The first thing we discuss with people is that there is no shortcut to a good boof, there are many control related skills required before even really having an ‘honest’ go at boofing. This video is not about running big drops, it is about building the foundation skills to be able to consistently boof your kayak using cross current speed.
In this tutorial aim to break the simple moves of the boof into 3 components that are easily practiced on their own and then combined to ensure a controlled and consistent boof.
Step 1: Cross Current Speed. The ability to have your kayak tracking across current is the first and most important skill required to learn to boof. The nice thing is it can be done from eddy to eddy on a rapid you are super comfortable on. Success on this will see you being able to move laterally across the current with minimal input (ie. pushing bow downstream) from the current.
Step 2: Stroke Timing. Once you are able to consistently generate controlled cross current speed the next step is stroke timing/placement. In the context of this video we are using eddylines to mimic the lip of a drop. We want to time the stroke so that the final (downstream) stroke is pulling our hips past the eddyline. We often see people getting a bit excited and doing the final ‘boof’ stroke far to early. Refer to the video for a visual on the timing.
Step 3: Edging. This final piece is really what makes it all tick. Many intermediate paddlers think the boof is all in the stroke. It is a piece of the puzzle; however, the edge transfer is what really helps the boat land flat. For this lesson, you want to be tracking across current and then as you near the eddyline/drop you want to lift your upstream edge. As you rotate through the stroke, you want to start flattening out the boat, once you have landed or crossed the eddyline you switch edges and carve out of it continuing the cross current direction of travel (as this accelerates us away from the feature we are boofing)
That’s it, these 3 components will start you on the right track to boofing consistently. We would recommend working through these steps on a section of river a grade or so less than what you paddle. So much of this move is about having the time and timing to put it all together. If you are scrambling around the river at the peak of your ability it will likely not be a good learning experience.
Have fun with it, take the time and happy boofing.