Select Page

By Stephen Wright

After an incredible 4 days on the New River, it was back to Richmond for a
day on Z-dam. This playspot is the perfect place to do huge loops,
cartwheel, or any of the newer hole moves. I’ve decided that I’m going to
bring uncool to the masses by showing you a video with several cheese-ball
paddle-twirly (but really fun!) cartwheels. The inspiration comes from
squirt boaters who can do paddle spins on each end of a super-clean
cartwheel. They’re called Heli-wheels. I was playing with them in the
flatwater this week, but this is the first time I’ve been able to try it in
a hole. The move is basically a clean cartwheel with a paddle twirl on the
clean stern end. It isn’t that hard and looks pretty flashy, and is
definitely fun to throw! You can learn it in the flatwater first, and
doesn’t require any skills other than a clean cartwheel and the ability to
do a normal paddle spin.
The powers that be have put up some new warning signs at the dam, which
somehow didn’t prevent me from enjoying the incredible playspot. If you
ever have the chance to paddle at Z-dam, take it. Check the gauge here:

And if the level’s between 5.2 and 6.0 feet, it’s a great time. Don’t
forget that you are playing next to an ugly looking low head dam, so paddle
with friends who have a rope handy. It isn’t difficult to avoid getting
sucked-into the dam, but it could be a challenge to get out once there.
Advanced paddlers are even comfortable blasting the dam and surfing out into
the break that way! Enjoy the vid (QuickTime 2.6 MB) –I climbed up onto the GIANT log in the
middle to get a 2nd angle:)

Live from Richmond, VA

Stephen Wright

PS I moved my DC clinics back a week due to the unscheduled and untimely
return of winter. There are spaces available for all time slots next week.
Check out the sight to sign up or for info: