Have a funny paddling story to tell? We’d love to hear it! Please submit to firstname.lastname@example.org. Here is one funny tale from the IPC archives.
My Wetsuit is Too Small
Sigrid Pilgrim, Evanston, Illinois
I used to teach an introductory river kayaking class at a local YMCA. It involved a classroom session and pool time. The lifeguard at the pool was so interested, that we invited him to join the activity in the pool. He learned very quickly and wanted to come on an instructional trip on the river. Of course, being the lifeguard at the Y, he had missed the classroom sessions that covered equipment, gear, clothing, theory, etc.
So he came along on a trip and I provided an extra boat, and the required wetsuit (we’re in the Chicago area). Once at the put-in, I told him to put on the wetsuit so in the event of a dump, he’d stay warm.
Off he went and it took a very long time for him to reappear. When he finally did, I couldn’t help but laugh at not only him, but myself as well. I had forgotten to tell him to take off his jeans, t-shirt, sweater and jacket! He also asked me whether he really needed to wear that wet suit because he didn’t feel very comfortable in it at all!
We both had a good laugh, and I learned as an instructor teaching novices, NEVER, EVER TAKE ANYTHING FOR GRANTED! I still consider it a great learning experience for me!