This study involved a comparative three dimensional kinematic analysis of flat water sprint and marathon kayaking strokes. Six sprint and five marathon Australian international kayakers were filmed paddling in an artificial race situation. Two Photosonics high speed cinecameras running at 100 frames per second were used to collect the data. Spatio-temporal and kinematic variables were investigated. A Kendall's Rank Correlation was used to analyse the degree of association between stroke timings, body movement parameters and effective kayak performance within each group. A Mann-Whitney U analysed the significance of the difference in the dependent variables between the two groups. Statistical analysis showed significant differences p<0.05) between the sprint and marathon kayaking strokes. In the marathon stroke these represented decreased; kayak average velocity, stroke length, cadence, duration of the recovery phase (as percentage to total stroke), and the intrastroke kayak absolute velocity range, and increased; duration of the pull phase (as percentage of total stroke), and the range in draw elbow flexion during the pull phase. Effective sprint kayaking performance was characterised by; a high cadence, a long pull phase, a large trunk rotation occurring early in the stroke, close synchronisation of the thrust elbow action with the trunk rotation, delayed draw elbow action, and effective trunk movement (flexion, lateral flexion) to minimise kayak "bobbing". Effective marathon kayaking performance was characterised by; a high cadence, a long stroke length, having the first stage of the pull phase constituting a greater percentage of the total stroke, reduced kayak velocity fluctuations, increased draw elbow flexion, reduced and delayed trunk rotation during the pull phase, and effective trunk movement (flexion, lateral flexion) to minimise kayak "bobbing". Minimising the size of the fluctuations in kayak absolute velocity was considered an integral part of effective flat water kayaking.
Submitted in the fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Applied Science, University of Canberra, 1990.