How often have you heard the following

Just think of the endless possibilities if you had a good technique. How good would that feel? You can picture it now! That's right!

The technique coaching session normally lasts about 90 minutes. During that time I will video your progress (you get a copy of the video in DVD or avi format) as I use various drills and years of experience to evolve your technique into the solid and robust platform that is going to consolidate your kayaking experiences. A session can be booked at TopSport or by sending an email to David.

These are the results you can expect to gain. "Unbelievable difference paddling today...I felt lower back + ab muscles that I have never felt before by sitting upright + chest out! Cruised through an hour @ high heart rate in the Sumner surf like I hadn't even used my arms at all, even more stable too as the boat isn't rocking! So cheers for the help. Still plenty to work on though as haven't mastered the 'spear fish'. " S. M. Christchurch.

"I have no idea what happened today but something changed. It was the most enjoyable paddle I have ever had on a river." J.G. Auckland.

Now good technique is just that, good. NLP is study of how the best people in the world do what they do best. To study the best technique in kayaking then we would all agree, well most of us, that we would look at Olympic Sprinters and World Champion Marathon paddlers. I know what some of you are thinking ....... sprint is so different from marathon which is completely different to Down River Racing which has no resemblance to Long Distance Ski racing which in turn is even more different to Multisport. Your right. Others might be thinking that Multisport is similar do DDR and LD Ski with the low bucket shaped seats that limits rotation, leg drive and requires an earlier exit of the stroke and then it also similar to Marathon where your technique needs to be efficient as possible so you can still be as fast at the finish after racing for 2.5 to 3 hours. You are also right.

What ever the discipline the top performers all have good basic technique..

You will be amazed how much fun you will have paddling with good technique. Just think right now what you could achieve!




Power Phase
End of Power Phase
Above Knut Holman world fastest man over 1000 metres from 1996-2004.      

The stroke is split into four phases:- catch, power, exit and recovery.

If your catch is late then less power/acceletation will be generated.

If you have a good catch you will generate a lot of acceleration during the power phase, which also greatly increases stability.

A late exit will mean no or little recovery, which will then impact on your catch and then in turn your power phase.

A good exit will lead into a short recovery which is vital for a good catch.

One phase leads into the next, so they all need to be good to have a good basic technique.


Would you believe that the most common sensory preference that we use is the visual representation system . Its true but what does this mean?

What it means is that once people who use this system see somebody kayaking, playing tennis, kite surfing etc, they can picture it in their mind and very quickly learn a new skill. These people often have trouble remembering verbal instructions and are bored by long verbal instructions because their mind tends to wander. Typically they will say "I see what your saying" "I see the point you are trying to make"

I have always said if you want to improve your paddling technique go paddling with the fastest paddlers. Now you can see why and you can see how it will work for you. Thats right you will copy the paddlers with good technique with out even thinking about it.

There are another three main systems that people use, auditory, kinesthetic and auditory digital (speaking to yourself).

I am mainly kinesthetic then visual so you could talk till you're blue in the face if you were trying to teach me something new and very little would actually sink in. However as soon as I start actually doing the new activity this is when I learn how to do it. I can actually feel if the kayak is running well!

So as a coach it is important in a group situation to use all of the above systems so you can communicate with everyone. During a one on one session, it is easy to establish what my client's main system simply by asking them a few questions.


Click here to download a 2mb video clip from the 2005 World Marathon Championships in Perth, Australia, of Busto Fernandez and Merchan Alonso. Merchan is in the white Nelo, has such an awesome technique (my opinion), see for yourself.

Click here to download a 2mb video clip from the 2005 World Marathon Championships in Perth, Australia, of Anna Hemmings, Vivien Follath and Barbara Przybylska. Note the different styles. Vivien has a very straight top arm during the catch. Her cadence is high due to the straight arm and her kayak rocks a lot which will be slowing her down. Barbara, from Poland, is in the red on the right and was 3rd just behind Vivian. She has good technique in my opinion. Anna from Britain on the half V wash at the back won the race comfortably. She has great technique and notice how her cadence is much slower than the other women for the same speed, therefore expending less energy.

Click here to download a 60k pdf file on marathon kayak technique.

Click here to download a 15k pdf file on kayak trim.

You know how much you enjoy learning new things!