Freestyle kayaking is the BMX of the kayaking disciplines. It involves using short stubby kayaks for doing tricks with silly names like Blunt, McNasty and Phonix Monkey! Being able to roll is pretty much essential for freestyle, otherwise you’re going to spend more time swimming than kayaking but once you’ve got the roll down then you’re good to go. Freestyle kayaking can be done on flatwater or on several different river features, such as waves, holes and eddylines. Flatwater freestyle is done most in ULKC, because it’s the most fun thing to do at pool sessions once you’re finished learning the basics. If you want to get started, learn to roll (ask anyone who looks like they know what they’re doing to help!) and then ask any of the guys you see bouncing around in the pool to teach you something. Any of them will be more than happy to help out!
We are really lucky in UL to be down the road from one of the best freestyle spots in the country, Curragower wave, located bang in the middle of Limerick City in front of King John’s Castle. This wave requires the correct tide and water flow to work so predicting when it’s going to be up can be a bit of a black art. If there’s enough water being released by the ESB at Ardnacrusha then the wave will start to work about three hours after high tide, which can be found here: http://www.sfpc.ie/download/Tides%202014%20.pdf . Whenever it’s working there will be regular sneaky runs done at short notice, keep an eye on the forum for details! There will also be trips done to Tuam (Galway), Sluice (Dublin) and to many different events and competitions throughout the year.
A good idea of what freestyle kayaking is can be got from this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkMB5HD2FgE