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How to Catch an Eddy

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Ready, Eddy, Go!

Catching an Eddy is a basic kayaking skill to help you ‘pull over’ and control your descent when kayaking in whitewater. Sometimes you just want to stop to check the best line forward or wait for others to catch up and this is the best way to do just that.

In this short video Paul Kuthe (expert kayaking coach) demonstrates the best way to catch an eddy and he will explain the simple kayaking acronym ATM (Angle, Tilt, Momentum) which helps you to remember the different stages of this manouvere.

So it’s all about getting your angle right, tilting your kayak and then using the flow of the current to turn in to the eddy.

Whether you’re stopping to scout a rapid or pulling over to play on a killer surf wave, being able to pull smoothly into an eddy is going to be a huge help. Beginning kayakers will probably want to start in mellow eddies in slower moving current, but as you become more comfortable, try catching eddies on the fly. Keep challenging yourself by trying to pull into smaller and faster eddies with as few strokes as possible.

Eddy: a river feature that forms just downstream of an obstruction. An eddy can form on the side of a river or immediately after a boulder in a river. The water in an eddy is flowing in the opposite direction from the rest of the river and can at times be swirling and violent.

Check out Paul’s demo on the video on page 2.

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