Preparing For Whitewater Kayaking
Near the late parts of the 1940s Slalom became America's favorite canoeing sport. Since then slalom is now one of the most challenging kayaker and canoeist sport most favorable to man. During the event the kayaker's ability to handle is vessel is tested beyond normal kayaking sports.
How it works:
Slalom whitewater surfing is a zigzag race, where competitors following a winding course, while zigzagging through obstacles. Generally, the kayaker must race through an 800 gauge course to complete slalom requirements. In the event, the kayakers are stressing turbulent and agitated whitewaters until the finish line. Wild water events generally include flags and poles, whereas the kayaker must pass through each object without hitting the poles or flags. In whitewater surfing, generally in five minutes you can complete an 800 gauge run. In slalom whitewater surfing the kayaker must pass through gates, which are set up for a purpose. The purpose is to make the kayaker's trip a bit more adventurous. The gates also mark the path that kayakers are expected to take in slalom whitewater surfing.
If a kayaker fails to meet gate requirement, thus he will receive a penalty per each gate he fails to negotiate properly. Time is against the kayaker in this sporting event, and with each gate penalty points, he looses more time. International competitors are often disqualified if the kayak touches a gate.
The poles or gates are marked. Some of the gates have variant colors, which more points are subtracted if you touch the gate. At the start of the competition, the kayakers are timed.
Today, Singles Kayak K-1 replaces the older version, which took place in 1965. (F-1)
In the competitions today, all single kayaks qualify for competition, yet the boat must measure 13.12 feet. The beam must be at least 23.6 inches, or short of two feet to qualify for the competitions.
How do I choose paddles for slalom whitewater surfing?
You can choose a paddle based on your liking, however purchasing the best on the market is ideal if you intend to win at whitewater competitions. Many kayakers tend to choose double bladed paddles.
What about seating?
You should fit snugly in the seat of your kayak. If you are loose, you will slide, scoot, and possibly slip from the boat. Snug seating will also help you to focus on kayaking, rather than stressing over the problems of seats. You will also want to sit low in the seat to ensure stability. You can purchase hip pads that will provide you additional support.
Do I need knee pads?
Yes, you will need knee grips to provide you extra support and control, especially when you lean forward in the kayak.
Will I need a footrest?
Yes. You want adjustable footrests so that you can use the foot during paddling.
How do I decide what clothing to wear?
To consider clothing, think practicality, safety, waterproof, warmth, and movement.
Do I need a hat?
Yes, but you will need a crash helmet. Why do you think they outlaw motorcycles in most states without the usage of helmets? The head is at high risk of injury and/or fatality during slalom whitewater surfing. You should consider the helmets that offer added padding to promote safety.
Should I wear a lifejacket?
Yes, if you have any sense you will wear a lifejacket. You will also need a spray skirt, and proper paddles in slalom whitewater kayaking. Lifejacket rules states that you must wear a lifejacket with minimal buoyancy at 13.2 pounds. You may want to check with the judges for updates on lifejacket buoyancy weight.