Introduction to white water

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Key Whitewater Skills

The following is a list of skills that all good white water paddlers use. All can be practised on the basin on a Tuesday night and once nailed will make the world of difference when you venture onto moving water.

Week 1

Forward Paddling

2* Skill - With regards to ww, the key to forward paddling is to be going flat out after 4-6 paddle strokes. Sitting in an eddy a paddler will often have a small space to gain as much speed as possible. After 6 strokes you'll be crossing the eddy line exactly where you need to be, flat out. Remember SPEED = STABILTY

Draw Strokes on move

2* Skill - avoid the rocks – boat to blade not the other way round – show your bum to rock

Bow Rudder/Bow Draw

3* Skill – great way to get from moving water to eddies and steer your way through moving water.

Week 2


3* – if you don’t you get wet – Importance of connectivity with boat, edging not leaning. Commitment!

Concept of River Dynamics

Eddies Waves, Stoppers



Line of Sight



Week 3


2* – Water based, T or Eskimo rescue with bow and with paddle presentaion, X rescue, etc...

Support Strokes

2* Skill – prevent a capsize, keep shoulders safe (hands lower than elbows, elbows lower than shoulders)


3* Skill - When everything goes wrong you normally end up upside-down


WWSR Skill - Practice on Bank, Practice on Water

Week 4

Get on White Water and put it all into practice

What Next

Look out for river trips – find a local river and go explore it, Thursday night Lee Valley trips, Medway, Thames weirs – find moving water!

Useful Contacts/Links

Club WW Reps – Paul Carter, Emily Handley

Professional Coaches – Google, UK Rivers