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

Day: April 4, 2012

Kayak Session Best Short Film Awards – Breathless in Chile

Flat Spin

Today’s play boats all feature a planing hull, which is very flat to allow the boat to plane to the surface of the river when it attains speed. When planing, the boat can spin around a central point. On waves, this is what makes flat-spins possible. Without a planning hull you won’t be able to pull this move off.

To get a truly flat spin you’ll need a good fast wave with a sizable face. You need to get yourself to a the top of the wave. This can be achieved through surf the kayak nack and forth until you get your self postioned correctly. Just like when you are surfing use a stern rudder to start turning your boat. Your aim is to follow through with the turn and rotate yourself along with your boat around the paddle. The key here is to keep your boat flat. Any edging will result in the loss of the spin or you may drop off the wave. Try and keep your weight centred over the kayak. This will aid the turn.To initiate the spin you’ll need to bring the paddle blade forward from its stern rudder position whist at the same time drop your upstream edge to match the angle of the wave. This will allow the boat to break free from the wave and begin to spin.

Use your head! Turn your head and body in the direction you wish to spin and the boat will follow!

River Surfing 101

Riversurfing 101! What can you say? Corran Addison pushes the boundary once again with this latest release!

Here’s the hype –

“Whitewater kayaking’s multiple World Freestyle Championship medalist, Olympian, and experienced river surfer Corran Addison uses his 30 years of river experience to teach you everything you need to know about getting into River Surfing.

Instruction is given through the induction of a begginer surfer, and you follow her progress from rank beginner to being able to catch waves and surf on some of the worldsmost powerful and impressive river waves.

Whether you’re new to river sports, and need to know everything from scratch, are an experienced kayaker looking to get into board surfing, or a surfer looking to take it to the river, this 2 DVD set covers all you’ll need to know from reading rapids to the differances of wave dynamics compared to the ocean, and of course, basic surfing techniques. Continue reading

Operation Zulu

Without doubt the video of the 1990’s, Operation Zulu brought Corran and the rest of the Riot Kayak squad to our screens. Still great to watch now Zulu set the standard for a new breed of kayak videos.

30-40 minutes of big water, aerials move, cartwheels, splitwheels, freewheels. For the time it had it all. The editing is slick and the soundtrack includes Real Big Fish, The Bloodhound Gang etc. Old school boats are plenty – Savage Fury, Hammer, Glide (protos), 007. See what the pros can do.

If you have never seen this master piece get out there and try and find one. I hope they’ll bring it out on DVD!

Old School Series – Seven 2 Signature Series Paddles

I have had a set of Seven 2 Signatures now for 4 months, in that time I have used them for playing and river running. These blades appear to be radically different to anything else available on the market at present. They feature some innovative solutions to some classic problems inherent to kayak paddles. Not all necessarily work.

The blades I have are 197cm length, so for someone of my height (5’6”) are a bit long. I have found the grips to be the best part of these paddles, the plastic molded grips mean you’re hands are in the correct place on the shaft every time, they are warm and non slip meaning you don’t get blisters (about 10 years to late in my case). Although I have never suffered with wrist and elbow pain when paddling I am told that the angle of the grip reduces this, however this does mean they feel very strange initially. However if you are prepared to persevere it will pay off. Continue reading

Old School Series – Liquidlogic Space Cadet

To be honest I was surprised that at 6ft 2in I could actually fit in the boat. My feet were right to the end of the bow (no footrest needed) which was pretty good interms of the outfitting needed. The Liquidlogic Space Cadet has that now very familiar Liquidlogic look and looks very similar to its older brothers the Pop and Skip.

The outfitting will also be familiar to those with older LL boats. The seat etc remains the same but additional sticky back padding has been provided in the form of a butt pad, hip pads and knee pads. These seem very hardwearing and once stuck doesn’t want to shift.

The backrest is as you would expect a ratchet one and in this case is the IR flex capacitor. I would personally prefer a much wider back band as I found the back band was a little too short which resulted in the plastic straps digging into my side.

Continue reading

Break In/Out

The Break Out (of the flow) along with the Break In (to the flow) is an essential skill that all river rivers should take time to perfect. The move allows smooth transition from the main (or faster) flow into an eddy (or any slack water).

To practice the Break Out you’ll need a pretty good eddy with a nicely defined eddy line. Start off well up stream and identify the eddy you are going to head for early on. Paddle down stream and choose where you are going to cross the eddy line and aim for that point.

As you cross the eddy line you will need to edge (tilt) the kayak towards the inside of the turn (ie upstream) and may be aid the turn using a bow or stern rudder on the upstream side. Continue reading

The Pororoca Experience

“Something strange and dangerous dwells in the Amazon river. It is as old as the river itself. It is no animal, the the most vicious river creatures flee from it. The native people know it…and fear it. They call it “Pororoca”.

In the local tongue the name means “huge wave” and “killer” at the same time. The destructive power it brings with it to this already harsh environment is chilling. It is truely a monster like: the taker of libes and breaker of dreams.

Former Olympic slalom kayak racer and world free-style champion Corran Addison has come to Brazil to find the monster, and to fulfill a long held dream; he and his team of elite paddlers from around the globe intend to become the first kayaker to ever surf the Pororoca.”

The Pororoca on the Rio Araguari is accepted as one of the most feared tidal bore wave in the Amazon if not the world. The river starts in the Tumucumaque Mountain range over 350 km’s into the Amazon rainforest and winds its way through the basin opening into the Atlantic Ocean. In 1997, for the first time, a group of surfers rode the mighty bore. Continue reading

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