team paddling and side changing

Hi guys,
just ran through an interesting video showing Cayucos races on youtube.

It's a 4 men canoe, without ama but paddles similar to ours and changing side also.
Some crews had a very special way of doing the latter :
Instead of changing alltogether on a "hut" sign, the front paddler changes, then the second, then the third, then the last one.

With this technique, you never get all paddles in the air at the same time, therefore the canoe is less prone to slowing down.
I tried it on an OC2, the difference was already obvious, I can't wait to try it on a 6 men !
Slowing down being the major flaw in alternative propulsion, I guess there's is something to dig for.

Any thoughts ?

Submitted by fabrice on Sun, 04/13/2014 - 10:29pm



Interesting, would this not through off the power of the boat? You would have more paddling on one side then the other? Even if just for a stroke or two, would this not create a need for more "poking" by the steers person?


#1 Mon, 04/14/2014 - 9:25am


hmm, sounds a little herky jerky to me... I'd rather have a concise change once per side than lose half a side to all that extra motion.


#2 Mon, 04/14/2014 - 12:18pm


Sounds like a sure way to "unbond" or disconnect a crew to me. As crews fatigue towards the end of races, minds wander and concentration lapses, so more potential for errors. Plus how can they judge when not to change, ie, when canoe is in an unstable moment like side wash or steerer poke lightening the AMA.

If same-time changeovers are done correctly, there should be no noticeable change in hull speed compared to regular strokes. That should be something all crews should train for via drills or just "focal moments" during regular training.


#3 Mon, 04/14/2014 - 1:18pm


Rambo you make a point regarding the crew bonding.
I guess it's more a question of habits. When the change is called from the middle, there's one person figuring when it's ok to do it. There it's the front paddler who decides. No big deal.
There's still room for the steerer to interfere if needed to put everyone on the left for example. For me, the steerer's command preceeds everyone else's.

As a steerer myself I don't think there will be a great difference : strokes are already unbalanced by the uneven number of paddlers (3 on one side, 2 on the other, the steerer doing what needs to be done).

Other interesting perks with that method :
- You're not troubled at the starting line by other crews' callings
- Your caller keeps his breath for the paddling.
- When stalking another boat they don't hear you coming.

I wish I could see some educated tests with some number crushing comparing both methods in the long run. ;-)


#4 Tue, 04/15/2014 - 3:59am


strokes are already unbalanced by the uneven number of paddlers (3 on one side, 2 on the other, the steerer doing what needs to be done).

If a coach/crew knows their paddlers abilities over time, they can know where or if they need to switch paddlers to a different seat to "even" out this 3 on one side, 2 on the other side dillema to where the canoe moves forward without the steerer needing to make corrections all the time and can actually paddle more.

You should know what your "caller" sounds like and shouldn't mistake his/her calls with other crews.

If your "caller" is loosing his breath from calling the "hut", he/she isn't doing enough to be proficient in that seat.

When stalking another boat, it's funny to see them fall apart when your callers "hut" is getting closer and closer as you creep up on them to where they burn themselves out trying to stay ahead and you end up passing them. So it's better to make them hear you coming.


#5 Tue, 04/15/2014 - 12:52pm


good point E7M ;-)
I laughed at the creepy evocation of the closing "hut" sound.
Sounds familiar enough !


#6 Tue, 04/15/2014 - 8:19pm


It's a 4 men canoe, without ama but paddles similar to ours and changing side also.
Some crews had a very special way of doing the latter :
Instead of changing alltogether on a "hut" sign, the front paddler changes, then the second, then the third, then the last one.

Sounds like a great way to get 4 shitty strokes instead of 1 !


#7 Fri, 04/18/2014 - 12:41am


Salut Hiro !
4 shitty strokes in 1 time, or 4 shitty strokes one after the other ? your choice. :-)

First case : The one we all know, pace is slowing (unavoidable) for one stroke. Pushing harder one stroke before as I've been taught doesn't always work (not that easy to do while staying in synch.)
Second case : pace is probably slightly less slowing, but for a longer time (5 strokes if I don't count peperu who changes when he needs).

As I said before, I would love to see the comparative numbers (speed at full stroke, speed while slowing down, duration of the change phase, influence of the choosen change system on the synchronisation quality, etc ...)

Don't tell me you wouldn't want a scientific study on that matter !


#8 Fri, 04/18/2014 - 1:38am


what's holding you back? grab five of your friends & get out there, see


#9 Fri, 04/18/2014 - 5:57am


Please register or login to post a comment.

Page loaded in 0.126 seconds.