post build fun...

So, I finished my first boat in June (a 17’ SOF), nephews are working on Hulls #2, 3 & 4.  My wife’s wood duck just getting started and my C18 plans are sitting on the shelf.  Being new to Kayaking, I decided to take a course.  I also wanted to make sure that my nephews had the required skills, teenagers have a habit of getting in over their heads.  So I signed up for a Paddle Canada Level 1 Course.  OMG what fun!  There were 11 students, two instructors and lots of laughs.  My only regret is that I did not do this before building Kia Ora, I would have done a couple things differently. 


I HIGHLY recommend that you take a course.  I do not plan to have Kia Ora out in big water or intentionally flip her over, but now I have the skills and confidence that not only can I wet exit, I can flip her over and get myself back in solo or assisted.  You will learn a lot and have a great time (at least I did).


The folks who hosted the course; James and Dympna from, great people, I highly recommend.  Besides, I made some new friends on the course and we are already planning our first social paddle. 


Paddle Safe.

P.S. if you are debating rudder/no rudder, a course like this will answer that, and more.  I have saved hundreds on gear that I am no longer contemplating.

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RE: post build fun...

I agree that a class is a good idea before starting your build.  I had a blast when I went out with L.L. Bean here in Connecticut.  It only cost $15 and you get to go out paddling with a few instructors for 2-3 hours on a calm pond in Manchester called Union Pond.  This is actually the class that got me into kayaking and I ended up going out with them 4 times last year.  Its well worth the $15 everytime!  One more thing, the perk is that they give you a coupon for LL Bean every time!

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