New Site Address

December 4, 2008

We have moved our website from this location (whitewaterinstruction.wordpress.com) over to Whitewaterinstruction.com. It’s the same content and all of the old posts are there, just a new layout. Be sure to update your RSS readers and bookmarks. Let us know what you think.
Thanks!
Whitewaterinstruction crew


Slides

November 21, 2008

No matter how you cut it, slides are tons of fun. There are all types of slides, and while some are big and scary, many are not. Regardless of whether you are having a blast on some mellow slides or trying to set a world speed record on something large there are a few techniques which will help you ensure success. Watch below as Shane helps us out with some basic slide technique:

Keep your hips loose and your weight centered over your boat. Just like riding a snowboard or any other board sport for that matter, the last thing you want to do is get sideways and catch an edge. Just focus on looking where you want to go and setting your angle at the top. Lots of times there are curlers and other features you may have to deal with on the way down, so be sure to plan ahead for those. Typically, if the curler is parallel to your boat, you want to give a slight lean into it so you don’t get flipped. Don’t lean too much though to keep your balance.  Sometimes you are more perpendicular to the curler or at an oblique angle to it.  To make sure you punch through it, take a stroke on the side opposite to the curler’s direction so you don’t get tossed to the side.  picture-2

Notice the paddler (who has a broken right paddle blade!) doesn’t take a stroke to counteract this little curler coming from left to right.

picture-3You can see in this photo where he wound up.  If he had taken that right stroke to counteract the curler’s rightward momentum he would have gone straight through it instead of being pushed right.


Accuracy

June 5, 2008

Accuracy- seems like a pretty simple concept. Be accurate. The crazy thing is that many paddlers are content with aiming at a general area rather than a specific spot. Don’t settle for being in an area. When you paddle try to be in an exact spot. Don’t just catch the eddie, catch the eddie in a specific place. This is much more of a mental concept than a physical skill. The challenge is making yourself begin to see specific places that you want to be. Once you start doing that you will push yourself to run rapids more and more precisely and you will become more accurate.

sunshine left – definitely a line which requires accuracy but notice once you are online there isn’t much you can do.

If you need a specific accuracy skill think about this… The bow of the boat isn’t where you are. You are in your seat and when you go for a boof its where your ass is that will dictate how the boof works for you. You can have your bow up on a drop but if your ass isn’t following you are asking to get backendered. Think about where your ass is going to travel over the rock, or rapid.

Notice its where the ass is that counts.

Another thing you will see in the video is some reference to strokes but its not a special stroke or technique its more of an awareness that partial strokes are a big part of paddling. All too often a line is screwed because too much was done when in fact just planting the paddle and hanging on would have taken you too the promised land. The planting of the paddle and waiting is also a timing thing. As you advance your paddling timing will become more and more important in your ability to slick rapids. It won’t be how hard you can pull a stroke it will be that you pull that stroke the right amount at the right time. Play with planting and holding and feeling the current on your paddle when you peel out of an eddie. Just holding the paddle in the current and holding on will bring you up to speed. Then apply the power when you need it. Its a technique that we use a bunch is the south because often we can eddie out at the lip of a drop. So the peel out brings you to speed and then the application of the stroke takes you off the drop. Just a thought. Hope its something to work on for you.

WATCH THE SHOW HERE

Sunshine is a funny rapid. Its the antithesis of Gorilla in a way. Gorilla takes some guts and you can just give’er and try to stay up right and chances are if you do that you will be ok. But sunshine is slower moving and not a terribly hard move….but if you mess it up your ankles will pay. Accuracy is the key. You have to be able to put your boat in a very specific spot.

Be accurate out there.

Shane