Sports Engineering

, 22:1 | Cite as

Simulation of sprint canoe paddling

  • Motomu NakashimaEmail author
  • Shota Ito
  • Kohei Nakagaki
Original Article


Sprint canoe paddling is a dynamic and complicated motion performed with the entire body of the paddler. Not only the upper limb motion, but also the motions of the trunk and lower limbs contribute to the propulsion. The objectives of this study were to simulate sprint canoe paddling, and investigate the contributions of the upper and lower limbs, and the trunk, to the propulsion during paddling. In the model, the paddler, paddle, and hull were represented as three rigid bodies, which were connected by virtual springs and dampers. The geometry of the paddler, paddle, and hull, as well as the joint motion of a paddler, was used in the model. It was found that the model could predict instantaneous hull velocity variation, although the average hull velocity was 8% lower than experiment. Two virtual paddling motions, “fixed lower limbs” and “fixed trunk,” were simulated. Comparing the measured original and the two virtual paddling motions, it was found that the lower limb motion during paddling contributed to the propulsion during the catch phase, when the blade entered the water until fully submerged (ratio of the contribution: 14% by upper limbs, 63% by lower limbs and 23% by trunk). It was also found that the upper limb motion contributed to the propulsion during the draw phase, when the paddler pulled the paddle backwards relative to the hull (54% by upper limbs, 30% by lower limbs and 16% by trunk), and that the trunk motion contributed to the propulsion just prior to the paddle exiting the water (7% by upper limbs, 30% by lower limbs and 63% by trunk).


Sprint canoe Paddling motion Simulation Modeling 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© International Sports Engineering Association 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Systems and Control Engineering, School of EngineeringTokyo Institute of TechnologyTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Institute of Sports ScienceYamanashi Gakuin UniversityKofuJapan
  3. 3.Japan Canoe FederationTokyoJapan

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