Surfskis and Body Symmetry---By Dr Daniel C. Batchelor


Ever since I was a young boy, I've loved the water. I grew up on a lake but even now several decades later, I still feel the need to be in and around lakes and oceans. I feel grounded when I'm on the water.

As a competitive kayaker, mountain bike racer and triathlete, I'm also a Doctor of Chiropractic who specializes in the treatment of athletes. As a doctor/athlete, I fully appreciate the importance of body symmetry and its effect upon the function of the musculoskeletal system.

As opposed to many other sports such as tennis, baseball, hockey, golf, bowling, skateboarding etc, kayaking is a very symmetrical sport. Both sides of the body are utilized evenly and as long as the athlete enters the sport with a body that is symmetrical, kayaking tends to enhance that body symmetry.

If your structure is out of balance, it is vital that you get it fixed prior to incorporating any type of serious kayak training into your fitness program. Prevention is everything.

Most kayak injuries that I treat occur when kayakers lift kayaks to put on their vehicles. The second cause involves improper form while paddling and the third cause of kayak injuries occurs while performing "The roll", on sit-in kayaks. Other causes include using a paddle with a blade that is too large, incorrect seating position, etc.


Any gear or joint that is not in alignment with another gear or joint, will wear out prematurely. This is where chiropractic care enters the picture. Structure and function are interrelated. Issues such as leg length discrepancy, muscle imbalance, lack of flexibility, and joint alignment, etc can be sorted with proper treatment.

Most of my patients are athletes. I treat many members of the Atlanta Rowing Club including team members of the Georgia State and Georgia Tech Rowing Teams as well as hundreds of kayakers each year. I also train several times per week with many of my competitive kayaking friends and patients in preparation for upcoming kayak races but on the off season, we still kayak for the fun of it.

I run, bike and kayak on alternate days. If I have a kayak race 6 weeks in the future, the kayak training takes precedence over other sports. I still perform the other sports but kayaking increases in frequency and intensity. As soon as I peak physiologically and complete the kayak race, I return to an equal balance between all 3 sports again. This method helps prevents overuse syndrome and injury.

Even though I am a Doctor of Chiropractor, I realize that the doctor who treats himself has a fool for a patient. That is why my brother who is also a Doctor of Chiropractic is the main member of my pit crew. He keeps me in balance.


If you are on the fence and trying to decide what type of kayak to purchase, consider the surfski, but before you begin any type of serious training, consider having a Chiropractic exam performed to assess and correct any structural biomechanical imbalances that might impede your fitness program.

Roswell Chiropractor Dr Dan Batchelor is Metro Atlanta's top doctor/athlete. He is the winner of over 350 endurance races and has treated thousands of patients over 3 decades. Be the best you can, let the doctor who practices what he preaches, show you how. 770-992-2002 270 South Atlanta st, Roswell GA 0075