One of the challenges an instructor has is making kayaking “accessible” regardless of how far away from whitewater someone might live. In our instruction program we are constantly encouraging the kayakers we train to spend time in a boat. Time in a boat is what makes a good kayaker and that time is as well spent on flat water as it is on whitewater.
Looking for something new to use as a teaching tool we looked to bring back the English Gate. The English Gate Sequence is a series of drills done using even just one slalom gate set up on flat water. Using gates is a cross-over drill that is extremely beneficial to whitewater kayakers. Gates work has been so worthwhile that we are embracing the idea of integrating the slalom perspective into our instruction program training approach.
The key Concepts that cross over into whitewater paddling:
• Boat Angle Management
• Stroke timing and choice of stroke for efficiency
• Planning Moves ahead of time
Why there is room for slalom and whitewater to coexist on the river! And what they can teach each other.
Slalom Gates and Whitewater Kayaking: planning boat angles in advance