Diablo Paddling Perfection

Prys, draws, sculling, sweeps, posts and something called the Duffek, no these are not different ways to rid yourself of mosquitoes, they are just some of the 15 paddling strokes we learned to maneuver canoes safely and efficiently. Who knew there were so many?
Yesterday staff and graduate students based out of the Environmental Learning Center were fortunate enough to spend the day on our beautiful Diablo Lake with canoeing experts Carol and Frank Schultz.With warm weather approaching quickly we are looking forward to spending more time on the water with students and participants in our Summer Youth, Adult and Family Programs.After just a few hours of instruction we found ourselves maneuvering with skill around the clear cold waters of Diablo Lake, practicing parallel moves, spins and turns in the April sunshine.


After lunch, and yummy homemade Oat Flapjacks prepared by Frank and Carol, our group was tested on our canoe competence.Passing with flying colors we then practiced swimmer rescues and canoe recovery.With sunburns and sore muscles our group is well prepared for the summer of fun up here on Diablo and Ross Lakes.Come join us—I am always up for a paddle!!!

Photos by Jenny Lee Frederick


  1. Meghann Willard

    Man do we live in an awesome place or what? My arms are sore and my shins sunburned but there really isn’t any better view than Pyramid from the lake with the mirror image right in front of you on the water.

  2. Kate Bedient

    This day was a TOTAL highlight when I lived at the ELC! Frank and Carol are rock stars. Someday I hope to be as cool as them (and to make oat flapjacks for snacks)!!

  3. Kelly

    Now I feel like a canoeing Rock Star! Of course, now I need to make sure I practice all those new strokes!

  4. Abbie

    I LOVED that day on the lake with Frank and Carol. I felt way more comfortable and confident in the canoes after their instruction. I was just thinking I should make some flapjacks the other day!

  5. Melitta

    How fantastic!
    I’m up for a paddle or two/too. Spins and turns–I can’t wait to paddle Diablo. You may need to teach me some new skills.

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