The Boof, pt. 3.5 – The Straight and Fader Boofs

August 19, 2008

We are continuing from previous posts on boofing technique, adding the basic straight boof and the stylin’ fader boof.  With the addition of these two, your boofing arsenal should be nearly complete.  The most important thing to remember about boofing is that each location requires some adjustment to these basic techniques.  Just remember, keep your weight centered over your boat.  Go ahead and check out the video and discussion below.

The Straight Boof:

 The Approach: So you want to approach the lip of the drop as straight on as possible.  You may not necessarily always be perpendicular, but close enough.  The main thing is to have your momentum moving straight away from the drop when landing so you make it to where you want to go.  Speed is good, just don’t get so much you miss your stroke timing.  A well timed boof stroke will help you out much more than speed.   


The Stroke:  A vertical paddle stroke is crucial.  This will help direct all your momentum forward instead of turning your boat off the lip.  Plant your paddle blade on the lip of the drop and be sure to pull through.  Your boof stroke will be longer than a typical paddle stroke, so be sure to keep pulling past your hips.  Because it’s such a long stroke, you want to make sure to be pulling your paddle straight so that you don’t turn at the last minute.



The Body:  A combination of slight edging and a vertical paddle will help you accelerate straight off of the drop without danger of spinning out.  The less water on the lip, the more important is to focus on keeping your boat flat and driving straight.  Often, if the lip is shallow the boat will catch on rock and can easily rotate, landing you sideways in a nasty pourover or on rock.


The Fader Boof:

The Approach: The Fader is probably the most “technical” of the boofs we’ve talked about so far.  You want to approach the drop with angle, sometimes almost parallel to the lip.  Once at the lip, be sure to be looking where you want to land, which should be off to one side of your bow.  You can think of it kind of like hitting a berm on a bike; before entering the berm you want to be looking straight into it, but once you are in it you want to be looking at your exit point.  


The Stroke: Think of your paddle as the pivot point of your boof.  You’re stroke should start off as a bow draw to pull your boat around the pivot point, and end with a strong pull.  Keep your paddle vertical to get the most effective pivot, a sweep stroke or low paddle won’t help you out at all.  Once you’ve drawn your bow around to the desired angle, you will close your paddle blade and pull straight through like a normal boof stroke.  For the last time, keep that paddle vertical!  

The Body:  Don’t be afraid to lean out over your stroke and really pull yourself around.  For the fader to be effective, you have to be aggressive and lean into it.  Be sure to be looking at where you want to land.  As you are finishing your stroke, flatten the boat back out and land with the boat flat.  This edge transition happens in the last part of your stroke, as you are pulling the paddle past your hips.