I'm going to take a moment to talk about catching eddies, actually what I really want to talk about is making it easy. No more almost making it but sliding out the back or struggling to cross the eddy line. Eddies can turn from your nemesis into your friend by following one easy concept: Let the eddy do the work! Often times we work way to hard to get into these things, I've found that if I follow the three straightforward tips below (also illustrated in the videos) those eddies are no longer such a challenge.
Step 1: Set your angle and paddle.
Ideally you want to set your angle so that you are pointed downstream but into the eddy. Then you've got to paddle, you won't make it by just looking:)
Step 2: Hold that angle and speed all the way into the eddy.
This is the letting the eddy do the work part. Oftentimes we are tempted to initiate our turn before we actually get into the eddy which causes our boat to slip or slide along the eddy line. If you drive your kayak all the way across the eddy line and let the slack water in the eddy begin to turn your boat your problems (well most of them) will be solved.
Step 3: Paddle through that turn.
Once the eddy water begins to turn you its important to remember to keep paddling, this provides speed around your corner which also helps stop that sliding feeling. If you paddle on the inside of your turn it will make your eddy turns silky smooth. Tip: Try using a wide stroke like a stern draw or sweep for large eddies or turbulent eddylines this will put you deeper in the eddy. Try a more vertical stroke like a bow draw or even a regular forward stroke for those small eddies. Remember these strokes are placed in the eddy not the current
Enjoy the video examples below and happy eddy catching!
Eddy Catching 101: catching small eddies from Andrew Holcombe on Vimeo.
Eddy Catching 101: catching big eddies from Andrew Holcombe on Vimeo.