Tests for predicting endurance kayak performance
Objectives: 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. Methods: The following variables were measured on 23 competitive endurance kayakers, who provided written informed consent: Arm crank VO2 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. Results: Using multiple regression forward stepwise selection, relative VO2 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 VO2 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 (VO2 Peak). Conclusion: Whilst several factors influence endurance kayak performance, in the context of novice talent identification it is concluded that a VO2 peak test that is relatively sport specific (Arm Crank), has applicability and utility.