Paddle Safely

Los Altos Pool
10100 Lomas Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM, 87112
See map: Google Maps
Southwest corner of Lomas and Eubank behind the Skate Park, Garden Center, and Softball fields. Look for the large frosted-glass garage doors which enclose the pool.
Start Time: 
Saturday, October 10, 2009 - 4:00pm - 5:30pm

The Paddle Safety class is a 1.5 hour program that emphasizes fun and safety....but really, it's all about fun and games!  We show kids that "flipping over" is part of the fun, and so is "climbing" back in! We teach them that a kayak is a fun toy, much like a beach ball, inner-tube or jungle-gym!  We'll play games like "Tow the Swimmer," Marco-Polo, Sponge Bob Tag (think "hot potato"), and Duct Tape Tag.  Along the way, your kids will become familiar with the kayak, how stable it is, how maneuverable it is, and learn that flipping over can happen accidentally, but can be a lot of fun if they practice the right technique.  At the end of the class, most kids agree - flipping over is more fun than the games we play!

The more fun your kids have playing in, on, under and around a kayak, the more excited they'll be about learning and going outdoors! 

This program is designed for kids age 5 - 9 years old.

As instructors, our goal is to over-prepared kids for situations which have greater risk, such as the Rio Grande Bosque or Cochiti.  Therefore, we recommend a minimum of 8hrs of pool time before we take kids outdoors.  The repeated exposure allows kids to develop their skills, refine boat control, overcome fears of flipping, swimming to shore in cold water, or re-enter their boat from deep water.  While going outdoors is the ultimate goal, we can form good habits by making "hard moves on easy water" where there is less risk.  We also look for comprehension of important safety information from one class to the next; can they follow directions, without question or delay, choose and properly adjust their own PFD, and orient the paddle correctly; if they're constatnly holding the paddle backwards and upside down, we know that more time is needed before using a spray skirt or paddling on the Rio Grande. 

"I and my daughter Nia enjoyed attending the class.  Of course, Nia took to the class quite fast and enjoyed flipping the kayak and climbing back in as well as the games that were played.  If she had her choice, she could have stayed playing again and again.  I on the other hand am no fish in the water and was a scared cat when it came to the first couple of times to flip, but after some practice learning the technique and encouragement from both the instructors and my daughter, it was fun.  Playing the games while kayaking was our favorite part.  That was the time when you don't think about the tipping until it happens, and when it does, your automatic instincts kick in on the technique taught earlier in the class. We both enjoyed the class."  Eunice Johnson

$20.00 Before Tax
It's not about's about overcoming fears, building courage and self confidence!
Kristen Thome  -  Troop #1623, Juniors, Albuquerque, NM
I would wholeheartedly recommend this course. I would also recommend they have several adults in the water, and several "shore-side" as there seemed to be more things to do that I would have expected. Not only for the girls' confidence, but helping turn around the kayaks, getting the girls in and out, etc. 
Kathleen Tighe-Smith  -  Troop #10228, Brownies, Albuquerque, NM


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