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

Category: Skills (page 1 of 11)

The Problem With Bomb Proof Rolls

The Problem With Bomb Proof Rolls – I think instructors who perpetuate the concept of a “bomb-proof” roll do their students a disservice.

First of all, there really is no such thing as a “bomb-proof” roll. The term alludes to a roll that’s so reliable, and so fine-tuned, that it never fails. That’s misleading and unrealistic. Every experienced instructor knows that given sufficient “conditions”, everyone eventually bails and swims – and in fact, the best paddlers I know have all taken swims at one time or another.

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Running A Rapid: My Decision-Making Process

Quite a few of my paddling friends call me ballsy. Not the politically correct ones, of course. I don’t really see it because whenever I choose to run a rapid or feature, I’ve calculated the risk, and my decision seems perfectly logical to me.

I have only ever made the decision to portage a rapid once; the rest of the times I’ve portaged, that decision has been made for me by more experienced paddlers. The rapid I portaged by choice was Crack of Doom on the Middle Etive. I never thought I’d be able to say I’d portaged a runnable rapid and had no regrets over doing so, but I was wrong; I don’t regret portaging.

Crack of Doom on the Middle Etive; weighing it up!

Here are the three things I take into consideration when running a rapid.

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Ouch

Readers, we have all done – or should have done a WW safety course, either an in country one, Rescue 3 or similar. We learn about z drags and mechanical advantage. We should learn about steep ground assessments, we learn to portage, we learn our own boundaries.

Ouch

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Red Bull Rafa Ortiz OKC Kayak Clinic

The Red Bull Rafa Ortiz OKC Kayak clinic.

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Get Your Boof Dialled In

Get your boof dialled in with this great instructional video from Seth Ashworth.

Get Your Boof Dialled In

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Whitewater Leadership

Good friend of Unsponsored Chris Wing has launched his new series of edits on the topic of Whitewater Leadership.

Whitewater Leadership

The first three edits including the trailer are shown below and are well worth the watch.

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Outfitting Media

If your outifitting isn’t right your kayak/canoe will not paddle as well as it possibly could. Below is a series of Outfitting Media videos showing outfitting setup for a number of different brands of boat.

Outfitting Media

You can also find over 100 posts in our Outfitting archive.

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EFFECTive River Running Tactics

Looking back on my introduction to paddling on moving water, the extent of my tactical knowledge was based purely on ‘looking where I wanted to go’, developing my technical skills and progressing onto more difficult rivers. This approach soon put me in positions looking at eddies I want to be in as I flew past them! As technical proficiency and just ‘looking where I wanted to go’ wasn’t always getting me where I wanted to be, something had to change, it was time to develop my river running tactics!

EFFECTive River Running Tactics

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Top Tips – Swimming In Whitewater

Jake shows us just what to do if you end up in the swimming in whitewater without your craft of choice.

Top Tips - Swimming In Whitewater

Whitewater kayakers have a saying, ‘We’re all between swims’. Whether you’re a whitewater paddler or not, everybody should know what to do if you end up in a fast moving river.

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Top Tips – Simple Drysuit Care

Another great edit from the guys at Palm Equipment. This time Jake Holland looks at simple ways to look after your drysuit.

Simple Drysuit Care

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Hand Of God Rescue

We posted a similar video from Jackson Kayak a few months back and it had a huge number of hits. This one from Palm Equipment is a nicely put together edit and is definitely worth sharing here on Unsponsored.

Hand Of God Rescue

If you haven’t tried the Hand Of God rescue you need to add it to your paddling skills list.

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Stern Squirt

One of my favourite moves.

Stern Squirts

The Stern Squirt is a classic move for those of you playing with low volume kayaks. In this video Shane Benedict explains the basic concepts for performing the Stern Squirt.

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