Double Handed Boof Stroke
The key to bellyak success in whitewater (or any craft) is maintaining boat control. A boof is a kayak term used to describe taking a powerful stroke to lift the bow of the boat and accelerate it over features, and to keep the bow from diving. The double handed boof stroke is like a butterfly stroke in swimming.
How to Do the Stroke:
Step 1: Reach forward, right before your bow hits the feature.
Step 2: As you pull the boat past you, lift up your chest to give exra oomph to the stroke.
This does two things, it unweights the bow of the boat, and accelerates you forward allowing you to ‘skip’ over features. This also is useful for crossing eddy lines, launching off of waves, and anytime you need a little extra throttle. The planing hulls of the bellyaks allow them to accelerate quickly, making this an effective last minute stroke.
Finish the stroke by coming back to forward, and keep paddling!
Pre-Boofing: boofing too soon causes you to accelerate and land in the hole, and then lose control. Wait until your bow is touching the feature to initiate your boof. Imagine reaching forward and pulling yourself over the feature as opposed to pushing through it.
Diving/getting flipped: You may have the stroke timing correct, but if you don’t unweight the bow by lifting your chest as you boof you will cause the bow to dive under, and thus lose control.
Landing and getting flipped: Once you boof through the feature, maintain your momentum by going back to the alternating sweep stroke to maintain your speed!
Side Effects: The Stages of Boof Face