How to steer ruderless OC1

Basics and tips please on how to steer an OC1 ruderless!

Submitted by icequeen on Fri, 07/22/2005 - 4:15am

Unless your about to hit another boat or go into the bushes or something--- don't poke with your paddle... besides that just steer it like you would a six man minus the poking. If you've never steered a six man, then go pick a point that you want to aim at, and stay right on that, switching sides whenever your nose starts to drift past that point. If you switch sides and you cant immediately get it to swing back, start making some wider strokes-- reach out far away from the canoe, and bring your paddle into the canoe and then finish the stroke as a regular stroke-- kind of in the form of the letter J. Do that on your right side and you will swing the nose to the left, and vice versa. Just know that it's normal to spend 60 strokes on one side, then only like 2 on the other.... and back to another 60. Every beginners problem with steering a canoe and probably with steering a rudderless one man--- is that they over-correct all the time. You'll correct correct correct, and then all of a sudden you'll be swinging the nose around the other way-- so just correct by doing the J stroke or taking some regular harder strokes until you begin to see the boat swing back to normal, then you can already probably switch sides and resume paddling normal.
I know that there has to be some more advanced technique, like playing with your weight on the ama and i bet that it is possible to be paddling on the right, and to do something at the end of the stroke that makes the canoe turn right--- but i haven't really gotten there yet. So i'd also like to know anything that anyone with some experience on a rudderless has to say...
Rudderless can be a lot of fun, cause you cannot dose off and stop paying attention like you can paddling with a rudder in the flat water-- you constantly need to be thinking and it will really really improve your steering ability... cause your body will begin to automatically correct when the nose of your canoe starts to drift.
I'm no rudderless pro-- i just do it for fun every once and awhile--- but i do recommend that everyone go out there and try it sometimes--- gives you a lot of respect for the Tahitians

#1 Sat, 07/23/2005 - 10:08am

Rudderless is very satisfying I had no idea I would enjoy it so much; it is creative and very immediate feeling of power in each stroke..
Something I need to practice more so that I can automatically have my body remember what to do immediately to correct. Everyone -Please send more advise- I like to visualize even when I am on land so the next time I go out I will have more things to try! Thanks Luke!!

#2 Sun, 07/24/2005 - 2:22pm

If you haven't seen it already, there was a thread last year about this:

#3 Sun, 07/24/2005 - 6:30pm

lol--- i didnt remember that thread from before either--- both of my answers were almost identical.

#4 Sun, 07/24/2005 - 9:14pm

Speaking of rudderless, I've always wondered how much drag a rudder creates on an oc1? I've also wondered if an oc1 can be designed such that the rudder pops up when not needed and pops back down when needed. Thoughts, anyone?

#5 Wed, 08/10/2005 - 10:10am

i think rudderless canoes will go alot faster in the flat then one with rudder if paddle correctly. anyways ask any tahitian paddler they let u no.

#6 Thu, 09/15/2005 - 7:56pm

Last year at Canadian Sprint trials we ran OC1 (ruddered) and V1 (rudderless) 500 m races using the same hull but +/- the rudder.

The fastest times overall (men and women in all categories) were all rudderless. Within individuals, the more experienced V1 paddlers were always faster in V1, and the newer V1 paddlers were sometimes faster in OC1.

One Senior Master was faster her first time in a V1 than she had ever done in OC1, and she has raced V6 and V12 at worlds many times, distance OC6 and trained extensively in OC1.

Conditions were a flat, calm lake using a Surfrigger.


#7 Tue, 09/20/2005 - 6:36am

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I'd like to see someone invent a rudder system that places the rudder in the water only on demand. I'm sure the rudder places a noticeable drag. There's should be some mathematical formulas out there for calculating the resistance a rudder creates based on its surface area, etc. I'll try to find some references for it and post it here.

#8 Tue, 09/20/2005 - 2:00pm

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