Equipment Set-up among Olympic Sprint and Slalom Kayak Paddlers

K. Ong, Tim Ackland, P.A. Hume, B. Ridge, E. Broad, D.A. Kerr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The anthropometry and equipment set‐up for sprint (31 male; 11 female) and slalom (12 male; 12 female) kayak paddlers who competed at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney were measured in the 15 day period before competition. This paper provides normative data for equipment set‐up in these sports, as well as information about differences in rigging and paddle dimensions between sprint and slalom kayak paddlers. These differences were consistent for both male and female athletes, with sprint paddlers seated higher and using longer paddles with longer, though narrower, blades (p <0.0001). Among male sprint paddlers, only minor differences in equipment set‐up were found between competitors ranked in the top 10 places compared to the rest of the field. Considering all male paddlers initially, then sprint paddlers alone, significant (p <0.01) regression equations were developed for the prediction of foot bar distance (r2 = 0.482 and 0.589 respectively) and hand grip distance (r2 = 0.400 and 0.541 respectively). The process of fine tuning equipment set‐up often requires hours of practice with subjective feedback from the athlete. The normative data presented in this paper should assist coaches with this process as their athletes evolve toward their individual optimum set‐up.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-58
JournalSports Biomechanics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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