Technically speaking, rafting is also a paddlesport, whether river rafting or whitewater rafting. Find the location of the rock that has a hold of the bottom of your raft. Not yet anyway. Well, you can wait until the river goes down, and then get out and carry your raft to the bank! Place your large knuckles on top of the paddle shaft so that they are in line with the top of your paddle blades. There are four essential kayaking paddling techniques you should know — forward stroke, backward stroke, sweep strokes and draw stroke. Personally, I turn over on my stomach, and swim back to the raft. Never take your hands off of the raft, and always try to keep your torso over the side of the raft. Safety is our number one priority, so we hope you found this blog helpful. Therefore, we have provided some helpful tips for using the paddles on the raft. This is to allow your torso to rotate better, which makes paddling easier. The basic idea of navigating the river is “Turn the Boat, Paddle Forward, then Turn the Boat and Paddle Forward”. Paddling refers to the group of watersports that require a paddle to propel and steer a vessel through and across the water. Technique tune-up tip: Hold your paddle in the air parallel to the keel and at shoulder-to-eye height between each stroke for 20 strokes when you first get out on the water. Turn the Boat, paddle forward far enough to clear the rock, then turn the boat back straight, and either rest, or paddle forward. Try to twirl it off of the rock. Just grab onto the rope, pull your hands in close to your chest, route the rope over your shoulder, lay on your back, and hang on. Your control hand should grip the paddle anywhere from six to 18 inches from the blade, and your big knuckles should be aligned with the edge of your paddle blade. Safety is our number one priority, so we hope you found this blog helpful. If paddling is stronger on one side of the raft versus the other, your raft could end up going off course or flipping, and we don’t want either of those to happen! We’ll also tell you a little secret about that too. The basic idea of navigating the river is “Turn the Boat, Paddle Forward, then Turn the Boat and Paddle Forward”. Begin on the opposite side of the boat … You can always find your raft, and your buddies. Gripping the paddle … We hope to see you this summer. We’ll tell you how to help a passenger back in the raft using the life jacket as handles. . Well, we will show you the recommended swim position for the river. Then you are ready to go, right? Make sure you have the right outerwear for the day. The rope, current, and your weight all work together to quickly swing you to the bank of the river. I can’t pick him up! … Daylight Savings Time Means… Summer is Almost Here! Or maybe some friendly river guide will be passing by and give you a bump. The movement should resemble a circular motion – setting the paddle in the water, pushing back, and pulling through. Relative to many boats a kayak is small, unstable, and rather slow. The blades on the paddle need to be equidistant from each hand, and the power face of the blade, or scoop, should be facing your stern. Those pictures are the ones you really want to hang on the wall. There will generally be another boat behind you with a qualified guide to give you a bump, or shove, or even get out of his craft and get you off of the rock. Traditionally, two sports have fallen in the category of paddling, that is canoeing and kayaking. Or you can helplessly jump up and down in the boat an yell at everyone else for not being in sync with you. Foot entrapment or not, you’ll be Ok. Someone is throwing you a rope. The technique you use when paddling a raft plays a huge role is the ease, accuracy, and enjoyment of your rafting adventure. Well, here they are! Turn your shoulders and chest towards the back of the boat. If all of that doesn’t work, then you must be really stuck, and might need a bit more ideas. Skills & Tips , Safety Rescue Film Series: Ep. This is not our complete instruction, but you’ll get some goodies here that you’ll want to hear a bit more about before you take off for your first run. It’s not very efficient for you to paddle harder on the opposite side of your kayak to … This really works good on Dad’s when they fall out! Well, you’ll have to swim to the bank, unless you want to do a bit more floating. When you move the rear of the boat, the front is going to angle also. Remember, it is best to steer the boat, or change it’s direction when the boat is moving, but not under full power. If you can slowly lift one side of the boat, just enough that you can get a flow of water back under the boat, you can break the suction on the rock and usually break free. The forward stroke is the most intuitive paddle stroke in kayaking although proper technique … In general, it is a good idea to keep the T-grip right above your shoulder. When you hear “ROPE”, look up and reach! Pay very close attention. Just remember, the rocks are slippery. Or you can listen to all of the other rafters passing by that think they have a solution for you. Use the water to help you lift the side of the boat. The best option is to wait a few more minutes. Your other hand should be … Doing the sweep stroke on the side of the boat is a more efficient way to turn the boat. We will give you general instructions on how to manage the paddles before we send you off, but it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the paddling techniques if you have never been whitewater rafting before. Then you choose the length of the trip you would like to try. We recommend that you always keep one hand on the very end of the shaft of the paddle; this is called the “T-grip.” Your other hand should remain somewhere along the halfway point between the T-grip and the tip of the paddle. Kayaking: The Ultimate Guide is the tenth of an award-winning series of books and DVDs by world-renowned kayak instructor Ken Whiting. Prior to your rafting trip, we will tell you about undercut rocks and foot entrapements. Hang on to your paddle, it might be the last couple of extra inches that you need to get someone in the boat to pull you back close enough that you can get back in. If that doesn’t work, someone always ends up getting out of the raft, and giving it a shove or two. Many people enjoy setting up at the falls to catch what we call “River Carnage”. Remember that there are two major factors here to consider. Keeping the blade in the same position as you would paddling forwards, dip the blade in the water towards the back of the boat. Cross Draw Stroke. You as a guide can use your paddle behind your hip like a rudder on a sail boat. Place your feet against the foot pegs and keep your legs together. The most important is how to position your paddlers. If you are interested in some of the tips and tricks to properly navigate your boat down the river, take a few minutes to read some of the things that we teach you just before you get on the river. Skills & Tips , Safety Rescue Film Series: Ep. Forward stroke. This stroke helps the kayak turn. If you have any questions about safety precautions or raft paddling techniques, feel free to contact us. How in the world can I get him back in the raft? Or maybe you pump out a few wise cracks about that extra biscuit you ate this morning. What happens if you cannot swim back to your raft? Don’t fight the water, it always wins. There are some things in life that you have to really understand and practice quite a few times before you master it. It will be up to the guide, or the boat captain to steer the boat, so if you are fighting an unbalanced boat, its going to make you do a bit of additional work if you are going to keep the boat straight. One is the weight of the passengers in the craft (not the biggest factor), the other is the location of the rock that is holding you, and last but not least, the water factor. Positioning and Movement of the Paddle. You will likely be rafting with several other people, so it is crucial to ensure everyone is paddling with the same amount of force. 1. It may not be a on-the-water skill, but properly lashing … Your email address will not be published. Check Your Posture. When you are paddling, and you look ahead and see a big rock, you need to get back to the basics. Whether your interest in kayaking … We will give you general instructions on how to manage the paddles before we send you off, but it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the paddling techniques if you have never been whitewater rafting before. Holding the blade back and forth in the water to move the rear of the boat. Relax your grip. You want to balance the weight and paddling power, so when you call “All Forward”, you go straight, and not left or right. Once you lose control of the paddle, it could be difficult to regain that control, especially if your rafting copilots are struggling, as well. Don’t forget, if you take a swim at the falls, we are going to get some really cool pictures of you,, so Don’t forget to come by the Photo Booth, and check them out after your trip. Where you place your hands on the paddle makes a huge difference in the amount of control you are able to maintain. Learn how to tie your canoe to the car. After that it can depend of the type of kayaking you are doing, as to which strokes and other techniques … Paddling with good posture means sitting upright and not leaning back. Designed for the front paddler, the cross draw is like the draw stroke but … At Smoky Mountain River Rat, we supply you with the paddles you need for your whitewater rafting adventure. 4: Throw Bag Techniques Ensure that your knees are bent a … The more you know, the more comfortable you will be, and the more you will enjoy the wonderful sport of White Water River Rafting. If you are going to get out of your boat despite the dangers, do it on the up river side of the raft. These strokes will enable you to … 14611 US 19 West Bryson City, North Carolina 28713 Come See us in North Carolina, we're right on the Nantahala River. Push off of any rocks that might get in your way, and use your arms to paddle to safety. With your hands in place, and both legs inside the raft, lift the T-grip end of the paddle until it is above your shoulder, then lower the paddle at a slight angle, breaking the water, before pushing the paddle down, back, and through. Book your rafting adventure online today! Minor adjustments can be made using the rudder technique. When you are paddling, and you look ahead and see a big rock, you need to … When every person in a raft is repeating this motion, it will propel the raft … But will they let you back in the boat if you have lost your paddle? Sign up today for monthly giveaways, engaging stories & videos, special offers & more! Required fields are marked *. When you get your boat, and you are ready to pile in and make a go of it, there are a few things to consider. Get a feel for kayaking first before investing in any equipment, if you can. RECREATIONAL KAYAKING THE ULTIMATE GUIDE. Rafting/Kayaking, Campgrounds, Paintball “The rapids were nothing to crazy but gave the riders a challenge with steering and using our paddling skills.” See all Whitewater Challengers reviews Lay on your back, feet downstream, and float to safety. Move the largest amount of the weight to the other end of the raft. It is more effective to yell, “All Rest”, and make your correction strokes, then “All Forward Again”. These are very real dangers. If you have any questions about safety precautions or raft paddling techniques, feel free to contact us. The proper technique for paddling a kayak is explained and demonstrated by World Champion kayaker, Ken Whiting, in this episode of Paddle TV. Smoky Mtn. This will work in just about every situation you find yourself in except for the fact that you just floated into the Raft Cradle or the Raft Trap. These are some of the things that you’ll get in our safety briefing and river instructions, and we make it fun! I know what you’re thinking. If you need to slow down, you can call “All Back”, and everyone will back paddle to slow you down. If your hands are in any other position, you will lose grip and control very quickly. If you happen to get tossed out of the boat at the end of your run, amidst all of the excitement, you might hear someone yell “ROPE”! In general, it is a good idea to keep the T-grip right above your shoulder. To a larger degree than most boats the safety of the person on the … We hope to see you this summer. Just remember what a cork does when it is shoved under the water. In early Spring, the water may be a little … Well, part of the fun is figuring it out for yourself, but if you are going to get your feet wet, and want to know a bit more about it, here it is. You call “All Forward”, and the boat begins to move forward. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Then you select your boat size and style based on the size of your group. River Rat Tubing & Whitewater Rafting, Tubing in Townsend, TN & Whitewater Rafting in Hartford, TN, Group Cabana Rates (Tubing Location Only). Practice fine tuning your steering, because you never know when you will need to make that precise adjustment. Unwind your torso as you push the blade towards the front of the boat. Another benefit of this technique … Forward strokes, sweep strokes and bracing are the first ones to learn. You will likely be rafting with several other people, so it is crucial to ensure everyone is paddling … Whitewater Rafting Adventures at River Rat, Best Beginner Whitewater Rafting Rivers In & Near Tennessee. Now that your hands are positioned correctly, let’s move on to pushing a paddle through the water. If you slip, you’ll bounce on the raft, and save an unexpected dip in the water. Make an “O” with your thumb and index finger, then lay your other fingers gently on the shaft. This list of kayaking technique resources was compiled by BASK Safety & Education Content Curator Rich Luibrand for the benefit of all paddlers. RENT IF YOU CAN. At Smoky Mountain River Rat, we supply you with the paddles you need for your whitewater rafting adventure. Just remember, don’t stand up until you can sit on the bottom of the river keeping your head above water, or you can do a push up on the floor of the river and still keep your head well above the water. Reposted from the Dagger blog, written by Anna Levesque Crossing the current without being taken downstream is a very important skill in white water kayaking. The catch phase: Extend your arms forward and immerse the blade near your feet to begin your sweep. Consider weight and paddling strength as your primary factors. For some, whitewater rafting is one of those things. That’s your cue that help is on it’s way. Your feet should be resting comfortably and securely against the foot pedals, and your legs should be comfortably … We cover all aspects of Safety, and try to cover the most likely situations that you might experience while on the river. First you decide on what type of trip: Guided, Group Guide Assisted, or Rental. Just remember that foot entrapements are real and you should keep your foot movement to an absolute minimum. Lean way out of the raft, away from the rock, and use your paddles against the strongest part of the current to pull you off of the rock. Although watching a video is not a substitute for taking a class with an instructor, it can inspire you to learn a new skill, give you a mental image of what good technique looks like, help you troubleshoot techniques … Don’t you tell him I told you to do that!! You can’t paddle a kayak well with the … Another one of the essential kayaking skills is the sweep. A quick smile, and a big “thanks” are really appreciated by the rope throwers. Basic techniques. They’ll be talking about them for years to come. On the count of three, just a little shove down into the water makes the feet really start kicking, and they’ll pop right out of the water like a cork. … In a lot of ways these attributes can make kayaks unsafe. Paddle Inn Rafting Company | Call toll free - (800) 711-RAFT (7238) | Local Calls - 828-488-9651 or send an e-mail: info@paddleinnrafting.com. This position ensures your hands are in the correct location on the shaft. These form the basis of all kayaking techniques. Usually a full river. Practice a few times before hitting the water caps to ensure everyone in your raft has the hang of it. One of these techniques involves locking or nearly locking the elbow, that is on the side of the canoe the paddle is, to minimize muscular usage of that arm to increase endurance. Swimming efficiently in whitewater is essential for self-rescue, rescuing others and building your kayaking, rafting and canoeing confidence. Ferries help to slow things … Swimming efficiently in whitewater is essential for self-rescue, rescuing others and building your kayaking, rafting and canoeing confidence. If you really need to turn fast or you want to spin while paddling through some curling waves, you can call “Right Back, and Left Forward”, or you can use the reverse to get the other side of the boat wet. You make wide sweeps with your paddle from behind the boat to the side, and from the side of the boat to the rear of the boat when you need to make solid corrections. 4: Throw Bag Techniques The Right Posture for Paddling. It may not be a on-the-water skill, but properly lashing … Check your Posture rope throwers years come... World-Renowned kayak instructor Ken Whiting of the raft stories & videos, special offers more... 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