How to Phonics Monkey

Over the course of this year Katya and me will be producing monthly how to videos to help you progress your freestyle skills.

The first one here is on how to do one of our favourite moves: the Phonics Monkey.

What is it?

It’s a 360 degree vertical spin linked into a front loop.

It looks very spectacular, is one of the highest scoring moves and also one of the hardest to master.

How to do it?

Step One: Start up nice and high on the foam pile. Turn the boat so that it’s lined up straight to the oncoming flow. Let yourself drift down towards the seam line with a little bit of edge held on.

Screen Shot 2013-01-29 at 23.49.50

Step Two: Just before you reach seam line reach across the bow with a crossbow stroke to initiate the 360 pirouette.

Screen Shot 2013-01-29 at 23.50.48

As soon as you’ve initiated the crossbow pirouette, start looking ahead of the boats rotation.

Screen Shot 2013-01-29 at 23.51.06

Step Three: When you’re getting nice and vertical and your nearing the end of the 360 you want to spot a marker, could be a tree or a slalom pole, anything that is directly upstream of you.

Screen Shot 2013-01-29 at 23.51.38

Step Four: When you see that marker jump up on your toes into your standard looping position & then kick your feet out straight ahead of you in the direction of that upstream marker.  The more aggressive the better at this point.

Screen Shot 2013-01-29 at 23.52.30 Screen Shot 2013-01-29 at 23.52.46 Screen Shot 2013-01-29 at 23.53.07

How to make sure it scores?

  • Try to start at a low angle and build up continuously to vertical. Timed correctly this will give you the biggest air and make sure the judges like it.
  • Make sure you keep the loop nice and straight at the end. (Spot your marker & Kick your feet out in front when you finish the Loop)

Things to watch out for:

  • Going vertical too soon.
  • Taking too much speed into the move (that just means you’ll go vertical too soon.)
  • Reaching out too far on the cross bow. Again this will mean you go vert too soon or hurt your shoulder.


Get out there and have a go, be patient it will probably be a gradual process mastering this move, but very satisfying when you get it.

Good Luck,

Pringle & Katya


About James Bebbington

2011 ICF World Freestyle Kayak Champion & 2011 ICF World Cup Freestyle Kayak Champion Passionate about Kayaking, Travel, Nature, Dreams, Raw Food & the Beauty of Life. Don't give up on your dreams, listen to your heart!
This entry was posted in Kayaking, Whitewater and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s