Friday 23 July 2021
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Air Screw

ICF Definition

Barrel roll of the boat starting from a front surf position. The boat is aerial for at least 180° of the barrel roll.

Value is 140 points


In its most simple terms an airscrew is an aerial barrel roll. You come down the wave, bounce and throw a massive back deck roll landing back in a front surf.

It is one of the most fun, visually spectacular and epic feeling moves you can throw.


How to do an Airscrew

1. Carve to the top of the wave and spot your take off point.

2.  Accelerate straight down the wave.

3. Drive off the green face of the wave. Stomp your feet and pull up on your knees.

You can do this with your boat flat or ideally with your boat on edge, driving off the opposite edge to the direction your going to throw.

5. At the same time lean back this will help you pull up on your knees.

6. Aim to get your head on your back deck beneath your boat whilst it flips upside down.

You need to already be looking way ahead in the direction you are going to go.

7. The idea is to look to the back of your kayak or even better look to the opposite corner way ahead of the rotation of the boat

8. Reach across with your paddle grab the water staying laid right back the whole time (aka throw a back deck roll) As you get better with this you will only need to just touch the water or better still not touch it at all.

9. Stay on your back deck and snap your hips to bring the boat back under you.

10. Use a power stroke to pull the boat back into a front surf.

11. Once you are back in a front surf sit up, celebrate and continue with your ride.


Top Tips

Airscrews can open up your shoulders into a vulnerable position especially during the learning phase as it is such a high speed impact move. So make sure you keep your elbows bent slightly. It is worth doing some shoulder flexibility and strength and conditioning work prior to trying this move.

To give yourself the best take off possible start as high up the wave as possible and carry as much momentum as you can into the move to give you more height on your bounce and more time to complete your airscrew.

Once you take off stay back throughout the airscrew. Your instinct will be to sit up and roll up at the end of the move but any sitting up motion will twist the boat and cause you to land sideways often catching too much green water and pulling you off the wave. Sitting forwards during the middle of the move may also cause the bow to drop, touching the wave and losing the air component required to score the trick.

As you’re in the rotation phase of this move, open up the face of your blade while you are leaning back. Imagine, similarly to a back deck roll, the power face of your paddle needs to be facing away from your body and your arms tucked in initially to prevent shoulder injuries.

You’ll probably start by landing on your head donkey flip style if this happens stick with it. Work on getting a good take off bounce to get the boat higher of the water, getting back early and snapping your hips around to finish the move.

There are several different techniques that can be used to Airscrew, this is just one. You can be creative and adapt your own personal airscrew style. So long as the boat has air for 180 degrees of the rotation and lands in a front surf it should score as an Airscrew. That said to make sure it defiantly scores try and land back in a front surf.

One of the biggest tricks to landing straight is setting of straight. Resist the urge to take of down the face of the wave at an angle as you would for a blunt or pan am. Instead head straight down the runway (middle of the wave) and then throw.

Remember this whole move takes only a couple of seconds so make your movements powerful, explosive and snappy.