Resources - Technique


Technique - Kayak (for SUP technique, scroll down):


The following technique tips are part of a document published by FICK - the Italian Federation of Canoe and Kayak.


Setup (paddle grip):



Paddling a kayak requires understanding a complex set of mechanics, but nothing is more important than a correct paddle setup. Two of the most decorated Olympic paddlers, Greg Barton (USA) and Antonio Rossi (ITA) show the correct grip above. To get it right:


1. Position yourself in front of a mirror.

2. Hold your paddle on top of your head.

3. Bend your arm to achieve an angle of 90 degrees or slightly less between your arm and forearm.


Setup (seating position):


This is fundamental for setting up stroke mechanics. The diagram at right shows the correct seating position angles. During the stroke, all angles will change due to the push pull action except for the back (spine), which could be described as "leaning slightly forward". It is fundamental to start correctly, and learn to acquire this position automatically:


1. Position yourself in front of a mirror sideways.

2. Position a kayak seat or some other object (like some books) to elevate yourself 3-4 inches (about 10 cm) from the floor.

3. Review the angles with this drawing or have somebody correcting you.

4. Finally, hold your paddle as described above in.

5. Repeat until it becomes a "natural position".




The following diagrams show the proper mechanics for each part of the stroke:


Stroke Sequence - Preparation/Catch Phase

Stroke Sequence - Propulsion/Power Stroke

Stroke Sequence - Stroke End

Stroke Sequence - Exit Phase/Aerial Preparation



The following diagrams show the force and angle exerted at each stage of the stroke:




Technique - SUP:


Watch the video below for Mike Fekete's SUP paddling tips: