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You may be having trouble motivating your self to go and practice out in flat water. There are a few reasons why flat water is important. First what ever you can do in flat water directly relates to what you can do in a hole or on a wave. I learned every move I can throw in a hole or on a wave in flat water first. You may be asking why would he do that? Well, I’m from Ohio. When it rains we cant be wasting our time practicing small moves. Thats why you throw down in flat water.

Today I am going to be talking about cartwheels and splitwheels. I know some of you out there are thinking, “oh I don’t need to hear this, I know how to cartwheel.” Im here to tell you that you don’t. I was in the same boat (no pun intended) until about a week ago when Stephen Wright had me practicing on the flats, daring me to try a cartwheel to splitwheel to cartwheel. Thats when a whole new level of flat water opened up for me. Its one thing to be able to throw a few ends and another to link 10 ends, then splitwheel, and do another ten ends the other way.

The fist thing you have to learn how to do is to control your ends. Most people make the mistake of not getting on edge fully and they say they can’t get their boat up. Any one that can cartwheel will tell you the key to being a master is to stay one step in front of your boat. The next step is to always look where you want to go. This is the case with all boating.

If there is one thing I have learned in my time with Stephen the past few weeks, it’s that there is always a new way to push your self, no matter where you are. Either its working on cartwheels, or running a class two rapid backwards to work on control. There is always something new you can do in your kayak.

Eric Bartle