Boofing and seat position

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shanclan
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Boofing and seat position

Post by shanclan »

Basically I am boofing like a sack of spuds most of the time. Of course I will seek and pay for professional advice at some point, but for the moment I can always canvas as many widely conflicting opinions as I can.

I know I have challenges with posture and core 'strength', but It occurred to me that I have always paddled with my seat as far forward as possible and this may be part of the issue.

What do other people do? Should trim be forward, back, neutral or other?

I am 80Kgs and paddle a medium burn and a Mystic.

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Lancs_lad
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Re: Boofing and seat position

Post by Lancs_lad »

"Boofing" is the outcome of a well timed forward paddle stroke. Have your seat set where you can paddle the rest of a river well, adjusting it for one specific stroke is not ideal.

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hun
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Re: Boofing and seat position

Post by hun »

Neutral trim should be ok.

One thing most people overlook is the HIP THRUST whilst taking a well timed boofstroke.
You need to shove your hip/bottom forward at the same time you are taking a stroke, not too far so you don't lose core tension, meaning that you bring your upper body forward right after the hip thrust, thus lifting the bow up.

(Many people think that leaning back birngs the bow up. Completely wrong. Lean agressively forward after the boof stroke and lift the bow.)

Taking a stroke alone will possibly result in dipping the nose. A successful boof is a combination of stroke, timing, angle and a hip thrust.

Land your boof on a low barce, and then straight into a positive forward stroke.

Burn isn't the easiest to boof well, so forward trim isn't a good idea either...
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Re: Boofing and seat position

Post by morsey »

Edit: Final two sentences say the same as the whole of the rest.

Stock settings for boats are vague at best, so expect some tinkering to make the boat fit you and your paddling style, generally speaking trim should be neutral.

Core strength is tensed muscle. You can have the best core strength but if you're not tensing the correct muscles you'll not be getting the desired effect! For boofing you want to lift your knees and tuck your body forwards (the amount of tuck depends on the size and type of drop and how you want your boat to fly! If you tuck to early you can overweight the nose of the boat stalling it on the lip! Or if you lift you can cause the tail to drag. It's a case of timing, maintaining speed until the transition to boof. Note also that not all falls allow for a boof to flat landing, if the landing is hard water you'll likely want to go in angled! Which normally required mid air articulation (Tricky!)). Because your knees are fixed by the deck/knee grips means that you use your hip flexors and your abs to effect the tuck/knee lift (not just stomach!). Gym crunches generally use the lower abs and are more concerned with getting a trim stomach rather than actual core strength for utilising lower/upper body coordination! Do sit ups with feet restrained to practise for kayaking and add a twist (at the waist, not the neck-and hands don't hold head you want an almost relaxed gently held neck with hands held out and away from the head to avoid any pulling of the head with hands. If you don't understand that, ask the gym person to show you and say you need to work your abs and hip flexors toghether!) which gets you engaging hip flexors, abs and allows for body rotation. Body rotation and Lats are the key ingredient to the stroke, arms position the paddle and keep the contact with the water through the stroke whilst the your body rotates and your lats pull your lower arm backwards generating a full stroke and allowing you to tuck and lift as you pull through. Once the paddle has run full stroke you maintain the lift/tuck to control the boat angle and run through your mid air actions (either 'air' paddle to keep the tuck and hold balance, full tuck for big deep landings, full tuck and flair arms forwards for shallow flat landing, set brace for landing with the brakes on! set active blade ready to pull through wave/hole on landing, or deck grab champion!).

How does seat/body position effect that?
Trim back and your boat can grind out on the lip whilst boofing, losing speed and stalling into nose down. Trim forwards and you lose speed into the drop and run the risk of too much contact with rock if boofing off a boulder/elevated bed rock or not getting enough speed to create a ramp to flare.

Seat height, too low reduces reach which shortens the boof stroke. Most boof strokes have to hang for a slight pause to hit the right spot and anything that limits your ability to get the paddle to the boof point will likely cause you to slow, meaning you have to accelerate and boof at the same time! And equally if you reach is limited behind you'll be pulling the paddle short and losing percentages that will help you get separation from the water. After trim, I'd say seat height is the next adjustment to make, will take experimentation, anywhere from 1cm to 5cm lift should not effect the boat handling adversely. Higher lifts might start to cause balance/stability/fit issues (back band and hip pads too low!).

Seat angle, knees up or bum up! Okay so here ergonomics and muscle efficiency comes into play. You can do a simple exercise in the gym to experiment with this! Lay down flat, face up, on the mats. Lift your legs 'straight' up. Now sit up, with your hands supporting your body and do the same leg lift. Most people will not be able to get their legs vertical. Do the same with your body leant back at about 60 degrees. You should be able to feel the difference in the amount of power you can deliver in different positions. But for Kayaking we have to consider the boat/body angle for efficient paddling/take off/landing, so we have to work to the best of the restricted position. If we take a flat leg/body at 90 degrees seating position as being the default best for reach/rotation/power delivery you instantly notice that there is a compromise with the leg position in white water boats, i.e. the high knee grip positions raise your knees approx 20degrees from flat. Sprint/marathon paddlers would notice this straight away as they straighten and flatten their leg for power delivery and pull back/raise the other to balance and articulate against. WW paddlers who ratchet themselves into their boats till they pop are losing out on the use of legs through the normal paddle stroke!!The leg position is compromised for both extension (straightening) and lifting. The extension can only be accounted for to a small extent by not having a super tight position. Think on this: Play boaters don't paddle forwards so go for the full locked in position. Sprint paddlers don't need left/edge control or to stay in the boat so go for not knee pads. Touring paddlers opt for a relaxed, not too tight position. WW paddlers have to find their own happy medium, but two tricks can help avoid having to ratchet like crazy: Raise your hip pads so that the bulbous part is on top of you hips/legs and maintains downwards pressure rather than packing the hip pad into and squashing your hips together. When upside down you'll feel this as a positive holding you on the seat. Tense your legs against the knee pads when upside down, stops you rattling around when you have opted for a more relaxed ratchet tension! Okay so now lets look at the amount of knee lift we want. This is very individual, seat on the floor in front of the TV/monitor/dog/fire/whatever for a good few minutes in a similar position to how you sit in your boat, and try to remember how that feels when you next get in your boat. You can add a front seat raiser (Under block/foam on seat/jackson bag thing) and you can pad the underside of the knee pads. both will affect the leg angle. Personally I also add several foam sheets to the inside of the hull around the knee area, I'd like to think it's to give a bit of protection in case of piton, but mostly it's because I wear shorts and it makes it nice and soft for my knees, I'm from the South!!! Also you can consider raising the back of the seat (you'll most likely have to add your own foam to achieve this-sticky back foam is your friend. Sneak it under the seat pad, and don't stick it till it achieves the desired fit. This whole paragraph and no indication of whether you should have high leg lift or low, the reason being that it is so individual and quite a few factors that you are best off to experiment for yourself to find the ideal position. Find an easy, for you, boof spot, that you can hit every time, and spend an hour or so there adjusting your position.



Set the trim to neutral, set the seat height, pad the knees, set the knee lift angle, set the seat angle, set hip pads high and don't over tighten the ratchets, allowing your legs some movement. Then speed, angle, positioning, paddle placement, lift/tuck, full body rotation, and full paddle stroke length, tuck/mid air transfer, boof all day long.

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jamie conn
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Re: Boofing and seat position

Post by jamie conn »

Ideally you need to give some more information to get worthwhile answers and in my experience, it is usually more about the technique (sorry!) and less about the boat/outfitting. Saying that, it's probably worthwhile trying out different seating positions next time you head out and it seems Morsey has provided a wealth of information about how and what to do!
hun wrote: One thing most people overlook is the HIP THRUST whilst taking a well timed boofstroke.
You need to shove your hip/bottom forward at the same time you are taking a stroke, not too far so you don't lose core tension, meaning that you bring your upper body forward right after the hip thrust, thus lifting the bow up.
I am interested that you focus on the hip thrust, as I think almost none of the top paddlers are doing this anymore. By splitting the boof into first hip thrust and then pushing forward, you end up throwing your weight backwards and forwards and all sort of funky stuff starts happening in the air.
Admittedly the hip thrust is effective a way of getting the boat to project from the drop, but not sure it's the technique to aspire too.
Plenty of great examples in this recently posted video... (3.20 is particularly good)



From what I've seen the best paddlers tend to make the boof into one fluid movement where you keep the paddle pulling through the water for longer (more control) whilst pushing forwards with the other arm and keeping a fairly neutral position.

Sorry don't think I have helped a huge amount Shanclan, get some videos up and good luck.

Jamie

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Re: Boofing and seat position

Post by David Fairweather »

People are all different shapes and have different paddling styles. That's why boats are adjustable.

You just need to play with the seat to work out what set up allows you to produce the most efficient forward paddle stroke. Now use that forward paddle stroke on the lip of drops and you'll be boofing happily.

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Re: Boofing and seat position

Post by morsey »

jamie conn wrote:From what I've seen the best paddlers tend to make the boof into one fluid movement where you keep the paddle pulling through the water for longer (more control) whilst pushing forwards with the other arm and keeping a fairly neutral position.
Generally in agreement with this, and it's kind of like the "keep the boat flat" (no edging) discussion, where there are subtle* adjustments applied to create desired effect. So subtle that it appears as though they are not happening! With a boof to maintain a horizontal boat off a lip, you have to knee lift. The aim is not to lift the boat above the horizontal position (as mentioned with trim if the nose comes up, it puts the tail down), the aim as Jamie says is to keep the boat level through the stroke and forwards off the lip. The knee lift, stomach crunch, body rotation, lat pull all happen together, creating a stable base that maintains the boats trajectory and angle throughout the stroke. Actively engaging a range of muscles not just one specific movement, core strength is very much about flexibility under load!

A person who keeps the boat fairly flat off a lip applies knee lift to counter gravitational pull. They also have to adapt to the various shapes the water makes, eg if they are going to flare/boof off a radial they have to actively lift their nose from the main flow to get up onto the radial and then their angle is related to the radial, not the main flow.

Boof:
Too much lift = stall (or in extremes an over boof and land tail first- bad things normally happen!)
Too little lift = stall and nose drop (bad things normally happen!)

Perhaps better to say positive pressure on the knee pads rather than knee lift!

And the real exaggerated body tuck forwards happens mostly after you've gone passed the lip. At best, if you tuck early you can only really maintain positive pressure on the blade towards the end of the stroke, more like a rudder, but sometimes that's what you need if you are cruising a rounded shallow lip, or waiting for a kicker to engage another boof!

Also there is no real difference in the stroke to flare than it is to boof, the boat is just on edge, engaging with water pressuring off a boulder, a hump, radial, or self created from an angled attack. But because the boat is on edge you have to commit fully through the stroke. Actually, if anything, it's easier to flare because your boat is on edge your lower hand is closer to the water giving you better reach and creating a deep powerful mid stroke.


*Super slow-mo hi-def camera film shows all the little adjustments.

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Re: Boofing and seat position

Post by nrg1986 »

All helpful advise. i have paddled medium jefe and the large jefe and I'm also 80kgs 186cm give or take mid seating position on the medium jefe as far forward on the large both boofed fine it shouldn't affect you boof that much. as said earlier it's more about technique than anything else, and the type of river feature you want to ride over. watch videos to get a good visual and good luck. here is one from a bud that like to put a lot of edge on but you will notice how long the stroke is and on landing how flat the boat is. cheers

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Re: Boofing and seat position

Post by Joe L »

Can't see seating position making too much difference unless your at the extreme end of either weight range for the boat.
The main thing with boofing is judgement and timing. This can only come from practise so boof as much as you can and as many different things as you can. Boofing every tiny rock and wave on easy grade water will help you when you step it up to steeper runs.

Lancs lads comment about the well timed forwards paddle stroke is very true as well. Watching skilled paddlers boof generally the body stays very neutral (unless there trying to stomp a drop) and they land on a foward stroke on the opposite side. Hip thrust is completely unnecessary and should be left to those still rocking topos.

Adding more edge before take off can make a massive difference and is definitely something worth playing with. You don't need your ear in the water but it definitely can make a huge difference.

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Re: Boofing and seat position

Post by Lancs_lad »

No hip thrust!! Very old school and inefficient. Majority of people who do this end up landing with there body over/towards the back deck, not ideal if you are trying to stay connected to your boat.

As said by others, keep the body neutral. Long powerful vertical stroke (where possible). Punch through with top hand, try and keep a "window" that you can look through. If terrain doesn't easily allow a vertical stroke, get the lean on!! My avatar demonstrates me doing practising what I preach (well I try each time).

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Re: Boofing and seat position

Post by freddie »

I have my seat all the way forwards, the backreset modified to push me further forwards, and then some padding putting it a bit further forwards still, and I can still get good tail first boofs if I try. It's all about technique, not the boat (as long as it's not a super long boat).
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Re: Boofing and seat position

Post by morsey »

Lancs_lad wrote: My avatar demonstrates me doing practising what I preach (well I try each time)
Maybe the photo angle but the blade position (out to the side of the boat) and lower thumb angle (pointing outwards from the boat) on the paddle makes that look like a draw rather than a forward boof stroke! But if you've got the speed and a nice ramp to hit off, no extra forward stroke required.

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Re: Boofing and seat position

Post by Jim »

My tip would be to position the seat inside the boat somewhere, positioning it outside defnitely won't help with your boof.

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Re: Boofing and seat position

Post by TechnoEngineer »

The one thing that made boofing work for me was the notion of it being a push-pivot action - more or less keep the bottom hand near your body and push the top hand forward, following through with your body. This was with Andy Holt.
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Re: Boofing and seat position

Post by DaveBland »

Boof rule No.1
Stop being obsessed by boofs. Sure they look cool in photos, but too flat and they tweak and smart.

Boof rule No.2
Stop worrying about landing flat. The point is to lift the bow ENOUGH. No more is needed.

Boof rule [well thing to think about] No.3
Think of it as boofing off a hard surface like a bridge. There's a balance point when you are 'weightless'. Too early and you are grounded. Too late and you are committed. If you engage the power on the point of balance then things happen.

Boof rule No.4
Get your side right. Don't just paddle up to the lip and whatever blade's there pull on that. Think about your stokes and length and time the 'side' right. It's a bit like footwork in ball sports. Makes a difference eh?
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Re: Boofing and seat position

Post by Neptune »

This did the job for me, read it and try it. As the others have said, its about getting the stroke sequence, timing and technique right.

http://www.wheresthewater.com/some-thoughts-on-boofing

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Re: Boofing and seat position

Post by Jim »

DaveBland wrote:Boof rule No.1
Stop being obsessed by boofs. Sure they look cool in photos, but too flat and they tweak and smart.
Good point, some drops are better not boofed, I occasionally come accross people who don't realize this so it's worth mentioning now and again!
DaveBland wrote: Boof rule No.4
Get your side right. Don't just paddle up to the lip and whatever blade's there pull on that. Think about your stokes and length and time the 'side' right. It's a bit like footwork in ball sports. Makes a difference eh?
Since starting to paddle OC1 I have to deal with a new concept - righty drop or lefty drop.
Some drops really do not suit right hand paddlers, and others don't suit left hand paddlers - often it is about which side you need the boof stroke.
Cross deck boof stroke may be an option, but takes real commitment!

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Re: Boofing and seat position

Post by nick 16 »

It's just timing, don't ponce around too much and get all techy with all this body position and stroke stuff it will come in time. Once you're timing is right you'll find what works for you on all that other stuff. Boofing is just pulling hard off the edge of a margin/boundary of height difference to keep the nose from digging in or to clear a feature below that boundary. You can tell when the timing is right when you havent finished pulling the stroke through but the boat/bow is leaving the water then by the time you've gone through the stroke completely the boat should be airborne/ bow is up. Great place for practice is the tryweryn, it's an easy environment to learn in as you can lap the features lots and lots.

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Re: Boofing and seat position

Post by shanclan »

Some really useful stuff here and lots to think about without becoming obsessive or overthinking things. I may try some different seat positions but clearly there's way more to think about.

Having reflected a bit more, I think my current push into Grade 4 is exposing some longer term issues with my paddling which fall into two main areas:

Posture

My posture in the boat is generally poor. I have had back and posture issues for much of my life as I have flat feet. I have worn supports in my shoes for the last few years and things have got a lot better although my hamstrings are still very tight. This affects my sitting position in the boat (and in chairs) so I do tend to collapse backwards. I am not going to make it to a gym (I hate them), but I am slowly working on flexibility and applying a little simple Tai Chi.

When I looked at nrg1986's video I thought the paddler was collapsing backwards a little on the drops in a minor version of what I do sometimes.

Being in control in the moment

My ability to understand what I am doing is getting compromised by an inability to focus out of the immediate area of the boat when the heat is on. When I playback in my head, the images are all, lip, paddle, nose of the boat and I don't take in the wider picture. I have tried taking my focus out by looking at the horizon or spotting a point way off, but I almost always lose that wider focus at the lip. I have had similar problems at Gd 3 and surfing so I use a little mantra "vision-on" to consciously widen my focus as I run or play. This isn't working for me in the bigger stuff. Maybe it will come with time and more exposure.

I don't think it is about fear - I am generally quite low on the oh-shit-ometer when I run stuff. It is about control when the environment and the task in hand is unfamiliar. I have no instinct to rely on yet, and I don't have enough control in the moment to really nail what I am trying to do or get useful feedback about what is going wrong or what is going right. I am sure this will come with practice and familiarity, but it is frustrating.



Did I say I wasn't going to overthink things?....

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Re: Boofing and seat position

Post by BigPhil »

From my own experience paddling easier or familiar stuff in a low volume or slicey playboat will improve your posture a lot. Not sure how bad your back is and whether this is a viable option, but worth considering. Then it will feel easy when you get back in a river boat!

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Re: Boofing and seat position

Post by TechnoEngineer »

In terms of posture and hamstrings, try doing some yoga - the seated twist in particular. Also consider raising the seat (a layer of closed cell foam) perhaps replace the backrest with a wider backband if possible (so you can pull yourself in tighter).

Paddling a playboat will definitely sort out posture issues.

But most of all, spending a day with a decent coach will help you a lot.
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Re: Boofing and seat position

Post by Dan Yates. »

Do people really think about how they boof this much? River boating is all just paddling forwards and leaning a bit (if you are paddling backwards something has gone wrong) . Boofing is paddling forwards off a drop then leaning forward. If your head is full of complicated knee lifts and flares and what not you will definitely stuff it up. Find a nice boofable drop and go lap it until you get it right, then lap it some more until you get the muscle memory ingrained.

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Re: Boofing and seat position

Post by Lancs_lad »

Dan Yates. wrote:Do people really think about how they boof this much? River boating is all just paddling forwards and leaning a bit (if you are paddling backwards something has gone wrong) . Boofing is paddling forwards off a drop then leaning forward. If your head is full of complicated knee lifts and flares and what not you will definitely stuff it up. Find a nice boofable drop and go lap it until you get it right, then lap it some more until you get the muscle memory ingrained.
Spot on!

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Re: Boofing and seat position

Post by Lancs_lad »

Good point, some drops are better not boofed, I occasionally come across people who don't realize this so it's worth mentioning now and again!
Besides height why else would you not want to boof. I have come across the opposite, people wanting to pencil 20 footers. The outcome from a pencil is highly uncontrollable. The same drop boofed and the outcome is a lot more controlled.

As mention getting the bow up with a stroke is a boof its not just about landing flat.

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Re: Boofing and seat position

Post by Mark Dixon »

DaveBland wrote: Boof rule No.4
Get your side right. Don't just paddle up to the lip and whatever blade's there pull on that. Think about your stokes and length and time the 'side' right. It's a bit like footwork in ball sports. Makes a difference eh?
I think this is 1 of most important facts of paddling in all situations, picking the correct side for a stroke passing rocks/ holes/ waves eddy's etc my paddling never started improving enough until I learnt this, once you've learnt it its a bit like playing ballsports you are either naturally good at it or you are not, lol
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Re: Boofing and seat position

Post by Jim »

Lancs_lad wrote:
Good point, some drops are better not boofed, I occasionally come across people who don't realize this so it's worth mentioning now and again!
Besides height why else would you not want to boof.
If the landing is hard green water.
I can think of a 12 footer on Brush Creek in California which has an amazing auto-boof lip but the landing is hard green water. Despite the guidebook and locals advising us we both failed dismally to pencil it and landed flat and hard - nothing broken but it was surprisingly sore for such a relatively small drop, which is not ideal when you are less than half way into the run (granite slides and falls in a surprising gorge).

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Re: Boofing and seat position

Post by DaveBland »

Jim wrote:If the landing is hard green water.

Smack..ooh me back.

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Re: Boofing and seat position

Post by Grumpy old man »

Dan Yates. wrote:Do people really think about how they boof this much? River boating is all just paddling forwards and leaning a bit (if you are paddling backwards something has gone wrong) . Boofing is paddling forwards off a drop then leaning forward. If your head is full of complicated knee lifts and flares and what not you will definitely stuff it up. Find a nice boofable drop and go lap it until you get it right, then lap it some more until you get the muscle memory ingrained.
Like

Since watching lots of slalom coaching sessions (my lad paddles slalom) my boating has gone down hill I feel I'm thinking about things too much, analysing things too much.

Grumpy

Ps_or getting too old. :-(
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Re: Boofing and seat position

Post by Lancs_lad »

Jim wrote:
Lancs_lad wrote:
Good point, some drops are better not boofed, I occasionally come across people who don't realize this so it's worth mentioning now and again!
Besides height why else would you not want to boof.
If the landing is hard green water.
I can think of a 12 footer on Brush Creek in California which has an amazing auto-boof lip but the landing is hard green water. Despite the guidebook and locals advising us we both failed dismally to pencil it and landed flat and hard - nothing broken but it was surprisingly sore for such a relatively small drop, which is not ideal when you are less than half way into the run (granite slides and falls in a surprising gorge).

Yes agree with the green water. However, a complete pencil which results in being upside down is still not ideal. Somewhere in between a flat and a pencil. This varies depending on the landing conditions. This is however, an advanced skill especially for people who are learning just to boof in the first place.

On top of this you have the "stomp" if it is going to be too flat for your liking, but that is another story.

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Re: Boofing and seat position

Post by Poke »

Lancs_lad wrote:On top of this you have the "stomp" if it is going to be too flat for your liking, but that is another story.
Going slightly off topic here, but "stomping" a drop is more of a showboating move than anything of use for dropping the nose of your boat with a view to saving your back.

To stomp, you "push your heels away from you", this results in you sitting more upright/laening back even as you hit the water. Sitting more upright is worse for your back, ergo, stomping not good as a reactionary move to correct a mistake.

It does look cool though if done well, though I can only seeing it being done if your line is going well, rather than going badly :-)
Uniyaker - Uni expeditions
Team Pyranha - My adventures

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