IMPORTANT NOTES- Blog customized for 1280 x 1024 pixels, Mozilla web browser.
The Polls archive is now below the posts.
Please report malfunctioning ( )

The next technique article should be about:

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Technique-basics-Head leads the way...(Cartwheels)

In freestyle the head movements are of great importance in both K1 and C1. It is stressed in every guidebook or educational DVD. However, many freestyle adepts do not do the head movements properly which causes incomplete moves, flushing and generally non-dynamic moves.

So why is the head movement so important? It is important because if you turn your head you also move a lot of your body in that direction (unconsciously) and moving bodyweight around is crucial for all sorts of rotations.

Simple rule is this -always look where you want the boat to go!

The best way to learn the head rotation are cartwheels.

During cartwheels it is essential that you always turn your head in the direction of the move. Your head has to lead the way-i.e. it should always be turned further in the respective direction than the long axis of the boat. If it is so you continue the rotation not loosing the momentum.
It is also important to focus on hip rotation.
So in the end you have two basic movements
  1. Hip rotation.
  2. Head/bodyweight rotation.
If you initiate the cartwheel (i.e. you plant stroke) these two movements are simultaneous but as soon as the boat starts rotating the head has to be further rotated than the hips.

Watch this video to see the usual trouble resulting from insufficient head rotation.

Watch this video to see the correct head rotation. Notice that as soon as the head stops rotating the boat stops too and another set-up for move is needed...

Other moves:
Split wheels- Look into the hole.
Blunts- on waves always look to where you want the bow of your boat to land. So...
Front blunts(onside)-turn your head snappily behind your shoulder in the direction of the move (you ll actually be looking at the same spot from where your stern has taken off)
Back blunts-turn your head snappily behind your shoulder in the direction of the move (you ll be looking upstream)

I ll be dealing with these moves specifically later on...
So long... hope it helped a bit...