Somatotype Characteristics of Indian National Canoeists and Kayakers

Debaarati Chakrabarti
Anthropometrist, SAI, India
Anup Adhikari
Anthropometrica, Toronto, Canada

Published 30-06-2023


  • Water sports,
  • Canoeing,
  • Kayaking,
  • Somatotype,
  • Muscularity

How to Cite

Chakrabarti, D., & Adhikari, A. (2023). Somatotype Characteristics of Indian National Canoeists and Kayakers. International Journal of Kinanthropometry, 3(1), 118–123.



Introduction: Performance in Canoeing and Kayaking depends upon different factors and Somatotype is one of the most important factors of these. The present study aimed to find out the somatotype of Indian national level Canoeists and Kayakers who participated in International and National level competitions. Methods: 27 national level Canoeists and Kayakers were studied for their Somatotype. All subjects were selected from different water sports training centers across the country.  Out of 27 athletes, 11 were male athletes (seven Canoeists and four Kayakers) and 16 were female athletes (6 Canoeists and 10 Kayakers). Heath-Carter method (1967) was followed for Somatotyping. Results: Average somatotype of 3.4(±0.9)-5.0(±0.8)-3.4(±2.1) was observed for the male Canoeists and Kayakers whereas that of females was 5.9(±1.6)-4.7(±1.1)-2.0(±1.1). Thus, the male Indian National Canoeists and Kayakers were with Balanced mesomorph somatotype on average whereas the female counterparts were Mesomorphic endomorph. The average muscularity of both male and female Canoeists and Kayakers was moderate.  Conclusions: Ectomorphic mesomorph somatotype is the ideal body type for a sportsman in Water sports. Besides Somatotype characteristics, the muscularity of an athlete represents muscular strength which is an important factor for good performance in water sports and generates the required energy for paddling. Moderate muscularity of both male and female Indian Canoeists and Kayakers could hinder good performance in international arenas like the Olympics and Commonwealth Games. Thus Indian Canoeists and Kayakers should improve their muscularity with proper training and nutrition.


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