|Research Books, Videos, & More in the Buyers' Guide!|
In the name of full disclosure, I took my ACA Open Water Instructors Workshop and Exam with Peter to a great degree due to the quality of his instruction on the dvd. He is not just a grade A instructor in real life, he plays one just as well on TV (in the disc).
Material is presented in a concise, straightforward fashion. His routine is to verbally introduce a stroke, model it from a few angles and than recap verbally. As an instructor myself, I know first-hand that clients usually retain only about half of what you describe and show them. Peter has this process down to a fine science. His explanations leave subtle depth, allowing viewers room for self discovery, even over multiple viewings. Modeling skills are shockingly clear and effective. If you can wrestle your boat half as well as him, you should consider doing a video yourself.
The advantage of taking a class is getting personalized feedback. The beauty of studying technique in a video is the ability to go back, over and over till it sinks in. I found this dvd well suited for not just prepping for the difficult, demanding Instructor's Assessment but have used it to fine tune tweak my skills subsequently. Both the strokes and rescues shown in the disc are not just scholastic exercises, they have real world applications. If you are moving from basic skills needed for flatwater "lilly dipping" (covered in dvd 1) to bumpy water, more adventurous paddling and want to be able to hold up your end as a member of a pod, this is the exact sort of stuff you need to know.
Not included on this disk are the forward stoke, or any self-rescue lessons; these are all dual paddler rescues. Nigel Foster's video series or Wayne Horodowich's DVDs are suggested for these lessons. There is also no rolling instruction, which requires a dedicated video in general. The only claim on the DVD case that is truly not taught is surf basic skills. While the strokes taught can be applied to the surf, and there is some brief footage of surf paddling in general, there are no in surf instructional segments, per se. Wayne's classic ABC's of Surf Kayaking video is the undisputed best instruction video for surf.
The sound and video quality are exemplary and Peter is an engaging, if somewhat subdued, instructor. He paddles a P&H Capella and a Werner Corryvrecken paddle. He is knowledgeable. I do believe that, after a paddler has a couple months in a sea kayak and learns the basics (perhaps from the first video from Peter Casson, which I did not view), this video is the next logical progression in learning. Well worth your time.
120,000+ people can't be wrong!
The Paddling.net Newsletter is a must if you like to canoe or kayak! Each week it is packed with great articles, photos, product reviews, and special features. Better yet, we promise not to sell your email address to anyone; that's right ZERO spam! Sign up today and find out what you've been missing!