Understanding Eddy Turns

Improving my eddy turns (Breaking out/Peel outs) is something that I have been working on for a while now.  I realised pretty early on in my boating that the low brace turn is a good technique to teach beginners, but there are much better ways to break out. Like stabilisers on a bike, it’ll stop you falling over, but the best way to keep upright is to keep in control through the turn.

After spending most of the winter practising on the Upper Tryweryn, I’ve finally got my head around the speed, angle and the correct amount of edge needed to hit different sizes of eddies. But what about the strokes needed? I’ve always been a “big sweep stroke and bow rudder” kind of paddler, spinning my boat in to eddies. Watching Simon Westgarth’s “Geneotype 2” DVD has been food for thought though. The first thing I noticed is that you could probably count on one hand the number of bow rudders used in that 40 minute DVD  – yet the paddlers are still making micro eddies. The second thing that became apparent is that the paddlers were controlling their break out from the inside of the turn – as opposed to initiating with a big outside sweep stroke.

I know that I’m becoming a lazy blogger of late, linking through to other people’s articles, but Kim Siekerman describes how to do this much better than I ever could HERE.

It may be different to the traditional way that you were taught, but play with the ideas in the article.  Read, experiment, practise and above all, enjoy.

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2 Responses to Understanding Eddy Turns

  1. Pyro says:

    Bloody brilliant, cheers IB. That kind of technique was something mentioned on my 4* training recently and I couldn’t get my head round it. Francesco Salvato mentions it (and you see it being done a lot) in the H.I.P.S DVD, but to someone who grew up paddling long, old-school kayaks like Dancers and T-Slaloms, it’s a counter-intuitive technique. That links looks handy though, and Kelvin (my coach for 4*) has a good article on it from the PoV of an open boater – http://sweet-skills.com/articles/driving_through_turns.html, Cheers! Pyro

  2. The Genotype 2 video gives an idea of what Gene17 teaches. I have to say though that it is well worth getting coached by them directly. It’ll blow your mind some of the methods that Simon Westgarth teaches. Many of them counter intuitive and different from what everybody else teaches, but it all works far, far better than traditional methods. It isn’t just what he does with the paddle, but what he does with the hull.

    It is mainly stern squeezes and rudder that are performed rather than bow rudders. You’ll notice that they only use the bow rudder to finish off the end of a turn. Francesco Salvato is the same in the HIPS DVD.

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