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By Rafael Ortiz

I always thought that there were only 2 ways to run a drop: boofing or plugging. The boof would be the way to land flat, in order to avoid submersing into the backwash of the drop. Only on the higher freefalls would be necessary to pencil in, when the impact could be unmanageable for a human’s back. I have landed flat some very big drops, and I don’t recommend it to anyone. Here is a solution for saving your body, without giving up the security and control of a boof.

How to 45º a drop

First, you need a medium size vertical drop (something in between 20-40 feet). Get your gear on and as always, warm up before doing anything crazy to prevent injuries.

1st- Approach the lip of the drop with not too much more speed than the water. In other words, float into it with little strokes. A good pointer is holding a vertical draw to hold your angel, and for the style points.

2nd- The moment that you’re going off is the turnpoint between the boof and the 45º. Ideally, to 45º you will hold that stroke till your bow is already falling. If you take it early, chances are you are going to land flat; if you take it too late, you are just going to pencil in. So wait till you can already spot your landing and then pull.

The stroke is only a regular boof stroke, pulling up your knees to keep that bow from going vertical.

3rd- After taking the stroke, lean forward to an aggressive position. Wait for the landing. Enjoy the flight.

You will notice the difference with the vertical plug as you hit the water: you are going to resurface under much more control, and a lot sooner.

Every waterfall is different, so little adjustments on the technique will be necessary. With some practice in different drops you will start learning how to anticipate better, and with time you’ll be hitting your 45º boofs all the time. This technique is also a great way to start being under control when freefalling.

Keep flying, fly safe
Rafa Ortiz


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