Submitted: 01-20-2011 by Karovaldas
This DVD fell well short of my expectations.
BCU has this aura of prestige as the best sea kayaking school on the planet so I expected high quality material on this title. Instead, I am hard-pressed to list anything worthwhile that I learned from this video. The content is very basic, detail and explanation is minimal, and the coverage is far from exhaustive. Furthermore, many of the techniques they present are considered out-dated among the ACA coaches I paddle with: lifting the kayak, crab entry, hooking the tow line to the hand-toggle loop, etc.
Production value is very low. There is no post-processing to boost color and increase contrast so the entire video looks foggy. The soundtrack feels designed to put you to sleep, although the voices of the speakers are reasonably clear.
The best parts of the video were the extras--especially the coast guard parts. But even those are questionable for the US contingent as they are UK specific.
I can't evaluate this video from a beginner's perspective. I suppose, if you don't have access to a sea kayaking symposium and don't know anything about sea kayak safety, this may be an OK investment. I would not recommend this for an intermediate paddler. There are excellent books on the topic. A reviewer below recommends two different DVDs on the topic. Best, though, attend a symposium. The rescues that are demonstrated in rough water look deceptively simple but don't be fooled: you are looking at some of the most skilled paddlers on the planet and it takes a lot of practice to display that ease.