Monday, November 05, 2007

RIP Rivermom

Pic #1 Rivermom does her signature headstand while surfing.
Pic #2 Rivermom was among the 100 notable paddlers of the 20th Century.

Rivermom is gone but her legacy will live on for generations.

A member of the Chicago Whitewater Association (click to visit their memorial page, where the above pictures were borrowed), Marge 'Rivermom' Cline was best known as an American Canoe Association instructor. She was included in Paddler Magazine's list of the 100 most influential paddlers of the twentieth century. Check that link for her writeup, and also take note that Harold Deal appears right below Rivermom.

She came to Phillipsburg during the heatwave of 1998 (or was it '97?) to teach ACA Instructor Trainer and ACA Instructor Certification courses for solo and tandem canoe. I was among the later group of fortunate students to do a cert course under the guidance of one of the nation's most famous and prolific teachers. The course took place over two consecutive weekends at Phillipsburg, Round Valley Reservoir, and Lambertville Wing Dam, where the class was also visited by Harold Deal and Dan House.

Rivermom was a demanding instructor who put a lot of emphasis on teaching & learning theory and requiring her students to demonstrate their teaching skills, as opposed to just focusing on paddling technique. I can also testify that she liked to show off her canoeing headstand - in this case she did it in a solo canoe on a choppy Round Valley Reservoir. She also demonstrated some awesome Freestyle Canoeing technique.

Visit the Chicago Tribune for a wonderful obit. RIP Rivermom.

Kayak, canoe master
Indomitable paddling instructor who drew thousands into the water held safety in high regard, but also knew how to have a good time

By Trevor Jensen Tribune staff reporter
November 1, 2007

A master of canoe and kayak, Marge Cline was one of the top paddling instructors in the country. A stickler for safety and proper technique in her classes, she thrived on the exhilaration of taking on a wild river. Her signature move was a headstand in the bow as her canoe shot through white water...