Credit: Curtis McHale
How to: From shore, plan a line down the rapid hitting specific features. For example: You’re going to hit that eddy, ferry behind that rock, surf that wave and then eddy out behind that tree. Now run the rapid trying to follow your planned line. If you miss a goal, take a moment to understand why. What did you do wrong? And, just as importantly, if you nailed it, how did you get there? What did you do right? Repeat the rapid several times trying to hit the same goals. If you hit all of them easily, up the difficulty—don’t just make the eddy, aim to hit the top of the eddy. “Sometimes it’s not till the fifth time down that a student will say, ‘Now I see what we were looking at,’” Boudens says.