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      Jack Frankosky

        OK – you’ve registered for pool sessions and that roll is working out. Also, if a roll is already part of your skill set, you may want to be more than ready for the Spring season.

        It’s a pretty daunting task to put on in bigger whitewater this time of year – even with a roll and all the cold-weather gear.  Development and refinement of boat handling skills can be tough to focus on when you’re wondering how to stay upright and warm.

        There’s an answer: Kayak Slalom

        Gates at Lock 6 are waiting – they are up year-round. (This is near Brookmont, MD – on the Potomac River.)

        It’s Class 1 moving water, relatively easy just to run it, and gates make all the difference for learning. Paddlers who run gates are a very helpful and supportive group.  Running slalom gates is an exercise which rapidly (pun intended) develops handling skills for more precise boat placement.

        At an early paddler stage, goals are to learn new strokes, when to use them, while developing better feel for edges of the boat and putting those skills together. All this in your own boat, so it translates to confidence and control in whitewater. If you’re interested, there are slalom race boats to try, too.

        Running gates also benefits advanced paddlers (ask Dom). It would be fantastic to fill classes at Valley Mill with all WTC paddlers!

        Please visit: Winter — Classes — VALLEY MILL KAYAK SCHOOL

        You may need to register with Valley Mill and become a member on their site.  It’s FREE – just pick a username and password.

        More details on their site, but please post here if you’re interested (and if so, when you might want to go, so we can coordinate riding there together).

        Ashley Nee, Director of their Kayak School and an Olympian (please read more about her on their site) is one of our Instructors!  She opened a new class time just for us!  From now through March 25th, Saturdays at 11-1 will be offered first to Wilmington Trail Club members.

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