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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Kayak Assoc. goes from Gosman to the open seas

Published: October 19, 2007
Section: Sports

To continue with our look at some of the less conventional, yet highly appealing sports club offered at Brandeis, we turn our attention this week to the Brandeis University Kayak Association, better known by members as BUKA.

The group, as the club description entails, aims to promote the sport of kayaking in the Brandeis community through learning more about the sport, practicing basic and/or advanced skills, learning proper water safety, and going on trips to paddle outdoors. For those who are in tune with the environment, feel at home when in water, or simply tend to lean towards excitement-filled activities, BUKA presents a unique opportunity that should not easily be passed up.

If you have a passion for or are simply curious about kayaking, meetings are held once a week on Thursday night from around 10 p.m. to midnight in the Lindsey pool (for any wayward Freshman, thats in Gosman Center). The club, as Maggie Korn 08, one of the clubs administrators, explains, not only helps those who want to learn about kayaking, but also provides a place to practice for students who already know how to kayak. Usually, turnout to the meetings is somewhat small, which is far from a drawbackinstead, less people means everyone can have a boat for their own use.

Once in the pool, new members are taught the essential skills needed to gain a better understanding of the sport, such as the proper procedures for performing a wet exit (exiting a kayak while upside down) and paddling efficiently.

For those with a strong desire to learn or who are planning a whitewater-kayaking trip, rolling techniques are also taught. Rolling, for anyone who does not know, refers to a situation in which a person capsizes his kayak and needs to safely recover. While rolling can be fun to learn, Korn states that it can be equally frustrating and is not as easy as it sounds, that is, if it sounds easy at all.

And what then, if you ask yourself, is the end result of all this practicing? Several trips are taken throughout the year for both whitewater and sea kayaking, thus offering a chance for everyone, from the inexperienced to the experienced. While whitewater kayaking, as the ever so useful Wikipedia details, ranges from a fun, carefree, splishy-splash float trip to a challenging, adrenaline-filled sport, sea kayaking, on the other hand, allows for a generally calmer experience of paddling on open waters.

What club is without some laughter and amusement? Certainly not BUKAfrom the inside joke of starting off meetings by seeing if Will [Burnett] can roll himself after hes thrown in with his boat to planning ill-fated night trips on the Charles River, there is always a good time to be had. Perhaps Korn put it best, in saying that even though were a relatively small club, we often have a great time pretty much goofing off.