Over the past 8 weeks i have returned to the sport i love, Surf Paddling.I have joined a squad and am reaping the rewards of having a structured program and a competitive bunch of like minded and time poor paddlers around, one session a week is dedicated to drills.This goes for Surfboat Rowers as well, and further on Olympic Rower Ben Dodwell explains why and what they did and a drill your crew can work on. In this specific session we don’t cover the usual 10 -12 plus km in the hour,we are lucky if we strike up 5 km.Our coach believes this is the most important session of the week. Why ? Well its pretty easy really, imagine you get the time to not worry how your performing against others in your squad,imagine being able take the the important phases of the paddle stroke, and get them right individually. At times you feel like your a one legged duck during some of the drills, but over time you start to think about these steps and implement them into your stroke. for me personally it has hit home in this being the 8th week, not only did i do my best ever average speed for a session, I felt myself getting leg drive instinctively.This is with no doubt credited to the Thursday drill Session implemented by MyKayakcoach in our Jimsquad sessions.

Matt Goble and Luke Morrison of Moana, Open Double Ski Champion's

In a recent conversation with Olympic medalist Rower Ben Dodwell, He backed up Jimmy Walker by saying in there run into the Sydney Games they did 2 drill sessions a week, he said in a team boat situation like a Surfboat , it is even more important, and he likens surfboat rowing to the four he rowed to a silver medal in the Sydney Olympics. Ben went on to describe a drill that he would  add to everyone’s weekly training sessions. It allowed his crew to have confidence in each other and knowing all there efforts and energy was sending the boat in a straight line. He adapted this drill from his days and it goes like this. Ben has also rowed surf, and understands variable come into play, but the logic remains the same. Naturally all drills are done in the flat water. 1.Have your sweep sit on the back deck with his oar out of the water 2.Begin rowing at an easy tempo 3.The boat will head in a direction with either a pull to Port(left) or right (starboard) 4.Try to build on from 30 seconds to 4 minutes ( in the run up to the Olympics they managed 3kms and ran out of a straight stretch of water) from this your sweep will adjust either your bow person or Strokes catch or power to ensure the boat is pulling as straight as possible. Getting this right ensures 100% of the energy you are putting into the oar is being transferred into making the boat go forward. Ben also recommends this is done during different stroke ranges, so if you were to power on to get over a wave or onto a runner, the same confidence is gained.Remember every time your sweep put pressure on the oar or corrects your direction, he is slowing you down! for more on ski paddling drills, check out this video on the mykayakcoach , you believe you will find them very helpful. I hope to hear from you guys doing drills, and reaping the rewards with improved results like me. yours on the water. Gavin