Improving your kayaking from home

Boat maintenance

Keeping your boat(s) in mint condition will certainly serve you well in the long run. I like to tighten up all my bolts and screws. On Pyranhas, most of them can be done with a simple hex key. Another thing to do is to spray some WD40 or other water disperser/lubricant on your ratchet straps if you have them. This prevents them corroding and makes them run satisfyingly smoothly.

It is also a good idea to adjust and tune your outfitting to suit you. Even the subtlest raise in seat height or adjustment of the foam in your hip pads can make all the difference in your contact with the boat and the water.

This is a great outfitting tutorial by Bren Orton, and can be applied to most kayak brands:

How to outfit your kayak

You can buy outfitting foam and replacement parts from your kayak company:




Exo rope system:

Strength and Fitness

Strength and endurance are key factors in your paddling ability. Strength and power are important for manoeuvring your boat, paddling fast and hitting moves. However, endurance and cardiovascular fitness are also vital for being able to maintain control and concentration throughout the duration of a rapid.

Arguably the best workout for kayaking is actually going kayaking, but if you are stuck at home here are some great exercises to try:


Russian twists: Sit down with your feet in the air and your back suspended off the ground and move your hands (you can use a weight) from side to side touching the ground. Do as many reps as possible. This is great as it simulates the side to side motion of paddling.

Other core exercises such as sit-ups, dish, and plank are great too.

Arms and shoulders:

Press-ups, shoulder press and bicep curls are great for arm and shoulder strength.

Video Review

A great way to improve your kayaking is watching older videos of yourself paddling and analysing what you did wrong, did right, or could have done better on. You can keep this in the back of your mind and put it into practice later on. Being critical of yourself and looking for holes in your technique will really help you.


Why I love the Palm Shuck

I have recently bought myself a new, red Palm Shuck helmet. Before that I had been using an old Ruk Rapid helmet, which did the job but wasn’t comfy at all and required a lot of padding to make it fit. The adjuster on it had also broken a bit. I was holding off getting a new helmet, but when I did get the new Shuck it was completely worth it. The Shuck is an excellent mid-range helmet from Palm. It fits me like a glove and features a very robust adjuster at the back of the head with lots of range to ensure a great fit. It also has a very strong and sturdy shell, with no vents, making it warm and great for stickers and GoPro mounts. My favourite feature of all however is the removable Polygiene liner. This basically acts as a skull cap and makes the helmet super comfortable. It also means you can insert pads between the liner and the helmet itself to increase the quality of fit without making it uncomfortable and creating pressure points. The helmet comes in two versions, half cut and full cut, as well as with a few colour options. The full cut has ear protectors and the half cut doesn’t. I have gone for the half cut as it looks better and is more comfortable, and allows you to hear better, but if you are looking for that extra bit of protection then the full cut is the one.