This past weekend I decided to take my level 3 with ORCKA after seeing that Gayle from Sometimes Eventful posted about the class that she took. I didn’t know that there was a relatively new place teaching ORCKA classes nearby. It all comes naturally. I can’t recommend them enough!

I had always wanted to finish my level 4, but life gets in the way… I’d check here and there, but there was always something more pressing. I was pleasantly surprised to see a level 3 class that I could squeeze into.

I really needed some time on the water. I think I might have to make that more of a priority. I haven’t really paddled too much this season to be honest. With the bugs and the wildfires, I figured I’d save it all up for the fall, (and now I’m crossing my fingers that my fall trip isn’t freezing!)

We had a really great group! I learned quite a few new things that I had no idea were part of tandem canoeing. You come out of these classes with a much better idea of how to control your boat.

I was pretty lucky to have a good paddle partner, since I went to the class solo. You never really know who you’ll be paired up with, but I appreciate anything that’ll build those skills. I’m not exactly the most graceful person… My partner for the day was quite experienced with the canoe, so instead of sitting around after each skill was learned, we just tried everything faster. Sometimes it worked, and sometimes I’d smash us right through our ‘fake’ dock in the middle of the lake. But it’s a pretty cool feeling when 2 people can get in sync and communicate what each needs to do. I really enjoyed coming in at full speed on an almost 90° angle, and turning the boat quickly at the last moment to land right where we meant to. It’s tons of fun! (And might have sparked a small interest in whitewater classes, but we’ll have to wait and see about that!)

Now forget a minute about the class. Oh my gosh! Can I just brag a little? This was so cool! So since level 3 is a tandem class, you have to work with a partner. And there’s always the option to bring your own canoe.

So after we were paired up my partner said to the group, “Has anyone ever heard of the couple who wrote the book In the Footsteps of the Group of Seven? Of course everyone had heard of them 😊

Turns out my paddle partner for the day was using their canoe! And not only was it their canoe but it was the canoe that they had used to paddle to all those different places.

Yeap that's a canoe

How cool is that!?

The class was really great. I again feel so much better about my paddling abilities. I can’t stress enough, that even if you are a skilled paddler, you will learn something helpful from these classes. If you’re like me and were petrified of getting back in the water, it’s invaluable! ORCKA has really made it easy for me to feel confident in the water and in control of my canoe. Next season I’ll definitely be in the level 4 class, and who knows what after that!

All I know right now is that I definitely need more practice!

What have you done personally to get yourself out there?

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