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The 2020 USA freestyle nationals were originally planned to be a normal in-person freestyle competition surfing a river feature. The in-person nationals were cancelled due to covid-19. Instead of the in-person competition, a virtual (video submission) flatwater competition was arranged. Competitors were allowed 60 seconds to demonstrate their freestyle skills in the flatwater in one continuous sequence. Below is my submission which ended up placing first in the C-1 category.

This event was really fun for several reasons. It allowed freestyle paddlers to showcase their skills and compete in a year when that was not otherwise possible. The flatwater format was perfect because it is an even playing field. No matter where you are there is always some kind of flatwater available (lakes, pools, rivers). Flatwater training is an excellent way to perfect old skills, learn new skills, and develop strength, balance, and endurance in your boat.

I was encouraged and reminded about the benefits that flatwater training offers.

I encourage you to practice your skills in the flatwater as well. Whether you are working on basic strokes, rolling, your first cartwheel, or the latest combo – there is always benefit that can be gained from flatwater practice and training.

Happy paddling! 🙂