Paddle Clinic with Oscar Chalupsky & Ivan Lawler

On Saturday 27 August 2016 we are organising a Paddle Clinic with Oscar Chalupsky & Ivan Lawler at Christchurch Lifesaving Club, Steamer Point, Christchurch, Dorset.

Christchurch Lifesaving Club is next to The Beach Hut Cafe (GPS - BH23 4EP) half a mile east of Christchurch Harbour entrance.

This clinic will run in any weather conditions and will include land based theory and water based practice. On water paddling depends on conditions. Those who book & pay first have priority. This is a great opportunity for this level of coaching so numbers may need to be limited. To confirm there are places email

About Oscar

Oscar is one of the most recognizable figures in surfski racing and Molokai is part of the reason why. The 32 mile open ocean race has paddlers crossing the notorious channel between the Hawaiian islands of Molokai and Oahu. It has been regarded as the unofficial world championship in surfski racing since the 1970’s – and Oscar has won it twelve times spanning three decades. His latest win in 2012 came at the age of 49, 29 years after his first win. He was South Africa's team captain at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona where he competed in K-4 1000 metre event. He founded Epic Kayaks and was Vice President until 2015 when he joined Nelo Kayaks as CEO. He is currently based in Portugal.

About Ivan

Ivan won five gold and two silver medals at the marathon world championships from the late 1980s to the late 1990s. He also competed in sprint, and won two medals in the K-2 10000 meter event at the ICF Sprint World Championships, silver in 1989 and gold in 1990. He dominated marathon paddling for a decade and remains the UK’s most accomplished marathoner. Ivan retired from international competition in 2001 and turned to coaching as a way to stay involved with his life-long pursuit. Ivan has transitioned to paddling surf skis and is adapting his flatwater skills to ocean racing.

Oscar Chalupsky Surf Ski Clinic

Oscar is known worldwide for his ability to both read and ride the ocean swells. To maximize your time with him he will be doing water based sessions only with a short land based introduction. Part of the day will focus on the theory & practicalities of downwind paddling and catching waves - a skill that Oscar has developed to world champion status a dozen times over his long paddling career. We will try to split the group according to ability to ensure Oscar can set the lesson to an appropriate level for all.

Oscar's course will cover:

  • - Introduction to surf ski paddling technique
  • - Technical paddling skills and using the paddle for stability
  • - Setting up your ski
  • - Remounting the surf ski
  • - Boat Skills - Surf Skills - Ocean Skills
  • - When to pull hard and conserving energy
  • - Balance and when to upgrade to a faster boat
  • - Personalised technique critique
  • - Participants will:
  • - Learn stroke drills & correction (including a full set of easy-to-follow notes)
  • - Learn Oscar's gym exercises (including notes)
  • - Learn Oscar's training programs for races and how to race (including drill sheets)

Ivan Lawler Forward Stroke Clinic

The kayak paddle is an elegant, simple device for creating leverage to move a boat through the water, but it takes years of training and total dedication to reach the level of ability that Olympic paddlers need to achieve. While strategy and tactics obviously play a big part in distance races it is not fully appreciated by non-racers how much finesse is required to paddle an unstable racing kayak using powerful forward strokes. An efficient forward stroke is essentially the same no matter the discipline or the style of kayak used.

To maximize water time with Oscar the forward paddling section and technique will be land based and covered by Ivan Lawler. We will be using the kayak ergo and the “slider” to run through the principles of the forward stroke.

Participants can take a turn on the ergo to get a feel for the ideal arm and hand positions in relation to shaft angles, torso movement and leg drive. Ivan emphasises that it’s not pure strength that matters most - but technique. He uses his clinics to encourage everyone to get the most from their effort on the water.

Ivan's course will cover:

  • - Use of the legs
  • - Finding the fixed point for the top hand
  • - The "push vs pull" question
  • - Optimizing efficiency
  • - The ideal "catch"
  • - Any questions you have regarding technique issues

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