Critique My Technique - Mountain Buzz

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Old 03-20-2007   #1
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,085
Critique My Technique

Alright Buzzards. I'm stoked for the upcoming season and ready to fire it up. So I've been thinking about what I can do to improve and step it up even more this season. My boof stroke has always worked out for me but I feel like it's currently one of my weakest moves.

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This one definately looks like I'm too far back.

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This looks better to me.

So, what can you guys tell me about my boofing technique? Rip it apart.


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Old 03-20-2007   #2
Join Date: Feb 2006
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difficult to really say based on just one photo of each drop.

Sometimes you have to lean back because you need to keep the boof stroke in longer. The downside is that you are potentially too far back when you land and run the risk of just loading up your stern. If you can jump back on your bow really fast, then you can get away with it. In long boats, you almost have to do this.
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Old 03-21-2007   #3
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dropzone, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
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I don't think that leaning back very far is necesary in most situations. If you feel like you need to keep the stroke going past your hips, then proper torso rotation through the stroke will allow you to keep your posture upright and centered rather than leaning back. Think about doing a perfectly executed sweep stroke--you don't lean back as you pull the paddle through the stern quadrant, you rotate around your spine using you abs to power the stroke. This is the same motion you want for a good boof stroke, only in a more vertical plane. As Scott says, though, if you do get back during the boof stroke, you can do mid-air ab crunch to get back forward. Sometimes an air boof stroke will help this happen. Boof often, think about landing with your next stroke ready and that will help focus on being in an agressive forward position. .02

edit: check out American Whitewater - Photo#13024 for a great pic of rotating all the way through the boof stroke and finishing foward.
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Old 03-21-2007   #4
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it's really all about, like so many boating moves, how you move your hips. If you are leaning back often, then you are thinking about throwing your weight around from your upper body and not quite getting the essence of a boof. The few times I've had to lean back (and it wasn't me messing up) was when I had zero speed, coming off of a progressively sloping small drop and had to plant my paddle and throw as much of my legs and hips out there as I could.

I like to approach small drops on a slight angle so that I can combine a boof stroke with a little sweep stroke.

Bigger drops need to be hit more straight so you reduce the risk of over sweeping and landing sideways.

A great place to practice all of this is off of waves while you are paddling down stream. See how much air you can get off the tops of waves with a boof stroke. Try all sorts of variations. Some won't be great, but at least you'll gain experience in a safer environment and know how long it takes to recover from imperfect boof strokes. ON top of that, you'll figure out all the subtle variations of a good boof stroke.
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Old 03-21-2007   #5
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Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
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You have been boating 11 years?!!!

That trip to Mexico should have been all the practice you need.
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Old 03-21-2007   #6
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Thanks guys. A lot of this is stuff I already knew or suspected but hearing it put in different ways is really helping a lot. Yes, this will be my 11th season but most of what I've learned about boating I've figured out on my own; I've had almost no formal instruction so even though I usually make the line, I find that it doesn't look as pretty if I'm coming in hot for a move. This is what I've noticed lately when looking at some pics of me boofing. My boof works, I just want to clean it up a little for when it becomes more and more crucial. Mexico was awesome and definately improved my paddling and increased my confidence. But the majority of the stuff we ran down there was drop-pool with smooth and calm take-offs and landings so there was very little challenge in making your move, even on the bigger drops. Thanks for the help.

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