Introduction to Paddling: Canoeing Basics for Lakes and Rivers by American Canoe Association, Menasha Ridge Press, Alabama: First Edition (October 1, 1996)), 32 pages, Reviewed by John G Hall for Examiner.com 20 January 2014
Introduction to Paddling: Canoeing Basics for Lakes and Rivers is a resources guide for instructors and beginning canoeist. The American Canoe Association and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources are responsible for it publication and distribution. It is now in its seventh printing (2009).
It is excellently written, accessible to the novice and a valuable tool for instructors. The manual presents students with excerpts from “real” life scenarios, along with checklists and “Review Questions.” There are numerous diagrams and illustrations. These supplement the reading material, making it easier to understand, especially for visual learners.
This “Brief” 32-page “Introduction to Paddling” consists of a
HOW TO BE SAFE ON THE WATER
EQUIPMENT AND NOMENCLATURE
TRANSPORTATION, CARRYING, LAUNCHING AND BOARDING
CANOEING ON MOVING WATER
CANOEING ON LAKES AND STATE WATERWAYS
There are there important questions discussed in the Forward. The first is, “Why Paddling?” Why do so many people take to paddling?” The reasons are as varied as people are.
The canoe has a rich history and tradition. It appeals to individuals, families and to groups. People may paddle for a quiet after on a lake of for days down a wilderness river. This sense of diversity is one reason canoeing is one of America’s most popular outdoor recreations.
The second question or concern is about SAFETY! KNOWLEDGE! SKILL! = CONFIDENCE AND FUN: (The inspiration that gave birth to this project and hundreds of others)
“Safe, enjoyable paddling requires Knowledge and Skill. His manual will help you gain both. If canoeing skills are developed withy safety in mind, paddlers can have fun and be confident.
The final section comes across like a “Pitch,” which a little bothersome if is read out of content. It begins like this: “In addition to reading this booklet and practicing what you learn from it, we strongly recommend formal instruction.” Here it comes: “The American Canoe Association’s (ACA) Introduction to Paddling and Introduction to River Paddling courses emphasize safety, enjoyment, and the development of introductory paddling as summarized below:
American Canoe Association
Introduction to Paddling and Introduction to River Paddling
SAFETY: To safely paddle on flat and moving water, perform
self-rescue, and respond to emergencies that arise
ENJOYMENT: To become aware of paddling opportunities and
the rewards of lifetime participation in paddling
Skills: To acquire the ability to safely and enjoyably paddle
on quiet and moving water
Typically, this type of “sale pitch” is bothersome but considers two factors. The ACA celebrates 135-years in 2015. Visit its website and review the hundreds of programs it offers for paddlers at different age and skill levels.
The American Canoe Association supports and sponsors people with disabilities, national champions and even the individuals who look forward to taking her grandchildren for a quiet paddle on the lake every other weekend.
Think of Introduction to Paddling: Canoeing Basics for Lakes and Rivers as the gateway to a Life-Long-Adventure: Read It! Practice what it Teaches and Enjoy every Paddling Moment of Your Life on and off the Water.
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