White Water Skills on the basin

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Recently there have been a number of people starting to paddle white water and wanting to practice skills on a Tuesday.

Whilst there isn't lots of moving water in the basin the principles can still be practiced and muscle memory built up.

I have found 3 different sites that have some useful skill drills that either coaches or people in the 3* groups may want to run through with people.

From Jackson Kayaks Blog - 40 Minute, 20 Drill, Flatwater Workout for Whitewater Kayaking

1. Loosen hips by rocking kayak from side to side.
2. Rotate torso and hold paddle parallel to kayak while edging (raise knee on paddle side). Hold for 20 seconds each side, 3 sets.
3. Spin in a circle by taking repetitive forward sweeps on the same side. Spin in both directions.
4. Spin in a circle by alternating forward sweep / stern draw on the same side. Spin in both directions.
5. Spin in a circle alternating forward sweep / reverse sweep. Spin in both directions.
6. Stretch (crossbow for torso and forward lean for back) 3 sets of 20 seconds each.
7. Paddle in a straight line alternating forward strokes / forward sweeps, 100 yards.
8. Paddle in a straight line alternating forward strokes / stern draws 100, yards.
9. Paddle in a straight line alternating forward sweeps / stern draws 100, yards.
10. Paddle in a straight line alternating forward strokes / forward sweeps / stern draws, 100 yards.
11. Paddle in a straight line with constant edge held while forward stroking on the raised side and forward sweeping on the weighted side, 100 yards on each side.
12. Back paddle in a straight line alternating between reverse strokes / reverse sweeps, 20 yards.
13. Paddle in a straight line for five yards and then turn the kayak 90 degrees with a charc. Continue doing the same completing several laps in a square pattern, switch directions.
14. Paddle in a straight line for five yards and then turn the kayak 90 degrees with a bow draw. Continue doing the same completing several laps in a square pattern, switch directions.
15. Side draw the kayak 5 yards, 3 sets each side.
16. Paddle in a straight line and side slip the kayak, both directions.
17. Perform peelouts and eddyturns (C-turns) along the bank. Several laps each side.
18. Rolling.
19. Sprint in a straight line 100 yards. Complete four times.
20. Wind down by paddling in a straight line with the following pattern: forward stroke left, forward sweep right, stern draw left, forward stroke right, forward sweep left, stern draw right, 200 yards.

From Anna Levesque's Blog - Anna’s Flatwater Drills for Improving your Whitewater Kayaking Technique

Core Rotation Drills

When you watch good paddlers they look effortless as they maneuver through rapids. This is because the power to move their kayaks comes from their core and not their arms. They take less strokes and each stroke is well timed, powerful and efficient. Incorporating proper torso rotation into your paddling technique is the key to more efficient and effortless kayaking. What I mean by effortless is more smoothness and less struggle with every stroke – it doesn’t mean that you won’t exert yourself or feel tired. Here are some great tips on drills that can help you incorporate torso rotation into your kayaking strokes.

Paddle in the Mud Drill

Sounds funny, I know… This is a very quick drill that can help you better understand how your abs should engage with every stroke. Get close to the bank of the river or lake in a spot that is muddy enough for you to stick your paddle in the mud. Hold your paddle as if you were going to do a sweep stroke – this is very important – you want to hold your paddle just like you would if you were about to take a sweep stroke — and stick one blade in the mud instead of in the water. With your blade firmly planted in the mud move the bow of your boat away from and then toward the bank. Repeat the motion several times until you get a good feel for how your abdominals are engaging. Notice that you’re moving your boat with your core.
Our instinct when we start kayaking is to plant our paddle in the water and pull it through with our arms. This way of paddling feels more natural at first because it’s easier, but pulling with your arms requires more of a struggle and is less efficient than planting your paddle and then moving from your core to move your boat. The ‘paddle in the mud’ drill will help you to better understand this difference.
You can also do this drill with a friend by having a friend hold your paddle while you move the bow of your boat back and forth toward and away from her boat

Edge Control Drills

Edge control means to be able to put and maintain your boat on edge to varying degrees. We use edge control to make ferries, to catch eddies, to surf waves, to steer and to remain stable. Edge control is one of, if not the most important skill in whitewater kayaking. Because women’s center of gravity is in the lower half of our bodies, positioning and keeping our kayaks on edge means throwing our balance off – and that can be challenging. Here are a few drills that will help you increase your ability to maintain an edge and recover from getting thrown onto edge in current.

Sitting on Edge with a Side Crunch

This exercise is really simple and quick and it can improve your paddling by 100% because it builds strength and muscle memory. Start in flatwater sitting in your kayak. Hold your paddle up and concentrate all of your weight in your left butt cheek. This will put your kayak slightly on edge. Next, crunch the muscles on your right side together as if you were doing a ‘side crunch’ at the gym. Hold this position for at least 5 to 10 seconds. Then switch to the other side. As you get stronger and more comfortable on edge you can start to increase the amount of edge you use by pulling up on the knee and trying to tuck your cockpit rim into your armpit. I suggest being comfortable with your flatwater roll before attempting more edge!