By: Tom Bamonte
"Kayak Dave" Olson, the principal of Kayak Chicago, has been hosting winter pool sessions and classes at the huge pool at the University of Illinois, Chicago for years. These pool sessions have been a great way for beginning and expert paddlers alike to learn new skills and polish old ones. In addition to the classes, there are always friendly paddlers ready to offer you advice and encouragement. Over the years hundreds of paddlers have gotten their start--and some their roll--at the classes taught by Dave and his assistants. Dave offers these details on this year's edition of UIC pool sessions:
The pool sessions will begin on Wednesday, December 2, and run every Wednesday night from 7-9:30pm at the UIC pool in Chicago. There will be no pools sessions on February 24 and March 3 due to swim meets.
The pool is located at 901 West Roosevelt Road, close to the expressways and public transportation. There is parking on nearby streets and in a pay lot across the street.
Open pool is $15/session. You can rent a boat for $10/session. Sea kayaks and whitewater kayaks are available. (Contact Dave to reserve a boat or call (630) 336-7245.)
Open pool session are open to all paddlers, from beginners who want to practice what they have learned in a class to advanced paddlers who want to refine their roll, practice rescues or just hang out and paddle with friends. Paddlers are always around to help and critique or just talk about paddling adventures.
There are 24 pool sessions this year. A open pool session season pass is available for $200. Pool classes are structured in a 4-week progression consisting of Introduction to Kayaking, Intermediate Skills and Techniques and a two-part Eskimo Roll class. Classes can be done individually for $50 each or all four classes for $180. (Dave also hosts kids groups on occasion, which really adds to the energy level.)
See you all at the pool,