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In the spring and early summer, water is plentiful at my local and favorite travel-to spots. There’s playboating, river running, and river surfing to choose from…or do all three! As the season progresses into mid summer, the rains are fewer and far between. The river levels drop to seasonal lows and I usually turn to single track riding or fishing to get me through the low water durations. But neither of those sports hold my attention and my desire to be immersed in the river. Especially when August hits with long days, hot temps, and high humidity. Throw in a couple droughts and I’m desperate for river time.

When the Antix 2.0 came out, I cued in on the notion that slicing could be another way for me to enjoy my local spots. Especially during times of low water. While slicing has been around long before I sat in a kayak, it was new to me. With my new half slice and friends to help me learn I headed to my local whitewater park where I plunged head first into the learning process of how to stern squirt. Figuring out this new to me skill in a longer kayak was a different challenge than my short freestyle kayak that I typically paddle at my local ww park.

Learning how to stern squirt in the Antix.

This stern squirt learning process started out with a lot of flopping over and small successes of verticality that kept me coming back for more. With numerous hours of practice I started to figure out the combination of timing, edge control and balance in the half slice.

When Jackson Kayak re-released the MixMaster, I added this full slice kayak to the quiver to round out my low water fun possibilities. With playful, low volume ends, the Mixmaster added another layer of fun to my local spots. Now in our second year of drought, this boat kept me in the river having fun all season long. Another added bonus, my friends joined me for slicing too!

Getting vertical with friends.

This summer, I also took a slice kayaking lesson with Stephen Wright. The practice drills and explanations he went over helped me improve my slice skills even more. Plus seeing him splat and slice in places I had not thought of thus far, opened up my boating creativity to even more fun slicing possibilities.

Learning how to balance on end.

With all this slicing fun…I realized I had tricked myself into learning new skills, thanks Peter. Skills that have been handy to have river running and playboating too.
Some of these skills are:
– better control and orientation of my edges
– timing and patience
– being upside down and rolling Alot
– stern and bow awareness, underwater and in the air
– getting wedged on the bottom or against a rock during splats and getting unstuck and rolled up
– core tension and balance
– fine tuning my reading water skills

Adding the half and full slice to my quiver has kept me in the river longer when levels or my travel plans are not conducive for playboating/river running/surfing. Similar to playboating, the skills I build while having fun slicing are valuable in other areas of my kayaking endeavors too. Slicing is here to stay for me! #droppinedge #recklessverticality

-Hannah RayJ

Check out some video clips here: