When we talk about having a good paddling posture in kayaking we are generally referring to the position in which you are sitting in your boat. Your posture will have a massive effect on your performance in your kayak so its important to get it right.
It doesn’t matter what type of kayak you are paddling; whether you are sat in a sit on top race kayak (with your legs straight in front of you or just slightly bent), a touring kayak (with your legs slightly bent and knees out to the side) or even a C1 or canoe (were you may be kneeling up), the good paddling posture will always be the same.
Ideally you want to be sat up nice and tall in a straight yet relaxed position.
How to find a good Paddling Posture
1. Sit either in your kayak or on the floor.
2. Place your legs out in front of you or into the position that they sit in your boat.
3. Imagine some one has taken hold of a string attached to the top of your head and pulled it straight up to the sky.
4. When they let go your sat up really straight and tall.
5. Now relax slightly let your body sink just slightly (maybe an cm at most).
There, now your in a great neutral paddling posture. You don’t want to be sat up so straight that your tense. You want to be sat in a nice comfortable vertical position.
The effect of Flexibility and Strength on your paddling posture
Sometimes when you are first starting kayaking you mind find this seating position uncomfortable as it may be outside of your natural flexibility range. You can use the exercise in the fitness session to hep develop your flexibility and core strength. This will help you quickly improve your paddling posture and all round strength and making sitting in a good paddling position easier and more natural.
The effect of your connection in your boat on paddling posture
To maintain this good paddling posture it helps to have a good connection with the boat. Every connection point we have with the boat has an effect on how we perform.
Have a think about every connection point you have in your kayak. The points at which your body meets the boat. You should have connections at back band, your seat, your hip pads and your footrests. Use the how to outfit the boat guide to help you ensure you are getting the correct support and contact with the boat.
Remember ideally when your paddling you want to be sat in a nice comfortable vertical position. Sat up tall with a good paddling posture.
If you find this difficult start stretching and work on developing your flexibility and strength.