The Meta-technique in kayaking: part 1 – Introduction

We are glad your response to the Basic paddling technique article last week was very positive, dear readers. We know there are a lot of experienced coaches and athletes among you, so we will continue to dig deeper and continue our exploration of the perfect stroke.

The basic technique is what the beginner and the advanced paddler need in order to paddle well. What you need to master if you want to paddle very fast though, is the Meta-technique. We use ‘meta’ in this context as something that is beyond the usual stroke kinematics and the four stroke phases explanation. For us, Meta-technique defines what are the physical phenomena without which it is not possible to paddle fast. As you will see in today’s article:

  • the best paddlers do use very different styles but never work against any of these phenomena.
  • the champions find a way to exploit one or more of this phenomena to gain a competitive advantage.
  • the results of average, advanced or even top paddlers are often limited at a certain point due to the paddler’s inability to solve a Meta-technique problem in their technique.

We divided all these physical phenomena into three groups:

  • The most important ones: Managing your boat (the movements of the boat that make it surge forward in a smooth and efficient way)
  • The second most important group: Managing your paddle (your interaction with water and how you use your blade to propel yourself efficiently).
  • The third group: Managing the forces (or the transmission of the forces through the body from blade to the footrest)

Read our introduction to the Meta-technique for sprint kayaking in today’s article! In the next few articles we will explain the mentioned physical phenomena one by one so you can really understand and start working on them.

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