Frestyle Symposium-what to take?


I’m going to the freestyle event in the ADKs and wonder what boat and paddles to take.I have a Swift osprey,bell merlin II,a kneeling savage river Wee lassie and a widened-out wenonah Sandpiper that now has lots of rocker.What type of paddle shape and length?


From freestyle class today
I’m guessing symmetrical rockered boat, wide blade paddle. But ask freestyler Marc Ornstein; he sure knows his stuff.

You might want to shoot him an email and ask. He’s on the boards as mornstein, or go thru his website at

See you at the Canoe Demo Day at your pond tomorrow!

No need to get to hung up
about the gear. However, of the boats you mentioned, I think you might have the most fun with the Osprey.

In regard to paddles, you might want to leave the Canadian style paddle at home as the profile generally does not provide the necessary acceleration for solo FS. Something with thin edges tends to help with slicing paddle placements. Don’t get too worried about gear;it’s all about technique. You can bring a Grumman if you want to! A kneeling pad would be helpful, though.

See you there!

It all depends on how comfortable you

– Last Updated: Jun-21-08 9:29 PM EST –

are with boat heel..

The Merlin II does a wide radius turn but requires an aggressive boat heel to the rail to free the stems.

The Osprey is going to give you even less feedback. It is not symmetrical though but dont let that scare you. Its a concern only if you are trying reverse and cross reverse and then only a relative concern as its a matter of degree. The Osprey has less rocker than the Merlin.

The Sandpiper on the other hand might be too much of a turner.. However Charlie has a class in going straight which is always great in a boat with a whitewater slant.

FS comes out of touring and most boats are touring based. Granted, some are more fun to learn in than others. Long lean boats will give you less feedback initially and can feel frustrating. You know the feeling you get when you get a wimpy turn and someone else in a Wildfire gets a big bang.. it might be the boat.

We are pretty free with boat swapping and I know that no matter what you bring we can find something that fits you right.

I am bringing a Loon Works Aria (cousin to Wildfire) and have a Nakoma and FlashFire and Mohawk Solo 13 that are good for learning. However unless Marc indicates he needs more of my boats, as I will be coming from Canada (where boats and number of people need to match at Customs sometimes) I am not planning on bringing extra.

But it could happen.

If you want to swop, I prefer the MerlinII

Dont bring a Grumman, there are six there. Dave Niles I believe has dibs on the ugliest.

Yep, all about comfort
Take a couple of paddles. The variety helps. I am betting that you can’t take two boats, but it would be nice.

Take whatever boat you feel most comfortable having the Gunwales sitting at the water heeled over.

Take dry clothes and wear quick drying clothes.

Personally I use my Wenonah Solo Plus and what ever paddle I feel like. That SP is 16.5 feet long, flat bottomed and no rocker. I still keep up.


BTW, heeling helps
and I believe there is a heeling clinic.

But heeling to the rail is not a prerequisite. Like running, walk first and the running will come.

The site has a beach. Not far to your tucker. (climbing distance). Might not need the dry clothes. The kids favorite is capsize class.

Yes its about technique and not the boat. I can FS a straight rockered boat too…(wenonahs heel well) but some boats make the learning more fun and give you feedback earlier on in the learning process.

For example the Magic gives the starting out FS person not much of a turn, but when you get comfy and crank that puppy so its just borderline shipping water it makes a huge fast graceful arc of 180.

two words which don’t belong together
freestyle & symposium

Adirondack Freestyle Symposium
It’s not clear if we will need extra boats yet or not. Tom will not be attending and thus his Loonworks trailer will be missed almost as much as he and Karen. Anyone who can easily bring an extra boat that they would not mind lending, please do. Those of us running the event this year are doing it for the 1st time and if an extra boat or two on site bails us out of a tight spot, we will be most appreciative.

Marc Ornstein

Dogpaddle Canoe Works

I will bring two boats.