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Sliding Techniques for Canyoning

Sliding is a fun and effective way to progress through a canyon, adopting the correct techniques is essential for a smooth and safe descent. Sometimes slides may have a rope attached, this assists in controlling your speed as you descend the slide.

Techniques for unroped slides

These are relatively simple, move to a position where you are comfortable at the edge of the slide and look for the smoothest way down. This is usually where the water is flowing, with your legs straight and feet pressed together at the heels lean back until you are completely flat against the surface, as you start to slide there are some essential techniques that you should adopt, firstly your hands should be places on your chest with your elbows up. This ensures no fingers or elbows are injured during the slide, if you can have your heels raised or bring your toes toward your shins like a calf stretch. This helps to prevent your heels catching on any unexpected areas of the slide and reduce lower leg injuries. With your heels up you should squeeze your legs together and clench your buttocks a firm clench will reduced any bumps or hits to your coccyx. Look down over your body in the direction of travel this will allow you to foresee any changes that may be coming, as you enter the water raise your feet or bring your knees to your chest. This is a particularly useful strategy if the water is shallow. If the slide is fast or steep and the water is deep you should keep your legs out and aim to hit the water straight similar to jumping technique, once you have become submerged at the end of the slide tuck into a ball and then splay open like a star. This technique is essentially to reduce the likelihood of being recirculated at the end of the slide.

Part two roped slides available on the next post!

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