Hey guys, given that there’s been a lack of people at Pinkston recently I thought I’d write a little guide to the course, and maybe I can persuade some of you to give it another go (especially for freestyle) before Bren’s Park Jam at the end of the month! I’ll go from the top to the bottom of the course, describing each feature (at the time of writing) and focusing especially on the main play-hole giving tips for the sort of moves you can get away with and which ones to avoid.

Starting off with the top two features, we have the horrendous pour-over right at the top followed shortly by a small surf wave. You can surf the top pour-over, but it’s not fun and should normally be avoided unless you enjoy pain (worth bearing in mind given that the get-on slide fires you into its backwash). The surf wave right below is a good place to warm up with eddy access on either side and is easily front-surfable in a longish boat, but not particularly useful for freestyle.

The third feature down is the first proper freestyle spot on the course. The first thing I’d note is that river-right is more of a pour-over than a hole, and the ledge is also incredibly shallow so if you want to avoid grating the bottom of your boat I’d boof into the river-left eddy. The surfer’s right side of the feature is a bubbly hole which is more than deep enough for cartwheels and loops, although it is very flushy; an ideal place to practise moves before paddling down to the main freestyle feature. The pour-over backwash on surfer’s left provides an ideal pocket to set up for moves like a right-side-phonics as the hole-part of the feature is quite narrow and doesn’t like tricks that swing right-to-left or vise versa. The eddy service is good on both sides, however the river-right eddy (on the side of the pour-over) is one of the largest on the course and is a good place for warm-up stretching etc.

Moving swiftly down the course, we have 4 large eddies which are great for eddy-hopping. There are two small waves which provide a good place to practise entering and exiting eddies with strong(ish) eddy-lines and you can easily eddy-hop back up to the top.

This is the main play-hole, it’s not great but it’s better than nothing. The feature is not actually symmetrical, but shaped a little bit like the first play feature further up the course. The left two-thirds of the hole and the right third of the hole are both (slightly) horseshoe shaped, leading to a particularly flushy spot middle-right. Both sides are too shallow to properly plug, the right-hand side is marginally less shallow (but quite a lot more flushy). The left-hand side is much nicer to surf around on and is easier to paddle back into.

These tricks aren’t easy to pull off:

  • Loop: you either hit the front end when you initiate or the back end when you land, neither is pleasant.
  • McNasty: if you throw too quickly you’re likely to smash your face and/or the back of your boat on the blocks, if you wait and throw properly your bow hits the ground and/or your stern bottoms-out when landing.

These tricks go slightly more often:

  • Spins and Shuvits: easy to do on either side of the left-hand horseshoe, the right-hand side tends to flush you off when spinning.
  • Cartwheels, Splitwheels, and by extension Tricky Woos: should be done on the left-hand side, well back on the foam pile. Can get multiple links if done right.
  • Woo-Tricky: works in the left-hand horseshoe, can be initiated half-way through a spin.
  • Phonics Monkey: if thrown properly the same thing happens as when you mcnasty (you get too much air and hit your stern on the bottom), but if you throw early and pull it round like you’re on flatwater… they do work. If throwing right, initiate in the middle so you end up on the deeper side when landing the loop.
  • Space Godzilla: Works both ways, just shallow plug or cartwheel-plug on the right-hand side. Make sure to avoid smashing your paddle on the blocks.
  • Lunar Orbit: Difficult to do, but if you manage them here then you can do them anywhere.

The course now bends around the last corner, the three eddies (marked) can all be surfed between and the river right eddy can be used to get back up to the play-hole if you flush down too far. There are two small surf waves, although a front surf is about all they’re good for.

This is the final feature on the course before you drop down into the lake. Right now it’s essentially just a pour-over… but it is quite nice for cartwheels and splitwheels. Can be quite sticky and will occasionally give you a couple of rolls if you’re not careful.

I hope you enjoyed this post and found it useful, if you’d like to be emailed next time I post then be sure to sign up below!