Surfing in holes is super fun and they are the most common type of freestyle feature found around the world especially in white water parks and man made course. Surfing the right hole can provide hours of fun and can be the best playground for learning many of the freestyle tricks and moves.
How to Surf Holes
1. Select the right hole. Find out from local paddlers which holes will be the best for you. Also check the river levels as the difficulty of a river hole can change massively in different water levels.
2. Practise rolling in the hole. It can actually be easier than rolling in whitewater as the flow of the river helps to set you up.
3. Learn how to move around in the hole. See our side surfing and spin sections to help you.
4. Surf for hours and throw some big tricks
5. To exit a hole work your way towards the weaker (exit) points where the flow is less retentive. This is often the outside edges (shoulders) of the hole. But not always, sometimes there may be a break / exit point in other parts of the hole.
6. Take some forward or backwards speed depending on the way your facing and be ready to lean forward and put in some strong power strokes to help pull you away from the power of the hole into the main flow or eddy.
7. If you tired and can’t exit via the sides of the hole flip upside down and let the downstream current catch your body and paddle and pull you free from the hole. Then roll up and actively paddle away from the feature.
NB: Some holes can be extremely retentive (will not let you out) make sure you only paddle friendly holes. Speak to local experienced paddlers to find out which holes are safe to play in.
If in doubt stay out. Always double check with a more experienced paddler if you are unsure if a hole is suitable of not. You need to make sure that you can flush out if you flip upside down or swim.
Don’t be afraid of flipping over its part of the sport. So choose a feature that has a nice friendly run off behind it where you have plenty of time to test your roll and a safe place to swim should you need to.