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TRAINING

BALANCE 

One of the most important parts of paddling is balance. New paddlers often underestimate how unstable kayaks are and often select a boat that is too advanced for them. As a result, they'll often spend more time in the water than in the boat.

 

We strongly recommend selecting a boat that is stable to begin with and waiting until you're 100% confident and have strong technique before your progress. Speed on the water comes from efficient power transfer which can only be achieved when the paddler is balanced. You paddler fast if you're balanced in a slower boat, than you will be if you're unbalanced in a faster boat. There are also a bunch of drills you can do to improve your balance.

Picking the right boat

Picking the right boat for your stage is crucial to developing good balance and technique. Whether you like it or not, you will fall out as you learn to paddle. For your enjoyment, and development, pick a boat thats going to keep you on top of the water more than in it.

 

There are also things you can do to improve the stability of your kayak, such as adding water to it to increase the weight. You could also select a boat that is built for smaller paddlers. Both will result in the kayak sitting lower in the water, making it more stable.

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PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

There is no substitute for practice. And nothing quite compares to spending time on the water.

The more time you can spend in your boat, the better your balance will become. Start paddling in friendly conditions where remounting is easier. For example, around the shore of a sheltered lake.

If you're lucky enough to have a pool, you can practice just sitting in your kayak, Your boat is ways more stable when it's moving forward. So stationary practice can help improve your balance quickly.

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Balance drills

Stability = Speed

Download our Balance Drills handbook.

12 pages of drills from the High Performance team at Canoe Racing NZ.