SMACK! When you're preparing to play against teams from all around the world, you don't fool around. In addition to pfds (personal flotation devices), players wear face guards attached to their helmets. The paddle against number 9's (Sasha's) face mask is probably his own paddle. He let go of it to prepare to right himself once he started to go over. The players are able to right themselves using just their arms and hands. Rolling over, getting dunked and righting themselves are completely second nature to them. They're so good at controlling this manuever that I watched them start to tip over and still bring themselves upright without getting dunked. Amazing.
Patrick (# 5) is using the paddle to guard the goal, out of frame at the top, about 5-6 feet above his head. At first it's hard to tell, but number 7 white isn't throwing the ball, there's a player hidden in front of him.
Number 3 blue was like this all day - Mr. Hustle. He just wouldn't give up going after the ball no matter where it was.
It's amazing to watch the players deal with water, their kayaks, their paddles, other players, and passing the ball quickly around the court to get access to the goal.
Number 5 white has just taken a shot at the goal, blocked by 19 (10 on his blue pfd).
Here you can see the goal. It's much harder than it looks to throw a ball from a sitting position inside a kayak which itself is sitting on water into the goal (the white box above number 2 blue). The net hangs down so that when the net catches a ball the ball is within reach of the players.
I'll mention shoving a little later in this gallery. Let's just say that number 8 blue isn't reaching out to help number 9.
Can't be afraid of water in this game.
That's Sergey, number 4 white.
Tactics discussion. Note the board on the table with the little kayaks.
A different take on paddle skills.
Let's see Jerry Rice do this.
Sergey passes, now in 5 blue.
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