Friday 23 July 2021
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Peel Out

A peel out is the skill used to move from the eddy out into the main flow. Starting in an eddy the peel out will allow you to exit the eddy, cross the eddy line and join the main flow.

How to do a peel out

1. Speed

The first thing you need is some speed which will help you stay stable as you cross the eddy line into the flow.

2. Angle

The angle at which you approach and cross the eddy line has a large effect on how effectively you complete this move. Ideally you are looking to make a nice arching turn from the eddy into the main flow. To do this aim to leave the eddy 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. As you cross the eddy line the main current will push and help turn your bow downstream in the direction of the main flow.

3. Edge

As you approach the eddyline you’ll need to apply some edge into the inside of the turn which 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. If you are in a short boat you may want to have a slightly forward paddling posture, as well as some edge, to stop the back of your boat from catching.

4. Active blade

As you cross the eddy line you can use an active blade to help you complete the turn and set off into the main river flow. There are a number of paddle strokes you can use to help you cross over the eddy line and turn downstream. 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 you continue your journey downstream.

Top tips

If you look in the direction you want to go as you perform this move the torso rotation you gain by looking ahead of the move will help the movement flow. It will also help broaden your focus onto the whole paddling area rather than just in the front of your boat. Which is perfect as you’ll be heading out into some sort of rapid that will likely need your attention and focus.

Generally it’s a good idea to exit the eddy nice and high, towards the top of the eddy.