Wednesday June 1st 2016
The catch – how your paddle enters the water and anchors – is one of the most important factors of an efficient stroke. You may have a powerful pull but if your catch is not efficient you will lose a lot of potential energy that could be translated into boat speed.
The purpose of a good catch is to anchor your entire blade as quickly as possible, as far forward as possible.
Your catch should enter the water near your feet. This entry point should be as far forward as you can reach while still being able to quickly bury the entire blade. An often-seen problem is a blade being only half buried when the pull begins.
To get a good reach, sit properly in the seat with your pelvis forward. You should have a forward lean from the hips so if your nose was running it would drip onto your knees. Rotate your torso from the hips – away from your paddle side. Lower the shoulder of your lower hand as you reach forward for the catch. As you pull your stroke, this shoulder will gradually come up so that your stroke stays flat (travels in a horizontal line).
There are two main ways to enter your blade in the water:
If your catch is good, your entire blade will be anchored quickly and quietly and will have a solid feel (you should feel no turbulence against your blade as you pull your stroke).