Carving Eddy Turn, Part One

by Simon Coward

In this instructional video we break down the carving eddy turn. We also highlight some of the things that can go wrong when preforming the skill.

Key points from the video:

Before attempting the skill, you need to be able to perform the following:

  • Sweep strokes on flat water
  • Controlled forward strokes
  • Flat water carving circles
  • Basic ferry glide - though may introduced afterwards

To practise as a novice we are looking for an eddy with some key characteristics:

  • A sharp well defined eddy line
  • A current you are happy entering
  • A spot that you can paddle back up to
  • A deep spot with a safe runout for safety

Key things to note when performing a carving turn are:

  • The direction of the eddy line
  • Set yourself up to cross the eddy line by sitting a few feet in from the eddy line and a bit down stream of where you intend to exit the eddy.
  • Leave at the top of the eddy
  • Set your angle at either 2 o’clock or 10 o'clock with relation to the eddy line, depending on which side of the river you are on.
  • Once set up. Use powerful forward strokes to generate speed towards the eddy line. Make sure to maintain your angle.
  • As you cross the eddy line use strong downstream strokes to maintain your angle
  • Raise the upstream edge to allow water to pass under your boat to ensure you upright
  • Continue the driving strokes to continue the boat carving out into the flow Look down stream at where you want to go
Common mistakes are:

Incorrect angle when leaving the eddy:

  • To far upstream and the nose of our boat is turned back into the eddy
  • To far down stream and the nose of the boat is pushed down stream to
  • early causing us to lose speed and bobble down the eddy line out of
  • control.
  • Lack of edge, allows the water to catch our boat and can tip us over