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World Champ Oscar Chalupsky teaching in Victoria!

Alex Matthews

Mar 25, 2015
Hello Westcoastpaddlers - I'm a long time lurker, but this is my first post! How fun is that?

I'm just trying to get the word out that Oscar Chalupsky, 12 time Molokai World Championships Surfski title winner (FYI - he's also half of Epic Kayaks, along with business partner 2 x Olympic Gold medalist Greg Barton) will be teaching 2 forward stroke clinics Saturday June 6th in Victoria.

Location: Gyro Park, Cadboro Bay, Victoria - there is ample parking, as well as change rooms and public washrooms on site, and a pub and coffee shop close by.
Time: Saturday June 6th 2015. 2 clinics are being offered. the first Clinic will be 9AM - 12PM. Second clinic is 1PM - 4PM.
Cost: $100 per clinic

To my knowledge this is the first time that Oscar will be teaching on Vancouver Island. Don't miss this opportunity to receive truly world class instruction from one of the greatest paddlers of all time! Class size is limited to 12 students per clinic.

To sign up email Alex Matthews (that's me) at matthewsalex@hotmail.com

The plan is to try and fill the first clinic (9AM-12PM) with surf ski paddlers, and keep the second clinic for sea kayakers. Although the content and concepts that Oscar teaches won't vary much, and the drills will be consistent, and a mix of skis and kayaks works just fine, I just think that it would be fun to try and motivate the small local surf ski crowd to get out together! Book early to avoid missing out.

FYI This is an awesome clinic for sea kayakers or anyone who wants to increase their efficiency paddling forward. I went over to Vancouver to do a clinic with him 2 years ago and got a TON out of it, so when I heard that he was coming back to Deep Cove, I decided that I should try and get him over to the Island. It's a rare opportunity to get this level of coaching - Oscar does a lot of teaching and so he really has his clinics dialled and teaches a lot of very cool drills for improving your forward stroke. Highly recommended!
The clinics above are flat water sessions suitable for all skill levels, but here's a video of Oscar Chalupsky in his natural environment - https://vimeo.com/84756305

And a quick teaser of one of the key concepts that is essential to greater efficiency in a sea kayak: from Greg Barton - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lef_ut8n0ms . Truly harnessing the power of rotation and leg drive will take your forward stroke to the next level.
This is a great opportunity for VI paddlers. I took the clinic a couple of years ago in Deep Cove and it was the best $100 I ever spent on training. Sign up quick!

Forward stroke = Most used stroke and least taught (well).

I've attend several of Oscar's Clinics. The first was several years back on the Hudson River in Manhattan. Quite frankly it sucked. Since then Oscar has developed a really great teaching system and paddlers of all abilities walk away with an excellent understanding and lots of practice.

I've attended many forward stroke clinics by many top level racers, and just because they can paddle doesn't mean they can teach. But Oscar's clinics use a really great progression, and you achieve an understanding, and have time to practice it. You don't sit there listening to some guy shpiell on blah blah blah.

For a three hour clinic here's what happens.
Hour 1 - "Learn to Move" This is on land and there is a fair bit of talking, but he gives you an excellent overview of stroke technique and previews the drills and exercises you will be performing on the water. Oscar is pretty entertaining, just chuckle at his Uber-over confidence, and bombastic personality. He doesn't know what PC is and If he doesn't offend somebody something is wrong. But I guess to achieve the success he has to be sure of himself. Oscar definitely is, but he's a likeable goof.

Hour 2 "Move to Learn" This is stroke practice where you wade waist deep into the sea and work on one-sided technique. This is a "whole-part-whole" teaching technique where Oscar isolates key facets of the forward stroke. 12 of them if I'm not mistaken. Who would have thought?, as its just a forward stroke, stick the blade in the water and pull right??.....wrong. This is an excellent way to teach the skills as it easier to work on and perfect one thing at a time. It keeps everybody together and people can practice at their own level. You don't need to worry about the boat, where you are heading. No chewing gum during this portion.

Hour 3 - "Get in the Boat" Here you continue to work on and perfect the basic movements. You are moving, doing and not listening. Repeating simple movements. Usually Oscar will have you paddle a small loop, so it doesn't matter how fast you are. You can go at you own pace.

During the last two hours Oscar circulates through group and give specific feedback. Detection, Correction and Direction

Here are some common mistakes many paddlers make

-push on the top hand, pull on the bottom - bad boy/girl
-pull the bottom hand along the side of the kayak - wrong
-drop the top hand as you complete the stroke - naughty paddler
-pull beyond your hip - I'm sorry you're creating drag
-pull with you bicep - its a teeny tiny muscle
-gradually insert the blade into the water as you move through the stroke - you're pulling with only half a paddle, almost as bad as playing with half a deck
-pausing before the exit and rushing the catch - OMG
-not using your legs - WHAT!!

Do yourself a favour and sign up for Oscar's clinic, you'll be more efficient, be less fatigued, travel further with less strokes and learn to use your big muscle groups to generate more power.