The answer to (almost) everything?

Response to my last blog on looking for future water was very positive – thank you for all the feedback. Discussing the future water concept with the participants on my latest Level 1 Coach course highlighted however that I’d written several hundred words on the subject without actually mentioning two of the most important words at all! Those two being something of a mantra with me and many other coaches: trunk rotation!

As Jane, one of the course participants commented “trunk rotation seems to be the answer to everything”. I couldn’t agree more. Clearly trunk rotation is key to turning our boats to a new direction on white water, but it is important on flat water too and not just for turning. Good trunk rotation is the first stage of efficient forward paddling, enabling us to generate the power to drive the boat forward through our torso and lower body. Trunk rotation also enables us to apply effective rudder strokes, draws and prys. The more I thought about Jane’s comment the more I wondered if there is any skill we apply in canoeing or kayaking that doesn’t use trunk rotation?

Performing a roll in a closed cockpit boat certainly involves trunk rotation. What about support strokes? I for one find a little trunk rotation helps bring the opposite shoulder forward so the supporting blade can be placed a little further from the boat. What do you think? Are there any canoe or kayak skills that don’t benefit from the application of these two magic words?

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