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.