Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Rock & Roll Report

We've just returned from Rock & Roll 2009, the awesome sea kayaking symposium run by the NSWSKC. It's the club I have been a member of since 2002, as a humble novice, then a Sea Skills qualified paddler, then a Sea Leader & for the past 5 years a sea instructor.
(You can see a large format version of this clip on the Video page)
Rock & Roll has become a really professionally run, safety conscious, inclusive & out & out fun event. More than 130 paddlers came from all over the country, and a good proportion of attendees were new to the sport. The atmosphere this year was the best of any of the previous Rock & Roll's I've been to, heaps of generosity of time & experience, plenty of off-water seminars, retails stands, workshops, & of course the machine of the NSW Sea Kayak Club's trip leaders getting every single paddler who wanted to do a trip out at least once over the weekend. Most people were out on both the Saturday & the Sunday, and conditions allowed some people to get their first ever taste of paddling a rolling ocean swell; the glare from the smiles on the beach was overpowering...! I had three great days on the water, taking a forward paddling clinic on the Saturday morning, & a sea trip in the arvo around Lion Island to try to find some following conditions to ride. The highlight was a 200m ride cracked by Brad McPherson of Rjimlad fame, flying along by the side of the reef with spray flying off his bow. On Sunday morning I did another similar session with a demo of a great rescue which has been used in the UK - Tim Robinson of the the Sea Kayak Forum took a video of the drill which you can see HERE. Then on the Monday John Piotrowski led a trip with several inexperienced paddlers out around Lion Island & down the cliff line of the national park to the beautiful village of Patonga. This for me was the highlight as at least half a dozen paddlers on the trip had never been on a pulsing sea before, & the small taste of the ocean we managed to get them was exactly what a club like the NSWSKC exists to do. it is sea kayaking after all....! From a commercial perspective we were quite overwhelmed by the interest in our boats & our gear. Apologies to everyone who couldn't get a size/paddle spec/demo paddle - please let us know what you missed out on & we'll do our best to help you out as quick as we can. You've gotta love Rock & Roll, well done to the organisers on the NSWSKC Committee headed by Commodore Michael Steinfeld, & to the real gurus, Rock & Roll co-ordinators Ken & Susan Day.


  1. Mark, one very well put together slide show/movie. Upbeat.
    Nice report.

  2. Thanks for a great trip Mark. I learnt a lot and feel very confident. The results EK got prove that the sport relies on the close participation of the retailers. The club shouldn't hide from that but embrace it. The trade section was a big improvement on last year and I hope it grows again in 2010. Good stuff.

  3. and belated thanks for beer and pizza, much needed after the paddle there. Sadly however I lost my water bottle, do I get a replacement??!!


  4. No worries guys, thanks for the kind comments. Always a pleasure to buy my mates a beer & a pizza, beats the hell out of buying my corporate clients a King Island Rump & a Marlborough Pinot....


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