Winter...Big Butts and Cartwheels - Mountain Buzz

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Old 10-30-2006   #1
San Diego and Frisco, CO
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 107
Winter...Big Butts and Cartwheels

Hey you good boaters!
Do I HAVE to learn to flatwater cartwheel in the pool (or lake, ocean) to have a prayer's chance in hell in turning a wee end or two in the spring???
Old girls want to know.
I spent a nice effort this spring in flat water trying to learn to thow some ends in the lake in my EZ and well, I have bad technique and a BIG BUTT and all I got was a hurt triceps muscle. !
So here is my question.
From you gals (and lurker guys) who CAN cartwheel...what do we lard butts do in the winter to help learn freestyle moves for next spring??
Do you really HAVE to be able to throw 2 or 3 ends in flatwater before you can do it in a hole and what about boats.....
Anna, ....other good girls!!!!!
Oh and ditto for bow stall and how about boats?? Seems like your boat and your size has a LOT to do with bow stalls.
Any good ideas for winter things to do in the pool (or lake.??)

And any Betty (and their boys) are welcome to come visit in So Cal. We surf all winter in kayaks. Some days are better than others. But it is kayaking. Drop me a line.


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Old 10-30-2006   #2
student wasted state, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 200
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learning to cartwheel bow stall stern stall flat water loop all that jazz can be learned in the pool, and the best part is as your trying all of the tricks it improves other things such as bombproofing your roll and edge balance, etc. just get them down then go out, and get use to doing them in a hole thats the best way, but if you are drying out and need to get wet the pool is perfect
you know sometimes i wish i would have chosen something like baseball but, i didn't and i'm a kayaker so this is what i do." -Nick Turner (Wehyakin)
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Old 10-30-2006   #3
gunnison, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 394
heh if im posting in the Betty buzz, cause it was on the latest threads list, does that mean im a girl? If i have an answer does it mean I am a good boater? (no)

Ohyeah .. about cartwheeling:

Flatwater cartwheels are harder for one reason and easier for another. Easier, because you don't need to maintain your balance in the unpredictable river. Harder because you don't have much current helping you complete the trick.

I don't think it is important, but if you do practice and learn to adjust all the relavant angles and timings in the pool, it willl be way easier on the river. Doing too many flatwheels can spoil you and may help develop bad habits, especially when it comes to cartwheeling in big holes like Salida or the Fluffy Muffin.

I agree about bow stalls, I don't see too many guys under 150lbs getting prolonged bow stalls without being in tiny boats. Its also a relatively useless discipline, unless you like surface-level-squirt boating.

Once you get your bow smash down, work on split wheels, or just 360 pirouettes, 540s.. why not? Do it ona stern smash too, and do flatwater stern squirts, go for rotation, or look for the bow smash. Doing past vertical work in flatwater will be extremely valuable.
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Old 10-31-2006   #4
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Anna Levesque's Avatar
Asheville, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 21
I have a big butt too and I think it helps flatwater cartwheels! Flatwater cartwheels require more strength than cartwheels in a hole because you don't have any current to help you out. If you're getting sore triceps it's probably because you're trying to muscle it with your arms and not use your torso. Torso rotation IS THE most important concept for spins and cartwheels. Your upper body shouldn't move back and forth hardly at all, but should be rotating. The best way to practice this is with the double pump. Try taking baby steps with the double pump (even if you already know it). Start by putting your boat on edge DO NOT use your paddler at first and just rotate your body between your knee that is dropeed and the bow edge of your boat that is dropped (so you always stay to one side and don't rotate all the way over to the other side of your boat). Your rotations should be quick and short. You'll notice that your bow will dip in and out of the water. When you get good at that part you can add your paddle. Plant your paddle, but DO NOT paddle with it. Pretend like you've just planted it in cement and you focus on the rotation of your core instead of trying to move your paddle back and forth in the water. This takes practice and mental training!

Once you have your torso rotation dialed it'll be a lot easier to flatwater cartwheel because you'll be using big muscles. Remember that for initating in flatwater your 'pull' stroke is much more important that your push stroke. Everyone thinks that it's the push stoke that gets your bow down, but it's not true. Your pull stroke is what lifts your bow up which creates momentum and allows you to put your boat on edge. Remember to push down on your feet and pretend like you're doing a sit up once you are doing that push stroke. Also, make sure you're looking ahead and not down at the water on the side you're trying to initiate. All of this is much easier to teach in person!

You don't need to flatwater cartwheel in order to cartwheel in a hole, but you DO need good spin technique. Spinning is something that people tend to overlook, but if you can't spin well in a hole (at least three times completely in control and knowing where you're looking) then you can't cartwheel in a hole either. So spend some time on your spins.

The size of your boat does matter for cartwheels. The bigger your boat is the harder it is to cartwheel. If you can, try to get in a boat that's too small for you and really slicey (like a Kingpin 6.1) for a pool session and play around with it. You can even get in a squirt boat. This way you'll get the feeling for what you want to do. Putting water in your boat is another option.

I hope that answers your questions!
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Old 10-31-2006   #5
ski/kayak bum
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 460
i'm in Socal (NP) and always looking for other boaters. let me know, i'd love to get into the water.

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Old 10-31-2006   #6
Steamboat/Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 36
I am not saying that the boat is everything, but it just might be for flat water. I have been able to cartwheel my kingpin for a few seasons in current (eddy lines or holes) ONLY. When it came to flat water I looked like a hack....Bring on the Wavesport Project 45. Finally a boat my size! Bow smashes were not so elusive and I got those sought after flatwater ends. Bow stalls as well! I think the technique is easier when you have better control over all or your boat.

Anna is totally right on with the spinning advice! I found a small hole this summer on the Ocoee where all I did was practice spin technique, and then got to the bigger features and all the other moves were much easier and I was much more in control of my boat. Keeping your eyes on the hole helps load up your torso.

If you are surfing on the coast you should work on your double pump on the paddle out. I learned to wave wheel in the ocean. I feel like the waves can be steeper, making it easier to get your boat around.
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Old 10-31-2006   #7
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 120
Re: Winter...Big Butts and Cartwheels

Originally Posted by Kimy
Hey you good boaters!
Do I HAVE to learn to flatwater cartwheel in the pool (or lake, ocean) to have a prayer's chance in hell in turning a wee end or two in the spring???
I've been able to link cartwheels in a hole or eddyline for years, but have always (and still do) struggle with flatwater ends. So, short answer to your question, is no. But being able to perform in flatwater, especially as a smaller person, requires good technique, so it's worth practing nonetheless. Plus, it's a good way to stay in your boat over the winter. Good luck! -claire
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Old 10-31-2006   #8
CUkayakGirl's Avatar
303, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 301
I am not saying the way I learned was the best but I learned my bow stall first, which allowed me to be in control at all times. I think girls need to be more control than guys do because we need to use more technique to do the moves. Then I learned my cartwheel on flat water. Then I moved into the hole and learned to flat spin and cartwheel. I progressed in this series because I spent the entire winter at pool sessions. I did look retarted bow stalling in the eddies and window shading in the hole but sooner or later it worked out.
I think it is hard to learn to cartwheel in a hole because you have to control you motions in the hole as well as the motions of the cartwheel. But if you can get comfortable in the hole and on your edges and cartwheeling on flat water then putting the two together in the hole is easier than you would think.
Good luck and see ya on the water!
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Old 10-31-2006   #9
Evergreen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 316
I was doing cartwheels in a prijon Hurricane 10 years ago, I moved into a shorter play boat AKA the RPM and could go 16 points. That was way before anyone ever thought of trying to do flatwater cartwheels in anything but a squirt boat. So yeah I am a bad ass... right?

I have a project 45 and cant throw more than 4 points in a hole or2 points on flatwater. Maybe I am old now and have lost my badass credentials.

I am working on flat water stuff though because edge control is more important than ever. I dont think RPMs even had an edge. You just stuck your nose in and followed it. The spin was so slow that it rarely got away from it. With a shorter boat you are forced to be in more control.

Anna you are awesome. thanks for your time and well thought response great for us fellas too.

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Old 11-01-2006   #10
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 115

Hey gals, with the East Boulder Rec Center open on Sundays at 5:30pm for kayaks do any of you gals want to teach a class or two in throwing cartwheels ect.!!!??? I sure could use your expertise!
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