When selecting a K1 slalom boat, it is crucial to consider the relationship between the boat size and the paddler's weight. This is the starting point for mastering the boat and achieving a heightened sense of control, treating it as a seamless extension of the body.
The kayak should be properly sized for the athlete, facilitating easy maneuvering and allowing them to interpret water movements with sensitivity, thereby enhancing their sensory perception and motor skills.
Kayak sizes change among manufacturers. Some use sizing conventions, such as XXS, XS, S, M, L, and XL, while others base sizing on the athlete's weight in kilograms, like 55 kg, 65 kg, 70 kg, 75 kg, 80 kg, etc.
For smaller sizes, below 60 kg and shorter stature, finding the right measurements can be more challenging. Size considerations in kayaking go beyond just buoyancy; they involve the skill to manipulate the kayak's rear. Achieving mastery in this sport requires precise control over when to submerge or keep the rear afloat. This skill set enables the kayaker to allocate optimal resources for executing a range of technical moves, from soft rotations to aggressive moves. The mastery also depends on the ability to use both the hull and deck in a controlled manner throughout these technical maneuvers.
Notably, the selection process differs for female and male athletes of the same weight. Despite equal weight and body size, male athletes generally show more power, influencing the way they maneuver the boat. Consequently, female athletes may select a slightly smaller volume boat, especially behind the hole-deck. This allows for ease of movement both inside and above the water, avoiding an energy waste and enhancing successful performance.
Choosing the right K1 boat is essential at the highest level, to ensure navigation at one's best.
It is recommended for all athletes to meticulously choose the right size and model, to maximize the good sensations, find the right speed, and gain confidence for the races.
INSIDE THE BOAT…
Preparing correctly the interior of the boat is crucial for an effective transference of the body movements and paddle actions into navigating through current and circuits assigned. When preparing the boat inside, it's essential to focus on three main points of support:
The heels in the footrest:
Ensuring that your heels are securely positioned in the footrest provides a stable foundation and is a powerful strength transference point. This connection enhances control and allows efficient transmission and power from your lower body to the kayak. Is one of the most important factors according to the stability and transmission.
The knees in the lateral knee rest:
Proper placement of the knees in the lateral knee rest not only enhances stability and balance but also affects to how we transfer the power to the boat. Wider knee placement increases stability but decreases the ability to transfer power to the footrest. This colocation inside the boat would depend on the athlete’s style and how comfortable they feel inside the boat. This pivotal contact point secures your body in the kayak, ensuring precise navigation.
The seat is a central point of support and comfort. A well-adjusted seat ensures proper alignment and posture, facilitating a more ergonomic paddling position. Encouraging as well effectiveness in each stroke. This contributes to better control over the kayak and reduces the risk of discomfort during the sessions. When setting the seat, is necessary to ensure how far forward or backward the seat is placed, as would be crucial for the whole navigation and stability on the kayak.
By paying careful attention to these three key points, paddlers can optimize their connection to the kayak, enhancing maneuverability, and successful performance on the water.
The boat models chosen by the World raking top 5 are the following:
2023 World ranking TOP 5 female K1 athletes
SALTO 3 - VAJDA
SALTO 3 - VAJDA
CAIPI FINS- Galasport
SALTO 3 - VAJDA
Written by Carmen Costa Sanchéz
ICF canoe slalom ranking. (2016, septiembre 14). ICF - Planet Canoe. https://www.canoeicf.com/icf-canoe-slalom-world-ranking
Etxaniz, X. (2023). MATERIAL: ADAPTACIONES PARA EL DESARROLLO HACIA LA COMPETICIÓN. En G. Diez-Canedo & C. Lamiel (Eds.), Manual de Aguas Bravas para la tecnificación: Del saber palear al navegar eficiente y fluido (pp. 55–58). Andavira Editora, S. L.