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Skating and Kayaking

If you can visualize skating or kayaking movements, you just might swim better! When swimming coaches talk about skating, they mean surging forward by pushing off on one side and gliding on the other. You push off of your anchored hand and forearm on one side, just as you drive your recovering arm into the water on the other side. When kayaking, you plant one blade in the water, and then simultaneously pull on the lower end of the while pushing on the upper end of the shaft. Your hand and forearm form the blade of the paddle, which must be anchored in the front quadrant. The shaft runs from elbow to elbow - so your stroking arm pulls on the shaft while the recovering arm pushes on the shaft. It's important to remember that this all happens in the front quadrant.

Technique Focus Points

  • Push off in the front quadrant.
  • Push on the shaft in the front quadrant.
  • Snap your hips (remember to keep the rest of your body involved!)

What to Watch For

  • Missed exchanges. If your hands are not passing out front, you have pulled too early, or recovered too slowly.
  • Stalling. Don't think about all of the connections or try to figure out how that kayak shaft works in mid-stroke - just have the image of smooth paddling or skating or skiing.

Skating and Kayaking Focus Workouts

More Information

Video Clips. None of the clips embedded on the pages below deal specifically with skating or kayaking, but look at the better swimmers carefully as they swim freestyle and perform the drills. Do you see any skating or kayaking?

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