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Life as kayak instructor

Kayaking down a river, running big drops, training and doing competitions is what I normally do with my kayak. Those activities are real fun and make life more interesting. However two years ago, I have started, in collaboration with my local kayak club, an interesting activity probably harder and even more satisfactory: teaching kayaking. This activity is harder than running big drops myself because you have to increase the skills of so different people and try to get into their minds to understand what they feel in order to give them the right advice.

Lake in l'Argentiere la besse, France

As an instructor you have to try to “sit in other people’s kayak” and solve their problem from their point of view. You have to imagine to have less or more strength, to be heavier or lighter, to be more courageous or more frightful. Only in this way you can really help people. This activity makes me feel like I’m learning again this wonderful sport through other people.

Kayak technique

Since kayaking with creek boats is a very new sport, the technique is not universally codified yet. The first big step I did was trying to make clear in my mind what I wanted to teach and how could I pass this to beginners and advanced kayakers. Starting from the experience of expert teachers I tried to focus on what movements I really use and what is efficient for myself. Doing this work I realized lots of the “old school” rules that were working for the old long kayaks, are not helpful at all with the modern creek boats and I think is important to create a new style.

Durance river in l'Argentiere la besse, France

Now I have in my mind a very interesting scheme of the kayak technique to teach to everybody. This scheme also helps me to understand what movement is the best to run a certain drop or to hit the fastest race line.

Michele teaching a kayak class on the Durance river in France

Lifestyle

In my life, I split my time between kayaking, teaching kayak and a small private business as website programmer.

The letter obviously keeps me in front of the computer for several hours and teaching how to kayak allows me to do something I really need: to stay in the river and in contact with people. However the good thing about programming for myself is that I can take days off more or less whenever I like.

This way I don’t have to wake up each morning doing the same 9 to 5 job every. I can still have spare time to do what I love. Live better stories…

Tags: coaching · durance · habitat · instructional · kayak school · kayaking · learn · michele ramazza · teaching

Rubrik: Teamblog  Poster: Michele Ramazzaaktualisiert: 15.08.11 - 13:30

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