How Can You Use your Feet to Improve Your Paddling Technique?

Every time I watch a video like this, I try to imagine the stroke placement and body mechanics as if I was in the boat.  One of the most misunderstood concepts in paddling is the role that our feet play when we paddle; mostly because they're inside the boat, under the skirt, and we can't see how others use their feet. In the Intro to Kayak and Whitewater Weekend class, we talk quite a bit about using our hips, knees and feet to drive the boat.  Here are a few examples where driving with your feet will really help gain power and control.

Europe 2011 from Isaac Levinson on Vimeo.

 

At 0:24, notice how vertical the paddle is; it's almost oblique. Also notice the placement of the stroke; it's right on the lip of the drop.  Now imagine pressing forward with the right leg, while unwinding the torso with a right-hand stroke, to drive the bow of the boat well past the lip of the drop. That is how Isaac makes this look so easy!

You'll see a similar stroke at 0:35 where he punches thru a hole. A power stroke on the left side, while really pressing with the left leg gives him the power to punch thru the hole.

This video is full of similar moments where driving with the legs gives power, speed and stability to a good forward stroke. I counted about 7 in the first minute alone.  Can you see them?

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Upcoming Kayak Instruction Classes

Title Date City Name
(Level 1) Introduction to Whitewater and Recreational Kayaking Saturday, June 2, 2018 - 8:45am - 1:00pm Bernalillo Sandia Lakes Recreation Area
(Level 1) Introduction to Whitewater and Recreational Kayaking Sunday, June 10, 2018 - 8:45am - 1:00pm Bernalillo Sandia Lakes Recreation Area
(Level 1) Introduction to Whitewater and Recreational Kayaking Sunday, July 15, 2018 - 8:45am - 1:00pm Bernalillo Sandia Lakes Recreation Area
(Level 1) Introduction to Whitewater and Recreational Kayaking Saturday, July 21, 2018 - 8:45am - 1:00pm Bernalillo Sandia Lakes Recreation Area
(Level 1) Introduction to Whitewater and Recreational Kayaking Saturday, August 4, 2018 - 8:45am - 1:00pm Bernalillo Sandia Lakes Recreation Area
(Level 1) Introduction to Whitewater and Recreational Kayaking Sunday, August 12, 2018 - 8:45am - 1:00pm Bernalillo Sandia Lakes Recreation Area
(Level 1) Introduction to Whitewater and Recreational Kayaking Saturday, September 1, 2018 - 8:45am - 1:00pm Bernalillo Sandia Lakes Recreation Area
(Level 1) Introduction to Whitewater and Recreational Kayaking Sunday, September 9, 2018 - 8:45am - 1:00pm Bernalillo Sandia Lakes Recreation Area
Title Date City Name
(Level 2) Essentials of River Kayaking Saturday, June 2, 2018 - 3:00pm - 7:00pm Bernalillo Coronado Campground
(Level 2) Essentials of River Kayaking Sunday, June 10, 2018 - 3:00pm - 7:00pm Bernalillo Coronado Campground
(Level 2) Essentials of River Kayaking Sunday, July 15, 2018 - 3:00pm - 7:00pm Bernalillo Coronado Campground
(Level 2) Essentials of River Kayaking Saturday, July 21, 2018 - 3:00pm - 7:00pm Bernalillo Coronado Campground
(Level 2) Essentials of River Kayaking Saturday, August 4, 2018 - 3:00pm - 7:00pm Bernalillo Coronado Campground
(Level 2) Essentials of River Kayaking Sunday, August 12, 2018 - 3:00pm - 7:00pm Bernalillo Coronado Campground
(Level 2) Essentials of River Kayaking Saturday, September 1, 2018 - 3:00pm - 7:00pm Bernalillo Coronado Campground
(Level 2) Essentials of River Kayaking Sunday, September 9, 2018 - 3:00pm - 7:00pm Bernalillo Coronado Campground
Title Date City Name
(Level 3) Whitewater Kayaking Made Easy Saturday, June 23, 2018 - 9:00am - Sunday, June 24, 2018 - 5:00pm Pilar Pilar Yacht Club
(Level 3) Whitewater Kayaking Made Easy Saturday, July 28, 2018 - 9:00am - Sunday, July 29, 2018 - 5:00pm Pilar Pilar Yacht Club
(Level 3) Whitewater Kayaking Made Easy Saturday, August 25, 2018 - 9:00am - Sunday, August 26, 2018 - 5:00pm Pilar Pilar Yacht Club
(Level 3) Whitewater Kayaking Made Easy Saturday, September 22, 2018 - 9:00am - Sunday, September 23, 2018 - 5:00pm Pilar Pilar Yacht Club
Currently there are no Advanced Whitewater clinics scheduled. Please see our Calendar of Events for upcoming Intro, Roll, Whitewater and Touring clinics, or Contact Us for a private lesson.
Title Date City Name
"Open House" Kayak & SUP Fun, Games and Practice Wednesday, May 30, 2018 - 5:30pm - 7:30pm Bernalillo Sandia Lakes Recreation Area
"Open House" Kayak & SUP Fun, Games and Practice Wednesday, June 6, 2018 - 5:30pm - 7:30pm Bernalillo Sandia Lakes Recreation Area
"Open House" Kayak & SUP Fun, Games and Practice Wednesday, June 13, 2018 - 5:30pm - 7:30pm Bernalillo Sandia Lakes Recreation Area
"Open House" Kayak & SUP Fun, Games and Practice Wednesday, June 20, 2018 - 5:30pm - 7:30pm Bernalillo Sandia Lakes Recreation Area
"Open House" Kayak & SUP Fun, Games and Practice Wednesday, June 27, 2018 - 5:30pm - 7:30pm Bernalillo Sandia Lakes Recreation Area
"Open House" Kayak & SUP Fun, Games and Practice Wednesday, July 11, 2018 - 5:30pm - 7:30pm Bernalillo Sandia Lakes Recreation Area
"Open House" Kayak & SUP Fun, Games and Practice Wednesday, July 18, 2018 - 5:30pm - 7:30pm Bernalillo Sandia Lakes Recreation Area
"Open House" Kayak & SUP Fun, Games and Practice Wednesday, July 25, 2018 - 5:30pm - 7:30pm Bernalillo Sandia Lakes Recreation Area
"Open House" Kayak & SUP Fun, Games and Practice Wednesday, August 1, 2018 - 5:30pm - 7:30pm Bernalillo Sandia Lakes Recreation Area
"Open House" Kayak & SUP Fun, Games and Practice Wednesday, August 8, 2018 - 5:30pm - 7:30pm Bernalillo Sandia Lakes Recreation Area