How to Wave Wheel. Whitewater Kayak tutorial. [With Video]

January 29, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

I really love when people ask me a question like "How do I do a Wave Wheel?"  I especially love when this is followed up by a statement like "I can't find any good videos online about it" because that means I can not only help that one person but I can probably help a bunch more people because if there is one person hitting me up about it then there are probably another fifty-one hundred that are actively interested but haven't reached out to me.  and probably a couple hundred more that are somewhat interested.  So when my Remote Coaching Student (more on that another time) Emily messaged me and said I want to hit a wave wheel but can't find a video I knew what I had to do for this week.  

 

So what is a Wave Wheel? Basically it is a cartwheel whilst you are travelling over a wave.  It can be a really fun trick when down right.

 

The Pre-requisite skills for this trick are Double pump and (ideally) flatwater Cartwheel.  It is possible to do without a strong flatwater cartwheel but challenging.  

 

Step 1: Wave selection is key. You are looking for a set of waves in a series.  Ideally between one and three feet.  Ideally with a smooth green top (ie no foam).  In my video sample the wave I use isn't perfect but it goes.  The closer you can get to finding a great wave to work on the easier this is to learn.  

 

Step 2: Plan ahead.  Decide well in advance which wave you are going to be wave wheeling up and over because it will make it easier to work backward from your goal.  DO NOT try and just pull it off last minute whilst you are getting the hang of these.  

 

Step 3: Build up speed.  You want to be approaching your target wave at a medium speed.  Too fast and you will get out of control.  too slow and you won't be able to drive your boat up and out of the water enough to really make this trick work.  

 

Step 4: Put your boat on edge and LIFT up.  Just like the first part of a double pump, pulling your knees up into your chest with your boat on edge as you travel up the wave.  Keep pulling until your bow is coming all the way up and (just for a split second, your bow becomes weightless). 

 

Step 5:  Drop more edge and push down.  Once your bow has gone weightless it is time to drop even more edge and switch that pulling stroke to a pushing stroke.  just like the second part of the double pump.  At the same time push down on your feet and if you have to jack your body back or forward to get your boat more or less vertical.  

 

Step 6: Land neutral or slightly forward and ready to take a back stroke to stabalise yourself 

 

BOOM There you have it.  The wave wheel in is steps.  

 

Give it a shot and let me know if it helps you.  

 


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