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Journal Articles Applied Sciences Year : 2022

On the Physics of Kayaking


The propulsion force of a kayaker can be measured thanks to sensors placed on the paddle. This article aims at linking this force to the evolution of the velocity of the boat. A general model is proposed to describe the motion of a K1 kayak. To validate the model and evaluate the relevant physics parameters, three on-water kayaking trials are proposed: a pure deceleration, a standing start, and 10 × 50 m with two athletes at the national level. These trials were performed with a force sensor on the paddle and video recording. We used the deceleration to evaluate the drag of the boat. Then the standing start showed that there was an active drag coefficient while kayaking. Finally, the 10 × 50 m exhibited a power law of one-third between the velocity and the stroke rate. The acceleration during the standing start together with the relationship between the velocity and stroke rate were well captured theoretically. This approach enabled us to evaluate the important parameters to describe a kayak race: the drag of the boat, an active drag coefficient, the mean propulsive force, and a propulsive length. It can be used to characterize athletes and monitor their performances.

Dates and versions

hal-03925317 , version 1 (05-01-2023)



Charlie Prétot, Rémi Arthur Carmigniani, Loup Hasbroucq, Romain Labbé, Jean-Philippe Boucher, et al.. On the Physics of Kayaking. Applied Sciences, 2022, 12 (18), pp.8925. ⟨10.3390/app12188925⟩. ⟨hal-03925317⟩
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