Here is the thing about technique….it is personal. Because we are all built different, technique will vary. Main things are to engage the large muscle groups and put your body in a position of high mechanical advantage. I have watched the best outrigger paddlers for over 25 years and they all vary in technique. Often quite a bit different. What they all have in common is what they do when the blade is in the water. The blade is quiet and they pull hard.
Listen to the board. Listen to your paddle. These two things will tell you if you are paddling correctly. Different conditions call for variations in technique. The question is NOT what are YOU doing, but what is the board doing. Is the board going fast? If not change your stroke to match the conditions. Make your board go fast. Americans like to focus on themselves. The Tahitians focus on the canoe. Focus on what you are doing. My coach Kamoa Kalama used to tell us “Paddle each stroke like it is your last. Every stroke perfect.”
Focus on your catch. Do drills where you focus on setting the paddle clean…..and than pull. You are a bull. The power phase is a natural for you.
If you notice most paddlers have similar stroke rates. Ask yourself, why do some people go further with each stroke? It is all about what happens when the blade is in the water. BTW: in my opinion stroke rate is irrelevant. It is all about hull speed. Why would someone paddle at a 70 SPM if they are moving faster at a 50 SPM rate? The GPS does not lie.
Great advice from some of the best... hope this helps some other folks like it will help me....