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Paddling When the Pool's Closed and the Water's Froze

For Whitewater Paddlers

Here are some valuable "dry hair alternative learning options" available for you to review. Please watch the videos and think about the questions so we are better prepared to hit the river in the future. I think you will find this process to be enjoyable but not as good as pool water rushing into your nose when learning the kayak roll.

Freestyle Kayaking & Whitewater Parks

We were just starting to experiment with the smaller freestyle kayaks. This is sometimes referred to as park and play kayaking because you can spend many hours practicing your freestyle techniques in one rapid, often located near your car. Whitewater paddling parks are common now and they offer easy access to well designed surfing waves and holes for kayakers, decked canoeists, rafters, surfers and body boarders. H2o Dreams - Paddlesports Education
Rafting customers are critical to pay the bills to keep the park open Go Gaston NC
At some locations natural river beds have been modified to benefit paddlers. See ACA In Action video here. USA Freestyle Kayaking
Surfing and bodyboarding is possible when a standing wave on the river has a nice shape or has a highly engineered adjustable shape like in Bend, OR. See the Pipeline Master himself, Gerry Lopez surfing on the river. Paul Clark
- Which aspect of park and play do you think you would enjoy the most and why?
- Name two freestyle kayaking or sometimes called playboating skills that you saw on these videos. This may take some additional searching to find names of various freestyle kayak skills.

Slalom Kayaking

When I started kayaking a slalom paddler named Richard Fox was my gold standard for boat control and powerful paddling in gates. His daughter is unbelievable as you can see here. Paddling Life
- List two rules for whitewater slalom racing.
- What is the difference between a green gate and a red gate?
- How are slalom kayaks different from the kayaks you have been using in the pool?

River Hazards & Group Safety

Free flowing rivers change daily, weekly, monthly and seasonally. Understanding river hazards and correlating the levels of water flowing in the river with the level of difficulty at various rapids is fundamental to managing risk. The American Whitewater Safety Code and International Scale of River Difficulty are the best resources available for general guidelines. American Whitewater For a video review of the river rapid classification system and risk management concepts look here. Paddle Education You should be able to identify many types of river hazards. Paddle TV
You should be able to identify many types of river features and know their names so you can talk about a rapid with your paddling partners. Paddle Education
If you know about river features now you need to read whitewater and pick your line, set up your safety plan, run the rapid or portage the rapid. bob frapples
- List four river hazards.
- What river difficulty classification range would you like to experience in your whitewater kayak and why?
- How do paddlers communicate on the river?
- Where is boat based safety positioned in a rapid?
- Where is rope based safety positioned in a rapid?

Thanks for hanging in there with this method of developing your technical knowledge related to river kayaking. I prefer having you in a kayak practicing your skills or at least in a kayak watching a kayak video. Hopefully many of you can resume your actual kayaking skill development at UMD next Fall with the RSOP Kayak & Canoe Pass. I hope you are all doing well as this Covid-19 Pandemic rolls along with new surprises every day. Stay steady and calm. Sincerely, Randy Carlson

For Sea Kayakers

Rolling Hacks

Speaking of pool water rushing into your nose as you learn to roll your kayak . . . check these out! These are as helpful if you already have your roll down (but want to coach a friend) as they are if you're still working on that hip snap and keeping your head down. AND . . . Bonuses! There's something you can practice without being in a pool with a kayak. Features a great Scottish accent

Dryland rolling practice:
Hip snap load-drive concept: Pacific Paddling Symposium

I hope you're all doing reasonably well, and finding creative ways to keep your spirits up and bring cheer to friends and neighbors (from a distance). Hang in there! Take care everyone, Melody A. David-McKnight