Tests for predicting endurance kayak performance

S.C. Olivier, M.F. Coetsee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous studies investigating factors contributing to kayak performance have employed sophisticated physiological measures, and the use of specialised dynamometers, to simulate the kayak stroke. Such measures do not have general utility, and the aim of this study was to identify tests that could be performed in the field, in order to predict kayak performance.

The following variables were measured on 23 competitive endurance kayakers, who provided written informed consent : Arm crank VO<sub>2</sub> peak; 1 minute dips; armspan; modified sit-and-reach; grip strength; body mass; height. These were selected on the basis of their being identified as possibly contributing to performance, and on their applicability in terms of on-site testing. The dependent variable for analysis was a 7 km race, performed one week after the field tests.

Using multiple regression forward stepwise selection, relative VO<sub>2</sub> peak (arm crank) was the only significant predictor (p=0.006, r=0.81), with dips (p=0.153) and armspan (p=0.133) being next in terms of hierarchical contribution. For race performance and VO<sub>2</sub> peak, 65.8% of the variance in one measure was explained by the variance in the other. Utilising VO2 peak, with race performance as the dependent variable, the following regression equation was generated : Time=46.315-0.22 (VO<sub>2</sub> Peak).


Whilst several factors influence endurance kayak performance, in the context of novice talent identification it is concluded that a VO<sub>2</sub> peak test that is relatively sport specific (Arm Crank), has applicability and utility.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-53
Number of pages9
JournalSouth African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002


  • kayaking
  • predicting performance


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