Paddle Monster Elite Technique Program

The Paddle Monster Elite Technique Program

As the first paddler to take Paddle Monster Elite Technique Program with Coach Cain, I thought it appropriate to document my experience and tell you what it’s like.

If you’re not aware, Paddle Monster with Coach Cain has been offering our 8-Week Technique Coaching Program since late 2020.  Until the first quarter of 2021, no one had taken advantage of it and I luckily was the first to sign up.  As a Paddle Monster team member, I worked with Larry to create the idea of an 8-week program where the coaching is done entirely via zoom with the paddler – me – doing all my drills, land-drills, water-drills, and paddling on my own.

The idea was simple, give the Paddle Monster community access to our coaches for “one-on-one” coaching at an affordable price, when it’s convenient, anywhere in the world. No more technique classes prior to a race, no more clinics with many other people, but a focused educational opportunity one-on-one.  Coach Larry’s initial concern was how well can you coach something with zoom, where you’re not seeing the paddle technique unfold in front of you on the water.

It was a Pleasant Surprise

As I expected, this program was amazing. I’ve been struggling for years to perfect, improve and get the benefits of great technique. To say it was difficult would be an understatement.

I’ve struggled with everything.  The catch, positive blade angle, exit, pulling myself to the paddle; everything.  My technique – and I encourage you to watch the before, after, and “overlay” videos below – was all wrong.

I’ve been coached.  Many people, some of the best in the world, have given me one-off suggestions, have told me to fix one problem or another, but ultimately, I couldn’t visualize it, I couldn’t put it together, and I couldn’t feel or see what it should be. I spent my time on pointers, not coaching or better said, a technique, improvement program.

It was evident from day one of this program, this is what we developed.

The Program

In short, the Paddle Monster Elite Technique Program is 8-week long series of progressive coaching plans, custom to you. Its goal is to make you a much better paddler. I can’t say that it will make you Larry Cain, but, much to my surprise and excitement, it will get you looking like you’re paddling like Larry.  Funny note, I spent most of this program “secret training”, I didn’t tell any of my local paddling friends I was doing it.  As a result, no one saw me until I was comfortable I could execute it, that it was committed to muscle memory, and that it would stick.  This was Larry’s guidance, but to the point, when I re-arrived back on the scene, I had no less than four people over the last four weeks claim “I paddle like Larry”. Unprompted, just observation and curiosity to “what was going on!”  This made me super happy!

Anyway, to the point, the program runs like this:

Week 1

  • Paddler submits video for analysis (left side, right side, front, and back)
  • Larry completes a thorough video analysis, recorded with his findings and voiceover
  • Paddler watch the analysis, making note of your questions, comments, and things needing clarification
  • Larry has a Zoom conference where we discuss the analysis and your technique, he answers your questions, provides clarification, and provides demonstrations. He shows you what you’re doing and what you need to try to do to paddle more effectively.  He assigns land and on-water drills to help you get there and set a program for the week that provides you with the work that will help you affect the changes you are after as effectively as possible.
  • You work as directed with unlimited access to Larry through the week through the Paddle Monster app to ask questions, seek clarification, etc.

Week 2

  • At the end of week 1, you submit another video
  • Larry has a Zoom conference where we view and discuss your video, progress you’ve made, new issues that may have arisen, and next steps.

Week 3 to 7

  • Larry continues with the process of weekly video submissions and Zoom conferences
  • As you develop increasingly sound foundational technique he introduces the following concepts to help you take your new or refined technique to the next level, providing drills and tasks to help you master these concepts:
    • Developing the flexibility with your technique to effectively apply different loads and cadences in different situations.  This equips you to paddle effectively in all the situations you’ll encounter when racing.
    • Learning to attack the water and be more aggressively dynamic with your foundational movements.  This is the key to sprinting.
    • Learning to effectively apply your technique in the dynamic environment of rough water

Week 8

  • Final video submission and Zoom conference
  • Next steps for continuing to enhance your technique beyond the program.

This program is intensive, it requires a commitment to paddle and be on the water at least five days a week with other time spent working on land drills, etc. It is a big commitment, and you need to make sure you have the time in the coming 8 weeks to make the investment and get the result.

The Result

Speaking of results, this program turned out to be amazing.  Part of the challenges I faced was complex.  For example, my catch – where people would tell me to get more reach to avoid the negative blade-angle before my blade was secured, was not a result of “getting more reach”, it was a problem with my exit.

Frankly, I was hanging onto my connected blade too long and trying to power way past where I had solid leverage, and frankly from that point, way bent over with my blade dragging behind me, once just can’t physically get to the front of the board and bury your blade, just physically wasn’t possible.  So in the end, I fixed my exit, I impacted, and one my way to fixing my catch.

Btw, there are many of these, and I’m not going to list them all out, but take a look at the following videos to see the before and after.

The Before

This first video is my left side – both sides for me were similar – and this is from my first video recording before any training started.  Slow down the video – actually all of them – and step through the stroke when I’m in front of the camera. Pay attention to:

  • the catch (pulling while I catch with little body weight on the blade),
  • note the negative blade angle before I’m fully buried in the water
  • notice the “blade drag” before I’m out of the water.

The Mid-Way Mark

This is about halfway through my training, week five. The marked improvement on:

  • Quick blade burial,
  • positive blade angle
  • Pulling to the paddle on the exit
  • More snap from the hip to the catch

The Final Result!

In the end, what did I get from this program, in summary, it was:

  • Quick blade burial,
  • positive blade angle
  • Pulling to the paddle on the exit
  • More snap from the hip to the catch
  • Quicker stroke rate
  • More dynamic catch

This video, which is an overlay of my first video with a video about 6 weeks in, shows the difference between the two strokes. It’s one thing to watch it independently, quite another to see it this way:

In Summary

Correcting your stroke and perfecting it is like correcting your golf swing, it can’t be done with a few pointers. It required proper analysis of what is impacting or driving the way you paddle.  So out with group clinics and out with pointers from people that say “why can’t you just” get a little more reach or whatever. The Paddle Monster Elite Technique Program is for everyone, regardless of their level.

Register today here or if the classes are full, email me at [email protected] to coordinate a window when Coach Larry.

SPECIAL NOTE: Stay tuned, in May, Coach Andrey will be offering a similar program for sprint AND race technique.  Be one of the first to sign up, email me today at [email protected] for advanced registration!

Timothy Myershttp://www.954paddlecrew.com
A paddler of SUP and OC-2 in South Florida. Also a writer, consultant, father, paddler enthusiast, surfer and the tech mind behind @distressdmullet. Partner in the encouragement and promotion of the sport through FB #954PaddleCrew and more.

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