Stroke Styles

There were so many fantastic responses on the surfing technique question, I wanted to add a few more technical questions for everyone's sage input. (Ok, some people's sage input and some people's wise-a$$ snarky comments! ;)

  1. How does your stroke technique change between OC1 and OC6?
  2. How does your style change when doing a long distance ocean endurance event versus a short flatwater sprint?

This question was in part inspired by watching Karel talk about how he doesn't use his legs much to drive stroke, he does use his legs to steer and adapt the line of the boat. He feels it isn't very efficient to drive stroke with his legs - of course, he is a master at harnessing the power of waves and that is his priority in open ocean racing settings, and he seems to be conserving energy for getting on the waves he picks.

Flatwater sprint coaches are always talking about how 70% of your power comes from the legs, and experientially, I do feel that leg drive is key in driving power in flatter conditions - and the video footage of Dubois winning world sprints seems to back this up, his leg pumping is off the hook and he is crazy fast.

And regardless of whether leg drive is critical to effective open ocean distance paddling, wouldn't you want a different style for unstable ocean conditions than for flatwater? I learned on flatwater primarily focused on sprints, in a river and am working on learning to adapt now that I have ocean access.

It seems that it would make sense to evolve two styles if you raced both types of races, assuming you could keep them straight... one style that yields efficient, ergonomic, economy of motion for a distance event, and one that might be less efficient and sustainable long term but brought down the full hammer of your power and speed for the short sprint.

And if you agree different styles are appropriate, how should the styles differ?

Submitted by valerie on Sun, 02/08/2009 - 9:55am



Ah, the 'leg drive question' again.

We had it several times before, including people looking at the same video and saying 'see, no leg drive', and 'see, leg drive' . :)

In flatter conditions the leg drive helps me very much, taking over a large part of the work load. Definitely good. Preserves energy.

In the waves I try to use leg drive as 'turbo' to get a wave that I am about to miss. Because the platform is less stable, I cannot use much leg drive. Let's see what the surfing experts will say. It is much more a response to the always changing conditions. I do not think about my stroke much when in the waves.

There usually is no board to drive the legs against.


#1 Sun, 02/08/2009 - 5:22pm


In 1 man only, ive been taught more to move the hips rather than push through the legs. As far as surfing goes though, ive been taught to apply the power with as little front to back torso movement to minimize rocking the boat up and down. You dont want to push the boat down into the water. I dont mean rotating your torso but more leaning forward to get reach. This can push the boat down before it will rise back up. Im not that good but it makes sense. Flatter conditions are a whole different story. Im probably not describing this very well so it may be sounding all wrong.


#2 Sun, 02/08/2009 - 6:08pm


I've been reading and watching Hawaiian training video's with the emphasis on the stroke being out in front and transferring the body weight onto the paddle lifting the canoe higher in the water. I just can't see how you can do this without pushing on the foot. Is this weight transfer not as important in the ocean, I haven't watched any training aids that suggested this?


#3 Sun, 02/08/2009 - 6:21pm


The butt transfers most of the torque from the paddle to the OC1, the legs just stop you sliding forward and help stabilize. In a sprint like the rudderless V1, Dubois uses a technique not sustainable in a marathon or in the ocean.

Rambo


#4 Sun, 02/08/2009 - 7:25pm


A butt has mainly friction between pant and seat to exert a forward force.

Lift your feet off the pedals and try to use your butt only to transfer the energy - it won't work.

The leg exerts a force in the same direction the vessel is traveling in.

Both points of contact contribute, with the main contribution coming through the foot.

You can put a large foot plate into your OC 1 that allows you more contact and you will experience the difference.


#5 Sun, 02/08/2009 - 7:40pm


If that's the case Ecky, can you explain to me why and how Jr gets leg drive when his upper body is moving forward through out his entire forward stroke?

I say Jr does the "pole vault " technique perfectly and drags the canoe forward with his butt. There is no visible movement or change in angle of his legs through out the power stroke in the videos.

Cheers Rambo


#6 Sun, 02/08/2009 - 7:55pm


I agree, Rambo.

Do you understand the 'pole vault technique' to be possible without the foot ? I interpret it just opposite to that, that I jump off my foot to launch myself on top of the paddle. Interesting.

But you cannot really discredit, that, if you 'lift' the feet off the canoe, you won't be able to move it forward very well.

If you do it through your butt, what direction would the vector of the force have ?
One would have to use the butt and the back of the upper thigh to push against the carved out seat, for the force components that will move the canoe forward are the ones directed in the direction of travel.

Maybe that is what many do. We would have to put a gauge under his feet to see how much pressure he actually applies there to know for sure the relative contribution.

If it is the case that most other paddlers paddle like that, I would still suggest that you can get a better energy transfer with the use of your leg/foot and that OC 1 design should be changed to allow that = larger foot plate, smaller pedal

I changed my Hurricane in that fashion; I noticed a performance improvement with that change.

In the agitated open ocean the instability and the many different situations reduce the benefit. Also because the direction of movement is downwards while bow down in the surf, so part of downward directed forces will add to forward movement.

jp - :)


#7 Sun, 02/08/2009 - 8:48pm


Wow. You lost me at hello.


#8 Sun, 02/08/2009 - 8:39pm


I often wondered about this because I have no technique at all .when a paddler reaches your upper half e.g. shoulder area moves forward 6 or 8 and that is a lot of weight. and a fraction of a second before that point is pressure applied on the paddle to compensate and also to try to keep the canoe form bobbing.

I know all of the sudden something gets out of sink while I'm paddling and the canoe will bounce and Ill try to settle down and it stops but I don't know what I do when I settle down.

but are you already pulling before your upper half moves forward to reach for a good pull?


#9 Sun, 02/08/2009 - 9:33pm


Eh! Rambo, my good man:
I agree with you that it is the okole. But I say it is the other way around, in that the okole provides the power (torque) to the paddle. Yes, because we sit down, we paddle with our okole, that's why for me, the left side of my okole always stay sore.

Eckhart also right about the legs, because when I kick with my heals, I can feel the calves, hams and glutes working together to send the power via trunk, shoulders, arms and hands to the paddle and water. It is actually the water that is powering the canoe forward. Why? Due to the concept of paired forces: ie., when force is applied to the water by the blade, the water molecules push back with equal force. It doesn't matter if it is drag, lift, vortex shedding, or axal flows, for paired forces are at work.

ps: When I try to emulate Jr's. stroke, I find myself pushing or kicking with heals of both feet, and using my opu to provide the torque to the the paddle via shoulders, arms and hands. Like doing situps or crunches.


#10 Sun, 02/08/2009 - 11:06pm


Tonite at training i emulated Jrs stroke which is similar to what i do when i need to muscle it rather than up the rating.

While paddling i pulled my feet back 1 inch away from the kick board and continued to paddle the same. When you do this it forces you to paddle more with your core, you can feel the contractions very intensely. Try it next time, my speed did not drop off, i think this is an excellent drill to teach core paddling.

Try it and let's know what you all found.

Koacanoe, when i push off my heels or kick i find the hips feel like they are being compressed from the force of the feet pushing back. I would much rather hold steady and allow the butt to connect to the hull, there is a more intense contraction in the core when doing this.

Cheers Rambo


#11 Mon, 02/09/2009 - 12:31am


Yes, you need more core, in part because you try to increase/maintain the friction between butt and boat.
It obviously works.

However, this is not really an argument for or against pressure on the 'kick' board - as you call it yourself.

I think butt and foot are needed.

Why should kayak/surfski emphasize leg drive, while OC 1 teaches against it ? That does not seem quite logical to me.


#12 Mon, 02/09/2009 - 10:13am


Double blade stroke utilizes core rotation more than single blade stroke.

With a double blade stroke the rotation is carried through the hips and thighs to anchor at the foot ... alternarting the rotation direction at each stroke to anchore at the other foot.

Single blade stroke uses the core muscles to hinge the upper body, applying power in a recoil action that has an almost horizontal axis, as compared to the vertical axis of double blade stroke.
Hip rotation does not play a big part in the stroke, so as long as the butt and feet are locked in a fore and aft direction the power is effectively transferred


#13 Mon, 02/09/2009 - 11:09am


When lifting weights, Georges Cronsteadt focuses mainly on his legs. Or so his translator says...

Interpret that information however you like.


#14 Mon, 02/09/2009 - 11:16am


As a physicist: I believe that most of the discussion so far is correct: the force from the water/body-and-paddle force-pair has to be translated to the boat via a combination of the butt and legs. I'm not sure what the actual percentage/combination contribution of one versus the other, but I'm sure the combination changes throughout the course of a stroke. To establish what ratio exists throughout the course of a stroke would be an interesting study, using a force meter at your feet and one at your okole.

As an amateur paddler: looking at the Tahitian world sprint champion, I notice that as he brings the paddle forward to "take a bite" of the water, he actually is lifting his legs, to move his center of mass more forward, putting himself in the "pole vaulter" position. Then I see his stroke in two pieces, 1) is the pole vaulter phase, and 2) a portion where he he pulls back on the blade he drives with his legs.

Of course this is a sprint and this guy is using a huge amount of energy. I would think that for the distance stroke, you want to minimize the leg drive, use the core-paddle technique that everyone is talking about, then use the leg drive when you want to accelerate into a wave. As an aside: just because the angle of Jr.'s legs does not change, this does not mean that he is not exerting a force with his legs. I would think that he does not "drive" with his legs, but uses them as a brace for the late part of his forward stroke.

valerie -
All of this is probably innate though... the more you paddle the more you will do these things without thinking about it. Everything I've heard and experieneced is that there's no trick to it... But an experienced friend of mine, when I asked him about the difference between OC-6 and OC-1 strokes, he said "Paddle your ass off", so there you go...

So my advice is to paddle with friends that are faster than you (for me that's easy...), then whatever you can do to make the boat go as fast as them - that's the "correct" technique.


#15 Mon, 02/09/2009 - 12:54pm


goodwaka - do you think a little more 'below the hip rotation' may help the OC 1 stroke ?

Peter - how many force meters do you have in your garage ?


#16 Mon, 02/09/2009 - 1:05pm


Eckhart -
Sadly, none. I did theoretical physics (instead of something useful).


#17 Mon, 02/09/2009 - 1:07pm


I think the most helpful thing I saw on this is the 5 part Danny Ching and Johnny Puakea video series on Mindy's blog.

Go to

http://outriggercanoe.blogspot.com/2008_12_01_archive.html
and get the first 4 videos in May 08 and the last one in June 08.

Johnny told Danny (evidently more than once ;>) if you aren't going to use your legs, leave them on the beach, otherwise they are dead weight. And Danny's comment that his legs are the most tired part of his body after a race.

Food for thought....

Cat


#18 Mon, 02/09/2009 - 1:24pm


Better ask Karel Jr about oc1 stroke....... he has more experience and ability than anyone else on the planet, doubt.

I just find that working the rudder pedals detracts from focussing on variation of angles and stroke with a single blade..... but sure, if finding a path to get running on bumps is the object, then connection of movement through the feet via rudder pedals, is the best alternative.

The synchronized rolling of a sski hull with body rotation, which puts the stroke side foot pressure in contact with the rudder pedal, applying corrective helm to conteract paddle induced yaw motion, is really neat.


#19 Mon, 02/09/2009 - 1:31pm


I can't feel the leg drive, only 10%... I like the SS technique with the hoop and rotating your torso. maybe the leg only feel 10% cause they are bigger muscles. or I'm not doing it right


#20 Mon, 02/09/2009 - 4:06pm


grovpb4:

Think bottom arm/hand, for that's the force from the water molecules you're feeling shoving you forward. I'd like to call it moment of inertia, but that means something else. So I call it brief period of inertia, which I try to prolong, via technique, for as long as I can. Try slicing out diagonally, which I do paddling rudderless, to really feel what I'm talking about. Some paddlers are able to develop lift, probably at the beginning and end of the stroke, which also propels the blade (being held by the bottom hand) ahead.


#21 Mon, 02/09/2009 - 10:27pm


in the surf, especially while cruising on a bump, i try to be smooth, and i still get connection with my legs, but i dont try to jam them, like taaroa does, while im on the wave. but when i'm trying to get that extra foot or so to drop into the next bump, then i will jam my feet into the bottom of the boat with each stroke, and as long as i let off eventually, the boat drops in. but if i try to keep sprinting, then i just end up stalling. i dont know if that makes sense, but i was actually thinking about this yesterday when i did a surf run.

rambo, when i only anchor my body with my butt, i get the meanest rashes. i dont understand how anyone can do that.

and in regard to the world sprints, that video was at the last 100 meters or so. that boy is something else i remember my coach was saying that his sponsor was paying him 1000 dollars/franks something for every race he won. that's some incentive. especially when he probably raced about 10 times. but the most memorable thing about that race was the man probably in his mid- to -late fifties chasing him with his new running shoes, yelling "go taaroa, go taaroa"


#22 Mon, 02/09/2009 - 10:53pm


and the other memorable thing about watching the tahitians race, in the last race on the last day, i remember there was this one team who their seat five broke his paddle at the start, and he was bent over the gunnels ripping his hands as hard as he can through the water, and they still placed


#23 Mon, 02/09/2009 - 10:55pm


tyler, i suggested lifting the feet awat from the foot stops as an exercise to feel engaging the core, not to paddle that way. Anchoring the feet in support of the butt, seems to me to be what most paddlers do, even though they don't know it.

Cheers rambo


#24 Tue, 02/10/2009 - 12:25am


tyler, i saw one guy break a paddle at the start, and pick up a new paddle from between his feet and reinitiate with only 1 stroke lost total - like it was rehearsed. the head course judge told me that he looked in their boats and most of the tahitians had an extra paddle between the feet of every other paddler in case this happened. not a bad idea as the paddles really aren't going to shift around much in flat water.

the tahitian racers may have had lots of incentive, and they surely had lots of training time, and dedicated coaches, too. as a result, in my opinion, there is no question that if you want to figure out how to go fast in a sprint, you're going to look to the tahitians and try to figure out what they're doing technically.

one thing that was interesting is that taaroa dubois was definitely compressing forward with both legs, then driving/springing back with both - while his leg drive is a little bit asynchronous, both legs are definitely doing huge contractions and explosion - presumably to get the full use of both legs behind each stroke. (did you also note that the body type for these top sprinters was mostly fairly compact, not very tall, and quite beefy?) his rotation was coming more from the top of the hips up, i think. i had always been taught for sprint to initiate rotation from the hips first, from folks who come out of a flatwater kayak tradition.

goodwaka's post regarding the difference between double blade and single blade requirements is informative and interesting.

i want to go fast (at least as fast as this little engine can go) in flat water sprints and distance ocean races, so i'm trying to adapt to the subtleties of both and understand how to tweak style in the different circumstances. i'd love to hear more thoughts about how people's stroke styles differ between the two different conditions/durations.

ps grovpb4, not a problem going out with friends who are faster, i get plenty chase time!


#25 Tue, 02/10/2009 - 8:32am


that the body type for these top sprinters was mostly fairly compact, not very tall, and quite beefy

much like marathon runners and 100 yard sprinters


#26 Tue, 02/10/2009 - 10:08am


valerie - i think everybody paddles a little different, not everybody cares to post about their ideas.

I try to paddle 'jumping' off my leg, with emphasized below-the-hip rotation and mostly bottom hand pull, rather little top hand push. This woks best in flatter conditions.

In the waves I just focus on continuous hull speed, smoothness; trying to use weight shift and paddle induced, rather than foot pedal use, for steering; ama as light as my balance allows. Stroke is a little shorter, faster, more irregular to react to changing conditions. More arm paddle.

Six man is very different because of the difference in seat position and a different gunnel. Just try to mimic the motion of the guy in front of you. My stroke starts from the foot here too.
Maybe a 1 inch longer paddle in the OC 6, see how you feel.


#27 Tue, 02/10/2009 - 1:46pm


Absolutely leg drive in an OC6, all my comments were for OC1 in the ocean.

Rambo


#28 Tue, 02/10/2009 - 7:25pm


OC 6 stroke is more about timing and team, doing your part, no steering, balance is different - can't control the boat with your hips/weight shift.
Regular: 15 left, 15 right. Also much different because the canoes are heavy. A little frustrating because its difficult to get it right as a group.


#29 Tue, 02/10/2009 - 7:45pm


Try to paddle as hard as you can and as fast as you can. After 30 minutes of doing this, try to find a pace that you can maintain for the rest of the race. If somebody should pass you at this point it is because they are better than you. If somebody should pass you in the last 20 minutes of the race it is because they are in better shape than you. If you pass a lot of people in the last 20 minutes of the race, you are either in great shape or you should have started faster. It really doesn't matter how much you are leaning forward or pushing on your legs to generate force. Once you learn how to paddle, it only depends on how hard you paddle and how long you can maintan it.
I have paddled with the best paddlers and have coached the best paddlers. The determination to succeed and not to be a failure is what separates the champions from the wannabees. In case you haven't noticed; the really top paddlers in this sport, Karel, Kai, Manny, Danny, Mael, Foti's, do not bother to give their opinions on the subjects in this post. They know what they have to do to succeed and are not interested in the speculation that goes on with the people who are still trying to figure it out.
If you really want to improve, keep it as simple as possible and don't try to reinvent the wheel.


#30 Tue, 02/10/2009 - 9:26pm


Thank you so much for that Tommy! I know and believe what you just said to be the truth and those are my main training principles. It does get fun to "talk story" about paddling on here though just because im so into paddling but I cant imagine actually trying to put alot of this info into practice while actually paddling. Its like a golf swing. There are a million different parts to the swing but in your mind you dont go through them while swinging.

time in the water
feel the boat movement
more time in the water


#31 Tue, 02/10/2009 - 10:48pm


great - thanks for the advice from the coaches.

( corrected typo)

Tommy, in case you haven't noticed - this seems a board for the people that are still figuring it out - that's why they post.

Average paddlers will generally post average advice; we all know where we place.

It would indeed be better if the experts gave their advice here.

Top surfski paddlers do not have a problem to communicate with the average guy at www.surfski.com.


#32 Thu, 02/12/2009 - 1:45pm


It is too bad that the top guys dont post on here although I can somewhat understand why. I think those guys do just what Tommy stated. They developed their strokes a long time ago and the majority of their time now is spent in conditioning and improving on their already incredible surfing skills. Ive got a guy giving me some good training guidance and after a few technique tweeks that I constantly work on hes always saying "look at the water, look at the water" and "feel the boat, feel the glide". "Listen to what the boat is telling you". Not, "rotate through the hip".


#33 Tue, 02/10/2009 - 11:01pm


Uncle Tommy,
I tried to do what you suggested, but only could go hard 30 seconds. Whew! At least that's a start, for I got 29 1/2 minutes more to work on. Anyway, I'm grateful for your posts and will try to employ all your suggestions. And above all, all us paddlers should be grateful to you for launching the oc-1 industry. For if you and Kala hadn't demonstrated to the world, in an open ocean race, the superiority and versatility of such craft, we would all still be paddling long boats.

Another thing, that needs to be mentioned, is your contribution and impact on the amazing performance of the Tahitian paddlers in the Molokai Hoe. I would say the foundation you built coaching and steering them years ago continues to be reflected in their success today.


#34 Wed, 02/11/2009 - 1:08pm


The thing about leg drive, I'm sure it's important, but in many years of paddling for Lanikai, listening to guys like the Fotis and others, I never once heard anyone mention leg drive. That being said, I'm sure it's important, but I guess it goes along w/ what Tommy Conner said, it's best to keep it simple and just work hard, having all these things going through your head is not going to help. What does Koacanoe say? No tink, juspaddle.


#35 Wed, 02/11/2009 - 2:21pm


Regarding Legs:
Come to think about it, our leg muscles are important for pumping our blood back up the hill, for unlike the upper body, there's no heart for for do that. So our leg muscles help keep the blood circulating where it is needed most.


#36 Wed, 02/11/2009 - 3:06pm


In other words, technique is a component of the sport that does not need or cannot be taught ?

tink - den do


#37 Wed, 02/11/2009 - 4:05pm


Just because the Fotis dont talk about it doesnt mean it isnt there. Ive only done one 6 man race so far and my legs were never so sore as they were from that training. Just because we may not pump our legs like the Tahitian kid doesnt mean we dont utilize leg drive. Like Rambo said, try taking your feet off the peddles and hold them in the air and paddle. Then come back and say there is no leg drive.

Im not saying that we need to start a forum on leg drive and how its the most critical scientific point of the blah blah blah but you shouldnt discount any part of the body in regards to the overall stroke and then say it s because Tommy sais to just keeo your head down and train hard. He said train hard, not dumb. he said to keep it simple, which to me means this: pyramid, quiet in, quiet out, dropping the shoulder, good rotation, pushing my foot on the paddle side. These are the technique points I keep in my head while I paddle. Everybody is different but I think its a small percentage of upper level paddlers whose entire stroke is 100% natural.


#38 Wed, 02/11/2009 - 4:19pm


jp, did you read the comment? I said that it wasn't mentioned, not that it doesn't matter. They mentioned many things about technique, just not leg drive. And I doubt Tommy Conner would ever tell you to keep your head down, it's bad technique, for sure.


#39 Wed, 02/11/2009 - 4:31pm


your funny


#40 Wed, 02/11/2009 - 4:39pm


I'm guessing that the fetching, Mrs. Connor has alot to do with his technique.


#41 Wed, 02/11/2009 - 6:33pm


the difference between the very good and not is feel for the water. if you train apropriately and still go slow on a one man you haven't gotten the the grasp of pulling yourself past the paddle and your power application is probably too far back. some paddlers are natural and pick this up quickly, some it takes years, and some will never get it. after many years of coaching i have found this is by far the hardest thing to teach. it becomes more appearent once you learn to plant or place (load your paddle) at the front of the stroke before you start to apply power. when moving a canoe think about small incraments of speed increase. do not try to power the canoe fron 0 to 8mph each stroke. grab the water at the recovery speed of the canoe then excellerate it back up to its potential. if everyone in a six man applies the power correctly to move a canoe from 7mph to 8 then the canoe will run smoothly and quickly. if one guy is trying to move it from 0 to 9 the canoe runs rough or heavy. it may go the same speed it just takes more effort. if you have one manned for many months and still don't go fast you probably can't help a six man go fast. there are also those who go very fast on a one man but over power the six man and accually slow it down as well. from my point of view as a coach if i can improve technique than i can improve hull speed. the beachboys novice women have won the last six years at states with zero recruiting. technique, technique, technique, strength, sprints, in that order.
junior does not have the best technique but has great feel for the water and unmatched bump skills. technique would probably not make his one manning faster but it would have a good shot at allowing him to move a six man faster.


#42 Thu, 02/12/2009 - 1:20pm


Cool thread, lots of angles. Makes me think about the different types of paddlers; those who enjoy paddling and those who have something to prove. hmm.


#43 Thu, 02/12/2009 - 2:11pm


One would benefit from absorbing the post of Jackson Monahan's father.


#44 Thu, 02/12/2009 - 5:52pm


Very true KGB, finding that glide path through feel only comes with time in the boat.

Rambo


#45 Thu, 02/12/2009 - 7:17pm


The point that I was trying to make is that there are no short cuts to success. There is no video, no book and no 2 hour seminar that will replace hours and hours of practice on the water. I have taken video of paddlers while they were training and showed it to them and they still could not figure out what they were doing wrong and they were looking at themselves. You can look at Karel videos all day long and it won't help you improve. Everything in this sport is trial and error. You keep trying different things until you find the right path to improvement. I don't push hard with my right leg because the cartilage was removed and it is painful to drive hard on it. So I compensate a little on the right side with more rotation and shoulder drive. Everyone is different and different rules apply. Figure out what works for you and then work hard at it.


#46 Thu, 02/12/2009 - 8:27pm


Your right of course Tommy, but taking some of the info i have gathered off the water and applying it on the water has definitely helped advance my paddling at a faster rate.

On the other hand, any time i have let my on water training lapse my results fall away dramatically, so if your not doing the time it will show no matter who you are.

Building outrigger canoes is trial and error too, but every manufacturer or designer seeks and gathers info that might help them build a successful boat.

I pretty sure there are plenty of OC coaches watching videos of the Tahitians winning Molokai Hoe and figuring out what they have to do to beat them

Cheers Rambo


#47 Thu, 02/12/2009 - 8:55pm


When you come to the sport late, you try to learn a little faster: especially the reading of the ocean.
You cannot catch up with 40 years of experience; you can ask, listen and learn a little, get some ideas.

When top paddlers and coaches share their knowledge, they show appreciation of everybody - that is a good thing.


#48 Thu, 02/12/2009 - 9:30pm


If a top paddler is told he has a technique flaw or doing something wrong, he will accept it immediately and work on making right.
If an average paddler is told the same thing, he will usually deny it and tell you where to get off. ... hahaha

I think that coincides with what Tommy was saying about showing people a video of themselves paddling.

Cheers Rambo


#49 Thu, 02/12/2009 - 9:41pm


Well sensei, better get boot camp going again, Ella is nearly on your doorstep for downwind surfing instruction.

Tommy, you are right of course, time on the water is the best option. Some of us are not as fortunate to live on the coast. So we seek out information, lock it in then try it out when we get the chance. I paddle on the flat most days working on technique and a cadence that will build up my threshold for catching bumps. It is not ideal but it is all I've got.

So these sites and training video's by top paddlers are very useful. When I watch a paddling vid I watch it once for enjoyment and then revisit it to see what the paddlers were actually doing. Now I am going out to paddle flat out for 30 minutes and see what speed I can hold after that, cheers for the tip.


#50 Thu, 02/12/2009 - 10:37pm


i am a little anal about technique. about a third of all my practices are technique. great technique will not win you a single race. i am afforded the time to coach this technique because the paddlers i coach do! the do what i ask, and they do it because they want to win.
when they race the solo craft they go as hard as they can for as long as they can then hang on to the finish. most of my paddlers are very novice and this helps them understand what the great ones already know. how hard you can push and for how long. it teaches pain tolerance. it is tommys first post. hopefully it axcellerates the learning curve to the point where they know how to race. i also coach to simplicity. i do not want the paddlers to be thinking about a single thing relative to technique during races.
there has been a lot of talk about the tahitians stroke here as well. they do not win because of some magical stroke. they win because they are fitter and stronger. they go harder longer than anyone. their stroke is up front with a clean release.
good technique does allow you to reach your potential.


#51 Fri, 02/13/2009 - 3:43pm


So we had our first race of the year .and Ive been practicing the hula hoop with the arms, and the and jump off with the legs and feet, but it just doesn't have the same trial as a race. Well let me tell you it moves you... when you kick. a lot moor than I thought. My legs were sore and weak the rest of the day. the first race always hurts a bit. It was sunny and fun


#52 Sun, 02/15/2009 - 2:26pm


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