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Now that you have your UL outfitted and the trim is just right we need to start testing the waters, so to speak. I recommend that you pick a river run that is below the top end of your skill level. A slightly more open run will make things easier for you at the start. Don’t go to your favorite high-end creek run until you have the boat dialed! The primary things we need to play with are speed, angle, and line selection.
The UL is fast, but until you adapt your boating to that speed it is better to keep it in check. Start off by taking some conservative lines to eddy hop as much as possible. While you are eddy hoping focus on implementing the precision drift technique. Try to not paddle your boat down stream as much as possible but rather drift with the main current and then once you have lined everything up for the perfect eddy catching situation drive your boat across the current. Lateral momentum is key! As you enter each eddy focus on catching it at the top and really adjusting for the longer radius turn. As you practice you will be able to vary that by cranking more edge and adjusting your entry speed.
With a longer water line to account for we need to adjust the angle at which we drive into different river features. At first try to cross eddy lines with a closer to perpendicular angle, and as you add differing amounts of speed to the equation you can decrease the angle and increase the edging to whip the boat around. We obviously need to interact with holes and breaking waves as we run rivers, so we need to practice that as well. The speed of the UL will allow you to punch just about anything that comes your way, but having said that the longer bow can get pushed around a good bit more if you are not lined up just right. As you start to punch features make sure you line up perpendicular at first just like we did with the eddies. As you get the feel for it you can start to fade things a bit and come in with a bit less angle. It would also be a good idea to take your UL out to the local play spot and surf it in a few waves and holes, so that your first surf is not an unintentional one.

In time you will be able to paddle your UL down just about all the lines you would choose in your normal creek boat. Give it time! The sport of kayaking has evolved a ton as boats got shorter and what is run on a regular basis these days was once considered un-runnable. The UL is a lot easier to boat than the long boats of yester year but start off by choosing open lines and as you start to feel good with it pick harder lines with lower consequence. That way if you do slip up, which is part of learning; it will not turn into a major event but rather stay as a learning experience only. Up next will be boofing and rock play. These two skills will greatly enhance your line options once you master them.

PS, check out the tinniest eddy I could put the UL in. The eddy is a solid 2.5ft shorter than the boat. Fun Games!

Later; Colin
Team JK