Training weekend

A weekend away to Tweed Heads, northern NSW to learn skills important for various kayak disciplines including sea kayaking, flatwater, and whitewater.

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Packed trailers. Thanks particularly to Queensland Canoeing who lent us the large trailer.

The club reopened in July after recovering from the January floods. We organised a training weekend for flatwater, whitewater and sea kayaking, so that new members would get a feel for the different types of kayaking and have a chance to learn new skills (and practice old ones). We took over 30 kayaks on three trailers and several roof racks down to the Tweed. There were 18 participants although not everyone came for both days.

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Heavy rain overnight

The weekend was marred by cold weather, heavy rain at times, and very strong winds forcing us into sheltered coves and the camp site harbor. The well placed and picturesque camp site was managed by its owner with multiple regulations and rules. These, the confused staff struggled to apply, without much consideration for the enjoyment or convenience of its patrons. As a consequence we would not advise it for future trips.

On Saturday morning Dani Wallace (flatwater rep) helped participants get their strokes right. Keen participants soon tried out increasingly tippy TK1s and K1s until they fell in. Dani and Wei demonstrated safe kayak rescues.

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Whitewater skills session

In the afternoon James Rae, visiting us from New Zealand, taught basic white water techniques and rolling, with the assistance of Cora Skaien. The two available skirts (flood replacements had not yet arrived) became five thanks to Brenton, and then two more were hired so there were seven on the water.

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Getting ready for another session

Sunday’s sea kayak training was delayed because of drenching rain overnight. Matt Rowland had borrowed skirts for the sea kayaks, and once the camp was packed up Matt, assisted by Breck Felsman, went through all the basics. Sixteen participants practiced wet exits and rescues. Some tried their rolling skills. After a hard paddle against the wind, we came off the water to warm up, hitched up the trailers and headed home.

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Sea kayak training

Despite the weather, most enjoyed the training sessions and everyone thought that they had benefited.

– Michael


PLEASE REGISTER by this Tuesday 16th so that we can make bookings (time is short)
See registration details at the bottom of the page

Destination: Tweed River (Boyd’s Bay campsite), NSW
Date: Sat 20th August and Sun 21st August, 2011
Duration: 1 or 2 days (you can come both or just one day depending on your transport)
Accommodation: Overnight camping (car camping) is optional (but much more fun), or people can choose to come for only one of the days.

More details, including pictures and a map are available as a PDF download.

Training sessions
There will be flatwater (morning) and some whitewater (afternoon) training on the Saturday. On Sunday there will be Sea Kayak Training.

If you are not attending a training session, you will be able to use left over kayaks to paddle on the river. We will try to organize paddlers into suitable groups to do so. Some of the sea kayaks should be free on the Saturday, and the whitewater kayaks on the Sunday.

Members will be able to register for either or both days and to camp overnight. We will book camping at a camp site somewhere near but some members may prefer to take a cabin or return to Brisbane overnight. We will barbecue at the camp site.

Experienced paddlers are encouraged to come along, help the instructors in your sections, meet up and get to know each other and then enjoy paddling on the river during other sessions. This is also a social trip

Don’t miss the opportunity to get into better and faster kayaks in a place where you can fall out without worrying too much. This is your chance to upgrade your skills so that you can join the early morning paddlers. It is also a chance to learn the basic safety skills you must demonstrate before you join any sea kayak (and some flatwater) trips.

Boyd’s Island is on Terranora Creek near the mouth of the Tweed River. This is a delightful camp site with good facilities. The spacious tent area beyond the caravans is close to the BBQ. It is well grassed and close to a small creek so we can paddle the kayaks almost to our tents. There is a deep camp harbour and sandy beaches nearby. The creek leads up to Terranora and Cobaki Broadwaters, shallow lakes that can be paddled when the tide is in, providing over 12 km of paddling water. The Tweed river is only a km away.


  • Friday19th evening: Pack the trailer – meet at 5 PM at the shed. Five volunteers are needed.
  • Sat 20th – Meet at shed at 5.40 AM (don’t be late – we will not wait!)
  • Depart shed:- 6 AM
  • On the water:- 9 AM
  • Sunday 20th afternoon: Return in time to unpack trailer.

Other: Those returning or coming other times should make own arrangements, but please be aware that if there is not enough transport, then some people may miss out.

Flatwater – Leader Danielle Wallace (Flat water Rep)
Dani will be instructing people in basic paddling techniques (fundamental to all kayaking success) and helping people move up to TKs or into K1s.

Dani is prepared to give instruction in advanced paddling techniques and in racing tactics for those who are interested.

Come prepared to get wet (and warm and dry afterwards!). You can (and probably will) fall in often as you learn different skills. Unlike the Brisbane river, it will be easy to empty kayaks out safely. Sea kayak and Rosco paddlers can look at moving into TK1s. For TK1 paddlers, this is your chance to move into K1s. Current K1 paddlers please come and help Dani – and have some fun!

White Water – Leaders: Cora Skaien (club president) assisted by James Rae (an experienced whitewater kayaker). Also Breck Felsman (White Water Rep) if he is able to come.

The water will be very flat and the number of whitewater kayaks may be limited, but we will try to give you some grounding in paddling techniques for white water kayaking, as well as training on how to do eskimo rolls, T-rescues, etc. If you are a more experienced white water paddler, please inform us when you register as we will be having a more advanced safety session on the Saturday morning for a limited number of interested people

Sea Kayaking Leader: Matt Rowland assisted by Greg O’Keeffe (sea kayak rep if available)
Matt will teach people the core skills for paddling in sea kayaks, and strategies needed for safe sea kayaking in choppy water and over longer distances – including various rescue methods.

Matt will do some more advanced stuff for those who have more past experience. He is not going to teach rolling, but James Rae who is a skilled instructor will teach rolling in whitewater kayaks on Saturday. Once you have mastered the technique you can practice converting this to sea kayaks. James may be around Sunday to help but talk to him about times.

The club requires that everyone coming on sea kayaking trips has demonstrated the ability to do a proper wet exit, and T-rescue and knows how to be rescued. It is much nicer doing it here than in the Brisbane river (the alternative if you miss this trip!). Those wanting to come on sea kayak trips, particularly the trip to the Everglades on 3rd and 4th September should try to attend. If you genuinely can’t come on the Sunday but can make the Saturday, someone will go through in a brief sea kayak wet exit and T- rescue session for you. Contact Michael about this (see below).

River trips

These will depend on numbers, availability of kayaks and on tides. They will be sorted out on the days.

Camping fees:- Probably around $12. Kayak wear and tear contribution:- $7 per day. Petrol contribution:- Arrange with your driver if you are not driving.

You will need to bring a tent, sleeping mat and sleeping bag as well as plenty of kayaking gear as everyone will get wet – probably on both days. We will barbecue on the barbecue spot at the campsite on Saturday night, so bring something to cook (or whatever you prefer), and also some plates and utensils. You will also need one breakfast, two packed lunches and plenty of snacks (muesli bars etc). Bring something nice to share around. A beer or a glass of wine is fine – but in moderation please.

You will need warm gear, including wet gear that keeps you warm. A cag or wind-proof jacket that you can get wet will help a LOT. Thermals are great (eg. a polypro top for paddling that you can get wet, a dry pair for when you are on land, and maybe an extra third set to sleep in or in case the dry pair gets rained on or isn’t warm enough! – keep an eye out for the sales at outdoor stores.

The club will have three new two-person tents, five new sleeping bags and some new sleeping mats, and one cooking stove (Trangia). So if you don’t have camping gear and can’t borrow any, then link up with someone you like and reserve what you want before supplies run out. We will ask you to make a small contribution towards their use.

Pictures and maps of the campsite

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Overview of the campsite surrounds

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Immediate area of the campsite

The boat ramp at the campsite (opposite side to the tent camping). There is a barbecue in the grassy area

Shallow play area next to ramp

Put in spot next to camping area

Camping area next to the put in spot. The more expensive powered sites are closest (little shade). In the distance is the covered tables and barbecue for the camping area.

A more shaded camping area. The covered tables and barbecue are behind the photographer. The put in spot is in the distance.

A sandy area near the mouth of Terranora Creek and the Tweed river (about a kilometer away)

Register by email with Michael

To register you need to supply the following information (Copy into your email)

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
I want to register for
     Camping overnight:
     Club camping gear you want to reserve):

Main interest (if any) – flatwater, sea kayaking, whitewater, basics:

Skill level (advanced paddlers please indicate where you might help):

Can you bring a car ?:
If so –
     How many can you take including yourself:
     Do you have a roof rack – also do you have cradles:
     How many kayaks can you take and are you bringing your own:
     Do you have a tow bar and can you pull a trailer?

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Please remember that all the leaders, helpers, and organisers are club members just like you, who are volunteering to help you, so please be helpful, patient, and considerate. Please don’t make things difficult by heading off for a paddle on your own or with your buddy. We don’t want to have to send others to go searching for you.

Once you have read this page and registered, please do a bit of homework and explore this great animated site that demonstrates various paddle strokes, rescues, and techniques. Familiarise yourself with what you already know, and the next few steps. Think about what you want to practice.

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