The double pump is the gateway skill for cartwheels, split wheels and tricky woos. It is a flat water drill that helps you develop the strength, balance and understanding of the movements needed to initiate these more complex moves. The double pump involves lifting the bow or stern in the air and then smashing it back down into the water.
How to do a Double Pump
Firstly select a suitable freestyle kayak and then practice putting the boat on edge and rocking the bow and stern up and down in the air
1. Keep your weight over the boat
2. Put your paddle out to the side
3. Drop your edge
4. Do a forward sweep and at the same time lean back and lift your knees. This will lift your bow up in the air
5. Now let the bow fall
6. Flip your paddle over and using the back of the blade as the bow falls, lean forward, put weight on your feet and push the bow under smash the bow back
7. Now link them together put the boat on edge and push, pull, push, pull.
8. Have a go at forward paddling and then doing a double pump. Allow the forward speed to help push the boat up to vertical
9. Once you have this mastered on the bow and stern its time to try some cartwheels
It will take a few goes to figure out the speed of your kayak. Every boat is different.
If you feel like your fighting the boat during the pump make sure your sweep is lifting the boat into the air and not turning it in a circle. Ideally you want to be double pumping in straight line. Each time you lift and smash your bow it wants to land in the same place and not travel around too much. If the boat pirouettes and you fall on your face you need to keep your weight over your boat more.
If your bow is hitting the water and not slicing through you need to use more edge. Start low, ideally you’ll be looking to have your boat on a 30 – 45 degree edge. Once you have it mastered you can double pump with the boat at 45 degrees plus all the way to vertical.
If your having a hard time getting the bow to go under the water then you need to lean forward and push the weight on your feet earlier. At exactly the same time you do your push stroke.
Practice the body and boat movements whilst holding onto the side of a pool or a dock / jetty. Try and work on taking the weight of your arms. Don’t just rely on the power of the paddle instead try and get the angle, edge and timing of the movements to do the majority of the work for you.