In competition you have a run (usually of 45 seconds) to put together all your best tricks and try to score as many points as possible. Each trick has a score based on it’s difficulty and depending on whether it involves spins, vertical moves etc. To get a really good score you need a variety of tricks.
The vast majority of people just do playboating for fun rather than in competitions – in fact there aren’t many competitions in the UK.
Why do it?
Fun – just enjoy doing tricks
To look cool – pulling of impossible looking moves
Better paddling skills – increased awareness in you paddling
Where can I try it?
There are people who do play boating at the club, who can be seem doing their tricks on the white water course.
In terms of competing, the BCU Youth Freestyle Series offers introductory competitions around the country for youngster, and also provide coaching at these events. Other events take place around the country but you need to be at a reasonable level to participate.
What do I need?
A play boat. For juniors the club has some that you can use to get started, but as you improve you will probably want to get your own boat which you can fit out to suit you. For adults you will probably find someone to at the club who will lend you a boat to try, or you might squeeze into the larger of the kids boats that the club has. Once you know what boat you want, there is usually a good second hand market both at the club and on canoeing website.
Also a reliable eskimo roll is important to ensure you can carry on when things don’t quite work, without needing to swim and empty out.
How do I progress?
Lots of practice to develop your skills and repertoire of tricks. We run coached sessions and people are happy to give people pointers to improve. Once thing you will need to develop quickly is a good eskimo roll.
For more information:
For more information on Freestyle in the UK http://gbfreestylekayak.com/