Kayaking Technique Forum

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On the subject of standards: Stroke Guidelines

I have been following the thread on accreditation with great interest, lurking away, but brought up some interesting questions about standardization. For one thing, I have been taught under CRCA to never go into extended paddle position, to always stay ready for any stroke. I used to do some extended paddle sculling, but find good technique without it to be sufficient. And this brought up other questions, for example, the use of extended paddle position for turning against a hard wind. I find leaning the boat more effective, and have now switched over from this old "emergency technique". And this brought up questions of basics, such as the forward stroke.

After taking my CRCA flatwater instructor's last season, I was advised to sit well forward in the kayak, and use an exaggerated torso rotation with extended arms. This went against my old school kayak touring stroke, which emphasized mild torso rotation, extension of the arm, rather than pulling, but was less of a box stroke than the current Canadian standards. John Dowd comments that although very formal, extreme torso rotation is very fast in racing, over the long hours one wants to expend much less energy. Sitting upright was the old way, now we are advised to lean forward at a 35 degree angle, but in practise, it often exceeds this, kind of a combat forward crouch. The rest of the forward stroke basics are typical, forward pressure on the footpegs, capture phase at the foot, release at the hip.

Just wondering what the guidelines for forward stroke are in the BCU and American systems these days?