Articles - How to perform a Loop in your Whitewater Freestyle Kayak

Ed throws the Loop
Ed throws the Loop
Canoe and kayak - Posted on 30 Mar 2011

Intro
OK you’ve got used to playing in holes and you’re comfortable taking your playboating in to the three-dimensional, and can achieve good verticality on your cartwheels and splitwheels. It’s time to throw a new ingredient into your playboating mix… Air-time!
The starting point for grabbin’ big air in your playboat is through loops. Loops can be initiated on either the bow or stern of your kayak and are generally performed in a hole, but they can be done on the flat, or even on a breaking wave if you’ve really got them down.


  The Front Loop

Pre-requisites for the Front LoopSetting up for the loop
To do the front loop you’ll need to be comfortable moving around in a hole and have experience of being vertical in your boat. Don’t worry if your cartwheeling isn’t up to scratch, as the loop can be surprisingly easy and fun to try!





Set-up

As with a lot of hole moves you need to get yourself on to the back of the foam pile by digging your edges in on your down stream side then rocking back and forth, or sometimes spinning on to the back of the pile works better. From here get your boat pointing upstream, so you’ll be front surfing facing back into the hole.









The reach Initiation
The aim here is to drive the end of your boat into the seam line of the hole against the green water coming from upstream. The harder the end of the boat is driven down the more success you’ll have with your loop. To do this come from the back of the foam pile with plenty of speed by leaning forward, and, if necessary, using paddle strokes. Keep your eyes on the seam of the hole.








Getting the Pop for Front Loops

There are a number of contributing factors to getting pop. In the case of the front loop leaning back, reaching up above your head with your paddle and keeping your eyesight on something elevated above the hole works well. Reaching up with your paddle means that your paddle will act as a pivot point to loop over. If you don’t get pop it’s usually because you’re looking down!





The tuck


The Full Front Loop

This is the hard bit. After reaching up to get your pop you want to tuck forward as your boat goes over vertical. If all goes to plan then you’ll be in mid-air, upside down with your body forward ready to finish it and stun any on lookers! With your body in this forward position, with your torso tucked towards your legs you’ve effectively coiled yourself with a huge amount of potential power. So to finish the loop you want to uncoil by snapping your body back into a normal position and at the same time pushing your feet away.










Top Tip

Retaining Holes
Sometimes in weaker holes you’ll need to put the power on with some quick strokes just after landing to keep your ride going. Very often I use my paddle to help force loops and back loops as the paddle blades catch and give the motion extra force.


The Throw!


Summary

• Initiate into the seam of the hole
• Reach up to get pop
• Coil your body
• Uncoil to complete the move
• Use paddle leverage to help

Looking for a new freestyle boat have a read of what the canoe kayak testers thought of the Pyranha Molan Or perhaps have a look at our gallery or video section









Back to Training



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