Westwood Outdoors was created by Andrew and Carole Westwood in order to provide a site where people can find information on paddling techniques, tips and ideas all pertaining to kayaking and canoeing. Our River Notes page highlights recent articles, new instructional concepts, and paddling techniques.
The information stated on this site is designed as a general guide and not a substitute for experience. (more…)
MITH describes the technique used to carve your canoe smoothly through eddy turns, S turns and peel outs. Carving maximizes the benefits of hull features to control the arcing path of the canoe and maintain its stability.
Momentum is necessary to move the canoe in an arcing path toward, and across, the eddy line.The skill of a carving taps into two types of momentum; forward and turning momentum.Momentum comes from either forward strokes or from gaining speed from descending the gradient of the river.ﾠ Regardless of where you get your Mo, youﾒll need momentum to cross the friction of the eddy line.
Initiating a turn can be as straight forward as using a turning stroke (ex. stern pry), or as subtle as carving an inside circle and allowing it to tighten into a carving arc.The critical product of this step is that the canoe should be traveling a curving path toward the eddy pool.
Only canoes that are tilted on edge will carve turns. Canoes that are paddled into a turn flat will spin out! A tilted hull presents the bottom of the canoe partly on its side so its digs into the water. This ﾑedgingﾒ effect grips the water and helps push the canoe around a carving arc.
Traveling form point A to point B takes time. So, during an eddy turn you must hold your tilt throughout the duration of the maneouver.The moment the hull is allowed to flatten out, your carve will be lost and you will spin out. If you spin out you will lose your momentum and your eddy turn will stall.Holding the tilt is your key to success.Practice gripping your canoe’s outfitting with your legs for long periods of time. In whitewater, holding your boat is as vital as holding your paddle! Only when the turn is complete can you relax your tilt and allow the canoe to level out.