Q: What would you suggest to someone who wants to unlearn unwinding before the catch and start to get good muscle memory for catch before unwinding.
Because the kayak is already moving I find myself unwinding – irresistibly! ;-( before catch. Apart from visualizing spearing a salmon, do you have other advice, tips, tricks, dry/ wet exercises etc to catch before unwinding?
A: When I do video analysis of students a common error is unwinding before the catch, or in other words, starting to apply power before the paddle is completely buried. This is a common power leak.
If you are “pulling” before the paddle is planted, not only is your stroke shortened (giving you less time to generate power), but the catch is often poor too (drawing air into the water — ventilation, and creating turbulence and making noise — “plop!”).
How short is a “model” stroke? For a wing you should be starting your exit when the blade reaches your knees and the blade should exit when your hand reaches your hip. Since the stroke is so short, you can’t afford to waste any of it. A Greenland paddle also exits when your hand is at your hip, but the blades are long, and will exit behind you.