We’ve Moved!

logo

I’m slowly migrating the blog over to my new webpage which can be found at:

http://iboutdoor.com/

On to bigger and better things! Please, feel free to subscribe to the new blog to get more hints, tips and updates from the outdoor world.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

River Leadership: Position Of Maximum Usefulness

Just because you are the leader, it doesn’t mean you always have to be at the front. On easy water you may decide to let one of your group go first, to allow them to make their own decisions and develop their river reading skills (under your supervision of course).

It is usually easier to get to a swimmer from below, rather than chasing them down a rapid...

It is usually easier to get to a swimmer from below, rather than chasing them down a rapid… Photo: Dori Bjoss, Rjupnavellir. Ystri Ranga, South Iceland.

Continue reading

Posted in Canoeing, Coaching, Kayaking, Rafting | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

River Leadership: Avoidance

“Avoidance is better than cure” is about pre-empting what may happen and putting in to place measures to either eliminate or manage the risk. This is where the river leader’s experience based judgement comes in to play.

Having decided to run this rapid, the team go one at a time and place safety cover to reduce the risks. Avanmore, Ireland.

Having decided to run this rapid, the team go one at a time and place safety cover to reduce the risks. Avonmore, Ireland.

Continue reading

Posted in Canoeing, Coaching, Kayaking, Rafting | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

River Leadership: Line Of Sight

First of all, everybody in you group needs to be in line of sight, so that you can see that they are OK and also to be able to pass signals. That doesn’t mean that you, as the leader have to be able to see everybody. For example when paddling around a bend, you may place a paddler in an eddy to the outside of the bend. If you are at the front, you won’t be able to see the last paddler, because of the bend. But the paddler in that eddy will be able to see you and the last person, keeping the whole group in line of sight. You can also pass any necessary signals though that paddler. If you can’t see from where you are, move. That may mean ferrying across to a different eddy, moving another paddler to a better position to pass signals, or getting out of your boat to signal back upstream.

Little can be seen from the bottom of the rapid. The photographer's elevated position is a good example of maintaining line of sight. Photo: Tom Robb

Little can be seen from the bottom of the rapid. The photographer’s elevated position is a good example of maintaining line of sight. Photo: Tom Robb

Continue reading

Posted in Canoeing, Coaching, Kayaking, Rafting | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

River Leadership: Communication

Recently, I was asked to write an article on river leadership for my local kayaking club. I’ve decided to reproduce it here on the iboutdoor blog as a short series. So here goes….

River Leadership

I’m a great believer in that leaders are made not born. You don’t have to be the world’s best paddler to take responsibility for others on the river. What you do need is to be able to make good experience-based judgement calls and to adhere to some basic common sense principles. Leadership is something that you can always improve on and you will learn more and more just by spending time on the water, looking after different groups. Continue reading

Posted in Canoeing, Coaching, Kayaking, Rafting | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Useful River Signals

Most kayakers that I have paddled with tend to use similar signals for the basic instructions needed on the river:

  • Stop
  • All go
  • One go
  • Eddy out
  • Go left/right

These could be considered the minimum and most groups that paddle together a lot will supplement them with their own signals for “come to me,” “scout,” “walk” and “OK?”

The rafting world seems to have an entire language of hand signals, to the extent that it’s possible to have whole conversations using them. These include everything from “slow down” to “I need a helicopter.” They’re not generally known amongst kayakers though. Here’s two that I use a lot at work and have found handy when out kayaking. Continue reading

Posted in Canoeing, Kayaking, Rafting | 1 Comment

Video Competition

At work this summer I was lucky enough to meet a cool couple that were making an adventure film about Iceland, which used some footage that they took of the Hvita river.

[vimeo 68345122]

The video has now made it to the top 5 in the Hostel World Travel Story Awards for best travel story video of 2013. It would be great to see them get to number 1, so please check out the site and vote for them. Their travel blog is well worth a look as well here:  http://wanderthemap.com/

Get voting!

Posted in Photography, Travel, Video | 2 Comments