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Back in a Boat

My dad likes kayaking. He offered to take my son out in a two person boat (K2) and I decided to have another go myself.

I can't remember the last time I was in a K1 (a one person boat). I am talking about flat water racing kayaks. Unlike most kayaks, you don't exactly sit in one, more like sit on top and balance your way along. It is a bit like riding a bike but the handle bars are not actually attached to the bike. I have seen an experienced river kayaker fall in before he could get his paddle in the water.

When discussing the plan, I was asked what type of boat I would like. All racing kayaks fall along a spectrum. At one end you have fast boats. At the other, there are stable boats. There is no such thing as a slow boat or a wobbly one. I suggested that considering the length of time since I had last been in a boat, a catameran would be suitable. Instead I got one of the stablest boats that the club owns. But everything is relative. There were plenty wobbles for the first 100m.

After that I started to relax a bit and regained some confidence. Once I wasn't spending all my mental energy trying to convince myself to calm down and relax, I was able to focus on my paddling technique. This was something that I was never particularly good at before but seemed to come relatively easily today. Perhaps the last time I was in a boat was so long ago that my mussel memory had been completely reset.

Person in a kayak with their paddle resting on the water
No more wobbles
Person in a kayak with their paddle resting on the water
No more wobbles
Close

It was a very gentle paddle along the canal and back. The only mussels that were complaining were in my legs and that was because they were under near constant strain without actually moving very far. This is something that they are not really used to.

Judging by the smiles on their faces, both my son and my dad also enjoyed themselves. I can't see me making any comeback to flat water racing, but it was a nice way to spend the afternoon.

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