V1 Paddling - Strokes & Speed (?).

Aloha to All,

I was reading the article "A Ruderless Revolution" on Pacific Paddler Magazine and I'm curious about the five (5) different types of V1 strokes taught by Manutea Owen and Georges Cronsteadt and mentioned by Ron Cotteen.

I'm just a V1 rookie but the ones that were taught to me were:

  1. Front Draw (towards the hull);
  2. Back Draw;
  3. J Stroke;
  4. Poke;

Could anyone pls clarify?

Also, on the same article Luke Evslin highlighted that "unless it's dead flat, an OC1 will most likely always beat a V1". From my (limited) experience of paddling OC1s and V1s, and watching (both live & videos) some of the best in Tahiti, I believe that in almost any conditions a top paddler such as Manutea/Georges/etc. would be faster on a V1 than on an OC1. In my opinion, even tough they might loose some forward propulsion by constantly correcting the canoe's course, the V1s maintains a much better flow than an OC1 once good technique is in place. Obviously, the only way to testify these impressions would be a top Tahitian paddler racing the Te Aito/Super Aito with an OC1 or the Solo Molokai Crossing with a V1...

Any thoughts?

Mauruuru Roa/Mahalo everyone!!!

Submitted by feirulegui on Sun, 03/06/2011 - 12:01am

Solo Molokai Crossing with a V1...

Dreaming to see that happening someday !

#1 Sun, 03/06/2011 - 10:44am

I think Luke's comment on the OC-1 beating a V1 in the waves stems from the the possibility that an OC1 surfs a bit better than a V1.

Don't get me wrong here, my V1 surfs incredibly well and I catch bumps like crazy in it, but I think that an OC1 can race down a wave faster than a V1. Maybe this is due to the increased length of the V1.

Hopefully if Luke sees this thread, he can clear up this for us...

#2 Sun, 03/06/2011 - 3:16pm

Aloha/Ia Orana Kileki and Hiro,

Any comments on different strokes (for different folks..hehe)?


#3 Sun, 03/06/2011 - 3:34pm

I think I use like 20 variations of my forward stroke and poking, prying and pulling to steer and try to keep some forward momentum!
In today's Pa'a Koa Nui short course (Hawaii Kai run) I was able to keep up with OC-1's until the wind shifted more northerly (rt quartering) and the swells got bigger and closer together. Connecting bumps in that kind of water takes more steering effort which takes away from forward power for me. Then we hit black point and I basically was all over for me! Spinout after spinout until Kaimana then a whole lot of j-stroking on the rt to make it across Waikiki.
Still had lots of fun and it was a great day on the water.

#4 Sun, 03/06/2011 - 5:10pm

novice c: I know what you mean when you talk about Black Pt., for I just about gave up paddling my rudderless Horizon lagoon style long boat doing a Kanaka Ikaika Hawaii Kai to Natatorium race way back in 1992. I was pooped when I hit Black Pt, so I decided to go inside the breakers where the water was calm. Lucky for me the current was on my side as I zipped around Diamond Head in shallow water and not worrying about damaging the rudder. Congratulations, for it just feels good knowing you can paddle an outrigger the "old style" way.
ps: someone, who was watching the race from Diamond Head Lookout, came up to me later, after the race, and said "you have a very long stroke." "Yeah, I know," I said. Little do they know?

#5 Sun, 03/06/2011 - 5:53pm

I'm still learning, but here are my thoughts...probably no serious revelations here...this is my learning curve not necessarily the pros/cons of V-1...i love the intensity, focus and ocean condition knowledge that comes with the V-1:
- flat: can be pretty amazing and fast
- going straight into the wind/bumps: very fast...slices into the swell
- sidewind: tough as hell, get used to paddling a larger percentage on one side, nice workout (ha!)
- downwind/longer period swell: catches nice bumps--the sense of accomplishment is killer when it tracks and you connect, can track better but spin out occasionally which is frustrating when you may be next to an oc-1 and then they gain or pass you after your spinout and going at a 90 degree angle and then subsequent correction
- downwind/short swell period/lots of wind: tough as hell--still trying to figure this out..poking, weight distribution?!?!

#6 Sun, 03/06/2011 - 6:48pm

There was a special on the knowledge network and they were talking about speed. Horses, Dinosaurs and then finally humans and how the fastest runner in the world has close to 1/2 a secound between strides and so dose any avereage person. They concluded it wasn't how fast you move your legs. The thing that makes you fast is how hard you pound the pathment. If you look at that it comes from the blood and the heart. For speed in the canoe as my elders say pull hard and the next stroke pull harder and so on. Not to dismiss any other technical talk of canoe. Its just it all comes down to how much pressure you put on that paddle.

#7 Mon, 03/07/2011 - 7:03am

Feirulegui, you're right. My answer to the Pacific Paddler question was vague. There are really three separate questions with three different answers which are unclear in my response in PP:

1) Would top V-1 paddlers (Manutea, Georges, etc) be faster on an OC-1 or a V-1?

2) Would top OC-1 paddlers (Danny, Jimmy, Kai, Karel, Manny etc) be faster on a V-1 or an OC-1?

3) Which craft is faster?

And I think that all of them have sort of been answered already in the thread. I especially agree with cjktower24 and his analysis of V-1 speeds in different conditions.
To quote him "I love the intensity, focus and ocean knowledge that comes with the V-1." The experience of paddling a V-1 is completely different than paddling an OC-1. What I meant with my PP answer is that it's not the speed of the V-1 that is important, it's what you learn and feel from it that is.

There is no straight answer to the questions above. As everyone above said, ocean conditions play a critical role in any comparison. Here is my opinion on the above questions:

1) I believe top V-1 paddlers would be faster on an OC-1 going downwind or perpendicular to the wind. That's assuming that the paddler has some experience in an OC-1. I have paddled with a top junior Tahitian who was on an OC-1 for the first time, and I can say with some confidence that he would have been faster on a V-1 in every type of conditions. I don't think that he took more than 4-6 strokes on a side and definitely was not using the rudder intuitively.

I would imagine that top V-1 paddlers would be faster on a V-1 in dead flat or very light winds, or possibly in any straight upwind conditions.

2) I have no idea what the answer to this question is. Obviously if they have no V-1 experience then they will be significantly faster on an OC-1 in all conditions. However, I would bet that top OC-1 paddlers like Danny, Manny, and definitely Simeon (who each have significant V-1 experience) could be faster in the flats and upwind on a V-1. I have a lot of experience on a V-1 and I can't say for sure whether I'm faster in the flat or not. I definitely am close to where I would be on an OC-1, but I haven't used a GPS to confirm if I'm faster.

3) As stated above: it depends on the conditions and the paddler. All things being equal, a person with no experience on either craft will be faster on an OC-1 in all conditions. An experienced V-1 paddler with no OC-1 experience will be faster on a V-1, and vice versa. If someone existed who was equally experienced in both crafts, I believe that they would definitely be faster upwind and in the flat on the V-1, and downwind and crosswind on the OC-1.

But, in the end, I don't think it matters and I don't think we should put too much stock in the answers. They are very different crafts and they serve very different purposes.

At the risk of sounding like a sappy salesmen:
I've only paddled a couple of times in the last five months. And, while I don't often think of racing or paddling OC-1, I think of paddling a V-1 all the time. There is an irresistible appeal to the V-1 that I don't feel as much with the OC-1. But I've always failed at trying to put the difference into words and I know that I didn't do the V-1 any justice with what I said above.

#8 Mon, 03/07/2011 - 9:13am

Novice C; nice job over the weekend bully!
My thoughts on v1 strokes; there are strokes that work great in some conditions, and at other times don't work at all. For example, the speed or steepness of waves makes a dramatic difference in how I can control the v1, the steeper the more I need to uni etc. Being focused 100% seems to be the trick, not red-lining, and keeping you movements clean and simple, not over exerting. Manutea is a classic example to follow.

#9 Mon, 03/07/2011 - 9:15am

That's awesome that you did that in a v-1, novice c...any other va'a in the race? A certain jc9 character perhaps?

#10 Mon, 03/07/2011 - 9:16am

Thanks for the insight Luke!

I'm definitely loving my Aukahi and every bit of knowledge that people share on V1 is very beneficial.

#11 Mon, 03/07/2011 - 10:22am

jc9er was busy eating all day both days.

nom nom nom....

#12 Mon, 03/07/2011 - 10:41am

"If someone existed who was equally experienced in both crafts, I believe that they would definitely be faster upwind and in the flat on the V-1, and downwind and crosswind on the OC-1."

Quoting Luke- and paraphrasing... Equally IN-experienced in both crafts...(slightly better oc1-) I'd say v1 is faster in flat and relatively calm conditions and oc1 faster in cross/down wind. But...

Also agree with Luke- it's not about going faster all the time. V1 is great for training efficiency and water skills, and is "irresistible", almost addictive- close comparison I have is to driving a golf ball. Hitting it clean, straight and far is so difficult; yet every so often it all comes together- making you want it more.

I wasn't able to race Saturday due to some work commitments, so I don't know if any other v1 paddlers participated. Only one did short course Hawaii Kai run...officially.

#13 Mon, 03/07/2011 - 11:27am

Didnt do the race this past weekend but was crazy (or stupid) enough to do makai pier to kaimana on my v1. There's so many different conditions that you experience throughout that entire distance and you find yourself using many different strokes in each of those conditions. Theres just a multitude of things you learn from going out there and paddling a v1, whether it be ocean conditions or paddling technique to keep your canoe straight in different wind.
Like novice c and luke said, theres definitely a different irresistible feeling to it, and those times that you can connect bumps and keep connecting, keep you wanting to do it more.

#14 Mon, 03/07/2011 - 2:00pm

Please register or login to post a comment.

Page loaded in 0.274 seconds.