Thursday 5 August 2021
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Ferrying, or ferry gliding as it’s also know, is the name given to the process of crossing the river from one eddy to another without losing much distance downstream.

The beginning of this move is very similar to the peel out but the main difference is that instead of letting the power of the main flow turn the boat downstream you keep the angle you had when you crossed onto the eddy line and use that angle combined with the power of the water to push the boat across the flow towards an eddy on the opposite bank.

In essence you use a combination of angle, edge and speed on your boat to combined with the direction and power of the rivers flow to help push / glide your boat across a section of the river.

How to ferry glide. 

Start on a easy section of whitewater with weak / gentle eddy lines and then build up to more challenging sections of flow. Then set off as if your about to do a peel out.

1. Speed

As with the peel out generate some speed which will help you stay stable as you cross the eddy line into the flow.

2. Angle

Aproach and cross the eddy line pointing up stream and slightly in the direction you want to go. If 12 o’clock is straight upstream aim for 11am or 1pm depending on which way you want to go. You are looking to have just enough angle to cross the eddy line and slide across the current.

3. Edge

As you approach the eddyline you’ll need to apply some edge in the direction you are going (downstream).  This will allow the flow of the river to pass under your boat and help keep you stable and prevent you flipping. Depending on the power and speed of the current you may need to use a lot or a little bit of edge.

4. Active blade

As you cross the eddy line the main current will want to push and turn your bow downstream in the direction of the main flow. Be prepared for this and use your active paddle blade to continue to steer your boat across the eddy line ad across the main flow at a similar or the same angle as you entered the eddy line and flow. The more angle you have the more pressure you feel from the water and the more likely that you will be pushed and spun downstream like a peel out. To little angle and you will find yourself sat pointing upstream in the middle of the river flow. Aim for 11am or 1pm deepening on which direction you want to go and feel what the river wants you to do. Use your active paddle to control your angle and add more or less angle as required. There are a number of paddle strokes you can use to help you cross over the eddy line and cross the flow. A draw stroke works really well as it can be used to help control the direction of the boat and will allow you to carry your speed and momentum as the power

5. Aim for the top of the eddy on the other side of the river

6. Look to use existing river features such as waves and holes to help you make your way across the river flow.

7. As you approach the opposite eddy line be ready to turn towards the shore and use an active paddle stroke to help you drive and carry your momentum across the eddy line and deep into the eddy.

8. Be prepared to change and edge towards the inside of your turn as you come into the eddy. Just as you would on an eddy turn.


Top tips

Look in the direction you want to go this will help you control your boat as you cross the flow.

Try not to open up to much angle as you cross the eddy line as this will allow to much water to hit your bow and make it difficult to stop your boat from peeling out and spinning downstream.

Be prepared and ready for the power of the water hitting your boat as you cross from the eddy line into the flow. Have your active paddle stroke ready so you can apply power as an when required.

Don’t fight the water. If you get your angle, edge and speed right the boat should glide effortlessly across the river with minimal paddle strokes.

Play about with ferry gliding half way across the river. Stopping mid flow (turn to point to 12 o’clock, straight upstream). Then switching edge and angle to return back to the eddy you started in. This will help you get a really good understanding of how the river works and how to use the power of the water to help you move around.