Westwood Outdoors was created by Andrew and Carole Westwood in order to provide a site where people can find information on paddling techniques, tips and ideas all pertaining to kayaking and canoeing. Our River Notes page highlights recent articles, new instructional concepts, and paddling techniques.
The information stated on this site is designed as a general guide and not a substitute for experience. (more…)

A Brand New Year is Upon Us!

Last year came and went extremely fast. Add life, family and work challenges and voila. Here we are in 2013 already planning for the next paddling season. Our 2012 year was epic, hunting the elusive river flow that was extremely rare in our area due to a very dry spring and summer. As such we travelled quite far to find the flow we wanted! As usual, we did our instructor recert courses in the spring for Paddle Canada. Andrew continues being active in the Program Development Committee for Whitewater Canoeing. During the summer, we spent a couple of weeks at MKC. We also did a trip down to Massachusetts to hang out with a group organized by Ken Glusman. Again Andrew was in his element talking water physics and the dynamics of boat travel and paddle strokes. Little did he know that some of the folks present were from MIT. WELL! That did it. Evening hours were spent discussing Einstein’s little red book and his theories on flow dynamics. After awhile we had to look for water. And we found it. South. Back to Tennessee. We decided to go after we learned that it had rained for the past 9 days. The creeks were running – and some that only come up once in a blue moon. Heaven! Fall saw us traveling back down again to North Carolina to NOC for the ACA NorthAmerican Slalom Championships.

See the video Paul Mason compiled of the event to show OC slalom at PaddlePointers:

http://paddlepointers.com/home.html

The Canadian group did extremely well, garnering many first place finishes. Andrew and I podiumed at all our events – 14 medals in total! The project that we started the year previous in coaching OC Slalom was on again this year and was a great success! We had a group of 5 and of those we saw significant improvement in their paddling skills. A few joined in going down to NOC to race at that level for the first time. As Bill Kirkland mentioned, you learn more attending one of these events than you could ever imagine. You leave as a different paddler.