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The Backwards Peel Out

by Eric Jackson

We’ve learned the flatwater strokes, forward stroke, and the backstroke. We have two pointy ends on the kayak which are made to go two different directions - forward and backwards. Now the idea of crossing an eddy line backwards might stress you out at first, but with a little bit of practice, you'll find that you can do this right side up. In this video, Eric Jackson demonstrates the backwards peel out.

Drill 1

One of our next drills is going to be going in and out of an eddy backwards.

Just use straight on backstrokes. Nothing fancy, no reverse compound backstrokes yet.

Just in case you're not very good at it yet, you can go in and out of the eddy without using the reverse compound stroke.

The key is to cross the eddy line backwards. You need to be aware of where you are relative to the eddy line, and this is what gets most people.

What most people do incorrectly when they go out backwards is they start getting caught by the current before they realize they've crossed the eddy line. So what happens there is that they forget to lean downstream and tip over.

So how do you make sure that you know where you are relative to the eddy line?

Look at the eddy line first with your boat sideways to the eddy line and when you realize you're about three strokes away, count 1-2-3, then lean downstream a little bit. And success!

When you're coming on the next one, count again (1-2-3) and repeat.

If you're getting good at the reverse compound stroke in flatwater, then you're ready for the reverse compound stroke in white water.

Come up to the eddy line, turn, reach across the eddy line, pull flip, push, and ride the draw.

Drill 2

Your next drill is spin momentum exercise.

Going in a circle using only the reverse compound stroke. Get turned on the eddy line, reach across, pull, cross, ride the drop, feather back, ride to draw, feather back, pull. When you’re about to cross the eddy line, ride the draw.

The reverse compound stroke is awesome because it allows you to carry your spin momentum, and it's the easiest way to cross an eddy line backwards once you're comfortable with it.

Reverse compound stroke. Now that drill is something that's gonna impress your friends. So don't show your friends this video until after you get that mastered. Try the drill a few times. Once you're ready, then you show them. You tell them you have good spin momentum control, good paddle dexterity, you understand the speed angle arc and spin momentum. It's gonna be awesome.

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