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[ profile] sierraluna just send out an email she received and I thought others might have some interest.

On Sunday, June 22nd, from 1 to 4 PM, the SRWA, in partnership with the Andover Department of Community Services (DCS), will be hosting our 6th annual canoe safety and paddling demonstration at Pomps Pond in Andover. This event is free and open to the public. Well behaved children accompanied by an adult are welcome.

Master Instructor Ken Doran and his SRWA associates will cover transporting the canoe safely, entering and exiting a canoe, required and suggested gear, and the responsibilities of the person in the bow and stern. Emphasis will be on learning how and when to use the different paddling strokes. He will cover the J, sweep, and sculling strokes. He will also cover the most efficient technique to navigate the twists and turns a meandering river like the Shawsheen takes. You'll hear the term 'pull the water toward the boat' quite often.

The J stroke is something the person in the stern of the boat does to maintain the desired course. It is a stroke that finishes by twisting the blade and handle. A few years ago, someone approached me on the beach and told me that she was having a problem with the J stroke. She showed me what she was doing and everything looked correct so we got into a canoe. I sat in the bow but turned around so that I could watch her. Her technique was fine but I quickly noticed that her paddle was too short. By the time she finished her stroke, the blade was almost completely out of the water. The problem was solved by giving her a longer paddle.

Bring your own boat or borrow one of ours. If you own a canoe, it's highly recommended that you bring it as it's preferable to practice in the canoe you will normally use.

If you plan on joining our public river trips through the summer, and are an inexperienced or novice canoeist, consider attending this demonstration to practice your strokes.

Pomps Pond is less than 2 miles from downtown Andover. Although held in Andover, people from all communities are welcome.

Pomps Pond has all the elements for an instructional program such as ample parking, rest and changing rooms, a sloping sandy beach and a large area to practice.

Let us help you become a better paddler.
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February 2011


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