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Encyclopedia > Whitewater kayaking

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 loat trip to a challenging, adrenaline-filled sport. Rivers are classified by difficulty into an International Scale of River Difficulty, ranging from Class/Grade I--a flat, slightly moving river--to Class/Grade VI, considered the limit of possibility. For most kayakers there is a significant difference in challenge between Class/Grade III (Moderate) and Class/Grade IV (Advanced). A kayak is a small human-powered boat. ... Epinephrine (INN) or adrenaline (BAN) is a hormone and a neurotransmitter. ... The International Scale of River Difficulty is a standardized scale used to rate the safety of a stretch of river, usually a single rapid. ...

A whitewater kayaker running a class IV rapid on the James river in Richmond, Virginia.
A whitewater kayaker running a class IV rapid on the James river in Richmond, Virginia.

Contents

Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1600x1200, 408 KB) Picture of a whitewater kayaker on the James River in Richmond, Virginia running the class IV Hollywood rapid. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1600x1200, 408 KB) Picture of a whitewater kayaker on the James River in Richmond, Virginia running the class IV Hollywood rapid. ...

Design

The kayak (or just 'boat') used in casual 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, and this is still preferred for racing, but most modern whitewater boats are typically rotomoulded from a tough plastic that is slightly flexible and very durable, if easily scratched. 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. Whitewater racing is a competitive discipline of canoeing in which kayaks or canadian canoes are used to negotiate a stretch of river speedily. ... A Sea kayak is a kayak developed for the sport of paddling on the open waters of the ocean. ...


Types

There are five 'sub-categories' in whitewater kayaking:

Creeking at "The Sinks" on the Little River in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at approximately 1000 ft³/s (30 m³/s)
Creeking at "The Sinks" on the Little River in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at approximately 1000 ft³/s (30 m³/s)

Kayaker at the Sinks on the Little River at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. ... Kayaker at the Sinks on the Little River at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. ...

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. Whitewater racing is a competitive discipline of canoeing in which kayaks or canadian canoes are used to negotiate a stretch of river speedily. ...


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. Creeking (or Steep Creeking) referes to a branch of kayaking that involves decending very steep low-volume white water. ... -1...


Slalom

Slalom kayaker mid-way through a gate during a race in Wausau, Wis. (USA).

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. Courses are shorter now with only 18 gates required. 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 and adding 2 seconds to the total time), 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 currently in the Olympics. Rodeo will be an Olympic sport by the next summer games. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2048x1536, 1368 KB)Slalom kayaker mid-way through a gate during a race. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2048x1536, 1368 KB)Slalom kayaker mid-way through a gate during a race. ...

Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1280x960, 283 KB) Bildbeschreibung: Eurocup Playboating (Kanu-Freestyle), Eiskanal in Augsburg Quelle: selbst fotografiert Fotograf: Thorsten Hartmann (User: Thgoiter) Ort, Datum: Augsburg, 06. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1280x960, 283 KB) Bildbeschreibung: Eurocup Playboating (Kanu-Freestyle), Eiskanal in Augsburg Quelle: selbst fotografiert Fotograf: Thorsten Hartmann (User: Thgoiter) Ort, Datum: Augsburg, 06. ... Playboating is a discipline of kayaking or canoeing where the paddler performs various technical moves in one place (a playspot), as opposed to whitewater canoeing or kayaking where the objective is to travel the length of a section of river (although whitewater canoeists will often stop and play en-route). ... The Eiskanal is an artificial canal feature in the city of Augsburg that was constructed as the whitewater kayaking and canoeing venue for the 1972 Summer Olympics that were hosted in Munich, Germany. ...

Playboating

Main article: Playboating

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. Playboating is a discipline of kayaking or canoeing where the paddler performs various technical moves in one place (a playspot), as opposed to whitewater canoeing or kayaking where the objective is to travel the length of a section of river (although whitewater canoeists will often stop and play en-route). ...


Squirt Boating

Main article: Squirt Boating

Squirt boating incorporates the use of low-volume boats to perform special moves in whitewater features. Squirt boating predates, and was critical to the foundation of, playboating. Squirt boats are often fairly long and flat, with low volume throughout the design. Because squirt boats are custom built to the paddlers weight, inseam, and personal preference, they are constructed with composite materials instead of plastic. Many squirt moves are intended to submerge all or part of the craft and paddler, such as the "mystery move," in which both the boat and the paddler submerge completely into the river's flow for several seconds and up to half a minute. Squirt Boating is a form of Whitewater kayaking or canoeing where the boat is designed to be as low in volume as possible while still allowing the paddler to float. ...


See also

Canoeing is the recreational or sporting activity of paddling a canoe or kayak. ... Whitewater is formed in a rapid, when a rivers gradient drops enough to form a bubbly, or aerated and unstable current; the frothy water appears white. ... -1... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Freeboating (or freeride Kayking) is a branch of kayaking. ... The International Scale of River Difficulty is a standardized scale used to rate the safety of a stretch of river, usually a single rapid. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Whitewater Kayaking With DeRiemer Adventure Kayaking (299 words)
It is our goal to provide the best in whitewater guiding and instruction to groups and individuals.
We are actively involved in the teaching and guiding disciplines of our sport, contributing to the most current information in the field.
We write articles and books, have co-written and are featured in many instructional DVDs, and every year we present various topics on the technical and mental side of our sport at the Whitewater Symposium.
Whitewater kayaking - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (853 words)
Whitewater kayaking is the sport of paddling a kayak on a moving body of water, typically a river.
Whitewater Racing is the competitive aspect of this sub-category, racing canoes or kayaks down a river as fast as possible.
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.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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