Tips for Flatwater Cartwheeling:
- First off, Lead with your head. In other words, once you get onto your nose, look over your shoulder and spot where you want your stern end to land. This promotes proper rotation and such.
- This part is hard to explain without showing you, but it makes things much much easier. Everyone knows the first part, where you do a small front stroke to sink the stern, and then quickly reverse it to smash the bow down, aka Double Pump. The key to this move is to get the paddle perpendicular to the water as you initiate the bow smash with the back blade of your paddle. This makes it so your body is the ideal position and gets you ready to either go into a bow stall or continue the cartwheel.
- Having the right boat, as was said before, when you are learning is a big help. Once you get the feel of it, you'll be able to do higher volume boats more easily. Its all about getting the balance (remember that J-lean). You have to be comfortable holding your boat on edge without having to rely on your paddle to really get this down.
Tips for Cartwheels in Holes:
- The tip of leading with your head is even more key with this. Keeping up with the boat is the hardest part of this, and spotting where the boat is going is key.
- Don't try too hard. Whereas the flatwater cartwheel is all about brute force and hard work, Cartwheeling in a hole is about finesse and feeling what the water wants to do. Some boats will almost do it themselves, and others are a bit more work and like to be manhandled a bit, but it will never take as much effort as doing it on flatwater. Try to hard and you'll just go way too fast and get flustered.
Those should be some good starting points for sure. Hope they help a bit. If you are ever at Golden, come ask me for pointers if you want to. I paddle a Yellow Drago Rossi Thruster and have a Red Astral Rescue PFD. I go once or twice a week usually.