Glossary

The Slalom Technique Library DVD sets out to identify and demonstrate the key technical content of Canoe Slalom. It has 3 sections starting with the basic strokes and drills in Level 1, moving onto basic slalom gate technique in Level 2 and finally more advanced whitewater gate technique in Level 3. All of the 3 slalom classes - Kayak, C1 & C2 are covered.

These techniques are not solutions for every slalom situation. However they can provide an initial correct starting point of boat position, stroke sequences and behaviors which can be adapted to the requirements of most common slalom moves. They can help develop a coach or athlete’s ‘technique toolbox’ for using in most typical flatwater or whitewater slalom situations.

Most of the footage on this DVD was shot in 2005 & 2006 using members of the GB Canoe Slalom Teams based in Nottingham and paddling boats ‘new rules’ boats* conforming to the dimensions introduced by the ICF for the beginning of the 2005 season.

NB. Several clips of footage used in the C1 & C2 sections for Level 3 were shot at International Races during 2004 using ‘old rules longer boats.

Layout of the Website

Level 1 – Basic Strokes and Drills for Slalom
This section covers some of the basic strokes and drills for slalom that can be practised away from slalom gates usually on either flat or moving water. Key coaching points are shown, with each clip being shown twice in real time and once in slow motion.

Level 2 – Basic Slalom Gate Technique
This section shows the basic techniques for downstream and upstream gates. Most of these are demonstrated on flatwater, except where some current or an eddyline is essential to complete the move. It is important to remember here that although most gate technique is first learnt on flatwater the process of transferring these to moving water should begin as soon as possible.Again key coaching points are shown with each clip being shown twice in real time and once in slow motion with freeze frame.

Level 3 – Advanced Whitwater Gate Techniques
This section demonstrates the techniques from level 2 being transferred and adapted to whitewater environments. It also shows new techniques which can only be used and practised on whitewater. Each clip is shown twice in real time and once in slow motion. Coaching points are only shown where it is a new technique or if it is significantly adapted from the model shown at Level 2.

Also shown in section 3 is a complete full slalom run on a standard course in Nottingham. This was a ‘standard test course’ with gates set in the same positions and used for the whole of the winter 2004/2005 to help measure and evaluate paddlers, techniques and equipment.

When viewing these full runs it is interesting to see how many of the basic strokes and techniques (or variations on the same theme) can be recognized from levels 1 – 3.

Glossary of Terms and Definitions used on the Captions and Sub-titles

Below are some slalom terms and vocabulary commonly used by slalom athletes and coaches which will help in the understanding and use of this Website

Gate and Boat Lines

  • Gate Line - The term used to describe an imaginary line between the two poles of a slalom gate.
  • Inside Pole - The pole on the inside of any turn and closest to the fastest ‘racing line’
  • Outside Pole - The pole furthest from the ‘racing line’ (often called the bank pole on upstreams)
  • Entry Pole - Pole closest to the body on the approach (usually only used on upstream gates)
  • Exit Pole - Pole closest to the body on exit from the gate (when on the racing line). It is usually the inside pole ‘of the turn’ as well.
  • Approach Line - The line of approach as determined by the previous gate or move.*
  • Entry and Exit Line - The line of approach or exit determined by the gate before or after in the sequence.

NB For the purposes of all the basic technique clips in Level 2 a free approach and exit line has been used. On WW and where gate sequences are involved (as seen increasingly in Level 3) each situation will be different and it is an important part of learning slalom to assess how the entry and exit lines will affect the technique used.

Paddle Blade and Stroke Terminology

  • Drive Face - The curved face of the paddle used for forward paddling and all forward power, forward sweep, steering sweep/stern rudder, bow rudder, bow pivot, drawing and slicing strokes.
  • Back of the Blade - The opposite side of blade to the drive face – used for all reverse power, reverse sweep, reverse pivot and pry strokes.
  • Slicing - This term refers to the action of slicing (drive face turned in to the boat) the paddle blade forward or backwards vertically through the water. This is usually used in the transition from one stroke to another without taking the blade out of the water. Slicing is normally an ‘active’ process with the angle of the blade being adjusted to draw the boat sideways towards it. On occasions it can be more used more ‘passively’ to simply move the blade from one position to another quickly. 

Boat Terminology

  • Onside Edge - This refers to the edge of the boat on the inside of a turn (the onside in C1/C2)
  • Offside Edge - This refers to the edge of the boat on the outside of a turn (on the offside in C1/C2)
  • Flat Boat - This refers to the neutral position when the boat is sitting flat with neither edge active.

Onside and Offside Terms for C1/C2

In C1 & C2, gate techniques are referred to as being either onside or offside. This is determined in the following way:

In C1:
On side refers to the side that the paddler normally paddles on.
Off side is the opposite side. To paddle on the offside the paddler must cross the paddle blade over the boat without changing grip on the paddle.

NB Generally speaking, offside techniques in C1 present more technical difficulty than onside techniques.

In C2:
Onside and offside are determined by the stern man’s paddling side. Whichever side the stern man paddles on, will be referred to as the onside.

NB In C2, gate techniques where the stern man is on the off-side present the greatest technical difficulty due to the challenge of controlling over-rotation.

Onside and Offside Terms for C1/C2

In C1 & C2, gate techniques are referred to as being either onside or offside. This is determined in the following way:

In C1:
On side refers to the side that the paddler normally paddles on.
Off side is the opposite side. To paddle on the offside the paddler must cross the paddle blade over the boat without changing grip on the paddle.

NB Generally speaking, offside techniques in C1 present more technical difficulty than onside techniques.

In C2:
Onside and offside are determined by the stern man’s paddling side. Whichever side the stern man paddles on, will be referred to as the onside.

NB In C2, gate techniques where the stern man is on the off-side present the greatest technical difficulty due to the challenge of controlling over-rotation.