How To Flatwater Cartwheel

I realised that one tutorial which would probably help with some of my other recent posts like how to tricky woo, lunar orbit or double pump would be how to cartwheel. Continuing with the same layout as previous posts, a cartwheel is officially defined as “at least two consecutive ends in the same rotational direction, […]

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How To Surf In A Stopper

In this post I’m going to go right back to basics and explain how to surf in a hole/stopper (which is where water pours over a submerged object causing the surface water to flow back upstream towards the object). Whether you’re interested in freestyle or river running this is probably one of the first things […]

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How To Flatwater Loop

In this post I’m going to be following on from two of my previous tutorials (https://patrickyak.blog/2020/05/08/how-to-double-pump/ and https://patrickyak.blog/2020/07/02/how-to-bow-stall/) and will explain how to loop on flatwater. Once you can confidently double pump and bow stall, learning to flatwater loop isn’t particularly difficult and could be learned within a few hours if you really put your […]

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Why Your Off-Side Matters

Everyone is stronger on one side than the other and it’s tempting to forget about your off-side, it’s weaker, it’s slower and it’s more difficult – right? However, you won’t become a balanced paddler thinking like that and it will stunt your freestyle development in the long run. I put off learning tricks on my […]

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Chertsey Weir

Last Saturday I went to Chertsey and spent the day there. I’m going to go over what I thought of the feature, give a few tips as well as explain the typical things like how to get there, safety and whether I think it’s really worth travelling to in order to train… Chertsey will be […]

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How To Bow Stall

It’s been a while since my last tutorial post (How To Double Pump) so I thought I’d do a follow up article explaining the next step – how to bow stall. Some people manage to figure this out almost immediately and others take months, I found that the process requires three key steps and once […]

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How To Double Pump

The double pump is pretty much the first thing you should learn if you’re trying to do any sort of flatwater freestyle. Effectively it’s the first end of a cartwheel and it sets you up to learn more complicated tricks like a tricky woo or loop. Some people learn how to tailee beforehand but I […]

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Why Flatwater Is So Useful

I know that some people don’t bother practicing freestyle on flatwater, maybe it never occurred to them or they don’t think there are any benefits so they never tried it. This post is dedicated to persuading such people to try training on flatwater, maybe before a session on whitewater or simply for convenience because it […]

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Look Where You Want To Go!

One of the most common mistakes I see people making (not only for freestyle but for kayaking in general) is that they’re not looking where they want to go. I make this mistake all the time and it’s annoying seeing myself in a video later and realising. Sometimes you’re tired and you just forget, or […]

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Gear Rundown

Head-to-toes winter checklist – I’ve tried wearing a couple of different bits of kit and some of it works really well and some of it doesn’t (I just have to wait for it to break so I can justify getting something better); I’ll recommend the equipment I like and I’ll be blunt about things like […]

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How To Loop On Whitewater

In this post I’m going to explain how to loop, going over set-up and finishing as well as body, boat and paddle position throughout the movement with some tips to improve snappiness and height throughout. I will assume that you can comfortably move about on grade 2 or 3 whitewater – by comfortable I mean […]

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How To Phonics Monkey

This is one of the hardest tricks to learn but it is also one of the most impressive. A phonics is defined as a “pirouette initiated by a cross-bow stroke in a front surf position, followed by a front loop in one fluid motion,” and it is worth 140 points (190 with air) which makes […]

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How To Outfit A New Kayak

I have spent quite a lot of time outfitting each of my playboats; starting with my original 2016 Rockstar I then progressed to a plastic Jed and now a carbon Jed; I also have an Exo Rexy for river running. Each of these boats has come with slightly different stock outfitting and consequently I’ve had […]

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I Burst My Eardrum

I have recently come back from a month on the Ottawa river where I was unfortunate enough to blow my eardrum on the first day. I’m going to explain how I burst my eardrum, ways to avoid doing the same thing and how I coped with the issue while minimising my days off the water; […]

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Are Carbon Boats Worth It?

I got my carbon Pyranha Jed around Christmas after a 9 week wait and I love it; in this post I’m going to go through the pros and cons of owning a carbon boat, my boat’s journey from the day I ordered it to the present day and why I think you should get one […]

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Boots or Sandals?

What to wear on your feet while kayaking is a difficult question to answer, you want something comfortable, cheap and with some grip. I have come up with 3 different combinations: Palm Descenders for river-running, Adidas Adilette Sliders for summer freestyle and Peak UK Neoprene Socks for winter freestyle. Palm Descenders I really like my […]

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Dewerstone Life Shorts 2.0

I got the pink Life Shorts as a present and I liked them so much I bought the Team Edition set as well. Initially you may be thinking – “Damn, £50 for some swimming trunks!” – I can tell you now that these are the best swimming trunks I have even worn, and for kayaking […]

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Best Playboat 2019?

I am going to compare four playboats – the Pyranha “Jed”, Exo/Guigui “2018 Helixir”, Jackson “2016 Rockstar” and the Jackson “4.0”. I have demoed all four of these boats at various locations including: the Ottawa river (August flows), Hurley weir (2 and 3 gates), St Pierre de Boeuf WWC, Holme Pierrepont WWC and Lee Valley […]

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Nemesis vs Sidekick

In this review I’m going to compare 2 freestyle paddles – the Mitchell “Nemesis” and the Werner “Sidekick.” I have tried both of these paddles on the Legacy course at Lee Valley to get a feel for them and decide each of their strengths and weaknesses (thanks to Above & Below shop). I will base […]

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A Guide To Half-Slices – 2019

In this review I am going to compare four river-play kayaks – the Pyranha “Ripper”, Dagger “Axiom”, Exo “Rexy” and Jackson “Antix”. I have demoed all four of these boats at the Lee Valley whitewater course on both the Legacy (Grade 2 / 3) and the Olympic course (Grade 3 / 4) to test their […]

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