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This year I decided to make it a goal to paddle a longboat regularly for overall training and race as many events as possible. This is new to me because I’ve never really been a big fan of racing or longboats as opposed to more freestyle, creeking and just paddling for fun. I was intrigued by attaining because I’d never really done it much but knew it was a good all around training method and exercise. Especially when water is low for surf and seams. Encouragement and persuasion from friends definitely played a role which I am greatful for, they were right.

The outcome has been very impactful. Attaining and practicing a race pace has made me focus on improving my overall paddling form, endurance and mental strength. Attaining forces you to use the most efficient and powerful strokes consistently in order to successfully make the more difficult and long upstream moves. Likewise on the easier, in-between moves you still have to power upstream and use good form and efficiency to catch your breathe and ready yourself for the next move. With the right technique and power you can climb up current with your paddle which is suprisingly fun and satisfying especially if you make it a work-out also.

Practicing a consistent most powerful and efficient stoke needed for attaining has helped me with pacing and focus-channeling in downriver races and just paddling in general. I focus more on breathes in between strokes and making sure each stroke is as strong as possible. Bottom line, fast is fun and if you ever douted it, trying new aspects in kayaking is always a good idea and beneficial to progression.