Submitted: 08-28-2006 by cooldoctor1
I own and love the six DVD series by Nigel Foster. Each DVD outlines very specific strokes and instruction, including everything from directional control, rolling, seat position, simple repairs, and rescue, to even very subtle things like paddle selection and positioning in the boat. I had no idea what to expect, particularly as I had never seen the video before (although on the internet you can see a clip from one video--googe it), and was startled at the high production quality of the entire DVD. I own several kayaking DVDs and can say, hands down, this set has the absolute most vivid pictures, graphics that are extremely helpful, and is organized well. If you cannot afford the entire set, then any DVD (each is a little over one hour) pertaining to your area of interest is reasonable. The first DVD is for really newbies and can be omitted by seasonaed paddlers (i.e. if you have to skip one, that is the one to omit--although it is nice to have to share with others and complete the set). Nigel is a famous instructor with years of teaching under his belt, an it shows as he trains about 10 other paddlers in Florida on crisp sunny days; feels just like you're attending the class with them. Nigel does have a sort of dry character, very factual, not many chuckles (I swear I saw him laugh once on the third DVD--I think), but the intended purpose is to teach, not humor, and the teaching, tips and pointers come so fast and furious that you literally learn something every couple of minutes. Jam packed with useful demos and info. I wish the tapes had a minute-by-minute summary to make it easier to find very specific items (one is available on-line, I forget where). Finally, on tapes 5 and 6, Greg Stamer, famous greenland instructor, does a superb job of giving a revoiew of the Inuit style, paddles, rationale, and demos--all told, about 25 minutes of Inuit instruction, enough to get you started and to better appreciate the culture. I strongly urge any beginner or intermediate paddler to buy these DVDs; they can be watched every season to review lifesaving and kayak control tips, and they are presented in stellar fashion. I gave it a 9/10 only because Nigel seldom smiles (but I truly respect he and his teachings), and because it deserves/needs a minute-by-minute summary to be included with each DVD(a compliment to teh amount of info in these DVDs).