Low Water Whitewater Skills

Intro 

With the summer in full swing, British rivers are understandably at an ultimate low. For those of us who are not doing a full season of Alpine dirtbagging we are left to get creative at our low water venues and whitewater parks. So in this short blog I thought I’d put together a few ideas to keep things fresh on your local summer whitewater spot.

 

1- Rolling Drills and Learning a new Roll

With warm water it seems a crime not to put time into either developing your rolling technique. Or if you have a roll taking it to whitewater as often as you can, or perhaps learn to roll on the other side. There is really no excuse not to spend a good chunk of your time getting confident with  being upside down.

Fun Drill – Rolling Orientation

This is super fun and great for helping paddlers build their underwater confidence. And can also be done with a helper in the water to bring them back up, or with a paddler to perform a T- Rescue.

  • Split the boat into 4 quarters; front right, front left, back left and back right
  • Without the paddle let the kayaker capsize and move around the quarters touching the 4 quarters. And then when ready the kayaker can bang on the side of the boat. And either be rescued by a friend standing in the water. Or a T- Rescue from a kayaker.

 

 

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2. Punching Stoppers/Waves at different angles

This isn’t just a low water move and can be practised all year round. However on some holes and stoppers that are usually a bit grippy and we just want to get through them this can give us a bit of confidence when playing with angles.

  • Very rarely do you want to just point downstream. As you progress in whitewater kayaking you will begin to link multiple moves. Meaning your exit from the hole will determine where you go next. So playing around with punching at different angles can also spice up a small stopper but also build you confidence to stop you from just running rapids straight down river.

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3.  Surfs Up

Hit the beach grab your boat and go. The beauty with surfing is that anyone can get involved. It doesn’t matter if you’re that paddler lugging your creek boat across a windy beach. Throwing yourself into an unfamiliar environment can help keep things fresh. It’s a great place to sharpen your roll and get to grips with the beginning of surfing. Start small and work you’re way up. If you’re on a busy beach area just make sure you are playing nice with the other water users and try not to wipe out a young nipper on their bodyboard. Oh and wear a helmet that sand hits hard!

 

 

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