I know last year was weird year what with covid and pool issues, but I had a great paddling year. Once we worked thru the details, paddling with it’s natural social distancing was a saving grace for me. All the cancelled releases in the spring were a bummer, but most were rescheduled to summer and early fall when paddling is a lot more pleasant. So thanks to the many people i paddled with and the few people i shuttled with.
I know hope everyone had as good a paddling season. I know some of you chose to paddle with your ‘pod’ or not do club trips to control the situation more. Hope we can get you back with the club!
I’m excited to be once again taking the reigns as President of KCCNY.
My goals for the coming year.
Making it easier run a KCCNY trip.
To this end, the board has already approved that we will follow our insurance provider’s (the ACA’s) guidelines on helmets and life jackets, so helmets will no longer be required below class 2 (opening up easier river, lake and open water trips though leaders can and should require helmets) and allowing inflatable life jackets for below class 1. Hopefully more of us will post our more recreational trips.
Making it easier to coordinate.
Accepting ACA online waivers (which will require that use of the same email address for us and the ACA).
Also: We’re working on bringing back training and pool sessions safely in what will hopefully be a post pandemic world.
Continue with a Zoom alternate for meetings even when we can meet in person again.
I hope everyone had a great paddling season this year! Last weekend we had our annual KCCNY meeting and dinner, and I continue to be incredibly grateful for our paddling community – it was a pleasure meeting a number of legacy members, and welcoming a few new members to the club as well.
Furthermore, I’m excited to be taking the reigns as President of KCCNY.
An additional thanks goes out to the generous charitable contributions of our members that has allowed KCCNY to donate to American Whitewater, the Mongaup EMTs, and the Passaic River Coalition this year.
Looking forward to seeing you on the river (or in the pool) soon!
After 10 long years as Training Chair, Jack Moskowitz turned the position over to Jessica Osedach at the KCCNY annual meeting and dinner in November.
During his tenure as training chair, Jack remained an active and engaged instructor to all who sought help, both formally and informally. The KCCNY training program has grown and improved under his direction. Perhaps 100s of students have come and gone during that time.
I still remember the first beginner weekend that Jack ran back on 2003, shortly after completing his instructor certification course at NOC. He moved the venue from Lake Sebago to Lake Ocquittunk in Stokes State Forest to a beautiful campsite and pavilion next to the lake. It was memorable because it poured rain the entire weekend. There was so much rain that we were forced to move the whitewater section to the nearly flat water section of the Upper Delaware to prevent the beginners from floating downstream to Philadelphia in a flood. Clare Tattersal showed up drenched on a motorcycle.
The beginner weekend has since moved to a better location on the Lower Lehigh at Glen Onoko. It has a great big pond sized eddy to practice the flat water moves, and a very gentle moving water section to learn the eddy turns and peel outs in a really friendly environment before moving on to an easy Class 2 river run on Day 2.
Jack also added many formal and informal river runs to the KCCNY schedule to bring the beginners along to more exciting Class 2 rivers like the Lehigh and Mongaup, and then up to Class 3 on the Lower Yough. He is nearly always present at pool sessions to teach and encourage the students. Jack also added the informal clinics to the pool sessions to add more than just learning to roll in the pool.
Jack has encouraged many of the enthusiastic students to go on for instructor certification and has nominated many for the Ed Alexander award. A few of them have even stuck with it. Jack was invited to join the ACA River Kayak Committee. It’s a committee made of primarily the best instructors in the country who meet and make improvements to the ACA instructional requirements for both students and instructors. It’s an evolving sport and the requirements are constantly being updated. He joins many of the most dedicated kayak instructors in the field such as Jerry MacAward, Janet Cowie, Kent Ford, and Mary DeReimer.
Many of Jack’s former students have continued to paddle and gone onto to become better paddlers or at least paddle bigger rivers. How many of you have benefited from Jack’s instruction? As I look around at current club members, I remember many of them as beginners that Jack helped along. Who knew that Andy Frey learned to roll from Jack? That Steve McLuckie along with Linda was in his beginner class way back when? Or that crazy Wayne Gman was once an informal student and swam the Lower Yough on one of Jack’s trips? That Jessica was his student in the beginner weekend and was petrified? The beginner weekend wouldn’t be the same without Lori Cook and her current boyfriend. She holds the record for most beginner weekends attended.
Many more students have come and gone and only a few have stuck it out this long, but all of them have been fun and rewarding. Many friendships have evolved from teaching kayaking and many happy memories of adventures with great friends have been made. Jack doesn’t plan to give up teaching, but it’s time to give so new and younger blood have a chance to shine. We wish Jessica success and will support her all the way.
They seem to be popping up everywhere, swarms of open boaters descending class 4 and 5 drops previously paddled mainly by kayak and one or two reckless souls in an open boat. What is the cause of this phenomenon?
It really can’t be the sleek lines of the newer model boats. Most of them kind of resemble a skinny plastic bathtub. But recent design innovations have seemingly spurred interest in what once was more of a fringe area in the world of class 4 & 5 whitewater boating.
It surely cannot be because of the convenience of paddling an open boat. Most of them have to stop to dewater more often than my 10-year-old daughter after sucking down a “Big Gulp” on the car ride to Disney World. And lets face it, the things are heavy and awkward to carry around.
The eastern open boaters seem to be divided into two separate groups with decidedly different personalities. The northern group seems to tolerate kayakers pretty well, often paddling alongside kayaks in mixed groups. Then there are the southern boaters. They are almost militant in their fanatical devotion to the sport, openly derisive of the “butt boaters” paddling kayaks. Taunting them with claims of “half the paddle, twice the man” and other emasculating statements. It’s a game really, while most of them wouldn’t be caught dead paddling a kayak, the taunts are all good-natured and everybody is out having a good time on the river.
As much as it pains me to admit, I have quite a bit of admiration for open boat paddlers. Lets face it, it is harder to paddle with one blade. I have heard the open boaters discussing the lines when scouting a drop. They have to plan each paddle stroke, timing them so that they are on the correct side to make a move through the current. Some lines are easier for right hand paddlers while others are more suited to left hand paddlers. The open boater has to be much more aware of the water and how his boat will react than a kayaker need be.
Open boaters also have to look for a “dry” line through a rapid. They have to be very conscious of a large wave or hole swamping their boat and leaving them to paddle a sluggish unresponsive tub down the remainder of the drop.
In short, open boaters have to be much more aware of what the water is doing and of what they will have to do to compensate for the currents. I just think it takes a little more skill.
So why do I paddle a Kayak? I simply love to get wet. I am always looking for what the open boaters are generally trying to avoid. I love crashing through holes, sitting up to my neck in the middle of a writhing pile of foam then having my bow shoot skyward while I frantically brace to keep myself upright. I love the chaos in the middle of a class 5 drop and riding down the center of a huge wave train getting thrown left and right.
I even enjoy the feeling of getting swirled around while inverted in a hole. Its kind of fun. I know I’m not the only kayaker to feel that way. There were plenty of people jumping into the frantic, seething class 5 water in front of Pillow Rock at the Gauleyfest. We did it for the adrenalin rush of being at the mercy of the raging torrent, uncertain of when and where we might emerge to catch or next breath.
I guess I’ll keep my kayak