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Learn to hold a BASIC POSITION by doing exercises in the video!

What is it?

One of the critical elements in kayaking is your body position and posture. Your spine is the key that allows you to transmit force from your upper body to your lower body and vice versa. You are aiming for what is often termed a ‘Neutral Position’, not bending or leaning forwards, also called flexion, or arching your spine backwards, also called extension. A neutral spine, pelvis, shoulder and head position gives you the best possible position to transmit force, breathe effectively and avoid injury. Additionally, an essential element of the basic position is the Safety Box. It is a rectangle created between your arms, paddle and shoulders. Whenever you move around in your kayak, you want to make sure that you are moving with your torso. Moving Inside this box allows you to keep your shoulders safe and provides you with the maximum balance at the time by keeping your body weight above your boat.

Step by Step

  1. Start by taking your hands and pushing off the side of your boat by your hips, lifting your bum off the seat. This allows you to push your bum back into the back of the seat, pulling your tail bone from under you.
  2. Now brace your abdominals slightly – perhaps 20%, just enough to feel them but no too much that you can’t breathe normally – and pull your head towards the sky. Imagine there is a piece of string attached to the top of your head like a puppet, and someone is trying to lift you up the string, elongating your torso.
  3. Now roll your shoulders back in their sockets and let them come to rest in a comfortable position.
  4. Finally check your head position, you should now be looking up with your head sat comfortably in line with your shoulders.
  5. Smile! With paddle in front of you – this is called safety box frame.
  6. Try moving around whilst maintaining the ‘safety box’ and this slightly braced neutral posture. You should find you can rotate and hinge forwards and backwards whilst still maintaining you posture. Whilst you will often deviate from this position, this should be your reference position that you strive to come back to.

Get your own copy of Freestyle Unlocked

Freestyle Unlocked is first book of the series. For this and more content buy your own copy of the book where you will find:

  • Self-guided training tools that will teach you how to plan your sessions
  • Insights on foundation skills
  • Break down for preparation, initiation, execution and landing photos crossed with 3b concept of blade, body and the boat
  • Most common mistakes and their solutions
  • Top tips to take your trick to the next level!

You can buy the book at:

If you seek more how to videos see