Video: How to do a Loop

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Over the many years, I have been teaching kayakers it has always been a goal of mine to stay current with the evolution of our sport. This has meant many minor (and some major) tweaks to teaching progressions to ensure that our team is delivering content and information that lines up with modern paddling techniques.

Being in Western Canada, much of this focus has been on developing creative and successful progressions for creeking and river running as most of our clients are interested in that realm. One day a year or so ago it struck me that although I still playboat a bunch that I had neglected to stay current with how to teach modern playboating moves.

With this realization, I went full blast last season trying to put together (and put into practise) a solid freestyle progression for beginner paddlers all the way through to those starting to play around with aerial moves (both on waves and in holes). That is where this video and progression stemmed from. It is a slight departure from many how to loop videos in that it breaks the move down into 5 easily practised components and hopefully gives aspiring freestyle paddlers a set of smaller goals to attain, and in doing that the loop will be an easier to achieve and less frustrating goal.

Step 1

Find an appropriate feature.  It needs to be a hole, reasonably retentive, ideally with good eddy service and one you are comfortable moving around in.

Step 2

The 5 steps of the loop:

The Setup: This is simply how you get lined up to the upstream current.  The video outlines a couple of different techniques

The Plug: Initiating the bow in the green water coming downstream (basically in the seam between whitewater and green water).  How you go about this depends on the depth and size of the hole.

The Stomp: Here, we stand up on our foot pegs to plunge the bow deeper into the green water in turn loading up the volume in the kayak.

The Jump: Once the plug goes as deep as it can, we now want the volume to release in an upwards motion.  In this stage, we jump up and a little upstream whilst sucking our hips towards the sky.

The Finish: The last step as we bring the boat over our head and complete the loop.  As the boat comes over your head you lay out backwards and throw your feet towards the green water.  Then sit up once you’ve landed and you are done!

Step 3

It is important (IMHO) that you practise each stage until you are successful about 90% of the time.  Once you achieve that, add the next step on until you have all 5 combined and a loop is achieved.

Thanks for checking out this instructional video, we hope it is useful and helps get you looping at your local play hole and beyond.  If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected].

For more great instructional videos check out our You Tube channel at or our website at

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