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

Tag: Cartwheel

Searching For The Gee Spot

Searching for the Gee spot is a video that had a great influence on my freestyle paddling and encouraged me to spend lots of time getting the moves right on flatwater before progressing on to the moving stuff. Corran Addison has kindly given persmisson for Searching For The Gee Spot to be shared online via Unsponsored. Enjoy.

Searching For The Gee Spot

The quality of the video is a little bit sketchy but it is exactly the same as the VHS tape that I have.

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Pyranha Loki – First Paddle

The Pyranha takes a massive departure away from the cookie cutter playboat shape that we have all seen developing over the last few years with the new Loki. Designs such as the Jed, Project X, and Jitsu have all to some extent developed in one particular direction – to allow paddlers to pull off some of the more modern aerial moves.

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The Loki on the other hand has been designed to allow paddlers to return to a time when cartwheels, stern squirts, stern stalls, flat spins and blunts were the moves of the day. In essence Pyranha have set out to capture the feel and performance of old school playboats.

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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

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.

Double Pump

If you don’t know, double pumping is the forward – backward stroke on one side that initiates most cartwheels (you can also plough the nose down to get up on end, but that’s just brute force, no technique.)

What you need:

A boat that’s designed to do what you want it to. Try a boat that has low volume, slicey ends – not a big ass creeker. Stay away from long, fat boats.

Short paddles make a big difference, so see if you can borrow someome’s playboating blades. Ask though, and treat them with care.

And a good set of stomach muscles. They’re gonna hurt. Continue reading

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