WWR manual chapter 1

Introduction & Download

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1    Introduction

"The test of Truth", the wildwater time trial is the purest of whitewater racing forms - the athlete, the river, the clock. A racing performance is the result of physical conditioning, skill and harmony with the water and is the only sport where social paddling is necessary to achieve a peak performance. Beautiful water, scenery and companionship make the Wild Water Racing experience compelling. The competitor is free to take whichever route on the river they desire, a freedom of racing unsurpassed in the whitewater world.

The sense of speed and exhilaration when a sequence of moves are made in whitewater is immense; waves, rocks, spectators fly past in a blur of concentration and elation - the satisfaction of a 'clean and fast' run can be achieved by all competitors, from the world champion to the beginning racer. All strive for the ultimate run - and come back for more.


1.1 Core Skills

Wild Water Racing is a combination of 3 core areas:
  • Core whitewater skills – including river awareness and understanding e.g. from playboating or slalom
  • Flatwater skills – the ability to make a boat move fast on flatwater and training discipline
  • WWR specific skills – steering a WWR boat, paddling forward effectively and essential river skills in a WWR boat


  Figure 1‑1

Athletes come to Wild Water Racing with a range of different skills and knowledge. Some athletes will progress quite well with the skills they already have, but without the foundation that all the core skills provide, it is difficult to provide the platform onto which further Elite WWR skills can be built (Figure 1‑1).

When all the components of these 3 areas are in place an athlete will be a ‘complete’ Wild Water Racer and likely to get the most enjoyment from Wild Water Racing and potentially move on to build further Elite WWR skills.
This manual, in conjunction with the Wild Water Racing Development Academy’s athlete syllabus, aims to highlight the full range of skills and knowledge that create the platform of core skills.

1.2 The Manual

This manual is intended as a guide to coaches of Wild Water Racing, and will hopefully reinforce the knowledge of coaches as well as fill in any gaps in knowledge. The approach and vocabulary of the manual is being used at national level. By sharing this approach and vocabulary, athletes who progress to national squad level will already have a good foundation and communication path established.

Whilst the manual is intended for coaches, it can be used equally well by athletes themselves.

The manual will continue to grow as new knowledge and new approaches are developed. Contributions to improve or add sections to the manual are welcomed.