Hawaiian waka ama coach in Aotearoa

By James Perry

John Puakea is holding a series of clinics around the North Island this week, designed to help the country's top waka ama paddlers to another level.

Boat designer and founder of Puakea Designs, Puakea will be working with waka ama coaches to develop the nation's top paddlers.

Puakea's clinics involve training on land and on the water, with video replay assisting analysis. 

"I show them what they look like- I'm going to show them what they're supposed to look like," he says, "I try to give each person maybe two or three things to work on and that's their yearly project."

His clinics will benefit coaches, and paddlers who are preparing for the long distance competitions later this year, as well as those who have an eye on the sprint events in 2020. 

Puakea says, "If you're paddling more efficiently, any race you go into you're going to be better...I'll give them the homework and if they do the work they can expect a better race."

Another benefit New Zealand paddlers and coaches can receive from the Hawaiian raised coach is his knowledge of the venue of next year's World Sprint Champs. 

Puakea is encouraging attendees of his clinics to ask him about the venue at Hilo Bay, equipment or anything they might want to know.

The first clinic will be held tonight in Takapuna, with others set for Raglan, Tauranga, and Whangamatā.

Puakea is also hoping to organise a clinic in the South Island as well.