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Going off the lip

Reposted from the Dagger blog, written by Iker Beristain

Running waterfalls is one of my favorite things in kayaking, even though it only lasts for few seconds, it is one of the greatest feelings ever. That doesn’t mean you should go and run every single drop you find, running a waterfall takes big responsibility and compromise with yourself and with all the people you are paddling with.

If you’ve decided to start running big drops, I mean from 50 feet up, here are some moves that might help you to get that perfect line:

  1. First of all you don’t want to boof a drop bigger than a 30 footer, if you see that your boat starts to go flat, lean forward till your head touches your boat, try not to leave any space between your head and your boat (keep the paddle away from your face), and put some side angle to the boat so your back doesn’t absorb all the impact.
  2. Before you get to the lip try to go with the same speed as the water.
  3. Put your paddle in the lip (don’t give a hard stroke), ones your boats gets vertical hold it with the paddle.
  4. If you start going oververt give some strokes, and wait till the last second to tuck.
  5. A very common mistake in big waterfalls, is tucking as soon as you start falling, that sends you oververt, and you will not be able to see what’s happening.
  6. Before going big, think in your moves, exactly what are you going to do, close your eyes and imagine yourself running it with your moves, it will last less than you are expecting, it’s better to know how to react, instead of improvising.

I hope this works for you, and remember going big takes time, practice, and responsibility .