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Canoe ballet and solo canoeing are one of Becky Mason's favourite paddling subjects. Wooden Canoe Heritage Association and the Canoe Museum is a favourite too . Becky is a filmmaker and the instructional paddling dvd is highlighted on Becky Mason site. There are many people who write about canoeing Kevin Callan and others. Becky Mason is a superb canoe instructor and has made two films on paddling instruction. Becky Mason has a love of the wooden canoe. Her canvas wooden canoe is featured in her Classic solo Canoeing instructional videos. The dvds are lovely to watch and learn from because it teaches you how to enjoy the Canadian wilderness. You see the Canadian canoe in action spinning effortlessly on quiet water lakes which in Canada is called flatwater. Throughout Becky Mason's website she has tips and facts about canoes and paddles. Becky specializes in her Classic Solo Canoeing courses it's excellent instruction for paddling the Canadian canoe. To paddle a canoe well you'll want to take a paddling lesson or you may want to pick up a copy of Becky Mason's instructional canoe video. The on-line gift store offers canoeing dvds. Take the time to view Becky Mason on-line video trailer you will like it the superb instruction and underwater photography!
Becky Mason - Paddling Tips

Image © Reid McLachlan

Classic Solo Intro and Advanced instructional videos see  download

Keep things simple
I think simplicity, the economy of movement while paddling is important, this entails using leverage instead of brute strength to move the canoe. A student recently told me he suffered back pain and was trying to build up his weaker muscles, and he was surprised that there was no hint of muscle fatigue or spasm while taking my two-hour paddling lesson.

Break old habits
I find that experienced canoeists may have to overcome muscle memory when learning new strokes. Try changing to your less familiar paddling side. This way the strokes feel brand new and there are not as many old habits to slip into.

Enjoy your surroundings
The surroundings where I paddle are important too. My classes are not just a technical stroke session, I encourage my students to stop and look at their surroundings and respect and appreciate our natural environment.

Practice is good
I recommend that new and seasoned canoeist's practice in a safe comfortable environment, be it a small lake or sheltered bay.

Yes to comfort
Above all else, I like to stress comfort while paddling. This includes both physical and psychological comfort. If a student can't kneel we find a happy medium perhaps they sit on the seat with one leg stretched out utilizing the 3 point stabilization technique. If we are cold we put an other layer on and have a rain coat handy. It's Murphy's law if you have a raincoat within reaching distance in your canoe it probably won't rain or for very long.

Researching your paddling trip
There are endless resources for researching a trip, from blogs and websites to books and magazines the information out there is astonishing. But I do have my favourites and the following is a short list of a few that I find myself returning to regularly.

On line paddling resources
When I want to get inspired about where to go or search out a route I first go to the
Canadian Canoe Routes. I can spend hours happily puttering around reading the forums on trips people have taken and what's happening in the Canadian canoeing community.

For Uk or Europe trips I think the
Song of the Paddle is swell. And for the USA Paddlenet is good too. Here are some Canadian ones that are fun to pour over too. Here are a few. Outdoor Adventure Canada and Canoeing Rendezvous

Some great guide books
After I've narrowed my choice down to where I'm going, the next stop is getting a handy dandy routes guide book. I love tripping on lakes and rivers and I plan my trips around that wish. I know it sounds old fashioned to want to have a book but it is really nice to have it along to read in the evening in the tent. I usually go to
Kevin Callan's site to see what book titles and videos he has available on the specific trip.

Before my trip I always review what
Hap Wilson's guide books I have in my collection. He's been producing guide books for many years. For many of his books he does beautiful drawings for each route and they are fun to follow.

I do like travelling with the
Chrismar's Adventure MapsŪ too because along with the map they put lots of wonderful notes to enjoy on their waterproof maps.

Paddling reference
One of my favourite newsletter is
Chemun , a quarterly magazine devoted to the wilderness tripper and slanted towards extended northern trips. I always enjoy reading Canoeroots mag. and they have many other fine Mag covering all our paddling sports by Rapid Media.

Canoeing North into the Unknown by Gwyneth Hoyle and  Bruce Hodgins is an excellent historical reference for northern trips as it details those who have gone before us on these rivers that flow to the Arctic. It's remarkable to see how much traffic these remote wilderness rivers have seen over the years. Back issues of magazines are great too. 


The book Canoe Atlas of The Little North is an excellent choice for route planning because it is a one of the kind reference tool for a vast area. Jon Berger (one of the authors) read my guide book picks above and he says " - the Atlas has no subjective slant - as is the case with the many trip reports on the sites you cite.- Narratives - inevitably - let the bias of the observer creep in - and this is no help for folks looking for a route - or scouting moving water- in both situations- the senses of the scout have to be tuned in - not affected by other's accounts- invariably inaccurate- .Jon is entitled to his opinion but I still like and think it's important to cross reference various people's opinions and experiences on a specific route. I really do like to hear where the raspberry and blueberry patches are and do look forward to finding them on a trip. I find it interesting to read about various mishaps that have gone before me and when I'm on the spot where they have occurred I try to puzzle out why they happened and then try to avoid the same mistake. There are places in the wilderness that have an unexplainable bad vibe to them. I suppose for a lack of a better word cursed. It's happened more times I can remember that I've probably avoided a  bad experience because I've read beforehand that something repeatedly has happened in a specific area. Something to think about.........