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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Sweet Rocker vs Strutter

In this post I’m going to review and then compare the Rocker and Strutter helmets made by Sweet Protection, both are very popular helmets but it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you, especially right now where it may be impossible to actually try on or examine either. I currently own […]

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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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Don’t Skip The Warm-Up!

Warming up is boring. You want to get on the water and start paddling, stretches only slow you down and get in the way. Wrong! I’ve managed to pull my shoulders and lower back a couple of times while kayaking and normally these things go away in a few hours, but last Tuesday I injured […]

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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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Stay Sane During Quarantine

One of the best ways to feel alive is to do some sort of exercise. I know that this blog is mainly kayaking orientated but right now that probably isn’t much use for most people. What’s a form of exercise everyone can do right now..? Running; apparently we’re all allowed out for infinite exercise, I […]

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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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Pyranha Ozone

I was afraid that if I tried the Pyranha Ozone at Lee Valley I’d want one. I tried it. Now I want one. For those of us who don’t know, the Ozone is Pyranha’s latest release and replaces the Inazone in their “freeride” (river-play) category; in layman’s terms, freeride means you can perform modern freestyle […]

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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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Make Your Editing Speedy

At one point or another, anyone who wants to edit video has sat down at their computer and realised that it’s going to take the next few hours to look through all their footage and categorise it before they then get to spend another few hours playing with it and adding music before they finally […]

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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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Best Shorty Cag?

Recently my Peak UK “Combi” short sleeve cag became too irritating to keep. I’ve had it for around a year and never liked it – despite having latex arm seals all the water comes in at the neck immediately, the Velcro stopped working when wet, the colour faded from bright blue to bleached sky blue […]

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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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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

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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