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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Kadan competition

Hi again
This weekend there is a competition in Kadan. I´ve been training there for the last two weekends so I hope I might do well in the competition.
Here is the official invitation for the event and actually for the whole Czech Cnawr tour:

In case anybody of you wants to participate in any of these events just send me an e-mail ( ) and I will help you with registration etc...

My routine for the competition:
Air loop
Space Godzilla left
Cartwheel+Clean cartwheel left
Phonix monkey right ( well my success rate for this trick is like 20% but an attempt wont spoil the ride hehe...)
Splitwheel left
Cartwheel+Clean Carthwheel right

I ve been frequently able to do the whole jumping part (loops and godzilla) without flushing and I hope I might do these three moves during the first 15 secs so I would have enough time for cartwheels and few Phonix monkey attempts... I really think there will be an amazing party on Saturday night so I wont mind if I wont make it to the finals... although I definitely should...

I am really busy these days since the exam period has started, so the articles I wanted to post will be a bit delayed... Anyway, look forward to Blunt technique, Kadan competition wrap-up and many more...

See you on one of the Czech Competitions

Monday, May 14, 2007

Equipment review- Profiplast C1 paddle Air

My first paddle was a simple touring paddle designed rather for recreation than some real paddling. I did my first roll with it, I had my first swims with it, I lost it during a swim, then found it etc… It was a nice paddle and I really liked it. After this one I had few others but this February I began to think of buying a really good light-weight paddle, because I felt I could use a paddle worth paddling with.
Fortunately my mate lent my his paddle while he was staying in Prague and after two rides in our local spot I felt this might be The Paddle. I bought it few days after that… So I decided to review it here because I think it really meets the requirements for a top freestyle paddle.

A great info for you before the actual review. If you are interested in trying any Profiplast paddle contact your local kayaking equipment dealer and he may receive demo paddles straight away! Just write a request to the manufacturer - Petr Panenka (

Profiplast C1 freestyle paddle-Air

With its 690g (24 oz) it really meets the weight requirements of any paddler, but guess what… its blade is not composite…it is plastic. Profiplast managed to develop a new technology called Gas Injection, thus reducing the weight of the blade almost to the weight of a composite one and still keeping the lovable qualities of plastic- reduced cost and abrasion resistance. The thermoplastic is enforced by carbon fibres.
I have been paddling it for nearly two months now and it endured everything, including a 100kg (220pound) me hanging on it while it got stuck between the rocks :))…

This is what it looks like in the inside

The asymetric blade

Another important thing about the blade is that it is asymmetric.It really offers a better stroke( forward or backward either onside or offside) than a normal symmetric blade. What I appreciate the most is not the power of the stroke but the fact that it gives a lot of support during the moves, which is precisely what you need. Just imagine doing an onside blunt- If you do the stroke, turn the boat around and the blade gets stuck in the water because it has sunk too far into the water and is not ready to give you sufficient support for your balance… you get out of balance and… trashing follows. This doesn´t happen with Air. The blade offers incredible support and is especially good as a rudder (either onside or offside- while back surfing). I felt my onside blunts immediately improving to over 90% success and I think it is not a coincidence…

Air action photos

And finally there is the price… Imagine you get all this- a perfect freestyle/whitewater C1 paddle- for only cca 100 euro. Including wooden T-grip, asymmetric blade, composite shaft and of course PERFORMANCE.


+ lightweight 690g/24oz
+ asymmetric design of the blade--> better support and stroke
+ abrasion resistance
+ composite shaft

- asymmetric blade- your mate who paddles on the other side can not try your new Air to full satisfaction…:)

Profiplast also manufactures top kayak paddles Ninja, Xena (both freestyle/ whitewater) and Trapper(touring), raft paddles (used by the World Champions in men and women categories), dragon paddles and many more...

Check their website

A review on Xena paddle by Tomas Mahring (2nd place indoor snowkayak Championship 07) coming soon…
If you are interested in this paddle just tell your local dealer to contact the manufacturer ( and you may try a test paddle before buying it! It will be sent to your dealer as a demo.

So long. I promise I get the blunt technique ready really soon.. I need some more pics and nobody wants to take pics of me...:((

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Technique-the LOOP

First of all I´d like to say that so far I don´t have enough pics/video for the announced article on blunt technique so I resolved to write a short article on the loop.
The loop is one of the most spectacular moves. It is not that difficult, though. The first thing is that you need a specific kind of boat for a loop. You won´t do well with an old school playboat with slice ends. Every modern freestyle boat has a good volume distribution for a loop, that is lots of volume round the cockpit...

I. phase
You have to get to the foam pile, as usual. The key thing for a C1 boater is to be really nicely lined up because you have less stability and keeping straight is far more difficult. You should be facing upstream straightly. The higher you get on the foam pile the better, but mind you: it is more difficult to stay straight and balanced if coming a long way down from the foam pile.

Now you are sucked in by the hole right into the green water. What you need now is to get as much speed as possible. So I recommend you to plant an extra stroke just before you hit the green water.


Now comes the most difficult part of the move. You have to stick the bow of your boat right into the so called seam (that is the place where the green water meets the foam). This needs to be done by two means.
The first one is clearly visible on the picture. The bodyweight shifts forward. You simple throw forward as much weight as you can .
The second one is more important and it is the movement of the most important part of body a C1 paddler has, it is the knees of course... :)) You have to force the bow down with your knees. This movement begins right after and almost simultaneously with the weight shift.

So now you´ve pushed the bow into the green water. But exactly at the moment your bow hits the green water you have to do another weight shift, you must agresively lean backwards but the knee movement still continues.
A good tip is that you should plant your paddle and do a fierce back stroke and lean on it to help you with the rotation.

Now comes the breakpoint. Now the knee movement stops and another complex movement begins. All your weigh must be really agresively flung forward. Concentrate on the movement of the boat and with practice you will recognize the moment automaticaly.

V. phase
This is the most enjoyable part of the move... You are flying!!
After the previous weight shift the boat comes over you and all you have to do is to help her a bit by a movement similar to the knee movement described above. The boat being connected to the lower part of your body is extremely sensitive to any knee movement. So if you do the same movement again (your body and knees stretched in one line- the knees going upwards-remember you are upside down) your boats completes the loop...

VI. Phase
Now it is almost done. All that rests is to regain balance after you land. This differs from spot to spot... in this one I usually slid a bit to the side thus completing the move in a roll like manner... That is because of the steep green water and non perfect skill... this was my first hole session in the Project though...

Ok so have fun and I wish you lots of patience with the loop... and success of course.
So long and enjoy the video...