A peel out refers to reverse eddy turn. Getting into the eddy can take a lot of work, especially for beginners. Nonetheless, what many people do not realize is that it requires the same effort to get out of the eddy. If your movements lack aggressiveness, it is likely that your raft will be stuck in the eddy line.
To carry out a peel out successfully, your goal is to drive the raft off and into the current. You need to paddle up the current to get out of the eddy. This is what they call a peel out.
How to Do a Peel Out
When doing a peel out, rafters are basically drifting out the bottom where there is an ill-defined and broad eddy. As you try to move away from the water, the eddy line will grow bigger. As a result, there is also a huge swirl of water. If you have a small boat, this swirl can cause loss of balance. For most rafts, however, this should not be an issue. Peeling out is important because in a lot of situations, you have no other option but to exit.
1. Paddle to the Eddy
The first thing that you need to do for the peel out is to paddle to the top of the eddy. To do this, you will need to apply speed as you paddle, which will give you the momentum. Speed is crucial so that you won’t end up being overpowered by water.
2. Angle Your Raft
Your angle of approach and crossing the eddy line will have a huge impact on the success of the peel out. Ideally, your raft should be positioned at approximately 45 degrees from the eddy line. For instance, if you are going upstream in a 12 o’clock position, you need to position your raft at 11 or 1 o’clock angle depending on the direction where you are going.
If your raft is angled too much, the result is that the turns will be too sudden. As a result, the raft will be unable to turn in a downstream current. Worse, it can flip.
On the other hand, if your raft is angled too little, you will end up surfing back to the eddy line. The best remedy to this problem is to watch out the trough line and when you approach it next time, make sure that you are doing so at the right angle.
3. Apply Edge
As you go nearer the eddy line, it is necessary that you apply some edge at the inside of a turn. After passing the eddy line, the bow paddler on the upper stream will paddle forward. The bow downstream paddler, on the other hand, will do a draw stroke. With the help of the current, the raft will be drawn downstream.
Aside from the steps mentioned above, keep in mind the tips below to do peel outs effectively and safely.
Look at the Direction Where You are Going
This is one of the paddling rules with numerous applications, including a peel out. This will have an impact on your torso rotation. Plus, you will have a broader focus. You can see more of the water and the eddy that you are about to exit. This helps you become more physically and mentally prepared for the peel out.
Invest in a Good Paddle
Peel outs require power from the paddler. Your physical strength, however, is not enough. You will also need to invest in a top-notch paddle. Your gear will help you tackle eddies more efficiently. One of the most important is to be lightweight and ergonomic so that it will be easy to grip. The material and construction will also matter, making sure that the paddle is strong enough to withstand the current.
Know the Proper Position
Exiting an eddy requires maintaining proper position, making it easier for the raft to steer at the right direction and preventing it from overturning. You need to position the raft high at the top of the eddy. This will make your carving turns smoother and will put you in better control of where the raft will be heading once you are through the eddy.
Apply Power Only When Necessary
While power is important when crossing eddy lines, this does not mean that you will need it the entire time. Know when you can go low in terms of paddling power. Hit big and fast when you are high. Slow down when the condition becomes flatter. Otherwise, there is a high chance that you will spin, and in turn, you will lose angle. This can cause the raft to capsize. It is also best to consider applying high power only when you are crossing the upstream side.
Learn How to Read Water
Water reading is one of the fundamental skills that you need to learn to become better when it comes to white water rafting. You need to know the waves and current that make up a rapid peel out. This will make it easier to recognize eddy lines. With this, you will be smarter when it comes to a peel out since you know exactly where you should be heading out. This is also crucial for your safety. For the peel out, search for a wave trough that meets the eddy line. This should also be angling downstream opposite the direction of the eddy pool.
Survive a Flip
It is inevitable that peel outs may be unsuccessful. There are instances when the raft will flip. When this happens, it is crucial that you know what to do to survive the situation. First, you must be wearing a life jacket, which will help you survive. Even the best swimmers can drown, so a flotation device is nice to have for your peace of mind. Know how to properly roll and how to get up the raft without causing it to overturn again.
Especially for novices, eddy lines can end up being turbulent and challenging to deal with. You will need to demonstrate exceptional power to punch through the eddy. Otherwise, you might end up compromising not only your safety but that of everyone in the raft. Pay attention to the things mentioned above and we hope that it will help you do the peel out like a pro to get out of the eddy successfully.