Pacific Paddler magazine - June 2011 - (Page 14)
Q&A with Kai Bartlett
When WAs your firsT CAnoe exPerienCe? The first time I got into a canoe was back in the early eighties when my parents paddled for Hanalei Canoe Club. My sister and I would go out with them or play in the river at the club site. The last time for us in the 6-man was when Gaylord and Nick Beck took us through the surf and swamped. We were over it for a while after that. The club had a couple of makeshift one-mans that my mom and I would cruise around in in the river. I was quite excited about it back then, but too young. WhAT Kind of CommiTmenT does iT TAKe To be AT The fronT of The PACK? In a non-professional sport, it takes a lot of commitment to keep in top shape. Not only do you have to train hard, but you have to go to work and figure out how to juggle the family between all of this. Some have it easier, but sometimes I feel the juggle educates you a bit on how to deal with intensity. For me, because of my schedule, I hate to waste my time when training so I'm usually in and out. I also feel you have to commit to yourself as well, not just by training hard, but by finding time to do some things that you really enjoy. I see so many paddlers just paddle and paddle. Guys, we only have one life to live... Live a little, go have some fun doing something different. I see too many of the up and comers just consuming themselves with paddling, paddling, paddling; it's great if that's a blast, but to me, you have to have balance. Maybe I say this because I've been going at for some years now. I also say this to give these younger guys a better understanding of maintaining the stoke of it for years to come.
WhAT's The ToughesT PArT of The rACe? The toughest part of the race is the lead up to the race. Not over doing it and hoping that you've done enough. For the race itself, the toughest part comes at three and a half hours or so when you need to start digging harder because you're getting tired, and the race is coming to an end. You have that one race that matters and it's almost over, all that hard work, and you don't want to waste it. That's a pretty tough part of the race.
WhAT Trends hAve you noTiCed in TrAining TeChniques? I have noticed lately that people are starting to come up with all kinds of different stuff these days. You have all these different cross fit classes and core strength things going on along with guys from other sports giving their two cents. It's all bogus. Yea, these things will get you fit, but they won't be the answer. Let me ask you this, "What do swimmers do to train for their swims, what do bikers do to train for their races, what do runners do to train for their races???" They train for their race in the discipline that they are racing. If you want to go fast in a canoe, you need to learn how to move the canoe fast. Running won't teach you that, cross fit won't teach you that, biking.. no, paddling your canoe and learning your stroke and how your canoe reacts with your body language may help though. It is good to keep your body and core strong to prevent injury and increase speed, but until you have the speed, I don't think that all that other stuff is much of a concern. For me, I do enjoy a little bit of cross training to break up the paddling, but paddling is 90% of my training. I have also noticed lately that there is a trend of novice guys trying to be instructors in outrigger and some coaches that are beginning to take themselves too seriously. I personally don't agree with any of it. It's been happening in Maui now for several years. Guys are proclaiming to be something they are not and charging people a mint for their knowledge, which really isn't much knowledge at all. I look at that and feel it gives us a bad rap in a sense, like they are ripping people off, but I'm looking at it from my perspective. I'm not going to sell you a log and tell you it's a light weight canoe, I'm going to sell you the best canoe I can make no matter if you have an idea or not. Coaching in our sport has been pretty backyard for a long time, and in a big way, it still is. I love seeing some guys take it so serious when they don't have the answers either, they are doing the same thing we are.. guessing and doing what works for us. If they had the answers, they would be coaching at a Olympic level or coaching college football or something. What we are doing is unique, no need to think we are Phil Jackson or something, although his salary would be nice! WhAT oTher ACTiviTies do you liKe To do? Growing up here in the islands, we are lucky to have the ocean right here for our playground. My favorite activities are surfing, fishing and diving. Lately Lauren and I have really been enjoying free diving. It's a great Zen for me, quiet and weightless, something I don't get when on land. Surfing comes and goes for me due to what part of the season it is. Usually early winter when we get more north swells because our shop is within 5 minutes of some great waves with that direction swell. To me it's important to have these other activities to balance out your life and your training to a degree. We don't get paid for what we are doing, so I need to keep a good level of fun involved in it. It's a big part of my program.
14 pacific paddler June 2011
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pacific Paddler magazine - June 2011
Kauai World Challenge
Q&A with Kai Bartlett
Battle of the Paddle
SCORA's safety net
Primo Boys wild adventure
Suncare and UV Protection
Maui to Molokai
Tavaru Sailing Canoe voyage
Pacific Paddler magazine - June 2011