Monday, April 8, 2019

Forward Lean

The number one mistake that I see paddlers make when paddling in dynamic water is learning back.  It is a natural reaction to lean back when you are dropping in on a wave or hitting whitewater.  Leaning forward may seem counter intuitive. 

Leaning forward is an effective way to 
  • maintain stability
  • be ready for the next hit, drop, or stroke
  • prevent injuries

There are times when the force of the water or the verticality of the drop tries to push you back.  Watch top paddlers - they anticipate those forces and lean forward.
Dave Fusilli takes his whitewater skills to the sea.  Here he uses good posture and timing get a sea boof on this pour-over.

Check out this Posture and Trim Video from Christopher Lockyer of Committed to the Core

Lessons Learend - Trim and posture from Christopher Lockyer on Vimeo.

Here are Christopher's Keys to Posture -

• Try and sit up tall when performing forward paddling 
• When in bumpy water try and change your posture to a slight forward lean
• Work on bracing and recovery stokes in your forward posture
• When working on rolling practice your forward finishing roll
• Posture is key to overall body health. Back fatigue can be a result of weakness in your core

Homework - Be mindful of your posture in your everyday paddling.  Have a coach or friend video your paddling.  When paddling in dynamic water - whitewater, surf, rock gardens, tide races - be especially mindful that you are leaning forward and not allowing the water or your fear to put you in the back seat (leaning back).

Perfect practice makes perfect.
Max shows good forward lean on this pour over ride on the Mendocino Coast.

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