By Jim on Saturday, July 14, 2012
As the alarm makes it's 4:20am unwelcome blast I know I have no chance to turn to snooze, as I have a 6am flight to meet with a great bunch of keen paddlers in Perth.
The clinic is the second in Perth with the help of one of Perth's keenest ocean paddlers Adam Fahey, Think Kayak Western Australia. Adam's ideas of having clinics is one that comes from a love of paddling, wanting everyone to enjoy it as much as he does, as well as make sure that everyone who takes up paddling is well equipped with the right craft. Adam sells a variety of boats, for paddlers just starting out ( Think Eze ), to those wanting to race better but still need suitability in the ocean ( Think Evo 2 ) to paddlers who want to try and race top end ( Think Uno Max ) all boats come in either Fibreglass or Kevlar. So with Adams advice and a clinic by Mykayakcoach you always know you are in the right hands.
The day starts out with a quick shower, bags packed the night before, load bag onto motor scooter and away to Sydney airport. Once checked in a quick bite to eat I then keep up with modern living, Facebook and Twitter what I'm doing and where I'm going, also wish my team of paddlers at Jimsquad all the best with their racing today.
The clinic is always a good way for paddlers to meet other like minded paddlers and that is why we have set the groups in two today, new paddlers and paddlers who have paddled before. The main focus of this Mykayakcoach clinic is to teach people who mainly paddle on their own or with out any coaching or help at all the right stroke. A bad stroke is a bad muscle memory, you do it bad for so long you get good at being bad.
The job today was to teach paddlers the right movement, blade entry, body position, amount of rotation need and what it feels like to apply this in the water. It is always one thing to think you are doing the right stroke and often paddlers believe they are until they have help to feel the right stroke, when this happens you can move forward. So for both groups today we worked on that feeling of applying the whole trunk on to the front of the stroke ( the catch ).
So with the time spent on the land talking about the movement, the correct position to sit in the craft and hand position on the blade, it was time to hit the water. The one area I love to see people understand is that of the power on the blade, as this is the one area you feel the most out of your boat run. The whole mission of any Mykayakcoach group clinics or one on one sessions is to help people understand that they can go faster easier, although it never becomes any easier due to the fact that once they have this feeling they then want to go faster again. What was taught today or in any Mykayakcoach session is how to use your bigger muscles when paddling, a lot of new paddlers or paddlers who have been paddling groups with out any sort of coaching, is they use their smaller muscles. The biggest muscles the core,back,lats,traps and whole trunk is what helps you generate more power and spreading the work load over these bigger muscles will help you paddler faster, whilst using the smaller muscles, biceps and fore arms you feel like you are doing well at the start but you tire very quickly and often get sore in the forearm from gripping the paddle to tight.
So picture this, using smaller muscles you have a car with a quarter of fuel in the tank and you want to win a race but the person using the bigger muscles has a car with a full tank of fuel,it's a no brainer who will win. Also by using the bigger muscles the sky is the limit on how good you can become, whilst using a pulling action ( forearm-bicep paddling ) you will only ever paddle as fast as how fit you are. So the aim for the clinic was simple, learn to do the right stroke,have the right craft, right position in the craft and have a great time.
After the two groups were put through there sessions it was time to make a mad dash for the airport. I have only a small window to get on the plane for the trip back to Sydney.
With a total of close to 11hrs flying and 6-7hrs worth of lessons it is fair to say it was a big day, although I would do it all agin to see people who love paddling enjoy improving so much.
I look forward to returning to Perth very soon to pick on where I left off from today.
Again if you are in Western Australia and you need anything for your paddling needs, boat,paddles,PFD's or coaching make sure you contact Adam Fahey.
If you are a group of paddlers anywhere and would like me to come and help you contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org