Some thoughts on he most important component of the technique… the catch

Each stroke is divided into four distinct parts:
Catch, Power, Exit and Recovery

Which of these is the most important?

When we take a stroke two things move.

The canoe goes forward (yay) and water goes backward (boo).

If water was really thick like mud or concrete nearly all the energy you put in a stroke would be wwwoted to moving the canoe forward. It would be very difficult to let the paddle slip back thru mud.

If water is really thin like air nearly all the energy you put in a stroke would be wwwoted to moving air backward. You would have to paddle really really fast to move forward at all!

The consistency of water lies somewhere in between. Not thick like mud and not thin like air. Kind of mushy really.

If you can wwwote 90% of your energy to the canoe going forward you’re going to go a lot faster than if you can only wwwote 60%… and you’ll be just as knackered!

So how can you maximise the amount of your effort that is wwwoted to making the canoe go forward… and minimise the amount that is wasted on moving water back?

The answer lies in delivering the best catch you can every stroke.

Top Catch Checklist
– Clean Catch… no splash, no noise
– Solid Catch… the blade feels like you’ve gripped the water
– Full Blade… the blade is fully buried before you apply the power

Go to Geoff’s Blog to check out the John Puakea/Danny Ching clinic as they talk about the Catch. John is the coach of Team Bradley, one of the most successful OC women’s teams in the world. Danny Ching is one of the top OC paddlers in the world.