My first ever kayaking trip was with ROW Sea Kayak Adventures, in British Columbia, just after my being hired as an Adventure Consultant in July of 2013. I was nervous and not quite sure how to paddle, steer or do anything while also somehow remaining stable in my kayak. My fears didn't end there either, I was unsure as to how I would keep up with the group.
At the launch site my nerves continues to grow, even through stretching and 'paddle signal' discussions. I didn't want to say that this was my first time paddling - but I didn't have to. Once we were in the water, one of our guides came up to me and asked if I'd paddled before. I said no and was slightly ashamed, but he quickly reassured me that everything was going to be great. He taught me to paddle and within minutes I felt 100 times better.
We discussed how to hold the paddle, how to paddle using your torso instead of just your arms, how to allow the paddle to push the water back lightly instead of plunging it in the water like you're paddling a canoe. I felt like a pro within the hour and they taught me with patience and were constantly making me laugh. They would compliment me on my technique and tell me stories about their first times paddling. It was an absolute blast and, even a year later after having paddled numerous times now, I always think back on my first paddling experience. What a great experience it was.