On 1 March 2020, 15 intrepid Hamptoneers attended a forward paddle clinic run by Guy Holmes and Ade Butt on the Kennet and Avon Canal at Great Bedwyn. The focus of the day was on efficient forward paddling, moving our kayaks along with less effort or going faster for the same effort! The aim was to travel further for each stroke using good technique rather than more muscle power. The example we were given is that if you increased your distance per stroke from 2m to 2.4 m you would get from Devizes to Westminster 4 hours quicker!
We learnt the four stages of a stroke; the setup, catch, drive phase and recovery and practiced each indoors on a slider and ergo machine and then on the canal under the watchful eyes of Guy and Ade.
On the canal we learnt some drills to emphasise different aspects of paddling including reach, rotation and correct set up.
Everyone, including more experienced paddlers, went away having learnt something new. We’re all looking forward to practicing the drills when lockdown ends.