Most packrafters, and I definitely include myself in this group, are guilty at times of being ‘lazy’ paddlers.
Deliberately train yourself to not fall into this category, or at least not too often anyway. Packrafts, with their increased stability and ease of maneuverability, lend themselves to paddlers taking the easy option of minimal effort. For beginners this is where packrafts shine. However if you consciously decide to Paddle with Purpose you will be surprised at what can be achieved in a packraft. Being deliberate about the particular strokes you take, the lines you choose, the exact spots you want to hit and the eddies you wish to catch, leads to a significant improvement in boat control. Strive to paddle technically, as a slalom paddler would, and follow the old adage of “Boat, don’t float!” There is a big difference between floating and surviving class IV versus actually technically paddling class IV!
Go into each rapid with a plan & try to achieve it!
Afterwards, analyse what worked, what did not and why
Long term – plan how you are going to improve your paddling skills
EVERY STROKE should have PURPOSE. Plant your paddle accordingly!