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As we come into the high performance race season, I thought it would be useful to remember one of the key techniques of WWR - Timing Strokes to waves.
The WWR manual has some useful resources, including video that covers these principles:
The principle of timing your paddle strokes to the waves is as applicable for the frantic pace of sprint as it is the classic.
Timing strokes to the waves involves placing the blade into the wave face, rather than the trough. Preferably just over the high point, but practically anywhere on the high point of the wave works.
When the strokes are timed to the waves there are a number of resulting behaviours:
Forward power – how to assess changes in technique.
As coaches we are looking for the technique that gives the best power output.
We can break down forward paddling into its different parts but each paddler has their own style. Paddler and coach cannot always tell if a small change in technique has improved power.
I recently went out to a shoot on a local broken weir with one of our junior paddlers to do some hard moves on easy water and some endurance work trying to paddle up the weir. This works really well because as she begins to slow she starts dropping off the weir. She can steer across the wave using edge while maintaining power. (and I don’t have to keep up with her).