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Paddling tips, tricks, news and gear reviews from an Unsponsored point of view

Month: March 2012 (page 1 of 4)

Cartwheel

Before you even attempt to cartwheel in a hole you will probably need a kayak that is fairly slicey and fits you well.

The set up on the wave is crucial and is a comprimise between being drawn upstream by the towback and falling off the back of the wave. The aim is to get yourself in a static postion at the point where the bow of the boat is about to drop into the seam in the wave, (the point where the green flowing water meets the foam pile). At this point the move becomes possible.

A double pump initiates the move. Put in a strong forward stroke as you edge your kayak and try to lift your feet off the water. As the forward stroke ends and the bow leaves the water, turn the paddle movement into a reverse stroke to slice the bow down. As the bow enters the water the downstream flow will catch the bow – keep your weight forward and keep the momentum going by rotating your shoulders to face the direction you are travelling in i.e. down stream. As your body winds-up and then releases the kayak will follow planting the stern of the boat into the foam pile. As you feel the bow lifting out of the water put in a forward stroke on the up-stream side. Just before the kayak stalls and the bow comes over your head quickly twist again (to your right) to plant another reverse stroke in the water and throw the bow back down. Continue reading

Blunt

A blunt is a dynamic move using the corner or shoulder of a wave which involes a 180 degree rotation with the stern of your boat being elevated and is often characterised with a spray of water being created as the stern whips round. You’ll need to find a half decent wave that has a good amount of speed, the faster and steeper the wave the easier the move will be. As will the “carve ability” of your boat.

Firsly you’ll need to get established surfing on a wave. As you’re surfing position your self at the top of the wave and begin to carve/accelerate down the face – speed is key. As you feel your boat begin to carve aggressively you’ll need to “cut-back”, to do this shift all of your weight in the opposite direction and put in a heavy reverse stroke on the same side that you have just thrown your weight to. This should cause the boat to do a 180 rotation and lift the stern of the boat in the air . Timing and edge control are really the key to this move. The more you are on edge in the first carve the more air you will get off the face of the wave. If you manage to pull off the Blunt and continue to spin past 180 degrees you’ve just pulled a “Super Blunt”.

Hypoxia II

Hypoxia II by Rob Coffey and Nick Doran follows the adventures of four Irish kayakers: Rob Coffey, Nick Doran, Dave Carroll and Ali Donald as they travel around the globe seeking out big water and adventure. In addition to the four Irish guys the paddling documentary also features Flemming Schmidt, Ed Cornfield, Alex Nicks, Marianne Saether, Simon Westgarth, Becky Bristow, Dale Jardine, the Young Guns, Matt Tidy, Ally Collett, Dave Manby, Quentin Carson, Kala O’Riordain, Deb Cook, Bob Marchant, Diego Valsecchi, Kelley Kalafatich, and Moe Kelleher.

The film kicks off with some steep creeking in Italy, Switzerland, Norway and Corsica. The action is fantastic and shows that kayaking does have its dangers! Continue reading

Bigger Than Rodeo

Bigger than Rodeo is the long awaited and much talked about video from the Epicocity Project crew. It follows there adventures through the Americas finding big water, big falls and getting huge air along the way.

Continue reading

Flatwater cartwheel

Flatwater cartwheeling is probably the most difficult kind of cartwheel to do because all the energy and rotational momentum, is provided solely by the paddler. You will need a kayak that is fairly slicey and fits you well.

A double pump initiates the move. The easiest way to do this is to paddle forwards at a steady pace, and then put in a strong forward stroke as you edge your kayak and try to lift your feet off the water. As the forward stroke ends and the bow leaves the water, turn the paddle movement into a reverse stroke to slice the bow down. As the bow enters the water keep your weight forward and keep the momentum going by rotating your shoulders to face the direction you are travelling in i.e. if you were edging your kayak on the right as you double pumped twist your shoulders to the right. As your body winds-up and then releases the kayak will follow. As you feel the bow lifting out of the water put in a forward stroke on the right hand side. Just before the kayak stalls and the bow comes over your head quickly twist again (to your right) to plant another reverse stroke in the water and throw the bow back down.

If your body rotation is good you can dispense with the forward strokes and depend solely on the reverse strokes. This will give the boat a 360 degree rotation on each and every paddle stroke making the cartwheel “clean”. This same technique can be used to throw cartwheels in the hole, spiltwheels, freewheels etc. etc.

Screw Up – also the 200th post!

The screw-up is basically a recovery technique that evolved from over-vertical stern squirts. It is probably one of the most useful techniques for boaters because it can be used virtually anytime your bow passes vertical. Essentially it is a way of avoiding a full blown capsize when your boat passes vertical. When your playing in a hole pulling off a screw up may prevent you from being flushed out or even munched by the wave.

As with all moves they need to be practiced. The best way to practice this move is to put your boat into a position where it is going to pass vertical. The best a safest way to do this is on a nice deep eddy line and throw a stern squirt. The idea is that the move will be ingrained and can then be used on the flat or even in a hole whilst cartwheeling.

So here we go, you’ve found a suitable spot to practice. From the eddy cross through the eddyline and pull an aggressive stern squirt with a powerful back sweep. As soon as you feel the boat going past vertical start to roll in the direction you are turning. So if you started the squirt with your sweep on the left you’ll need to roll on your left. This is a lot easier than fighting against the direction the boat is already travelling in!

Ferry Glide/Upstream Ferry

The Ferry Glide is probably one of the 1st moving water skills that most paddlers learn. It simply involves crossing a flow of water without drifting off downstream.

The critical elements of the move are the paddling speed and the angle of the boat in relation to the flow. Imagine you sitting in an eddy facing upstream. To your right is another eddy that is sperated from you you by a nice steady flow of river water. To get to that eddy you need to paddle through the eddy line and “glide” across the current to the opposite eddy.

Upstream is 12 o’clock and you are travelling from the left hand bank to the right. As you leave the eddy get the boat pointing somewhere between 12 and 1 o’clock. At this point you can make a judgement whether or not the angle and or the paddle rate needs to be changed. A fast paddle rate and steep angle of attack (closer to 12 o’clock) is perfect for very fast flows, a slower paddle rate and a shallow angle of attack (around 2-3 o’clock) is better for slower rates of flow. Getting the right angle of attack and paddle rate is important and is a case of judegement and correction as you make the move.

Bomb Flow TV – Episode 8 “Porque Ganando”

Bomb Flow TV – Episode 7 “Minor Fails and Epic Wins”

Legend of the Falls

Legend of the Falls is Corran Addisons’ DVD which aims to be “the definitive manual for anyone interested in either learning the basics of river running, or improving their creek boat skills”.

Legend of the falls proved to be a sound investment. The DVD is split into a number of chapters, they are; River Communication with Arnd Schaeftlein, River Grading, Safety, Equipment, Understanding Rapids, Running technique – boofing etc and a section titled Dr Throwline.

From the outset it is clear that this 1hr 15 Minute will have a mountain of infromation for you. It kicks off with River Communication with Arnd Schaeftlein, and wow what an eye opener. A must for all boaters of any standard. A simple and concise way of communicating on the river was effectivley described and demonstrated by Arnd – simply brilliant. River Grading was the next section with Corran describing the Addison river grading scale with clear use of words and visual examples. Continue reading

Donkey Flip

The Donkey flip is an advanced wave move that requires a short and bouncy boat. Basically the donkey flip is an airborne back deck roll done on the down slope of a wave or hole!

Get yourself set up surfing a wave and get up to the top of the pile. From here you can scream down the face of the wave and gain as much speed as you can. As you get down onto the green face of the wave start to bounce the boat. Use your full weight to push the boat down. As you feel the boat hit the green lift up with your knees.

Now for a “leap of faith”. As the boat leaves the water get your body back so you are lying on the back deck as if you are pulling a stern roll, looking for the back end of your boat will help. At this point you need to start your roll. Any doubt or hesitation and you won’t be pulling it off. A solid hip flick and body rotation will carry you through.

The bigger that initial bounce the easier this stage is. All being well you will have pulled off a dry back deck roll whilst screaming down the front of a wave! AKA a Donkey Flip!!

Stern Dip/Stern Squirt Ver 1

The stern dip is often the 1st forray for most paddlers into the world of vertical moves. It involves forcing the stern of the kayak under the water (with assitance of the current) and bringing the bow into the air.

The easiest way to learn the move is to find yourself a nice strong eddy line with a reasonable amount of water flow. The river at this point must be fairly deep (1m should do it for most boats).

Once you have selected a suitable spot to pull the move, you need to get your self facing upstream in the eddy. Probably up until now you have always been told to lean down stream when out on a river – you’ll have to change your thinking to get this move down. Paddle out of the eddy as if you were breaking back into the flow. As you upstream hip comes level with the eddy line put a deep reverse paddle stroke in on your down stream side and edge your boat (lean up stream). If your timing and edging is right the stern should dip below the surface and your bow raise into the air. The more aggressive the edge and stroke combination the greater the effect.

This move is fantastic to get used to the feeling of your boat being vertical and can even be used to intiate flat water cartwheels if you wish. The same effect can be gained from a fair bit of foward speed on flat water.

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