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How to Splitwheel

By Elaine Campbell

The splitwheel is another one of my favorite tricks to do in a hole. It’s a bit harder to learn than the cartwheel since you have to change direction mid trick while keeping the boat vertical.  The best part is once you learn how to splitwheel you can start linking splitwheels to cartwheels, splitwheels to loops, splitwheel to splitwheel and other really fun tricks.  After you learn how to splitwheel you can work on the Tricky Whu, oh, that’s a tough one!


Definition of the splitwheel:


Two consecutive ends, with a change of direction in-between each and both ends at a vertical angle between 45 and 100 degrees.


Here’s my way of explaining how to do a splitwheel in a hole.


Right Splitwheel:


Step 1: Get to the top of the pile either by spinning on the corner or side slipping.


Step 2:  As soon as you are at the top of the pile get your boat on it’s right edge around 45 degrees and do a small right forward stroke lifting the bow up and out of the water, staying edged. Take a right back stroke and slam your legs down on it’s edge, keeping your body in a neutral position, look upstream and wind up that torso so your not just using your arms. All the power is coming from your torso and legs. 


Step 3:  Once the bow starts to rotate under you change the back stroke to a forward stroke, staying vertical on the same right edge, look over your left shoulder and upstream while pulling the stern through.   


Step 4:  Once your stern has rotated under you and you are facing back upstream level your boat out and take a left forward stroke to keep you in the hole or link to left cartwheels or do a left splitweel.   


I hope what I said makes sense I have a funny way of explaining things. Here’s a video to get a better understanding.  




Practice on eddy lines or in flatwater.

Till next time,

Elaine Campbell


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