Finding the love again post Tokyo - Jiri takes on C1!

Posted By: Jiri Published: 29/11/2022

Before the games in Tokyo I felt like I am in the best shape of my career and I have a big chance of getting one of the medals. Since I was the medallist from last games I would lie if I said that I wasn’t thinking about gold. I was really excited and also I kind of felt I am on top of my game. I knew that keeping the pace and motivation after would be really hard I didn’t see the potential in getting much better on the K1. That was the point that I decided that if I win in Tokyo I will try paddling on the C1 as well.

After I won I ordered my new C1 boat and was pretty excited for it. I started during the winter preparation and had to overcome the challenge of being on my knees more than 5 minutes but I felt that right from the start it was really fun. I was a beginner again and C1 was giving me what I couldn’t get in K1 anymore. I was missing gates and felt the massive improvement with every session. I knew that if I want to take it seriously I will have to bring the boat to every race just to keep up. I felt like an exotic animal at the world cups but it worked in a way. After being 10 year on the circuit there is no need to “train the course” that much and being on the water for 40 minutes on K1 is enough, having the last 20 minutes on C1 is fun and I enjoyed paddling different courses and learning. It made me go and have fun on the water the same way as when I was a little kid playing long hours at the Troja course.

I am paddling C1 for a year now and although I don’t think I will ever have the categories on the same level I surely know that thanks to C1 I can be a better K1 paddler. I will try to point out a few things that I think C1 has given me.

-        Fun of becoming the beginner once again is definitely above all. Paddling just because it is super fun without any pressure.

-        C1 stroke is way harder and you have to put more power into it. As I am not the biggest fan of gym I must say that C1 paddling has definitely make me stronger on K1.

-        Another aspect would be precision. You have way less options to save your line on the C1 and therefore you have to think about using the water much more than in K1. When you don’t get your line right it is game over.

-        I learned a Dufek (bow-rudder) upstream not that I would use it much on K1, but it is not bad to have it in your portfolio :)

-        Using stoppers to get pushed from one side to the other is easier on C1 as you don’t have the weight of your legs in front of the boat. It is definitely possible to get the feeling into the K1.

-        Lastly it is very long to stay in one boat for a longer time than one hour. It starts to be boring but ones you switch the boats in the middle you can extend the time of being on the water.

Those are my thoughts of my 1st year of paddling C1. As I am already qualified for the Czech team on K1 I will race the C1 selections this year and can’t wait how far or close I will be behind Czech boys. But one thing I can say for sure I will definitely be bringing my C1 and train on it during the year because joy is my key to success.



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