Thursday 5 August 2021
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Lean Clean

The lean clean is a flat water drill designed to teach you the fundamental movements involved in most freestyle moves. It is the foundations of the cartwheel as well as the base movement used in many other moves such as blunts, roundhouses and even the flat water mcnasty.


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How to do a Lean Clean

A lean clean is a sequence that involves placing weight over one of the front edges and then over the opposite back edge and repeating it time after time. The idea is to use the energy of the pop of the boat and almost scoop the boat from end to end using technique and timing rather than just power.

1. Sit up straight

2. Lead the turn with your body and turn in the direction you want to go (lets start by turning to the left and sinking the stern first)

3. Drop your right edge

4. Lean back

5. Lift your knees

6. Drop your opposite edge (left edge)

7. Lean forwards and put weight on the bow

8. Lift your opposite edge (right edge)

9. Rotate and look around over your shoulder again the same as at the start

11. Keeping your boat on edge lean back and put weight on your stern (point 4)

12. Lift your knees and continue from point 5 again


Top Tips

The lean clean takes time to practice and develop as you will need to build up the strength, balance and understanding of the movements involved in this exercise before being able to put it to the test within the more complex moves.

It is a combination of well timed edge and weight transfers

If you feel like your fighting the boat during the lean clean end transitions make sure you giving you boat time to rise and fall.

Try and start with very little edge. Too much edge to early will stall out the boat and make it impossible to do the move. You need to get the boat to flow end to end using the power of the boat popping out of the water or falling into the water to help you with the transitions.

At the start you will ideally be looking to have your boat on a 15 – 45 degree edge. Once you have it mastered you can lean clean all the way up to vertical and into a sequence of cartwheels.

Its all about technique. Resists the urge to throw your weight around or over rely on the paddle stroke.

Spend the time practising and perfecting your lean clean technique and building your strength in these muscles and you will find it transfers very well into and quickly progresses your all around freestyle skills.