bcu 2 star

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lora may
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bcu 2 star

Post by lora may » Wed Jul 30, 2014 4:31 pm

I have passed my 2 star kayak assessment but can't pass my canoe part due to been unable to do the Canoe rescue . I am disabled and can't get back into either a Canoe or kayak solo . but I can swim to shore with my kayak and paddle but not with a canoe. Am I able to pass the single blade part of the assessment using my kayak in usual position but using a single blade instead and would it work

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chris241
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Re: bcu 2 star

Post by chris241 » Wed Jul 30, 2014 4:53 pm

An assessor can and should make allowances for any disabilities. I'm sure there is a way around this. Using kayak with a single blade is one option maybe. But if you can do all of the other tasks in a canoe then it may make more sense to find a way round the rescue problem. If you can swim to shore with your kayak (which is a perfectly acceptable self rescue at 2 star) you are obviously fine in the water. But as you say a canoe can act as a bit of an anchor when you're swimming with it. So how about using a swim line? Attach a 20m throwline to the canoe. Then when you are in the water grab the end of the line, swim to shore and pull the canoe in once you are there. It's a technique that we use on WW with canoes so there is no reason it wouldn't be acceptable for 2 star. Obviously you need to be within that distance of the shore (or suitably shallow water) for it to work, but stating that you would only paddle within this dstance of the shore because of this issue would be making a logical and sensible judgement call, with consideration to your physical limitations. I would certainly have no issue with this approach on one of my 2 star assessments.

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Re: bcu 2 star

Post by Yellow boat » Wed Jul 30, 2014 5:14 pm

Lora
I totally agree with Chris there is no problem. Use a swim line or use others on the water with you to help with the canoe swim.
Again I would have no problem with these modifications on any of my assessments.

Paul

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Re: bcu 2 star

Post by jamiemagee » Wed Jul 30, 2014 5:41 pm

For 2* I'm sure the rescue is with assistance. This could even involve someone pulling you into the canoe surely.

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Re: bcu 2 star

Post by lora may » Wed Jul 30, 2014 5:51 pm

I have been told that you have to do a self rescue in both canoe and kayak and they have already let me off carrying them to and from the bank as this is a total no go having said that because of my limitations I would never be able to kayak on my own . But once I am in my kayak you can't tell I am disabled and this and the hip flick for rolling are the only things I have found a problem

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Re: bcu 2 star

Post by chriscw » Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:16 pm

Here are the BCU assessment notes for 2 star:

B.1 Capsize, swim and self-rescue
Paddlers must capsize the boat, with a spray deck or straps in place if appropriate, and show
no sign of panic. They then should rescue themselves by one or other of these suitable
methods; climb back in and bail, or swim ashore with all their equipment and empty.
Paddlers may assist each other at any time. Care and concern should be shown to all
paddlers and equipment. BCU 2 Star Assessment Notes
BCU/Star Awards/2 Star Assessment Notes/3.0/Oct13 © British Canoe Union
Page 3 of 4
BCU 2 Star Assessment Notes
B.2 Rescue a capsized paddler
Paddlers should demonstrate helping a peer get back into their boat after a capsize. Suitable
methods would include; x-rescue, curl, or tow/shunt to the shore as appropriate.

Note PADDLERS MAY ASSIST EACH OTHER AT ANY TIME. The person assessing you is simply wrong. Be nice to them, draw their attention to the guidance notes if you like they are here: http://www.canoe-england.org.uk/media/p ... 0Oct13.pdf If all else fails get another coach to do your assessment.
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Touring, Coaching Beginners (I am an L2K), Surf White water trips, Weir Play (I'm not good enough to put freestyle!)

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quicky
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Re: bcu 2 star

Post by quicky » Wed Jul 30, 2014 8:10 pm

I have been told that you have to do a self rescue in both canoe and kayak and they have already let me off carrying them to and from the bank as this is a total no go having said that because of my limitations I would never be able to kayak on my own . But once I am in my kayak you can't tell I am disabled and this and the hip flick for rolling are the only things I have found a problem
Sounds like someone should do a disability awareness course..... (not you)

if that was the case my mate (no legs) would be stuffed as well. You are meant to make accomodation for peoples lack of mobility or disability and be allowed help as well.

Seems someone is being unduly strict....

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Re: bcu 2 star

Post by adpal » Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:53 pm

Hiya

I had a similar thing happen to me when I was doing my level1 coach. I'd managed to get through everything else during the 2 weekends including the canoeing side of things , even though canoeing isn't my strong point and given the choice will always go for a kayak every time. When it came to doing the self rescue I'd had no problem with the kayak but when it came to emptying my canoe when in a second and then turning it over while still in the second canoe this is where being disabled with back problems came up.
One of the instructors said/hinted to me when I said I was having difficulties , if you can't manage that are you sure you want to be a coach / should be canoeing.
I managed as I wasn't going to let it beat me but the attitude left a lot to be desired

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janet brown
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Re: bcu 2 star

Post by janet brown » Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:38 pm

I went to the Canoe England Paddle-Ability conference in March 2013, but haven't really taken things any further. I have just looked up the notes I took at the time:

Tests and awards should be inclusive, and reasonable adjustments should be made.
If variations are made to the star test, the assessor should instruct candidates not to tackle any future activity that possession of the award would indicate competence, but that the disability would impede. The individual should notify the leader of the activity if they believe their disability may affect their ability to carry out tasks.

For coaches with a disability, it was suggested that a supported approach would be appropriate:
- use of another paddler to demonstrate under the disabled persons direction
- safety cover for rescues

Apologies, this is all I have noted down, and pretty much copying out my notes!

I would advise that you contact Canoe England, and ask to talk to the Paddle-Ability people. Back in 2013, this was Clarisse Smith the CE Disability Officer (but she was heading straight off on maternity leave) and Ben Seal the Engagement Officer.

I am fairly certain I know of someone who did their 2 star canoe part in a C1 slalom boat...

Janet

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quicky
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Re: bcu 2 star

Post by quicky » Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:41 pm

if you can't manage that are you sure you want to be a coach / should be canoeing.
If your are registered disabled, that is enough for a serious complaint.

I am sure that quite a few 'coaches' have no idea what it is like to have a disability.

There are also quite a few paddles with disabilities or lack of mobility but still want the enjoyment of paddling or fullfillment of coaching or even just helping out.

You can simulate various things in a safe environment with quick release straps, (mobility in legs or arms) or put paddlers who have never used them into the super slim racing kayaks and get them to try to paddle like they normally do.

It is one of the major criticisms that paddlers may have the paper to say they have done the 'awareness' courses etc, but in reality they have no idea at all unless the have a lack of mobility themselves or have experience of caring for someone with one.

Unfortunately it is the same mentality with some people who cannot seem to realise that people learn differently and need to be coached in different ways.

It says more about the coaches mentality really. Because you have a lack of mobility you cannot be a coach!?!?!?!?!

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Re: bcu 2 star

Post by Jim » Thu Jul 31, 2014 12:50 am

Good on you for sticking at it despite the inherent discrimination in the syllabus!

Do you use facebook? If so have a look at the c-boating uk group (will need to join to post but Mat usually approves people quite quickly). C-boats are canoes, but the group is for WW canoeists who mainly use vary different canoes to the ones I expect you have been using.

The most active of us (not necessarily most of us) paddle OC1 - that is a WW open canoe which is usually much shorter and lighter than a touring canoe, but more crucially it is mostly full of air bags with a foam saddle in the middle to kneel on. Some of us use straps (quick release) to aid boat control, others build foam bullheads with holes to tuck their knees into - either way most boats don't need you to lock in tight to paddle them around on flat water such as for a 2 star test. Now the important part - when we capsize (if we don't roll - many of us can but it is not essential) the airbags keep the canoe floating high and minimize the amount of entrained water you have to drag along with it. In fact the advice we give beginners is to turn your boat upright as soon as possible because a lot of the water will fall out as you do (thanks to the airbags) which makes the boat much easier to swim to the side with. By the way, we don't much use a long swim-line as others have described, just enough tape or something to grab hold - the swim-line is more for touring canoes in moving water where the boat is too heavy for even able bodied paddlers to tow it whilst swimming - they aim to swim into an eddy before they run out of line, get on the bank and then pendulum the boat across the flow towards them. OC1's tend to float high enough that we don't need to do all that.
The biggest trouble with OC1's are that there aren't that many in the UK compared to kayaks - they do come up fairly frequently second hand if you know where to look and some can be quite cheap, but the new prices are about twice those of kayaks. Your best bet would be to find someone near you who could let you try theirs and maybe borrow it for some practice sessions and assessment if you get on with it.

The other type of canoe that members of the group use is a C1 - that is a decked canoe, which at a glance looks exactly like a kayak. On further examination you will find that the boat has a foam saddle in the middle instead of a seat and the paddler kneels in it, again using straps or a bulkhead with knee holes to provide some contact with the boat for control. They started out really from slalom racing canoes - again at a glance they look identical to slalom kayaks but in the detail the hull is wider which gives them more stability which is useful when kneeling. They evolved a bit over time and there were a few polythene C1's made along the lines of WW touring kayaks but still wider, there are also some playboats like the ones from shaggy designs which again tend to be a bit wider than kayak playboats. But the main manufacturers never really catered for C1 paddlers so these days the vast majority are made by converting kayaks. Simply take the seat out, fit a foam pedestal and bulkhead (or drill some holes for strap anchors) and hey presto you have a canoe that is exactly the same size and weight as a kayak - in fact it may be lighter, those seats are heavy!
There are always conversations on the group about converting kayaks, there were a lot of photos earlier today of different ways to convert creek boats to C1's
If you are careful how you do it, it is quite possible to make a conversion that you can switch between kayak and C1 - you could perhaps even use your normal kayak for this, although it would probably be better to find out which ones are most suitable (i.e. more stable) and try to find a cheap second hand one to convert - you can always convert it back to sell on when you have finished.

Another source for good outfitting information is the mainly American site: https://www.cboats.net/

Kneeling is preferable with a single blade because it gives you better range of trunk rotation for cross deck strokes if you don't want to keep on changing hands - although how relevant that would be at 2 star I don't know. It is possible to paddle a kayak from a seated position with a single blade but it feels quite awkward - possibly best not to mention that to the few North American tribes who traditionally paddled sea kayaks with a single blade though!

Have the BCU adopted Stand Up Paddle boards yet? If so that would be another option for single bladed paddling - completely different to all the above - you stand up and the board is a lot lighter than a canoe or kayak, plus you just might be able to climb back onto it?

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Re: bcu 2 star

Post by lora may » Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:11 am

Which ever single bladed discipline I do it has to be sitting down as I can stand but my balance isn't good on dry land let alone anything that moving or sit down but nothing in between and can't get from one to the other without help due to losing most of my knee joints in a motorbike accident 30+ years ago

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Re: bcu 2 star

Post by Jim » Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:37 am

I see, does that mean kneeling is also out then?

I know a lot of people paddle a canoe from the seat, but it's much easier from kneeling, and all the specialized boats I mentioned are set up for kneeling.

If you have any trouble convincing an assessor that using a single blade seated in a kayak is valid, simply point out that there is historic precedence since several Alaskan tribes used single blades (some switching between single and double blades for different purposes):
http://www.arctickayaks.com/paddles.htm
(and yes that is an inconvenient truth for those of us who differentiate canoes and kayaks by the number of blades used!)

Because your reach will be restricted when seated, you should probably try and use a short paddle in a kayak - often tandem crews use a shorter paddle in the front seat so they are readily available but best to try a few as they may still be too long. If so something like the kiddy paddle that Endless River do might be more suitable, but the blade may be downsized too which maight make it ineffective. Alternatively something like a cheap TNP paddle with an aluminium shaft can be cut down to whatever length you find works for you, the T grip is usually glued and rivetted but if you use a screw and no glue you can experiment cutting a little off each time until you find a good length (the original T-grip may be fixed and not recoverable but replacements are available).

Good luck!

lora may
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Re: bcu 2 star

Post by lora may » Thu Jul 31, 2014 12:41 pm

Yes kneeing is definitely out of the question even bending them more than 100 degrees is a problem. I have a Jackson villain which I lower myself on to the back then lift my legs in and then slide in side wards to get them under my thigh brace's. Getting out means I push myself out on to the back of the kayak horizontal until my knees are clear of the thigh brace's then into sitting position then either slide my body onto the bank or if the water is shallow enough put my feet on the floor and someone puts their feet in front of mine to wedge them and help me to up myself into a standing position

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Re: bcu 2 star

Post by quicky » Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:11 pm

Well there you go Lora, How dare you want to be a coach with your disability. (he said scarcastically)

My wife have something similar. Motorbike accident but then was mis-diagnsed so the doctors pulled her legs apart with traction. she now has knee caps on the sides of her legs and complete nerve damage. (reflex sympathetic dystrophy).

It is a real problem with the way the syllabus is written and the way some people interpret it. I hope you fine an option that works for you and a coach/assessor that is more aware of your condition and can help.

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Re: bcu 2 star

Post by adpal » Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:14 pm

quicky wrote:
if you can't manage that are you sure you want to be a coach / should be canoeing.
If your are registered disabled, that is enough for a serious complaint.

I am sure that quite a few 'coaches' have no idea what it is like to have a disability.

Yes , registered and the trainers were told when I first applied for the course and all the way through , saying that on the most part the trainers were brilliant.

The club I'm with deals with a few people of all ages who have some sort of problem from 'just' not being able to bend right to people in wheelchairs and mostly once there on the water you can't tell

Adam

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quicky
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Re: bcu 2 star

Post by quicky » Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:43 pm

Then I think you have real reason for complaint about this. It was quite a disgracefull (and highly dodgy) thing to say.

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Re: bcu 2 star

Post by lora may » Fri Aug 01, 2014 11:56 am

Hi everyone I spoke to our new level 2 coach last night and he is going to contact bcu but he thinks it's not going to be a problem as it should be all inclusive thanks for all the advice it gave me hope

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Re: bcu 2 star

Post by ErewashBob » Fri Aug 01, 2014 2:13 pm

I was told getting back in and bailing was NOT a suitable way to self-rescue in a canoe. And also told swimming to the banks with a kayak was NOT a way of passing 2*.
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Re: bcu 2 star

Post by Jim » Fri Aug 01, 2014 3:09 pm

ErewashBob wrote:I was told getting back in and bailing was NOT a suitable way to self-rescue in a canoe. And also told swimming to the banks with a kayak was NOT a way of passing 2*.
You should tell whoever told you that to read section B1 of the 2* assessor notes quoted above then!

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Re: bcu 2 star

Post by twopigs » Fri Aug 01, 2014 7:26 pm

ErewashBob wrote:I was told getting back in and bailing was NOT a suitable way to self-rescue in a canoe. And also told swimming to the banks with a kayak was NOT a way of passing 2*.
I'm with Jim here .... both are rubbish.... But wait - maybe the not swimming with the kayak at 2* is wrong because it is a possibility at 3*?

These experiences make me ashamed to be a BCU coach. Aren't coaches supposed to be supportive and encouraging?
Canoeing - bigger boat, broken paddle, more skill!

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Re: bcu 2 star

Post by heybaz » Fri Aug 01, 2014 11:32 pm

PLEASE if you meet these kinds of obstructions and your club coaches can't or won't help, contact your Regional or Area Coaching Reps. Do this directly or through your club, but PLEASE do it and press for the support that they can bring. Even if not a club or BCU member - give it a go.

I'm with Twopigs on this; there are any number of excellent positive, supportive coaches out there, volunteers and commercial, as well as - unfortunately - some absolute embarrassments who refuse to move with the times and continue to coach in the same way as they have done for years... One way of helping to change this is to turn away from these dinosaurs, refuse to be dragged down to their level and engage with those coaches who can and will help you. If you are not certain who your RCRs and ACRs are, look here:

RCRs: http://www.canoe-england.org.uk/coachin ... entatives/

ACRs: http://www.canoe-england.org.uk/coachin ... entatives/

Your ACRs & RCRs should be willing and able to access local coaches who will be able help you and may take any specific issues forward to senior British Canoeing coaching staff if required. My direct experience is that support will be given and that there IS plenty of opportunity to adjust elements of the syllabus to accommodate a paddler's needs. If you cannot gain help through these routes locally please PM me and I'll make sure that you whatever support you need.

Good luck with your progression and happy paddling

Barry
ACR Cumbria East

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