Slalom Kayak Techniques
Kayakers tend to use the slalom kayaks, since the vessels are shorter, and the have a propensity for movement. Still, kayaks often cause extra problems. Sometimes kayakers wonder where they should put the blades when problems arise. When the kayakers is heading for a V, (Gothic-V) in whitewaters, how the kayaker paddles and steers the boat makes all the difference in the world. Sometimes a better alternative comes to light, which enables the kayaker to move toward a safer passage, which may require a specific stroke to make a turn.
Commonly, pro kayakers will employ a series of strokes that help them to maneuver in whitewaters, regardless of the situation. Professional kayakers tend to plan their trip before getting into the kayak, which helps them to read the waters. When kayaking you want superb observation, skill, intellectual insight, and the ability to avoid panic.
Telemark is a type of stroke pro kayakers will employ in whitewater kayaking, including in slalom competitions. High and low strokes are included in the telemark maneuver, as well as the hanging and slapping support strokes. The strokes are intended to halt capsizing when currents slam down on one section of the boat. The current will sometimes cause the kayak to capsize (Flip) while going upstream. At this point the kayaker wants to know the slap strokes, since it can prevent flipping.
If in the event you cannot get moving with the slap strokes, you can revert to the hanging strokes instead.
How the slap stroke works.
The slap stroke works similar to the low telemark strokes. The kayaker uses his forearm(s) and directs it toward a near perpendicular point before attempting the slap stroke. If the kayaker wants to revert to the hanging support strokes, he will lower his elbows to a near, equivalent point, i.e. the shoulders will align with his elbows. At this point, the kayaker will turn his blade at a 180-degree angle. Next, the kayaker will hang with the paddle while the paddle is in a horizontal stance, which he corrects by drawing the paddle to an upright position.
You can also sustain the slap and hanging support strokes by employing the backward and frontward sculling, along the water’s surface. Sculling is a single oar, which is seated at the back of the kayak. The single oars move side to side, and often at the stern of a boat, which is used to propel the kayak forward.
The ferry glide is another method you want to learn, especially if you intend to join in slalom competitions. The ferry glide method entails working against the current by using strong currents in your favor. The key you want to consider is how to use backstrokes, on the opposite side you want to move, by using strong and steady backstroking tactics. The boat may turn in the direction you want to avoid, which then you can use the back paddling tactics to steer the boat in the right direction. You want to back paddle on both sides, shifting from one side to the next. If you perform the action correctly your kayak will glide in the direction you intended.
You will need to acquaint yourself thoroughly with the ferry glide, since you can use this strategy to maneuver between the gates in slalom competitions. The tactic will also help you to cut across the stream on one side in an effort to reach the other side. You can also take advantage of the ferry glides while floating upstream. If you use the ferry glide upstream, make sure you learn how to use a single strong frontward stroke on the same side you do not intend to go.