Kayaking

Similar to Open Canoeing but this time you are on your own. Again utilising the Llangollen canal the session will involve lots of games and some teaching.

We can also run more advanced sessions and also skills courses for those interested.

Whitewater kayaking is the sport of paddling a kayak on a moving body of water, typically a river. Whitewater kayaking can range from a fun, carefree, splishy-splash float trip to a challenging, adrenaline -filled sport . Rivers are classified due to difficulty into an International Scale of River Difficulty , with Class/Grade I, being a flat slightly moving river, too Class/Grade VI considered the limit of possibility. For most kayakers there is a significant difference in personal ability and challenge between Class/Grade III (Moderate) and Class/Grade IV (Advanced).

Design

The kayak (or just 'boat') used in whitewater kayaking is different from those used in Whitewater Racing or Sea Kayaking . Traditionally, kayaks were made of animal skins stretched over wooden frames. Early whitewater boats were fiberglass or kevlar. Today boats are typically made of a tough plastic that is slightly flexible and very durable. Boats can range in size from barely long enough to hold the paddler (around 6 ft/1.8 m long), up to 12 ft (3.6 m) or longer.

Types of Kayaking

  • River Running - This can be thought of as a tour down a river, to enjoy the scenery as well as experiencing challenging whitewater. River running includes short day trips as well as longer multi-day trips. Multi-day kayak trips often entail the use of gear-toting rafts to allow a more comfortable experience without a heavily-laden kayak. Whitewater Racing is the competitive aspect of this sub-category, racing canoes or kayaks down a river as fast as possible.
  • Creeking - Creeking is perhaps best thought of as a subcategory of River Running , involving very technical and difficult rapids, typically in the class IV to VI range. While people will differ on the definition, creeking generally involves higher gradient (approaching or in excess of 100 feet per mile), and is likely to include running ledges, slides, and waterfalls on relatively small and tight rivers, though some will allow for very large and big volume rivers in their definition. Kayaks used for creeking usually have higher volume (more gallons of displacement) and more rounded bow and stern, as these features provide an extra margin of safety against the likelihood of pinning , and will resurface more quickly and controlled when coming off larger drops. Extreme racing is a competitive form of this aspect of whitewater kayaking.
  • Slalom - A technical competitive form of kayaking . Racers attempt to make their way from the top to the bottom of a designated section of river as fast as possible, while correctly negotiating gates (a series of poles suspended vertically over the river). There are usually 20-25 gates in a race which must be navigated in sequential order. Green gates must be negotiated in a downstream direction, red gates in an upstream direction. This is typically done on class II to class IV water, but the placement of the gates, and precision necessary to paddle them fast and "clean" (without touching a pole), makes the moves much harder than the water's difficulty suggests. (It has been described as performing class V moves with class III consequences.) Pro level slalom competitions have specific length (350cm - new rules) and width requirements for the boats, which will be made out of kevlar/fiberglass/carbon fiber composites to be light weight and have faster hull speed. (Plastic whitewater kayaks can be used in citizen-level races.) This is the only form of whitewater kayaking in the Olympics.
  • Play boating - Also known as Freestyle or Rodeo, is a more gymnastic and artistic kind of kayaking. While the other varieties of kayaking generally involve going from Point A to Point B , playboaters often stay in one spot in the river (usually in a hole, pourover or on a wave) where they work with and against the dynamic forces of the river to perform a variety of maneuvers. These can include surfing, spinning, and various vertical moves (cartwheels, loops, blunts, and many many others), spinning the boat on all possible axes of rotation. More recently, aerial moves have become accessible, where paddlers perform tricks having gained air from using the speed and bounce of the wave. Kayaks used for playboating generally have relatively low volume in the bow and stern, allowing the paddler to submerge the ends of the kayak with relative ease. Competitions for playboating or freestyle are sometimes called whitewater rodeo in the US, but more frequently just referred to as freestyle events in UK and Europe.

    Text from Wikipedia