BCU Week – more than just Sea Kayaking……

For many years now sea kayakers in North America have been fortunate enough to benefit from the high quality training and coach education courses offered by the British Canoe Union North America.  Who would have guessed however that we also offer the same quality of courses and coaching within the White Water Kayak and Canoe world??



Photo by Ed Hand

With a location such as Portland, it seemed only right to push the envelope and run these courses on the amazing selection of rivers in the area.  Up first was the BCU 4* White Water Leadership course, concentrating on becoming a better paddler in the class 3 environment whilst guiding friends or clients.  A true benchmark guiding award, we looked at current global best practice, how to get far more out of the river than is ever usually seen and all whilst having a huge amount of fun.  Check out the client reviews below to see what they thought of these full courses.

Next up, a cheeky coaches paddle and then we stepped into BCU expedition canoe courses, exploring leadership skills, personal skill development and also looking at how the canoe can be used to develop skills in both white water kayak and sea kayak.

Photo by Ed Hand

The sea kayakers did get a look in with BCU 3 & 4* Sea Training and assessment taking place based out of the Astoria area.  Truly great to see the smiles of faces and clients gained huge rewards from the progressive tailored individualised coaching that they all received from the exceptional BCU coaches.

The last push consisted of BCU Level 1 & 2 Coach Education courses, with 9 new coaches qualifying at Level 1 and 6 new Aspirant Level 2’s on their journey towards assessment.  Evenings were spent either hanging out chatting about boating over a beer or taking part  in one of the brilliant 3 hours modules which centred around harnessing the power of the mind in a paddlers performance and also how to engage & enthuse young paddlers as long term coaching clients.

So, a 21 day week long programme of BCU courses that were full, successful and already booking for 2014!  Watch out for the first Alder Creek White Water Kayak & Canoe Symposium in the Spring of 2014, with a large range of BCU white water courses attached to either side of it.

See you on the water 

Rob Yates
BCU Coach Educator & Elite Performance Coach

Testimonials from BCU Week’s 4-Star Whitewater course

1) Rob and Paul provided a learning environment that allowed everyone to discover new leadership skills that will allow us to lead groups of beginners or peers with confidence in a safe and fun manner.
Hope to paddle with everyone again!!!
Ed Hand

2) Rob and Paul: The BCU 4 star WW training teaches students how to paddle as a team with their usual boating mates or as a leader of a class. The resultant team maximizes skill building, fun and safety on the river.
Jay Nutt

3) Leading on the river I thought was to lead other paddlers safely. It was a part of it. Fun with group how to entertain other paddlers can be so much additional fun as a lead. You will NOT get frustrated by stressful organization WHEN you understand the FRAME WORK of being a lead. If you want to know the technique, BCU is the one for you!
You can totally open your eyes and improve the latest idea of being a leader!
Nobu Suga

4) This BCU 2-day leadership clinic focusing on skills development, safety, and having a fun time while leading class 2 & 3 boaters safely on whitewater rivers was far beyond my expectations. Along with two full days on the river (always fun), each of our 6 person group worked on improving our communication skills, our awareness in the river environment, with challenging “out of the box” techniques. Coachs Rob and Paul opened our eyes and thinking so that we can adapt this training event to turn even our home turf runs into newly exciting opportunities for trip leaders to provide skills development within a safe, fun environment. Not to be missed is the MOST creative warmups ever and the no-knot pin freeing technique. Count me in for additional leadership training clinics!

Rob, Paul and TEAM,
Thank you for your enthusiasm, knowledge sharing, and support throughout the sessions.
Chris Watson

5) Hands down the best leadership skills class I have taken. If you want to take your leadership to the next level then this is the class for you!!
Joey Thomas

6) This course was full of information, skills and practice that I can immediately put in to practice today. It will take my leadership ability to the next level and I am looking forward to leading my next group with the confidence I gained through this course. This was the best kayaking class I’ve ever had in North America !
Michael Williams