Teneale Hatton is the latest high profile athelete to join Team Think

on Feb 09 in Uncategorized by

640 x 360

Really stoked to announce our first female member of Team Think, world kayak champion, Taneale Hatton from New Zealand.  I managed to track her down between paddling fast, lifting heavy weights, and studying to grab a quick interview.



Stew O’Regan: Teneale, it’s very exciting for us to announce our first female member of Team Think. We’re experiencing increasing numbers of girls taking up surfski paddling, and we hope you’ll inspire many more into the sport.  So, nitty gritty things, age, any nicknames, food vices, favourite music, qualifications or study, so our readers can get an idea what makes you tick?

Teneale Hatton:

Age – 25
Nicknames – Big T, T-Rex
Food – Nachos!!
Music – I love a bit of everything really. Rise against, Bliss n Eso and Keith Urban have to be my favs though
Study – I am currently finishing off both a degree in Law and Commerce and a Bachelor of Paramedicine which I am aiming to finish at the end of this year which I am pretty amped for. I am also working for St John Ambulance and Surf Lifesaving part time which is a great change of scene from paddling but also a different sort of challenge also which freshens my head up.


SOR: With your hugely successful kayak career, how do you believe that helps with your surfski paddling?

TH: I actually started out ski paddling before I jumped in a kayak and the plan was to help improve my ski paddling which it definitely has. Although I have gone a lot further in kayaking than I ever thought possible when I started. Having that extra endurance from kayaking helps hugely in the longer races and also the sprint training comes in handy for the ski starts


SOR: In terms of technique, how do the different aspects of paddling compliment each other?

TH: I find after being in my ski for a while though that I gain a bit more power and grunt to put into my kayaking which is a big benefit. Also the balance required in down wind races makes it a lot easier to control my kayak in unstable conditions. The technique is slightly different but I believe training in both makes me more aware of my paddling movements helping my technique improve.
SOR: What does a day in the life of an elite paddler look like?


TH: At the moment I am probably a little busier than the normal but usually I will paddle in the morning followed by some gym/strength training then some study or work followed by another paddle in the afternoon and a bit more study to finish off the day.
SOR: Off season for most paddlers means packing their backs and heading to warm climates with lots of sessions, dark sun tans and summer BBQs. Last season you went against the grain and headed to Europe to tackle a cold winter and put in some hard graft. I remember reading it at the time and being impressed with your resolve and thinking to myself that this girl is going to bring something special to the racing season, which we definitely saw. How do you think that time spent in Europe helped you later in the year?

TH: Yea, last season was a bit different and it was quite a hard choice as to be honest I am not a massive fan of the cold but I reached the decision that if I wanted to be the best kayaker I had to train with the best and do a full season training programme with a proper base phase rather than coming straight back home post world champs heading back into the NZ kayaking season which means less base training and the pressure of having to race as early as October. Although it was extremely tough and very different not really paddling for 3months I found it extremely beneficial performance wise and also learnt a lot about my training limits and what it takes to get to where I want to. It definitely paid off and I have taken a lot of what I learned and put that into my current training although in slightly warmer conditions this season.


SOR: Describe winning a world title.

TH: It’s a pretty amazing feeling to know that the work I put in paid off. Although it is still a pretty surreal know that you bet the rest of the worlds best.


SOR: New Zealand seems to have a terrific female kayak program running, with the likes of Lisa Carrington over the shorter distances, and you over the longer. What is it that is making such great paddlers across the ditch?

TH: I think one of the key things is that 100% of the NZ kayaking team came from surf lifesaving/ski paddling. Which provides a fantastic paddling base. Secondly we are of the advantage that we can paddle all year around, although racing back to back seasons is tough the ability to training on water whenever is a massive benefit.


SOR: Rio will be a firm target, what are your plans for the biggest sporting show on earth?

TH: After 2012 Olympics I made the decision that I didn’t want to just be at the Olympics to participate so after the past couple of seasons finally finding my mojo and making some great improvements I have my eye set on the Top 5.


SOR: 2015 will be a huge season with Olympic qualification, surfski worlds and the like, so what are your plans for the coming season?

TH: This year is going to be massive and I’m really excited to be racing such awesome events. This season I will be focusing on the kayaking world cup series and obviously world champs which is the major Olympic qualifying event. Along side that I will also be racing the NZ King of the harbor event, Nelo Summer challenge and Surfski World Champs. I’m also looking at a bunch of other events throughout the season.


SOR: Your Think Kayak of choice is the Uno Max. How are you finding our elite model?

TH: I love it! Although I’M a fairly small paddler I find it really comfortable to paddle. It seems to just pick up every little swell!


SOR: Let’s put a few of the boys to shame, what are you doing in the gym for weighted pulls and bench press? And how do you believe a structured weights program helps with paddling?


Bench pull – 95kg
Bench press – 100kg
Weighted pull ups – 40kg

For me I believe a structured gym program has been a massive help to improving my paddling. Especially for speed. The stronger I get the faster I manage to go, so I may be a bit bias but for me it really works. For others the difference isn’t too significant. I believe it is very athlete dependent but I also have the strong belief that the stronger and fitter you are the faster you will paddle.



SOR:  Thanks for taking the time to talk to us today, Teneale. Welcome again to Team Think, and best of luck for the 2015 season.



Stewart O’Regan

Think Kayak Australia

Mob:     0404 236 638
Web:     www.thinkkayak.com.au
Skype:  stewieor