Thursday 5 August 2021
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The Loop

ICF Definition

Front flip initiated and finished between a horizontal angle of -20° and 20°, landing in the hole or in the wave.

Value is 60 points

Claire Awesome Loop and Crowds Sequence photo by Micheal Neumann

The loop is one of those moves that everyone who is learning to playboat wants to do as it is such a dynamic move that not only looks cool but also feels amazing.


How to do the loop

1. The first thing your going to do is make your way to the top of the pile and point your boat straight towards the seam where the green water meets the whitewater.

2. When you are ready allow your boat to travel down the pile towards the seam line. You will have to play about with how much speed you take depending on the features shape. As you approach the seam lean forwards and drive your heels down to plug the boat into the water. You need to make sure you have some weight over the front of your boat. As your bow pierces the water try to keep your hips and boat straight.

3.  As soon as you’ve plugged and as the boat starts to go vertical try and look up at an object or something that is directly upstream of where you have plugged your loop. Ideally you want to be looking upstream and up towards to sky. Generally the higher you look the more upwards momentum and pop you will get.

4. Next stand up on your footrests and lift your paddle up into the air. Reach upwards and forward to the sky (superman style) with both blades.

5. As the boat passes over vertical and at the peak of your upwards momentum throw forwards, tucking hard and bringing your chest towards your spray skirt.

6. Then quickly open out (lean back and kick your feet away) as your stern hits the water and finish with your body either in a neutral upright position or back slightly on your kayak. Use your feet to kick out and help guide the boat back to pointing upstream.

7. Finish off the move with a loop stroke, an over the head forwards stroke or a double blade pull stroke, that will help push the nose back into a front surf and keep the boat straight to finish.

Now smile and celebrate you have just performed your first loop


Top Tips

A common mistake is to allow your legs to slip out in either direction during the initiation and plug of the loop. You can prevent this by activating your leg muscles and keeping your legs square onto the wave during the plug.

Another common mistake is to start your tuck and rotation too early or too late. Make sure you throw your loop at the peak of your upwards momentum and once your boat has just passed over vert.

To go bigger, practice your timing so that you throw it at the top of the peak of your momentum. Stand up and really throw the boat.

You can have a lot of fun with the loop. The angle, direction, speed and shape that you throw your arms during the main stage of the loop will dictate the rotation point and speed of the loop. You can create fast snappy loops, massive super clean loops and even loops that travel up or downstream in the hole. Its pretty awesome fun once you get them working to just play about and see what different types of loops you can throw.

Also to help you with the initiation you can try an olly (skip or stomp) move, which is a small lift up followed by a quick snappy push down on the front of your boat with your feet. This movement will help you break the surface of the water during the plug stage and will also give you more momentum and power. In turn giving you more pop from the water which should push the boat higher out of the water adding more power and height to your loop. This isn’t required in all features but definitely helps in some.

If you are practising a loop on the flat, really work on making sure you kick out hard to finish the end of the loop after the tuck. This will help you pull through and finish the move. You will have to work hard to push the back of the boat through against the power and resistance created by the water on the flat.

There are many different ways to perform a loop so don’t be surprised to be told slightly different techniques and styles. You may even find your own completely unique way to perform the move. Use this information as a guide and then adapt and modify it to suit your own style and each different feature and hole.


It can mean the difference between a safe daughter and a nightmare