Johnny Puakea Teaches the Tahitian Stroke

Here is a breakdown of this video with notes and time markers by Karl.

TimePoints Discussed
1:39Set the blade, load the blade, put pressure on the blade, then wait for the craft to be pulled up to that point.
2:01The catch is the most important part of the stroke.
2:05The term cavitation means that water is moving around the blade. It happens when you do not lock the blade in the water but, instead, start pulling the blade before it is all the way locked.
2:08During the stroke phase, you want to put pressure on the blade rather than just pulling on the blade.
2:53The faster you go, you still want your blade to be in the water just as long. You should minimize blade air time (return).
4:28We are now concentrating on making the return quicker (instead of slower like was emphasized in the past).
5:08You want to have down pressure on the paddle at the catch, not forward pressure.
5:32The paddle shaft should pivot on the upper hand, not the lower hand.
6:35You need to have patience when your paddle is in the water:
1. Load the blade
2. Apply pressure
3. Have patience
7:03A slower stroke rate can often propel your canoe faster than a faster stroke rate.
8:54“While paddling an OC1 at 42 strokes per minute, I can be going pretty fast.”
10:00This new Tahitian stroke causes less pain on your body; it’s easier on your body.
14:30We are not using our legs as much as before; we are using our body weight in front rather than leg drive.
16:16This Tahitian technique makes a BIG difference in the newest canoes (round hull, shape, etc.)