How to Do Kayak Tricks

How to Do Kayak Tricks
If you are an adrenaline junkie with some kayaking experience, you might be looking for ways to take your kayaking to the next level. The white-knuckle thrills associated with kayak tricks can be addictive, and mastering these techniques will take a great deal of practice and a certain level of physical fitness. Various tricks include rolls, spins and blunts.


Difficulty: Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Life jacket Practice pool
  • Life jacket
  • Practice pool
Step 1
Secure a practice pool. It is important to practice the first trick (a roll) in a safe, moderately shallow environment to minimize the risk of hurting yourself. A swimming pool or still pond will work well. When you are just starting out, have a spotter with you.
Step 2
Master the sweep roll technique by bringing your entire body weight forward to the left-hand side of your kayak. With your paddle in both hands over the left-hand side, tip the kayak over. While underwater, bring your weight back sharply to the back right side of the kayak, like you are yawning and stretching your back. At the same time, bring the paddle diagonally across your body toward your right-hand side and use it to push your body toward the surface. Your roll will be complete as you sit up. Do a forward stroke to stabilize the kayak.
Step 3
Find a safe place to practice the next two tricks, the spin and the blunt. You will need a bay or beach with small waves or a wave pool. Have a spotter with you.
Step 4
Learn to execute the spin technique with practice and patience. In kayaking terms, a spin is any movement of 180 degrees or more in which the rider never leaves the surface of a wave. To complete a 180-degree flat spin, bring your kayak to the crest of a wave, and bring your paddle to the back of the kayak (think of it as a rudder). The paddle is the fulcrum that you will spin around. While keeping your boat flat, and your weight centered through your rear end, use the paddle as a rudder to push yourself to match the angle of the waves around you. Turn your head to see behind you, and follow through with your paddle's pushing energy. Simply repeat this to do a 360-degree flat spin.
Step 5
Develop the technique you need for a blunt. A blunt is a trick in which the stern portion of the kayak rises from the water and rotates 180 degrees before resuming contact with the water. To execute this tricky maneuver, you should be in water with waves. Coming from behind the wave, get on top of it as it begins to crest. As you begin to slide down the front of the wave, throw all of your weight forward, and then immediately throw your weight backward and lift your legs. This will pump your kayak into the air. While you're in the air, throw your weight in the direction you want to turn, while simultaneously stroking on the same side. The boat will pivot around your stroke, the bow will pass beneath you while you're in the air, and you will have completed the blunt maneuver.
Step 6
Execute your new moves in a challenging, open body of water. It will be harder than in a practice pool or a bay at first, but you will now be able to impress your friends and nimbly navigate through fast-moving waters.

Tips & Warnings

Considering wearing goggles and nose plugs while learning a new kayaking move.
Considering wearing goggles and nose plugs while learning a new kayaking move.

Article Written By Tucker Cummings

Tucker Cummings is a freelance writer based in New England. She holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of New Hampshire and is a member of the Association of Professional Business Writers. Cummings is also a food writer and curates the blog, Brave New Breakfast.

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