Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Essential Boat Control, whitewater kayaking techniques video, 1996 - review.

Essential Boat Control is "a music filled instructional video pushing the foundations of good kayaking. Created for the intermediate to expert paddler, this video is not a topical smattering of tricks to impress your friends. This is the REAL THING."

Essential Boat Control - 1998 Winner - National Paddling Film Festival
Commercial & Professional Winner: Instructional video category.
The video prologue warns that whitewater river kayaking is a risk sport and that no amount of training, skills and good teamwork can reduce the risk to zero. On the other hand, there is also unavoidable risk driving our cars to the river. Many people have concluded that the great rewards of whitewater kayaking outweigh the risks involved. The prologue also warns that just watching a video, even one as good as this, cannot make you an expert kayaker. Only practice time on the river in your kayak with the advice and help of expert kayakers will eventually enable you to learn the paddling techniques necessary to become an expert kayaker.

Essential Boat Control describes 3 important principles for whitewater kayaking: balance, speed control and direction control. These principles are applied to the paddling techniques for entering eddies and exiting eddies. Essential strategies for kayaking in and out of eddies: posture, controlling turns, controlling speed, vision, navigation timing, eddy turn variables, edging, front & back leaning, maintenance strokes, enhancement strokes, linking maneuvers, and boofing.

This video was produced in 1996 at the end of the long boat period, but the skills & techniques described are still relevant to the shorter kayaks that are currently popular for river kayaking. Some additional information from other sources is needed to take full advantage of the modern short kayaks. Nevertheless, I still rate this video as great (**** 4 stars out of 5).

More about:
Critical reviews of videos and books for whitewater river kayaking - BRT Insights.
Techniques & Skills for Whitewater River Kayaking - BRT Insights.

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