We have been on the east coast for a while and have been doing quite a bit of paddling. While John is fairly experienced, I am still new at this. John has tried to teach me proper paddling technique, but learning from your partner is not always easy.  Sometimes, it might just be easier to get help from professional instructors. They know, not only good technique but especially how to teach it, and that can make a huge difference. While we were in the Halifax area, I asked Marc Richard from KayakNS to take me out for a lesson.

Getting comfy in the kayak.

Getting comfy in the kayak.

We were lucky to get out on a gorgeous evening at the Shubenacadie Canal for the first part of the lesson. Marc’s lessons include boats and he takes the time to ensures that it is outfitted properly so it is comfortable.

Working on the forward stroke.

While on the water, he started by telling me about the kayak, the way it moved, the impact it had on paddling. It helped me be more comfortable with the boat and gain confidence.

Marc demonstrates the back sweep technique.

Next were the paddling strokes, the movement, the feeling, how it impacted the boat. We practiced that for a while, Marc correcting some of my mistakes along the way. Then we moved onto different strokes, backward, sweeping, and so on.


The canal was a perfect location for the lesson. It was quiet, had calm waters, it made for a good learning environment. Then we headed out for the Halifax Harbour to test out our new skills.


The little bit of wind, current and boats created just enough challenge to take my lesson to the next level. My prize for a successful paddling lesson? A magical sunset on the Halifax Harbour. What more to ask?



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