Physiological responses to kayaking with a swivel seat.
ABSTRACT The present study compared the physiological characteristics of flat-water kayaking utilising two seat conditions, the traditional fixed seat and novel swivel seat on an air-braked kayak simulator. The testing protocol included a submaximal warm up and one maximal ergometer paddling test. Ten elite kayakers (age 25+/-6 years, body mass 84.9+/-5.8 kg) were randomised to perform the testing protocol twice, once on each seat. During the testing protocol, expired air, heart rate (HR) and power output (PO) were continuously measured and gross efficiency (GE (kayak)) was calculated. Lactate (La) was recorded at the conclusion of each test. Repeated measures ANOVA indicated that paddling with the swivel seat generated significantly greater mean PO over the two-minute race duration compared to the fixed seat (299.1+/-24.9W and 279.8+/-19.2W respectively; p<0.05). This equated to a 6.5% increase in PO. A similar (6.9%) but non-significant difference in efficiency was generated as there was no significant difference recorded in the metabolic load over the two-minute ergometer test. No significant differences were present in any other variable measured. This greater PO generated with a swivel seat may be a significant advantage during on-water competition if the results from present ergometer test transfer.