Dave Kalama Paddle Drill

Some of you folks may not know Dave, he’s a pretty amazing character. Set out once to paddle the length of the Hawaiian Islands in an OC-1 (Outrigger ocean canoe) without resting (didn’t make it–he slept on his chase boat for a few hours and then finished), Paddled all the Hawaiian channels on a stand up paddle board and then rode a bike across each island with Laird Hamilton. Co invented tow in surfing in big waves.

Anyway, cool guy, and one hell of a paddler. He’s been helping me with my OC-1 paddling which I truly suck at and the first thing he showed me was this very simple drill, the end result of which was a quantum leap in my paddling ability. I offered to shoot a video about it if he wrote it up in his blog. He did so I did. I suspect it will work as well with Kayaks as it does with OC and SUP, so I’m looking for some feedback.

If you give it a shot, please let me know what you think. http://www.davidkalama.com/2011/03/15/kalamas-5050/



Thanks for the video
He makes good points about extension.

The best advice -

If optimizing K1 stroke, take advice from K1 coaches/paddlers

If optimizing C1 kneeling stroke, take advice from C1 coaches/paddlers.

K1 stroke differs quite a bit from C1 stroke.

YouTube is a good source for clips, here is one example of C1 sprint http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ag9Y_6WXKNY

And, here is a drill for K1 stroke http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTG-5-6M5I

Interesting …
Being new to single blade (in kayak or SUP) I got to try the “shoulder stacking” part of the advice. May need to kenghten my paddle though… I wonder how that high shoulder and elbow translates to long distance paddling at less than racing speeds…

shoulder stacking
I think shoulder stacking is as appropriate for double blade as for single. You want your torso wound up for the catch with the onside shoulder turned forward, and the offside shoulder turned back so that the shoulders are nearly in-line with the length of the boat. That way you’re ready to plant, and unwind for the power phase.

I like the idea of marking the boat as far as you can reach, and then going for that point on every stroke. I may do just that. It’s easy to get lazy without some reminder.

Or not?
Marking as far as you can reach might lead you to over-extend, bend forward at the hips rather than rotating, create a bobbing motion in the hull, and actually slow you down.

I understand the thing to mark is how far you ought to reach for proper extension, and to then make quick, short strokes.

Of course, that is for longer distance marathon style paddling. Sprinting I know nothing about.

I’m thinking single blade…

– Last Updated: Mar-16-11 9:52 PM EST –

Don't think I've seen it done for double blade...

I use single blade much like I use a double blade - with rotation but with my elbows and wrists much lower than what that dude is doing or canoe racers (sprint) seem to be doing. Got to watch some more vids on this or take a forward stroke class some day...