V1 World Sprint Champion in Slo - Mo

Saturday, August 30, 2008 / Posted by Rambo /

Check out the leg drive and power generated by this young man (won the Open and Under 19 World Sprints)

Watch how his entire body weight is placed on the huge paddle and the way he scoots the Va'a forward almost like a C1 kneeling style, incredible glide after the power stroke.

His position on the seat as he slides, moves almost the length of his stroke. Not something you could do for an extended period of time, but awesome just the same.

Thanks to Mindy for the video

Some comments from other experienced paddlers

Leo Young - Very interesting technique and it looks like all the other Tahiti paddlers in the race are also using that technique. They drive with both legs together, which gives them tremendous drive, but this is counteracted, at least in part by loss of boat run due to the fairly violent boat movement up and down. It appears to work for them, but it’s hard to be sure if they’re superior rudderless paddling ability is largely responsible for the good end result.

Rambo - Most of the other paddlers appear to be paddling the V1 like they would an Oc1, but that's understandable, most probably do.

I think this video highlights just how different a Sprinting V1 is, compared to an OC1.

1. Higher seating position
2. Ability to slide on the seat
3. Longer waterline.

All these differences allow for greater use of the legs, body weight and alternate techniques. Not sure i want to go there, too much fun catching bumps in the ocean. But I'm sure there's something that can be
learnt studying it.

Pete Dorries - It's an interesting topic because what you are all talking about basically is technique. Technique in paddling, whether it be ski, kayak, oc1 or oc6 is continually getting refined. With kayaks we have seen the first Olympics (in my opinion) where each of the finalists had the same techniques. The is fine tuning to be done on all of the including the winners. This is what their coaches will do (hopefully) to keep that edge.

Getting back to the V1 race, What a great, explosive technique shown here. Although we look at it and say he is bouncing and sliding and doing all the things we talk about not doing, the paddler is having a great exit, a good recovery and most importantly a great catch. Something I bring into play with my board paddlers is a dolphin like bounce. We see that here in a very buoyant craft. As the paddler goes forward on his recovery we see the boat leave the water and drive forward then down. This movement then propels the boat up and forward again. Not bobbing up and down like a cork but forward like a dolphin.

Once you were told to keep craft slicing thru the water with no bounce. This was true on boards but as we started using thicker(therefore more floatation) boards we found as long as we didn't bob up and down we could drive forward and get the boards floatation to give us explosive forward power. I see similar technique in the C1 as the Board and ski and OC1. Twist and rotation from the hips. The C1 tend to get more movement too off the legs as they go down some through the groin area and return after the catch using all that power from the legs to the hips and stomach with a whipping motion. This is similar to what a board paddler is doing but can't get as much legs into it as they are kneeling on two knees not one.

Also technique and style shouldn't change from ocean to flat. What I teach at my classes we then adapt it to the ocean. Its all about holding technique under duress. IF feel you are faster in the flat it is because of less time in ocean conditions. This is where proper coaching comes into it. The problem in this sport is the person who is likely doing the coaching at your club is the person who has been paddling longer. I've even seen people with one or two years experience giving bad advise to newbies. But the newbies lap it up cos' they don't know any better. This is why it takes proper coaching, over time and especially on OC1's, to develop great technique.

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Anonymous on September 01, 2008

This paddler was clearly bouncing much more than anybody else in the competition, including his Tahitian compatriots.

He seems to paddle with a 'sliding seat'.

I cannot imagine that the downward acceleration is ideal for forward motion, but it's good enough to set a world record.

He gained most during the last third of his races, showing no sign of slowing down; very good conditioning.


Anonymous on March 15, 2009

I know this is an old thread, but I noticed that the Olympic C1s also seem to enjoy the "lunge" acceleration described above. Not only is the paddler (on his knee) lunge forward, the boat also takes this characteristic dip in a wave-like motion. If it wasn't effective, I don't think all the world's Olympic/ICF C1s would use the technique. Is this similar? Seems so to me.

(flatwater geek)

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