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!
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
The Donkey flip is an advanced wave move that requires a short and bouncy boat. Basically the donkey flip is an airborne back deck roll done on the down slope of a wave or hole!
Get yourself set up surfing a wave and get up to the top of the pile. From here you can scream down the face of the wave and gain as much speed as you can. As you get down onto the green face of the wave start to bounce the boat. Use your full weight to push the boat down. As you feel the boat hit the green lift up with your knees.
Now for a “leap of faith”. As the boat leaves the water get your body back so you are lying on the back deck as if you are pulling a stern roll, looking for the back end of your boat will help. At this point you need to start your roll. Any doubt or hesitation and you won’t be pulling it off. A solid hip flick and body rotation will carry you through.
The bigger that initial bounce the easier this stage is. All being well you will have pulled off a dry back deck roll whilst screaming down the front of a wave! AKA a Donkey Flip!!
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