Can you actually have fun dragging people out of the waves or hauling them back up from an overturned kayak? Yes! Well, as long as it’s in practice and not in an emergency. Channel Islands Outfitters staff are professional and knowledgeable, and equally important, they bring an exciting and fun program to outdoor educators. Their two day Kayaking and Ocean Risk Management Course is packed full of useful information – not only about how to handle people in kayaks specifically – but also about how to handle groups and risk management in general.
Wilderness Youth Project (WYP) partners with CIO to rent kayaks (at a reduced price–thanks!) so that our participants can enjoy the wonders of the natural world that abound in the ocean. An important part of taking kids out in the Pacific ocean, of course, is learning to manage the inherent risks of water sports. So WYP sponsors our staff to take this training regularly.
During a two day course in January, 2014, WYP staff lucked out with unseasonably warm weather and water. I enjoyed hearing about general ocean conditions and specific information for Santa Barbara and the Channel Islands. Garrett, our instructor (and CEO Co-Founder of CIO) kept the immense amount of pertinent information flowing in a casual and light manner. It was easy to keep focused through the two day course. Topics included water rescue, handling kayaks through the surf zone, local weather and buoys, assisting yourself and others from an overturned kayak, radio usage, and reviewing resuscitation techniques.
I’m glad I took this course and feel prepared to take participants out in kayaks and be able to identify and manage the risks. I appreciate Garrett for his humor, kindness and depth of knowledge, and I am thankful we have such a reputable organization in our community to learn from and play with!
To learn more about other education classes offered by Channel Islands Outfitters, check out their Education page on their website.
Written by Sonia Connors (posted by Erika L.)