Want to improve your paddling? Well you're in luck. Some of our current champs and their world class coaches have helped us put together these resources.

Our aim is to help paddlers and coaches understand the fundamental principles of paddling, and create a set of resources to take paddlers along the full paddling journey, from beginner to champ. We're working on these all the time, and will keep adding new info here, so check back regularly for more.

We have both text and video resources. The documents aim to give a good overview of the principles and theory, and the videos are there to help paddlers and coaches visualise what we've written.

Alright, time to get out there and do some mahi!

principles of Technique 

This is a guide to the fundamentals of kayaking technique, starting with the basic physics and biomechanics of paddling. The second half of the document sets out the Kiwi approach to technique. 

We encourage paddlers and coaches to understand the principles in this document. A deeper understanding will help paddlers self-coach to improve their own paddling. We're also keen to develop a "common language" to make it easier to discuss ideas about technique.

Technique drills

This resource contains a set of exercises that paddlers and coaches can use to improve kayaking technique. The drills are based on the "Principles of Technique" and should develop paddlers' understanding and execution of good technique. 

The drills are set out according to the four stroke phases. There are also some exercises to help you improve your starts.

technique videos

These videos demonstrate the drills set out in the text resource above. You'll find the following drills in this section:

  • Stroke Pause

  • Ear Touch

  • Crossover

  • Robot

  • Stroke, Twist

  • Lunge

  • See Saw

  • One Sided Strokes

Start Videos

Getting a great start can gain you several seconds in your race. This is a big deal, whether you want to beat your competitors in a sprint race or make sure you get into a fast bunch in a long-distance event. Starting requires a combination of balance, technique and power. These drills will help develop your balance and technique for a fast start every time.

In this section you'll find the following drills:

  • Start Set Up Position

  • Reverse to Start Hold

  • Rock the Boat

  • Second Stroke Drill

  • Back to Forward


Balance is Power! Kayaks are unstable, and you can't paddle well unless you can confidently and comfortably balance in your boat. This resource explains the importance of balance, and contains a bunch of useful exercises to develop paddlers' balance.

Balance Videos

These videos show some of the drills set out in the text resource:

  • Intro to balance drills

  • Hand Paddling

  • Rotation Drill

  • Paddle Throw

  • Paddle Spin

  • Sculling

  • Papper, Scissors, Rock

  • Pass the Paddle

  • Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes


Setting your equipment up well is important for safety, enjoyment and to help you paddle properly. Here, NZ High Performance Coach and Olympic legend Tim Brabants takes you through some fundamentals of kayak set-up. This info is useful to all paddlers, from beginners to active fitness paddlers to top athletes. 

Stay tuned for similar resources for surfskis and river kayaks!