Top Tips from the Pros: Travis Grant
When it comes to SUP performance, Travis Grant’s advice is some of the best. The Australian paddler’s race record is impressive enough with big wins throughout his career, including winner of the 2013 Molokai2Oahu (M20), the 2013 Battle of the Paddle distance race and the 2012 ISA World Cup Championships. Then you add in Grant’s pedigree in other disciplines, including outrigger canoe, surf ski and surfing, and you have one of the most respected names in the game. And, with Molokai just around the corner—and Grant hungry to defend his title—one of the most feared.
In the midst of his run to the season’s premier downwind races, Grant was good enough to spare a few minutes to share his top three tips on gear, stance and the importance of core engagement with SUPthemag.com’s Brody Welte from PaddleFit. Here’s the lowdown:
1. Sort out your stance
I don’t know why you see so many people with a narrow stance on their board. If you were going into a boxing match, you’re going to have a nice wide stance with soft knees that enables you to be well balanced and as powerful as possible. It should be the same on your board. If you have a narrow stance—which can really make you unstable—start practicing getting your feet further apart and see how much easier it is to generate a strong, powerful stroke each and every time. It makes a real difference.
2. Engage your core on every stroke
To be as fast as you can on the water, you’ve got to get the most powerful muscles in your body involved during every stroke. Engaging the core is going to do this, particularly at the end of the pull when you have a chance to really generate power on your paddle. It will also help protect your lower back during extension. In training, practice deliberately tightening your core during every stroke. Then, after a while, it will become automatic and you can focus on other elements.
3. Choose the right paddle for power
In addition to getting your core involved and refining mechanics for every part of your stroke, you’ve got to find a paddle that helps you generate the greatest amount of power with the least amount of effort. That’s going to make you more efficient on the water in any conditions, as long as you’re digging deep enough into the water. For me, it’s the Quickblade Trifecta paddle every time.