Tell me more about the kayaking.
Like everything in life, you want to be excited by what it is you are doing here and now. Whether beginner or expert, a great way to stay excited about any activity is to have clear expectations and a progression path to measure the improvement of your skills.
At Patagonia Study Abroad, we have built a kayak training program into each semesters academic curriculum, and we have some of the best coaches in the world guiding you through it. We teach you logistics skills (think reading topo maps and planning expeditions), how to create a strength training and conditioning routine that works for you (daily morning workouts include cardio and skills for a variety of different kayak disciplines), and we help you create goals so you know when you are meeting key milestones along the way. Of course we practice a lot too, which means you get to kayak, kayak, kayak.
Beginner Kayak Progressions
A great example of a beginner kayak progression looks like this: Johnnie, a beginner kayaker, sets a goal to run the 20 foot waterfall on the Upper Palguin by the end of his semester. Before he can do that he will need a solid roll. Knowledge how to read and run rapids. And confident experiences running rapids and even hitting combat rolls in rapids. Each one of these skills is a series of progressions that are exciting to learn and master. Once Johnnie masters each skill he gains confidence and realizes he can try new challenges. And if he accomplishes each progression then one day he gets to run that 20-foot cascade. Exciting success.
Expert Kayak Progressions
Now, let’s look at a sample expert progression. Maybe Jessie wants to master a boof to stomp during the semester. Assume Jessie already has the previous sets of skills from the beginner example. She’ll need to first exhibit mastery of boof and boat control off the boof. Second, Jessie will need to have a solid command of her kayak off a cascade and be able to stick varied pitch angles. Third, she’ll have to practice the technique for stomping her bow. Again, each of these are exciting and take time to learn and lots of dropping off stouts. The final progression is to combine the three skills in boofing the cascade. Raise the arms and stomp the bow. And lastly stick the desired entry angle for the swoosh.
Competition and Pro Kayakers
So, you’re a kayaker that can hit all the moves and has serious confidence on class V. You crave river time, ore challenging rapids, instruction on the highest level. You know those little gems of technique that make the difference between good and great. PSA coaching focuses advanced students on competitive extreme racing. You’ll run challenging rapids at accelerated rates of speed. But not before you practice those skill progressions in settings where you can work on the skill confidently. You’ll do the same with big waterfalls.
What about big waterfalls?
Again, we apply the principle of mastering skill progressions that best prepare you for your passion. First, you’ll want to master all the fundamental waterfall running skills and exhibit you can handle expedition safety protocol. Once you master pitch entry, boof, boof to stomp, paddle toss and hand roll, and sticking line after line on the smaller drops your confidence will be high. But if during your practice you are missing any one of these components you will know you are not ready based on clear goals and learning objectives.
Maybe you want to run bigger than PSA can allow. How will we help you achieve your goals? We’ll follow the same principle with the idea, “how can we best help you achieve your goals?” Then you would define with your coach the skills you need to best achieve your goals. With the features we have safely available you’d go after mastering your defined skills. If you truly charged after your goals by the end of the semester you’d have so much confidence with your skills you’d know whether or not you were ready.
The Best Kayak Coaches in the World
Your coaches are passionate kayakers who love kayaking rivers. The great part for you is that your coaches focus on helping you learn the art of playing on Chile’s glorious rivers. They really are the world’s best rivers. Your coaches will meet individually with you to help you set and achieve your goals no matter your skill level. If you are a beginner then you’ll be paddling safe rivers with easier features. And for expert kayakers, well… you’ve come to the right place.
And that has made all the difference.
Yes! Chile is a waterfall paradise. Whether you are learning to run your first cascades or want to master a boof to stomp, Chile is the place to do it. As you plan your trip be prepared to handle logistical challenges and learn from your experiences. So what happens when everything goes wrong? Thats when the real adventure begins!
Above video shows Huge Experiences students rescuing goats falling into Andes Rio Achibueno.
What do you want to gain from your kayaking in Chile?
Your kayaking coach will focus on your personal goals as a kayaker. Do you want to gain confidence on class III? Are you interested in training for extreme races? Are you a beginner or intermediate boater ready to go to the next level? Are you good enough to work on the finer points of angles and control on cascades? Or just want to run your first waterfall and feel safe doing it? Each day after your classes youll focus on what it is that you want to take from your adventure.
The adventure and kayaking is centered around decision making. Youll make your own decisions about what you can and can not run based on a set of principals that youll establish. What exactly those principals are is up to you to be discussed during your planning classes. Of course, your leaders will be their to help guide you and even give you examples of what has and has not worked.
The Andes mountains are rugged offering every adventure you can imagine. Days of rain followed by sunny days excite kayakers as various playgrounds of slides and cascades come in weekly.
As your semester progresses so do your skills, your Spanish, and knowledge of Chiles destinations. You begin planning your adventure trips based on a budget your given. Where do you want to go? What rivers do you want to explore? What are the costs and how will you get there based on the assets of your group? Oh yea. Youve still got to get your school work done. But if you manage your time youll be proud of the adventures youll experience. This is Patagonia Study Abroad.