hey folks… anybody know of any" freestyle canoe" paddlers?? i’m looking for some information about how to get started into it. i know they have a event in ohio in sept. but was hoping to get a jump start…anything will be helpful at this point.thanks!

so much about freestyle…
Some very good freestyle paddlers post here. I’m not one of them, just a wannabe, so here are basics that I know.

You can use most canoes for freestyle, though some are more fun than others. My favorite is the WildFire, from; for smaller people (I’m 6’0" and 215 pounds), the FlashFire might be better. They’re expensive, but many suitable boats can be had (especially used) for much less money. More if this is the kind of information you’re looking for.

More important than the boat is the paddle. I think you want one with a straight shaft, a symmetrical grip (so you can roll it over and use it just as well), thin edges, and no center rib. I lust after the ones made by Dogpaddle, but I currently use a Grey Owl Freestyle (in wood, but I think it’s now available only in carbon).

There’s a freestyle symposium in upstate New York in July:

There are books (I read Glaros & Wilson), videos, web sites, and a committee of the American Canoe Association available to help you. What information are you looking for, exactly?

– Mark

your the man!.. thanks, but about all i know is from You Tube, and limited web surfing. the paddle style, and size will get me going,but any direction will be so helpful at this point.i have been playing with a wildfire so half the battle is won! but i have seen that there is so much more.and that sparked the interest . you don’t see very many folks showing off those skills on the water i paddle so stepping up my game is the intension here. not to compete .although i guess that if you get good enough ? so what can you tell me to start off with? paddle control, heeling the canoe balance. thanks for your help!

I just started
this spring. In fact, I was practicing maneuvers last night. I am still a long way from linking maneuvers into a fluid program. It is fun, but takes a lot of practice to be fluid.

Besides the Glaros/Wilson book, I highly recommend the DVD Solo Freestyle Canoeing. I got mine from Tom McKenzie at Loonworks. I re-watched a section after my practice session last night. Really helpful DVD. There is also a Freestyle Symposium in Louisianna, but I think this year’s has already occurred.

I am using a Merrimac Baboosic and a Sawyer cedar paddle. Freestyle has definitely improved my canoeing technique (and enjoyment). I signed up for the Adirondack Symposium to learn more. I could use someone to watch what I am doing and comment. Good luck. Use whatever boat you have now and go from there.


Definitely try to get instruction
… The Adirondack FS event is in July; I know I will be there.

Beyond the the book and the Loon Works video already mentioned, you might also pick up the video from Mark & Becky Molina titled “Paddles in the Stream”. It is an excellent video illustrating some forward manuevers and heeling positions. Also shows that FS is about efficient technique and not equipment.

Happy paddlin

I was lucky enough to catch a
daylong workshop with Karen Knight a couple of years ago at the MCS- it was an incredible learing experience. I highly recomend her if you can get the stars to align.


FreeStyle is a lot easier
to learn than the manuals make it out to be. Just learn the basics…post, axle, wedge, christie and then teach yourself by progressing according to “everything you can do on the onside, you can do on the offside, and everything you can do going forward, you can do going backward”. It’s those cross reverse moves that will kill you!

Teaching yourself is pretty much how we all learned in the beginning of FS (though a lot of “hey have you tried this” phone calls post practice helped spread the knowledge).

If you can find an ACA FreeStyle instructor it would be a big help to get you started. Failing that, the books/videos mentioned will help. Don’t get hung up on the equipment…your Wildfire is one of the best boats for FS and the paddle can be anything. Pat Moore used to use a snow shovel just to prove that point…it’s the paddler, not the paddle that makes it pretty.

this is great stuff!!
thanks you all for helping with this, it will just feed the MONSTER!.. please feel free to post more!.. i’m so pumped about this now.