Analyze this video

-- Last Updated: Sep-26-11 2:34 PM EST --

What's your take on this video? Mine - pretty much all strokes were *wrong* at several levels ...

If you agree, vote it down on youtube since lots of folks seem to think it is good... Maybe it works for absolute beginners, but anything they learn there would need to be un-learned if they want to take it to the next level...

As soon as I hear the word "proper"
in anything I stop listening.

Agree with onno…

He is screwing up big time !
Nice calm water and he has a PFD on !

Jack L

I am curious
what is wrong with the technique? Take the forward stroke for example. Catch at the feet, rotate and out at the hip seems pretty common in the forward stroke videos I have seen. Can you recommend a better video?

He’s mostly arm paddling and a couple of times he puts his shoulders in a vulnerable position. Most instructors emphasize a little more torso rotation. He also pulls the paddle out pretty late on his forward stroke and he could reach forward a little more on the catch.

I’d give him a B
Could have modeled with more extension, rotation, precision, and a quieter upper hand in the sculling draw. But basics were all there. Ok for teaching beginners.

I see
I looked a little closer at the sequence, and yeah, he seems to use his arms a fair amount in the final sequence of the forward stroke.

There seems to be a wide variation in torso rotation in the videos I’ve watched. I have a hard time telling how well I’m rotating when I’m paddling.

Actually watched it
He paddles better than some big star guys I’ve been around.

Video’s fine
He may not be as smooth as a more experienced paddler but he introduced a lot of basics in an easy to understand way.

I am a new kayak paddler so won’t comment - but I do have a question. Do most of you agree that the paddle should literally touch the back of the kayak at the end of a sweep stroke?

What’s wrong? What’s NOT wrong…

– Last Updated: Sep-27-11 9:09 AM EST –

- At catch: Pulling arm wrist: cocked-up at 45 degree. Waiting for tendon trouble over time. 0:25
- At catch: Paddle half-put in the water (all the time). If you were to pull hard at that point, you would lose a lot of energy to just stirring the water. Just watch how he demonstrates exactly this problem at 0:26
- Arm paddling
- At power phase: Upper arm dives down (0:50)
- At end of stroke: Rear blade way too behind hips. Executing a sweep stroke almost ((0:53). Also see his pull arm form
- At end of stroke: paddle goes way deep before lift-up

For a fluid demonstration of all of the above - see 1:00+. For a front view - 1:30+

Sweep stroke: the theory that pulling at the stern is most effective is at oddss with the theory that doing so takes you out of balance if you care to put any power in it (may be fine for flat water relaxed conditions). Also, look at his setup for the seep (say 3:03) and the execution after - what's wrong with that -;)?

Draw strokes? 3:37: Look at the angle of the blade (less than 45 degrees!). Not dipped fully. Tripping on himself at the take-out phase... Do you see any use of core strength? How about doing it later, 4:37 (a little better on the left side, 5:00 - I guess impressing the lady works -;))

Edging? What edging...

I have never done that in 20 years
of paddling a kayak, but then again I probably do everything wrong.

I say if you are happy with the way you paddle. don’t have any pains afterwards, and get where you want to go without any mishaps, then that is all you need to know.

jack L

Got to agree with jackl on this one. I don’t think there is only one way to paddle. Like all sports, physiology and body structure mean everything.

Look at golfers, baseball players, tennis players, etc. Everyone has a different way of attack. After some very basic fundamentals are covered, me thinks all is good.

Also agree
Even among highly trained paddlers there are individual traits. There’s just something kinda sad to me about nit-picking some guy who’s doing a decent job of introducing people to the sport. I watched the vid without trying to find fault and it seemed pretty cool for what it was. One could hyper-analyze every paddling video and find faults.


– Last Updated: Sep-27-11 10:51 AM EST –

What is shown in the video certainly works and will be all most recreational paddlers will ever want to do. So, it is probably more useful to more people than some of the best paddling instructional videos will ever be. There must be a reason, however, that coaches do it differently -;)

My take is that one should at least get the basics right before demonstrating "proper" technique in an instructional video.

It is not unlike videotaping yourself skiing in a pizza position with straight knees and no weight transfer and touting that as the way to do downhill ski...

As for “nit-picking” - far from it
I do this “analysis” not to put down anyone in particular, but to see if I can identify things that I want to myself improve in my own paddling. That’s why I clicked on the video in the first place. What I saw is a low-quality instruction that would teach poor habits.

Actually I don’t think so
He makes several mistakes that will make paddling harder for anyone if they paddle for any extended period. The most important is that he takes the paddle too far back at the end of the forward stroke. That means he is lifting water on every stroke and wasting energy. That can be fixed easily by simply keeping his lower arm straight until the paddle exits (his lower arm bends on every stroke). Another mistake, but less serious, is he pushes his top arm down toward the front deck. That worsens the tendency to lift water and impedes torso rotation. The top hand should go across the front deck at about chin height. That will make torso rotation easier. I also agree with others that he arm paddles.

I agree
I agree - arms are bending too much (sign of arm paddling) and he is pulling out too far past his hips.

Now, that said, if someone paddled that way, fine for them. We don’t always need to be using the most efficient stroke. Many people do just fine without getting this “perfect” stroke down (probably most people, actually). Paul Caffin paddled around Australia, but in the videos I have seen, he is an arm paddler. The world won’t end if you use your arms.

Guess the nit I have is that this is an instructional video, so that puts it in a different level. When I took the ACA Instructor Development Workshop a bunch of years ago, a lot of time was spent on modeling strokes. Basically, being able to demonstrate the perfect stroke, actually overemphasizing the main issues (torso rotation, edging on sweeps and draws, etc.).