Each year, manufacturers, instructors, paddlers and others come together to share ideas on how to grow the paddle sport industry and improve their kayak school. This is my 4th year attending the event and my 3rd year presenting at the symposium. The two topics I have shared with the symposium and continue to personally develop are: "Kayaking Fitness" and "The Kayaking Mindset".
Without going into too much detail, the reason I feel strongly about these two topics are:
"Kayaking Fitness" - Kayaking and Fitness go hand in hand . . . First of all, you become more fit going out on the water and using paddling as your form of exercise and secondly, you become a better paddler when you crosstrain and improve your overall fitness. So, be the example with your kayak students . . . include in your courses a brief discussion on how fitness and kayaking relate to each other.
"The Kayaking Mindset" - I have come to the conclusion that MOST people realize that performance is affected by your 'mindset'. So, my question to the symposium attendees, "Why aren't there methods and exercises to improve your mindset in our kayaking courses?"
There were many great discussions and topics presented throughout the 3-day event. Eric & Kristine Jackson, Anna Levesque & Andrew Holcombe, WorldKayak, ACA, American Whitewater and many other prominent figures in the paddle sport industry attended this important event and discussed ways to improve the industry as a whole.
In my opinion, this is one of the most valuable, impact-filled weekends for the paddle sports industry during the calendar year. Unlike the OR show (which is mostly manufacturer's) and other paddle symposiums (which is mostly for the consumer's), the Whitewater Symposium brings together BOTH - manufacturer's and instructor's. The successful growth of this sport will only be reached if we can ALL unite and focus on the main goal - Growing the sport!
See you at the next Whitewater Symposium!