More advanced paddlers for surf kayak or those interested in competing often seek out kayak racing events. Many local clubs offer competitive events. Becoming a spectator at venues, such as paddling festivals, is a great introduction to get a feel for what types of surf kayak events are available.
Competitive Rogue River Kayaking Events
Competitive rogue river kayaking events are held on both flat water and white water. Events vary in length, with shorter distances running 200, 500 and 1000 meters. These sprint races take place on flat, calm waters and usually run a straight course. Distance races include marathons (26 miles) and other events that are much longer. These events on lakes and rivers usually involve maneuvering around obstacles and may even be broken into stages. The longest race is the Yukon River Quest, running 461 miles and takes place over several days.
Slalom and downriver racing events are held on white water. Paddlers navigate through and around a series of gates to make their way to the finish as fast as possible. Grades and class designations are assigned dependent upon the danger, difficulty or severity of the river rapids. Freestyle rogue river kayaking is a relatively new kayaking event and involves acrobatics such as air loops and flip turns, all done in white water.
Olympic Paddling Events
Rogue river kayaking events were introduced into the Olympics in 1924. One of the most popular paddling events, the slalom, was added in 1972. Men and women are currently eligible to compete in 16 flat water and white water paddling events using both kayaks and canoes.
Training for Competitive Rogue River Kayaking
Preparing for the sport of rogue river kayaking involves both aerobic activity and upper body conditioning. Elite athletes will train both in and out of the water to build up strength, speed and endurance.
Allowing eight to thirteen weeks to train on the water prior to an event will allow for maximum performance. Of course, the longer the preparation period, the better. Starting with a well-defined surf kayak program and then building on specific areas depending on whether the focus is on speed for a sprint event or endurance for a marathon event will greatly improve a paddler’s power and strength. Investing in a paddling coach is also beneficial. Seeking advice from others involved in kayak racing can greatly improve form, technique and overall performance.
Spending time training out of the water will help to build the strength, speed and endurance needed to meet the demands of maneuvering quickly on the water. Diet and nutrition are just as important as training. Eating meals that are high in protein will maximize lean muscle and minimize fat, ensuring that the body is healthy and working efficiently.
Paddling is a full body workout, especially focused on the back, chest, shoulders and core. Competitive kayakers can burn between 800 and 1400 calories per hour, depending on the intensity of the workout and the weather and water conditions. Whether competing for fun or fitness, kayak racing offers the additional benefit of being outdoors surrounded by nature. Start training today!
Rogue river kayaking can improve fitness and improving fitness can improve surf kayak. Many people are drawn to kayaking to seek out the general fitness benefits it offers – lose weight, build strength and muscle tone, increase health and overall just to look and feel good. The paddling done on a surf kayak is good for the cardiovascular system and a great form of upper body strength training. Rogue river kayaking also requires core strength. Core strength is the foundation of total fitness. Strong muscles in the abdomen give you better posture, slim you waistline and support the body physically during every activity. Increased time and intensity on the water builds up these muscles, but paddlers can also improve their fitness by specifically targeting these areas with exercises done indoors.
Kayak Fitness: The Fusion of Sport and Exercise (DVD)
This DVD, created and taught by Tanya Dillard, is presented in a direct, no-nonsense style. Dillard, owner of Reform Bode Pilates Studio in SC, takes time to explain the proper use of each piece of equipment and the proper technique of each movement. She also addresses precautions to avoid injury and achieve proper alignment.
Regular use of this indoor video workout, with its variety of movements, will increase your fitness level and allow you to paddle with ease. It will also balance muscles to help prevent injury during outdoor workouts on the surf kayak.
While rogue river kayaking involves the use of the entire body, this fitness workout mainly focuses on increasing the strength of the upper body and core. To provide total body muscle balance, elevate the heart rate and provide an added challenge, each upper body segment incorporates lower body work. The program requires the use of a stability ball, a medicine ball, resistance tubing and a door attachment.
The DVD contains pre-programmed segments, broken down by the main muscle groups used in paddling. Program A consists a warm up, exercises focused on chest, shoulders, triceps, and forearms and concludes with stretches. Program B begins with a warm up, then works the back, biceps, core strength and stability, and finishes with stretches. These two workouts are intended to be done on alternating days. They are broken up by large muscle groups and will allow you to train on consecutive days. Program C is a full program of all the exercises which is meant to be done every other day. The DVD is also interactive and allows the user to program 10 exercise segments into a workout.
Kayak Fitness will improve your fitness, make you stronger and keep you motivated.
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