New white water paddler needs help

I have been paddling white water for a short while (mainly in canoes). I had been content just running class II and III, but after I moved to NY the white water got smaller. So I have been trying to teach my self some tricks (stalls cart wheels, hand rolls, etc.) with my Kayak, and I need help. If any one has any technique advise or books/video recomendations, let me know.


My recommendation
Two DVDs: Eric Jackson’s “E.J.'s Playboating Basics” and “Playboating with Ken Whiting”. There is also good stuff in Corran Addison’s “Searching for the Gee Spot” but that is a bit more advanced. All of them can be ordered from .

agree with Dr. Disco’s recommendations
The EJ and Ken Whiting videos are great references for learning playboating. For handrolling, check out EJ’s Rolling and Bracing video which has a nice progression towards learning a hand roll.

Be prepared to get really, really sore! Playboating is all in the abs and legs so it really takes a toll on the body.

my boat
What about my boat? I am on my first WW kayak, a dagger GT. Some people told me it is to high volume, especily for the pool where there is no current to work with. My reply was if the old school boaters could stall a boat like a dancer, it can’t be imposible.

Depends on you
Depends greatly on your size, boat volume and your fit into it. Would need some details before I would give odds on flatwater tricks.

By the way, I thought the Kingston pool sessions were not happening. I run sessions near Poughkeepsie but didn’t know of anything up in your neck of the woods. Drop me a line and let me know where folks are splashing around out of the cold. Have some other students looking and I’d love to tell them who to contact and where to play.

See you on the water,



your boat won’t work
Unless you are really over the GT’s weight range, I can honestly say there is no way you will learn to cartwheel or stall in that boat. Old school boaters never stalled a dancer in flatwater. They basically jumped into a hole, blasted into an ender, and then held the stall in moving water. I would say that it is physically impossible to double pump a dancer into any sort of stall in flatwater.

I have a GT as well and although I can do stern squirts in holes and strong eddy lines, it is way too big and volumous to “throw down.” I suggest you find the smallest and sliciest playboat that you can comfortably fit into, move your seat all the way forward, and work on edging drills. You can probably pick up a used playboat for a few hundred bucks if you really are serious about getting into playboating.

pool sesions
I am a life gaurd in Delhi NY, and while we don’t have pool sessions, I have a key to the pool. The college campus is void of paddlers, just me and a flatwater canoest.

I am an americorps voulenteer there in an outdoor ed position. If you can give me 5 paddlers (any skill), I might be able to open the pool on a regular baises.


I agree.
On a river you would be able to front surf, back surf, and side surf. But in a pool it would be learning to hand roll only. I have a Riot Dom 47 that I fit nicely into but am much too heavy for. The bow dives just doing a normal forward stroke. It is great for doing flat water practice and you can roll it with a sneeze. I am sure there are lots of boats like that that you could pick up for $200-$300 if you don’t care about scratches and minor dings. Here are some other suggestions that might work, depending on your size: Wavesport XXX, Wavesport EZ, Foreplay, Dagger Ego series. Have fun!

You’ve got the keys?
You don’t know how many cold adverse paddlers would absolutely envy the scenario you are in. As to 5 paddlers for pool sessions in your neck of the woods? Should be some interest from Steve Bush and the CNY paddling set. Hard to imagine that Delhi doesn’t have any creek boaters in it. You need to make sure that this is kosher with the Director though. Let me know if I should steer some people to you that live out that way that would appreciate some pool time.

See you on the water,



If you can give me the paddlers all I have to do is file the paper work for pool usage. my organisation, the Catskills Outdoor Education Corps (COEC) already uses the pool for beginer kayaking programs, we own a fleet of sea kayaks. In fact my boss encorages me to start new programs. I am on vacation but I return to delhi sunday. I would love for you to help me find interested paddlers.

The office is closed till monday but interested area paddlers can call and leave a message for me (John) at (607) 746 5504 or email me.

William Nealy pioneered bow stalls
using lead moose antlers.