XWayland Video Bridge 0.4

An updated stable release of XWayland Video Bridge is out now for packaging.


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Signed by E0A3EB202F8E57528E13E72FD7574483BB57B18D Jonathan Esk-Riddell <jr@jriddell.org>


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British Canoeing Surf Kayak Leader Assessment

I did my Surf Kayak Leader assessment with Paul Bramble in south west Wales and pleasingly I passed. I booked on not quite knowing what to expect, there wasn’t much pre course information and it was mostly because because the date was convenient. Turns out Wales is beautiful and has great surf beaches, the geography allows for some more access to the Atlantic waves and it feels like there’s more of a community down there than in Scotland where surf can be so sporadic.

I had not done any formal training as none seemed to be available, this discipline is such a niche you just have to take your changes when you get them. But in the past I’ve done uncertified safety days with folks in Scotland as well as SLSGB training and of course whitewater leading is very similar you just have to be aware of the differences.

For revision it’s worth reading the SLSGB Beach Environment Training Aid available online.

I had one other person being assessed and together we reviewed the nearby beaches and picked the best one where the forecast was good, the weather was fine, the tides known, the parking available.

We had three students who were all sea kayakers but had done occasional surf and interested in more which is just the sort of person needed for this. I lead with introductions, experience, abilities, motivation, moving kit around, safety protocols. There’s not much safety protocols available in surf kayaking, generally if there’s a problem then folks need to get into the beach which can be hand signal, waving paddle in the air or single whistle. Otherwise if a paddler thinks they might crash into another person then they should capsize. We checked all boats had buoyancy bags in them and I did a warm up.

Fellow candidate Fran accompanied the students onto the water at first while I watched from the beach. I had suggested staying in the white waves at first but the students didn’t seem to want that and were happy going behind the waves straight away which was fine but I guess clearer discipline there would be better.

I took photos (the most important role) and watched for any swimmers but everyone seemed able to roll fine as needed.

I did run a brief mini-coaching session talking about take off on the waves, it’s supposed to be a lead day without coaching but all days will include some chat about what we’re doing and how to improve.

I did a rescue from the beach of an unconscious paddler from behind the waves which is very hard work. I chose to jump in my kayak for this which is risky as you might not do a smooth launch but I did and it allowed me to bring him back some of the way dragging with my sling and carabiner before I jumped out my boat to drag him back in and up the beach.

I did a deep water rescue of a swimmer, this is very tricky with surf kayaks which tend to be low volume. I managed it with having the swimmer step over my boat into his then two of us hold the front of his boat down to stop water entering his boat from the back.

At one point a confusing scenario happened where a student had a dislocated shoulder and we brought them in, it wasn’t expected and we didn’t manage it very well but it was sprung on us without any warning, although I suppose that’s real life.

I failed to bring my first aid kit or phone onto the beach which was a mistake. I also had lost my watch which was poor leadership although I worked out my camera could tell the time and nobody else seemed to have a watch.

A lovely day’s paddling for sure.