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Hi Eric,
the long awaited playboating weekend had finally arrived. FOYLE PADDLERS CANOE CLUB had booked the boys with top coach RODGER HAMILTON in recognition of their performances in the world surf kayak championships.The tuition started off on a river that the boys had run before. Rodger started coaching from the 1st eddy line and the different combinations of turning, climaxing with putting the boat on end without the use of paddle and only using boat edge and body.They then spent the rest of the day running the river,making correct lines and exploiting every potential playspot on the way down.The 2nd day was on a river they had not run before and Rodger informed them that there was about 6 good features on the way down and they would all be working at the current water level. I watched them go into each feature time and time again always trying to do as Rodger instructed and slowly but surely they started to get their boats up on end and finally linking front with back ends.Each feature they then began searching for that perfect spot and hey bingo!! the boat would go up on end.It was a real pleasure to watch the coach and the lads work there way down the river and i cant ever remember seeing as many rolls in one days paddling.For the record they are both claiming 3 ends in a row which officially counts as a cartwheel!!!

Anyway,Roger seemed to have as good a day as the boys and he also relayed them stories of paddling the Ottawa river,talking about how big the water was and the great big features around mccoys and at garb.He told them how he watched a young lad called DANE JACKSON running down the Ottawa river doing his stuff and got some excellent coaching from NICK TROUTMAN.He also was very impressed with how friendly all the paddlers were and talked at length about the Keener program.

Driving home in the van and at the dinner table i listened to the beatings (Jake holds the record of being rotated 4 times in a hole and getting out alive!!!!) all the new moves,arguing about the most ends,Corin always seemed to hog each feature,how Jake broke a blade on his beloved paddle,how impressed they were with Rodger, there determination to complete the training program he had given them to improve and surfing the internet for information on the Keener program!!!! And yes,being brought right back down to earth by myself when i informed them Canada was further than we would normally tow the caravan!!!