Paddling Tips

V1 racing at Nelson Lakes 2019

Paddling Tips

Information for paddlers on gear, technique and other stuff.

Choosing the right paddle

Once you have been paddling for a while it is advisable to buy your own paddle. There is nothing worse than coming to a race and finding your favourite club paddle is already gone!

There are a variety of paddles on the market. Talk to other paddlers in the club and see if they might let you try out their favourite hoe.

On the Resources page there is a list of suppliers. Locally we have Shane at KiteSurf Nelson who stocks Quick Blades, Puakea and Tai Paddles. He sometimes has a paddle he can lend out for you to try.

Choosing the right length of paddle

This video from Kialoa paddles describes how to measure the right length of paddle.

What is a Huli?

A huli (capsize) is when the waka capsizes.

We have regular capsize drills so our members know what it feels like and what to do. The most important thing is listen to the steerer.


It is really important to use good technique. Techinque will differ from crew to crew or club to club. If you are in a crew it is important that you are all getting your paddles out together and in together and doing the same thing. Different types of races require different techniques.

Check out the videos below on paddling technique.

Parts of the Stroke

  • Setup
  • Catch/Entry
  • Power
  • Exit
  • Return

Johnny Puakea teaching the Tahitian Paddling Style

Corina Gage Talks about Waka Ama Sprint Racing

Check out these OC6 paddling technique articles. At the bottom of each article is a link to the next one.

Tipu King - How to rig a V1