The million dollar question in kayaking: “how do I know my skills are solid enough to start creek boating?”

You can go over the checklist in your head:

  1. Boat Control
  2. Angle Management
  3. Stroke Timing

But how to put those three to a “test” to see if you have the skills to start boofing those awesome drops and running the creeks lines?

Slalom Gates. Yep – slalom gates.

Hop on a slalom course in a Class II-III stretch of whitewater. If you cannot confidently run a series of gates in Class II-III rapids — where you have a 3-foot wide margin with each move (3 feet being the width between the two poles of a slalom gate), then your creek boating preparation check list is incomplete.

There is always a set  of gates below the Freestyle Wave on the Nantahala. And spring heralds in a whole series of slalom competitions….

and we have a library of articles about why slalom is great training for river running so Read More….