxation) and cognitive techniques (e.g. imagery) can be used.

Goals setting can help us gain greater control of achieving our paddling objectives because they specify what we need to work towards (thus giving direction) and the amount of effort required to achieve that target (levels of intensity). This in turn will increase our levels of motivation and self-belief.

Goal setting provides structure to a training program and is a useful tool in measuring progress. Establishing short, medium and long-term goals creates an opportunity for rewards (if you succeed in meeting each goal) or for reviewing your training needs (if you don't meet a goal).

Relaxation techniques are seen as powerful aids to managing our emotional states and can have a direct affect upon our confidence levels. Progressive relaxation methods, along with energizing activities, prior to paddling, can have a positive effect on anxiety levels while on the water.

Imagery, visualization, mental rehearsal and mental practice all refer to creating or recreating an experience in the mind. This approach involves either retrieving an experience from memory and using it in a meaningful way, or creating an image of a new experience from cues or visual aids.

Imagery, as a tool, can be used to center the mind and help us focus on what we want to achieve. It involves mentally rehearsing a performance and can be done on the beach; in a car park; even while paddling. Visualization involves picturing what a successful performance of a task might feel like.

Some people like to hold the paddle and physically go through the motions of the maneuver they are about to perform (e.g. rolling; entering the flow), while others prefer to build a picture in their minds-eye of how they might apply a technique or complete a maneuver successfully.

Applying Psychological tools, such as arousal management and mental rehearsal, along with the use of goal setting, will enhance our paddling performance and improve our Technical ability as well provide us with greater confidence in being Tactical when kayaking.

The final element to be looked at in the TTPP model is that of a paddlers’s Physiological development, including endurance, flexibility, strength, hydration and nutrition… but more on that next time.

Program Schedule

Nordic Tour

May 23 to August 30, Norway, Denmark and Sweden

May 23 to 24 Asker, Norway

May 29 to 31 Oslo, Norway

June 6 to 7 Fitjar, Norway

June 9 to 11 Bergen, Norway

June 13 to 14 Bekkjarvik, Norway

June 18 Skudeneshavn, Norway

June 20 to 21 Stavanger, Norway

June 26 to 29 Copenhagen, Denmark

July 3 to 4 Grebbestad, Sweden

July 9 to 12 Stockholm, Sweden

July 16 to 18 Mora, Sweden

July 22 to 26 Nynashamn, Sweden

July 28 to 30 Sandhamn, Sweden

August 1 to 3 Karlstad, Sweden

August 8 to 9 Helsingborg, Sweden

August 11 to 12 Rungsted, Denmark

August 15 to 16 Frederiksværk, Denmark

August 22 to 23 Svendborg, Denmark

August 29 Malmo, Sweden

August 30 Karlshamn, Sweden

And The Rest...

Simplifying the Roll
September 5, Big Lagoon, California

Traditional Paddlers' Gathering
September 10 to 13, Lake Carlos State Park, Minnesota

BCU 4 Star Training
September 14 to 18, Pembrokeshire, Wales

BCU 4 Star Assessment
September 19 to 20, Pembrokeshire, Wales

Simplifying the Roll
September 19 and 20, Whiskeytown, California

Simplifying the Rescue
September 19, Whiskeytown, California

Private Rolling Classes during Mendo Madness
September 25 to 27, Mendocino, California

BCU 4 Star Assessment
September 26 to 27, Anglesey, Wales

Simplifying the Roll
October 3, Anglesey, Wales

Combat Rolling
October 4, Anglesey, Wales

Sea Kayaking Cornwall Symposium
October 10 to 11, Cornwall, England

Lumpy Waters
October 16 to 18, Pacific City, Oregon

…And Finally

Working on your roll and need a little help? Simplifying the Roll with Helen Wilson and Yoga for Outdoor People are available from our on-line store HERE

Copyright © 2015 Greenland or Bust, All rights reserved.

Helen Wilson and Mark Tozer • (707) 834-5501

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