/storage/Coach standing in water teaching a kayaker to roll his kayak.
11th January 2022 / General

Practice, practice & practice some more!

This may seem obvious but in our experience rarely happens. Spending your hard earned money on training courses is money well spent ONLY if you PRACTICE what your coaches teach you.  

Our Members (see our last BLOG!) can book any trip or course free of charge. Members can also rebook training courses as many times as they like without limitation, redoing courses over & over. An effective way to learn new & challenging skills; however there is an obvious problem with this. There is no point in booking course after course, relying on training alone without following the training with personal PRACTICE. You cannot develop & cement your new skills without getting out on the water & paddling peeps!

Do not be satisfied with mere learning, but add training & then PRACTICE. For as time passes we forget what we learned & end up doing the opposite, & hold opinions the opposite of what we should.

                                - Epictetus, Discourses, 2.9.13-14

Few people can simply attend a training course & see & hear instruction & explanation & then know, backward, forward, left, right and how to do it. We have to PRACTICE what we are taught many times in order to truly learn that skill & cement it long term.

An example is our Learn to Eskimo Roll course where students are taught a bombproof methodology to develop & perfect their roll. Yet so many don’t develop a bombproof roll, even if they successfully rolled on their course. Why you ask? They don’t ….. that’s right …. PRACTICE!

One of the hallmarks of the martial arts, military training, and athletic training of almost any kind is hours upon hours of PRACTICE, sometimes this can also be monotonous! An athlete at the highest level will train for years to perform a single movement that can last mere seconds.

Have you ever heard of the Shaolin monks? These buddhist warrior monks of China are the epitome of this; a deep sense of faith & total commitment to developing their skills exactly (Shaolin Warrior Monks)

They train their body & mind to total perfection in one physical discipline for ten years or more, training for many hours each day. They are tested by their elders & if they fail, will spend another three years of PRACTICE, before they can be assessed again. If they fail again, back to square one!

Now I’m not saying we, as mere mortal sea kayakers, should show the same incredible strength, dedication, willpower & faith (watch the above video & you’ll see what I mean). My point though is simple: PRACTICE makes perfection.

You want a bombproof roll - PRACTICE!
You want to recover - PRACTICE!
You want to paddle effectively - PRACTICE!
You want to navigate & plan your trips - PRACTICE!

Don’t waste your money on training courses (in the case of Members, booking free courses) if you are not committed to PRACTICE, PRACTICE & more PRACTICE & employ what you have been taught.

Your training must become habit or you risk losing what you've been taught the moment you experience stress or difficulty. And that, my fine young sea kayaking friends, could mean the difference between life & death on the sea.

Semper ad meliora - always onward toward better things.

Be safe out there!

Sea kayak guide buckling his buoyancy aid
Kurt Finch

Since trying to surf with the pros as a kid in Durban South Africa on my hollow 12ft ‘barge’ & getting absolutely trashed, I was hooked on sea paddling. Over a period of thirty-five years I’ve surfed, white watered & sea kayaked in locations around the world. I've guided as a full-time professional for the past sixteen years and my journey continues.