Why You Ought to Take part in a Paddle Coaching Camp

In one of many first problems with Paddle Monster’s e-magazine, The Catch, I wrote about the advantages of taking a clinic.  

Properly, if a clinic is a useful studying alternative, what a couple of coaching camp?  There are nearly as many high paddlers and coaches providing coaching camps as there are providing clinics.  It’s actually not onerous to seek out one for those who look.  At this very second, as I sit in a espresso store in my hometown of Oakville, Ontario, on an exquisite mid-February afternoon, there are two coaching camps operating that I do know of.  Tamas Buday is operating one in Florida and I spoke with Andrey Kraytor earlier as we speak and he’s operating one in Turkey.  It doesn’t matter the place you might be on this planet, alternatives to work with good coaches in a collaborative coaching setting with different paddlers can nearly at all times be discovered.  However what makes these such a fantastic funding?

You get all the data in a coaching camp that you just get in a clinic, and then you definately get an entire lot extra.  Give it some thought.  Not solely is there a restrict to the data that may be conveyed in a two or three-hour clinic, however there may be additionally a restrict to the data you can take in.  Whereas I strongly suggest taking clinics, it’s fairly straightforward to get bombarded with info to the purpose the place it surpasses your capability to course of and take in it.  As a result of coaching camps run over longer intervals of time, from three days to per week or extra, not solely can info be supplied to you at a extra comfy tempo, however you’ve obtained far more time to course of it, make sense of it, and in the end do one thing with it.  

After I ran our Paddle Monster coaching camps in Florida in 2017, 2018 and 2019 with Seychelle and Victoria Burgess, we had three to 4 days to roll out all of the content material over 6 to eight periods. We did video evaluation and comply with up in every exercise, launched and ran various kinds of coaching periods engaged on totally different parts of paddling health and expertise, and had the time to assist the athletes consolidate classes they had been studying in every session.  Past a doubt, the athletes that took half in these camps left with far more data and a much better understanding of their approach and subsequent steps, of coaching, and of their strengths and weaknesses than they might ever hope to get from a clinic.  Attending these camps in February and March set the collaborating athletes up for the approaching season, gave them a bounce on their coaching, and supplied some route on how they might maximize their enchancment when coaching on their very own of their house environments.  

Give it some thought.  What number of clinics have you ever been to the place you get a video evaluation after which get to work in your approach underneath the steerage of a coach for the following few days?  What number of clinics really see you doing totally different exercises in a gaggle setting?  Issues that simply aren’t doable in a couple of hours can simply and successfully be carried out over a interval of days.  


I at all times say that there are three pillars to efficiency in paddling: cardio capability, energy/energy/energy endurance, and approach.  By far an important is approach.  I’ve seen a lot of actually robust, extraordinarily match paddlers carry out comparatively poorly.  I’ve additionally seen paddlers with superior approach whose health leaves one thing to be desired carry out very well.  Approach – your capability to maximise your reference to the water and use of your distinctive set of bodily instruments to maneuver your board optimally by means of the water – trumps every part else, and it’s simpler to enhance your approach that you just may suppose.  

Step one is to get an understanding of what constitutes good approach.  I’ve written about it extensively in “The Six Fundamentals of Paddle Approach”  and in a sequence of posts on approach errors and their fixes.  A very good coach in a well-run coaching camp will focus on all of this with you to make sure that you may have a sound understanding of what try to be making an attempt to realize while you put your paddle within the water.  

The second step is to see what you might be really doing when you paddle.  Most of us are stunned once we see ourselves on video.  We normally aren’t paddling in addition to we predict we’re, and I embrace myself on this assertion.  Really seeing your self padding and getting a radical and correct debrief from a reliable coach is a large profit.  Being given a plan to enhance your approach that includes subsequent steps that may be adopted up on over the following a number of coaching periods is important.  All of this must be taking place in a coaching camp.  

While you depart the camp, your approach must be slightly higher.  Don’t child your self, it gained’t be excellent as that takes time.  Nonetheless, you’ll have the instruments and the understanding to proceed to work on it by yourself and, for those who’re diligent, you’ll see exceptional progress in your approach over the approaching weeks.  


Among the finest belongings you’ll be uncovered to in a coaching camp are group exercises.  The unhappy actuality in our sport is that far too many individuals practice on their very own.  Extraordinarily fortunate are people who have coaching teams that they will meet with each day to not solely inspire one another however push one another in “cooperatively aggressive” exercises.  

Whether or not it’s been throughout my canoe profession or extra just lately as a SUP paddler, I embrace myself in that group that’s lucky to have coaching companions.  I not often paddle alone.  Not solely does that make paddling extra enjoyable, however the high quality of my coaching periods improves dramatically when carried out with others.  

Coaching beside different boards provides you slightly push and helps you discover methods to maintain going while you’re drained.  However extra importantly, pulling strokes beside one other board provides you important suggestions about how properly you’re paddling, how far you’re shifting your board every stroke, how related you might be, how relaxed you might be, and the way efficient your paddling rhythm is.  For people who have by no means been uncovered to group exercises this expertise may be life altering.  A very good coach will allow you to get probably the most from the group coaching setting, serving to you keep targeted and relaxed whereas getting the push that the group setting affords.


Whether or not it’s within the camps I’ve run or those that I see photographs of on social media, one factor is obvious – the members have enjoyable.  

To me, the very best factor about paddling isn’t the racing or the coaching and the advantages it offers.  It’s the social side.  I’ve made so many buddies through the years and had a lot enjoyable sharing the widespread expertise of being on the water collectively that it’s by far and away the very best factor about paddling.  

Coaching camps, the place you share the expertise with different members not solely from exercise to exercise however between coaching periods as properly, are locations the place nice recollections and friendships are made.  Particularly for those who usually do all of your coaching alone, you don’t need to miss out on this.

Discovering a coaching camp

The simplest strategy to discover a coaching camp you can take part in is to comply with among the high paddlers and coaches on social media.  They’ll let everybody know by means of their varied platforms once they’re operating a coaching camp and the way to enroll.  Listed here are just some of the names try to be following.  This record is actually not unique:

  • Michael Sales space
  • Candice Appleby
  • Tamas Buday
  • Seychelle
  • Andrey Kraytor
  • Paddle Monster
  • Larry Cain

Sadly, I’m not providing a coaching camp in a heat, sunny location this spring.  I can be providing one thing this summer time by myself house waters in Oakville, Ontario.  Should you’ve by no means been there earlier than, contemplate it, and keep tuned for particulars.  

Paddle Monster is operating a camp from March 3 to six in Fort Pierce, Florida with Coach Victoria Burgess.  She’s obtained to be among the finest stored secrets and techniques in SUP teaching.  She’s an skilled ocean paddler and racer and is well-known for her lengthy ocean crossings.  She’s an exquisite surfer and is aware of her method round in flat water as properly.  On high of that, she has a PhD in Train Science and is an authorized sport nutritionist.  You aren’t going to discover a extra educated coach anyplace.  If Victoria has a weak spot it’s that she’s humble and doesn’t promote herself in addition to she ought to.  So, I’m right here doing it for her.  Right here’s what you’ll cowl within the 4 days of her camp:

  • Physique composition testing
  • Evaluation of approach fundamentals
  • Video and video evaluation
  • Land drills and water drills
  • Approach focus intervals
  • Cardio base intervals
  • Anaerobic threshold intervals
  • Introduction to sprinting
  • Drafting
  • Surf session if circumstances allow 

Should you’ve carried out your low season homework and want to get a bounce begin on the approaching season, and particularly for those who’ve by no means participated in a coaching camp earlier than, try to be contemplating this.  Enroll info is out there right here.  

Joyful paddling!  



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