A paddler's guide to self-isolation

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A paddler's guide to self-isolation

Do you need inspiration for alternate activities to paddling? Look no further

With many canoeists and kayakers across the world doing their part to stop the spread of the Covid-19 disease, some of us find ourselves with greater free time, but with fewer paddling options. If you’re a paddler you may not be able to, or simply may not want to get out on your local ocean, river or lake at this time. But there are plenty of kayak paddling-related things you can do to keep yourselves occupied and match fit for the return to the water.

Kayak ergometer

This is the most obvious and similar training to paddling on the water. If you can’t get outdoors then paddle indoors. The KayakFirst ergometer range allows you to choose your style of paddling from canoe, SUP, kayak, dragon boat or all of them in one. This will keep a strong base of training and maintain the specificity for your paddling muscles. These ergos are perfect with the best imitation of the water feel that the market has to offer due to the higher axle point and unique rigging system. They also store very well and take up a small area when in use compared to other kayak ergometers.

Virtual opponent KayakFirst

To keep the training interesting, race the virtual partner on the computer, use the KayakFirst App to race friends online or set up a video of the latest sprint or marathon world champs and keep your cadence the same as the leader of the race. You can see the full range of KayakFirst ergos here with delivery typically being 3-4 weeks from purchase.

 

 

Gym and Core

If an ergo is not an option and your local gym has already closed check out some of Wash Rider’s favourite YouTube videos of paddling gym exercises and technique drills. Everyone knows strength and core exercises will make them a better paddler but how many of us actually do anything about it? This playlist is a selection of a huge range of exercises to keep you strong and your core on point for your return to pulling water hard.

For those of you who find accountability to be the problem do what many are already doing and Skype your usual training group in for a workout to start your day. The extra training will have you coming out of quarantine shredded and ready to go fast.


Watch old race highlights

There may not be any national or international races for some time on YouTube, but there’s plenty of videos of past races to keep you entertained and your brain thinking strategy for the next few months.

From complete sprint regattas to documentaries on Hank McGregor there are endless hours of entertainment available. This doesn’t even include your own GoPro footage which you haven’t edited and posted yet. Or perhaps the endless number of slow-motion technique videos to compare yourself to in your mirror with a broomstick are more your style.

The International Canoe Federation Planet Canoe has hours of paddle videos as well as Ian Driscoll's YouTube channel of many vintage races.

Kayak maintenance

For many of us, we don’t do any maintenance to our kayaks. With messy fiberglass work aside, there are plenty of issues that can be fixed now while your kayak may be off the water and before the issue becomes ten times worse.

  • Check your rudder cables for wear or abrasions
  • Upgrade to rudder cable tensioners to give more secure steering

    • Clean the salt and oxidized metal from your rudder setup, footplates, and seats with an old toothbrush
    • Press your hands down the hull feeling for soft spots in the hull to be fixed before they become worse
    • For the marathon kayakers; replace the missing pump parts and take your foot pump apart and clean it properly with hot water to clean the grit out

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  • Kieran Babich
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