So here are some basic questions that will probably be asked quite a bit:
- What kind of conditions will classes really be held in? i.e. How big will the waves be, How strong will the wind be?
Each day we will assess the conditions from HQ, and make go/no go decisions. In the event of the go decision from HQ, individual coaches will be assessing their own students and conditions for a second go/no go decision. The event is designed to be fun, safe, but challenging.
- Do I need to know how to eskimo roll to attend the Gales?
Ok this one is actually pretty simple. If you are developing an eskimo roll, but have not perfected it yet, this event is going to do tons for your confidence and really help you cement the idea that staying in the boat is almost always easier and safer. Good hipsnap development, brace technique, and mental fortitude to hang in there when things are little bumpy go a long way.
If you have not started working on your eskimo roll. You might really struggle with some of the concepts that the classes aim to teach you because you may be anxious about capsizing. And trust us, it’s hard to focus on details when you’re anxious. Everyone has more fun, and learns more effectively when they’re relaxed. We also recognize that everyone is in between swims!
- Do I need a proper sea kayak to attend the Gales?
Yes. A closed deck sea kayak with bulkheads is required for this event. The majority of the classes are intended to be held on Lake Superior in windy/wavy conditions. A boat that can be fitted with a spray deck, and has bulkheads that can be easily rescued is mandatory. We will however be running a surf kayaking class using small open and closed deck kayaks near the beach given the proper conditions. And there will be special precautions taken for this class. If you bring your own Whitewater or surf kayak it must have flotation bags.
- Do I need a drysuit to attend the Gales?
Immersion protection of some variety is required. A wetsuit/drytop combo may get you there depending on your fortitude. If you know you get cold, a drysuit is not a bad idea. A full surfing wetsuit at least 4/3 mil would also work quite well. We really suggest one of the three. Again using Facebook, Twitter, or just emailing us might net some surprising results on loaners, great bargains, or maybe even a good purchase decision prior to the Gales event.
- What other gear will I need to attend the Gales?
Helmet, Tow Belt, Life Jacket, Spray Deck, Warm clothing in a drybag, food in a drybag, thermos with warm drink.