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april zilg paddling her 404 jump using a hippo stick triple g paddle

Quicktip: How to Develop Power in Your Paddle Stroke

For this weeks weekly wisdom I wanted to keep it short and to the point; here are my 9 tips for proper power generation from all phases of the paddle stroke; the reach, the catch, and the pull.

1.) Bury the blade fully! (to the top of the blade, where it meets the shaft.)

2.) When sprinting, it’s ok to alter the deep catch and it’s actually appropriate to do more arm pulling for a short while to get up to speed. Ideally we are shooting for a blend of high strokes per minute and sufficiently deep blade “catch”.

3.) Driving down your top arm without external elbow flair engages the bigger muscles. If you get the moment correct, you close the armpit down for more engagement and force. I like to feel myself pushing down on the paddle with all my weight. The timing of this force coupling will vary for the desired outcome. Check your top hand wrist alignment!

4.) To create more power, experiment with the very subtle rotation at the feet. Link it through the whole kinetic chain; watch any professional golfer or martial artist.

5.) Don't be so catch focused that you blow the intitation and the pull. Signs of this include;

a.) Inability to have and maintain a faster cadence - SPM (strokes per minute)

b.) Very challenging for you to control your board. Especially in rougher waters.

c.) Inhibited and stiff body position = loss of athletic stance.

6.) Once the paddle blade is buried, pull yourself and your board firmly PAST THE PLANTED PADDLE with a closed grip.

7.) Shorten the time under tension in each stroke for your shoulders, back, arms, and hands for longevity and reproducible power. Think less compressive loads on the soft tissue of your body!

8.) To catch without a pull is for naught!

9.) The blending of the reach, catch, and pull is what creates fluidity, speed, and acceleration.

If you have questions or comments, email me and I will respond asap!

danny ching paddling her 404 jump using a hippo stick triple g paddle
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