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Nigel Foster Nigel Foster is one of those rare people who not only is an outstanding performer, but is also an excellent teacher. In this series he not only clearly explains the basics, but he also reveals many of the nuances that distinguish a really good sea kayaker. But one message is clear; there is no need for dogma.

Nigel explains; “The only truly wrong way to paddle is one that will cause you harm. One size does not fit all! There’s a sliding scale of effectiveness for every individual, and that takes into consideration everything from personal physique, flexibility and physical fitness to paddle length and blade shape and kayak design. We adapt our most effective paddling style to suit the wind and water conditions we find ourselves in. I think we can truly say that everybody’s most effective stroke will be slightly different.”

“I like to fine-tune every paddling movement to maximize effectiveness. To do that I have to focus on the application of my stroke, the impact on the water, the amount of energy I need to apply to achieve the required result. I experiment to maximize the movement of the kayak while minimizing the disturbance to the water, and minimizing the effort I make.

“As we are all truly different shapes and sizes, and we have a huge variety of equipment to choose from, we have to learn to process the information and fine-tune from inside, rather than to all try to fit into the same mold. In this series I’ve tried to offer options rather than definitive solutions. I offer a range of alternative blade positions rather than a single model, and a variety of equipment options. I’ve tried to explain the effect of each component of a stroke and suggest ways you can blend strokes rather than always completing full strokes. I explain why some strokes work better in certain conditions than in others. What I cover is a good grounding from which to focus on your own performance. When you understand the principles you’ll be able to continue to make significant improvements to your performance from the inside.

“This series begins with an overall view of the sport and with basic techniques and progresses through more advanced techniques in a series of easy to follow steps. I recommend you combine your use of the series with some good on-water instruction and that you review each volume to pick up on the nuances.

I wish you happy and safe paddling!”

Nigel Foster

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