Genes Advanced Whitewater Techniques is another little gem from Westgarth TV, this time covering Grade IV/V skills like running big drops, boofing and slides.

The Blurb

GENES, the third in Simon Westgarth’s Gene17 series. This time aimed at Advanced White water technique for running Class 4 and beyond. The focus is on paddling slides, drops and waterfalls, with the introduction of key skills such as flaring the boat through a drop, plus the development of boofin’ and promotion of driving the boat through the rapids. The central theme is the clarity of vision an advanced paddler requires to be able to get more from the river, their boat and themselves.

General Look

The plain and simple red and white colour scheme of the box is continued throughout the video, and is great as it doesn’t distract from the move you should be watching. Summaries are all nice and clear, and highlight the main points. What was particularly good was the use of animated arrows and bars throughout the video, showing both lines and body actions.

Stuff Covered

Throw away your playboat, as you definitely wont need it for this stuff. This is steep at its steepest. Paddlers looking to take things up a notch or two will be in their element, with boofing, flaring and general things like body positioning covered in great detail. First the skill is outlined, and then broken down in to its separate movements, before being put back together. Slow motion is used to great effect, as are the funky arrows mentioned earlier. My favourite feature had to be the “ghost paddler” where two clips were overlaid showing contrasting techniques and highlighting clearly what they aimed to. In many of the segments there is also a section highlighting what happens if you do one or more things wrong. This is one of the more valuable parts of the video.


The tunes in the background are suitably chilled and don’t distract from the instruction, which is good, as the video is all about instruction. Some of the tunes are avaliable to download from


You also get a copy of “Adventures in Loonerland” with the DVD, which is starting to look bit old now with all those long pointy playboats, but is still a good watch, and as its free, don’t complain.


Overall, I really enjoyed watching this DVD, although watching the whole lot in one go may not be the best way to learn. A nice crisp package, and if you learn nothing else from it, “tuck forward”!! GENES cost about 25 quid and is available from most good kayaking shops, or direct from Gene17. Also available are Genotype, which is total beginner up to basic white water, and genetic which deals with progressive white water skills.

Simon Westgarth runs Gene17 kayaking, who do holidays, coaching and all manner of stuff. Go to for more info.