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VODÁK sport | speciálka na lodě a běžky



Divoká voda (White water) ? a book to each paddler

26.7.2007 12:21:02     Autor: Jirka Štastný

When Chick asked me to write a review of his new book I felt very pleased, because I expected a very interesting piece of writing for paddlers. In a year I usually run down more new rivers than I read new books, but this one was really worth of reading.
It has been the second book about paddling I have got opportunity to review in short time. The first was the book about white water rescue by Petr Ptáček. There is a lot of interesting facts and information in that book, but the new book by Chick can be read in one breath from the beginning to the end.

Chick ( Míla Svoboda), as one of the most experienced and best technically equipped paddlers of recent white water paddling era, imparts his experience and knowledge together with his view of the world. The whole text is amusing with peculiar, maybe slightly difficult, sense of humour. In spite of that the book doesn?t loses its quality. The professional text is really reliable. In fact I haven?t found any information I wouldn?t agree with, so it can be regarded as a complex of experience of experienced..

I would like to comment the book content.

Fascinating and ideally arranged quotations are certainly worth your attention.

The first chapters about history, organising of white water touring and paddling in general, or laws of recent legal system are shortened to minimum. They should be well known to every paddler, so I recommend reading them rather than skipping, as we were used to in some socialistic publications.

Even producers of boats and white water equipment could, or probably should, successfully take advantage of some tips given here. The chapters breath with author?s many years? paddling experience and usage of the equipment in the most different situations. I recommend studying it even if you think that you know about the WW equipment everything. WW technique is also Chick?s strong point. The chapter proves that he is both an excellent canoeist and a not bad kayaker. From pedagogy I would like to choose very opt: ?Tell me ? and I?ll forget?, ?Show me ? and I?ll remember?, ?Let me do it ? and I?ll understand?.

Messieurs chairmen, instructors, trainers, teachers ? spring to attention! This information is especially for you. And there is exactly as much of it as a paddling teacher needs for his success. A perpetual beginner ? a paddler or an Eskimo ? can also find out what his problem is and how to get into a routine that will allow him not only to learn but also to learn something.

 ?Special paddling skills? chapter is excellent and I regard it as the biggest benefit of this book. That?s because you cannot find the information anywhere else. You can get it only from those most experienced... They give it only in drops and only to chosen... But then again it can be argued as everything. Each statement there can be ambiguous, so I recommend studying this chapter carefully, but using your own opinion in each situation, too. For beginners I would welcome an extension of the part about raising and emptying a boat. That is what many people cannot manage and they struggle with it uselessly.

In chapter of paddling technique there are also some trifles that can be slightly argued. For example, opinions of bending arms during a forward stroke differ. However most strokes are very precisely described and explained. This chapter would deserve even more pictures, but thanks for those that are there. They are simple, vivid and above all correct. That?s what I regard as unique, because drawing an action (a stroke) well is unbelievably difficult and rare. I was particularly looking for some basic faults in this chapter, but I really couldn?t find any.In chapter ?Performance of a boat? you will recall rudiments of Physics and Maths. Fortunately the style is still amusing, so the memory of school is pleasant. Moreover association of science and many-years? experience leads to conclusions that cannot be argued and counting on them in practice is rewarding.?WW tactics? ? even an expert paddler should revise this chapter from time to time. These are the principles helping to survive on WW and enjoy it. I advise beginners to read it a few times before each trip! For example signalling should be revised before start with whole group. Be careful when you go with stranger paddlers, their signalling can be completely different. A uniform signalling is an ideal and the one presented in this book is easy to understand and often used. Try to accept it, too, and rivers will be a bit safer.Chapter about rescue shows those years of practice. We know that self-rescue on WW mustn?t be neglected, that speediness of the rescue is the most important thing and building of complicated rescue systems is unsuitable and often useless. Such a conception of rescue is nothing but acceptable.First aid is also a matter of course in such a book. Useful advice pleases and helps in plight and unpleasant situations.Chapter ?Physiology on WW? is too expert for me, but perhaps you know something about it and you will understand this more scientific part. By all means don?t skip this chapter, physiology is very important in each sport and in canoeing - an endurance and extremely strenuous sport - it is twice as much important.A list of things for a paddling trip pleases probably everyone. How many times have you written it? And have you always missed anything? Chick gives an excellent information of what you shouldn?t forget.. ?a chick for a trip?.

We shouldn?t forget about ?Training? especially in practice. Only few WW paddlers prepare by sufficient training. This chapter gives an advice how to start. Above all don?t forget to warm up and stretch before paddling. There are many beautiful pictures that will help everyone. The exercise I like best is the run with toilet paper, which is the most often used paddler?s warming up before EWW.

 And that is the end. The text is really filled with information. It is a confession of a paddler who knows and can. Listen to him!

 However, don?t expect that after reading this book you will be a WW expert or you will be able to start with EWW. Everything needs its time and order. This book will be a good guide on your search for the right way.

 Thank you Chick, that you have at last successfully finished it!!! Excellent!

Author of the review:

Mgr. Jiří Šťastný, Ph.D.

A paddler since he was born, a kayaker for 32 years. A few first descents (the best known are probably Mumlava falls), a few victories of ČPV, a white water touring and rafting teacher, a doctor of Physics and a joint owner of Vodák sport company.

(This review has been written for book "Divoká voda" (?White water?) and it has been borrowed from it.)

(This review has been written for book "Divoká voda" (?White water?) and it has been borrowed from it.)

You can buy the book "Divoká voda" in any Vodák sport shop, or you can order it in our e-shop.


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