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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...

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