- Created on Wednesday, 14 September 2011 13:35
The boof is a fundamental move that has been introduced by the "new school" of modern kayaks and has opened new horizons in the extreme kayaking. Class V paddlers use this stroke to overtake holes which are normally sticky and where plugging-in would result a bad swim. You will found this technique very useful to keep speed and direction on any white water with both freestyle and creek boats.
Why boofing is so useful?The boof is used to lift the bow over waves, holes and on waterfalls without sinking. Keeping the kayak over the pile avoids slowing the boat down and reduces the risk of being blocked from returning holes.
How to do the boof
The basic movement is a power stroke (video tutorial). In order to be very efficient and start learning the boof you need to handle this flat water foundamental quite well. It's really important to be able to use the body movement to lift the kayak up and throw the bow over white piles.
While getting closer to a hole or a drop we must first increase our speed. This speed permits to glide over the obstacle and avoid the tail to get "pinch".
In the picture you can see how the movement should start with the body leaning forward, and must end with the body lying completely on the tail. The paddle is always in front of our shoulders and quite vertical like in the power stroke. You don't have to worry about landing on a hole with the body backward because, if you make it right, you will glide with speed over the pile preventing the tail to be sucked into the current and allowing you to maintain speed and control. However, after you feel the kayak landing on the foam, is a good practice to bring the body forward again to regain stability and be ready to perform another stroke.
Which is the right moment?
To choose when is the right moment to boof you can imagine a trampoline from which we want to take the leap. The point where you need to place the blade is just at the end of the trampoline. Generally this point corresponds to the place where the water begins to fall downward, as shown.
A very important aspect of the boof is the angle that the kayak needs just before the jump. As you can see from the figure it's important to reach the "trampoline" with the bow directed a few degrees towards the side of the blade in the water. This will allow you to land with the correct angle on the hole as a bit of rotation is unavoidable as you are going to place a powerful stroke on one side.
It is not always necessary to adopt this measure but it becomes more important as the obstacles get bigger and you need to be more precise in the landing.
Giving a little angle at the limit of our "trampoline" means that you have already chosen which side you want to boof and you are ready to do it at the right time. To get the right time, a moment of pause before the stroke can help a lot. You can wait in the right position the end of the trampoline with the body forward and the stroke ready to be fired.