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PostPosted: February 11th, 2015, 5:08 pm 
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Joined: April 30th, 2010, 4:11 pm
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Location: Georgetown, ON
Strongly pressured by the end of production for Royalex as well as the Nova Craft Ocoee, I decided to get one while I could. It now joins the fleet.

So I have a little experience at solo white water, and some good videos to watch, unfortunately my copy of Thrill of the Paddle is in a box somewhere. I found a place along my commute where I could practice regularly, and appreciate that learning will require some specific training. I know that I lack some necessary lateral abdonimal strength.

Given that I had a regular routine and could paddle for an hour on each occasion, what should I be doing? Can I get a description for 2 by 4 exercises for a weekly workout?

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PostPosted: February 12th, 2015, 10:26 pm 
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Joined: February 19th, 2004, 9:53 pm
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Can you get a copy of the Kent Ford video, Drill Time?


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PostPosted: February 13th, 2015, 2:30 pm 
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Hook up with some other solo boaters and find out some of your main weaknesses.
Depending on body/fitness/flexibility/balance ... (the lis will continue to grow depending on what you want to accomplish)
oops we forgot age.... :o

Watching videos is good but you need feedback from a camera and other paddlers.
A weekend course will give you a quick look into what you need to do.

Depending of the type of WW paddling you want to get into will help steer you in the direction you need to go.

Because all paddlers abilities are different you will have to develop a bag of skills that suits you.
And the one course you should take ( if you haven't already) is a swift water rescue course. It is something any paddler who will go on moving water should take.
Jeff

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Choosing to save a river is more often an act of passion than of careful calculation. You make the choice because the river has touched your life in an intimate and irreversible way, because you are unwilling to accept its loss. — (David Bolling, Ho


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PostPosted: February 17th, 2015, 1:26 pm 
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Joined: January 11th, 2005, 4:58 pm
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Location: Manitoba
RapidMedia has some exercise/fitness information online.

The first link searches for articles by Heather Herback

http://www.rapidmedia.com/2014-buyers-g ... rbeck.html


http://www.rapidmedia.com/whitewater/ca ... 2015-10-25

http://www.rapidmedia.com/whitewater/ca ... -ever.html

http://www.rapidmedia.com/whitewater/ca ... rever.html

http://www.rapidmedia.com/whitewater/ca ... t-out.html

http://www.rapidmedia.com/whitewater/ca ... -pain.html

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http://www.JohnstonPursuits.ca

 


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PostPosted: February 17th, 2015, 8:36 pm 
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Great for youngins' :oops:
But for someone who is beginning you need to take appropriate steps.
Working out too hard with out a proper build up to harder stuff is a recipe to quit or hurt yourself seriously.
Even when I competed Internationally those that had the heart to work out like this where few.
And it takes a certain mindset,
But there are fun ways you can raise your fitness levels.
It is still work.
You just have to learn to do it to the levels you can maintain the love of paddling.
Jeff

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Choosing to save a river is more often an act of passion than of careful calculation. You make the choice because the river has touched your life in an intimate and irreversible way, because you are unwilling to accept its loss. — (David Bolling, Ho


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PostPosted: February 19th, 2015, 4:08 pm 
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Joined: April 30th, 2010, 4:11 pm
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Location: Georgetown, ON
Thanks for the help.

I wasn't clear that my initial practice spot is a pond in Brampton, where I am expecting to work out the basic maneuvering on calm water. Later on I could graduate to below the Paper Mill Dam at River Drive in Georgetown. There is nothing more than a chute and not even large waves.

The one occasion on which I had some instruction, it was to maintain an edge on either chine by putting weight on that knee, and then paddling in circles by varying stroke rate. (It seems to me this is the foundation of 2 by 4s.) I am a distance runner but found this quite tiring, in part because everything I do now is in a straight line.

So yes, I will work on the fundamental fitness first. And I ordered a copy of Drill Time for myself already!

Also, I am well aware of the Guelph Kayak Club which is within a reasonable distance. They have been very hospitable but I have not tried out the gorge except on an inner tube. It should be a fun year and I am getting eager!

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PostPosted: February 22nd, 2015, 5:26 pm 
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In the spirit of full disclosurre, I'm an instructor. But I think you would advance more quickly if you actually did a weekend course and got some coaching. It sounds like you already have made some significant progress (stay upright and make the boat move in the desired direction.) Now you just have to work on efficiency. It's really hard to do this completely on your own.

Personally, I think that "fitness" is not as important as good form and the ability to use water. When you watch really good paddlers they are using boat placement and water features and are barely working. Naturally, fitness contributes to being able to maintain good form, but you have to be able to recognize what is good and what is not.


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PostPosted: March 2nd, 2015, 6:59 pm 
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What Peter Said :thumbup:

It will defiantly speed up the curve,
But some flexibility and prep will speed things up even more.
Just getting out and getting some K's in with some steady state will do wonders.

Jeff

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Choosing to save a river is more often an act of passion than of careful calculation. You make the choice because the river has touched your life in an intimate and irreversible way, because you are unwilling to accept its loss. — (David Bolling, Ho


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PostPosted: March 3rd, 2015, 2:16 pm 
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Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada
Sweet pick up of that Ocoee...I'm jealous.

I would highly recommend spending a weekend (or a week if you can pull it off) getting instruction at MKC. It will speed up the learning process greatly and set you up nicely for working on technique (properly) on your own.


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PostPosted: April 20th, 2015, 10:39 am 
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When you speak of "2 X 4 exercises" I am guessing you are referring to the so-called "2 X 4 forward stroke technique", a moniker coined by Andrew Westwood?

http://westwoodoutdoors.ca/2010/02/24/c ... -westwood/

If so, I feel compelled to mention that Andrew hardly developed this technique. People like Tom Foster and Charlie Wilson had been talking about inside circle carving for many years prior.

As for DVDs I agree that "Drill Time" is quite good. An older, but still good Kent Ford video is "Solo Playboating":

http://www.performancevideo.com/solo_playboating

Perhaps my favorite DVD is Tom Foster's "Solo Open Whitewater Canoeing":

http://whitewatervideo.com/TomFoster.htm

Tom really emphasizes the value of circle carving in his videos, just as he does, or did, with his face to face instruction. His emphasis has long been on the "cab forward" technique of driving the boat from the forward quadrants.

There are many fine books on whitewater canoeing. A couple of nice ones that cover whitewater canoeing as well as general canoeing are Andrew Westwood's "Canoeing: The Essential Skills and Safety" and Gary and Hoanie McGuffin's "Paddle Your Own Canoe: An Illustrated Guide to the Art of Canoeing".

As for flat water exercises I would suggest making a couple of small buoys. Using a single buoy, practice paddling in circles of varying radius by carving on both your on and off sides, touching your bow to the buoy each time. Using a pair of buoys, practice paddling a figure of eight pattern around the buoys by carving circles, switching from and on side to an off side circle, or vice versa, at the midpoint of each figure eight. These are exercises Tom Foster suggested to me years ago, and I was a little amused to see them recommended in the McGuffins' book as well.

If you don't have a lot of solo whitewater canoeing experience you should be aware that the Nova Craft Ocoee is not the most user-friendly boat to start out in. The Ocoee is a great boat, but the original Dagger Ocoee has a significant edge to it. As you have found out, the edge or chine can be used to great effect to maintain directional stability on a ferry, or maintain a carving arc by weighting the appropriate knee. When you start to paddle a sharper-chined boat on whitewater you will likely find yourself tripping over that chine if it contacts an unforseen rock, however. Eventually you will develop the ability to instantly and instinctively unweight the downstream knee as you make contact with such a rock but expect to take at least a few swims first.

The Nova Craft Ocoee mold was taken off an Ocoee that had been pulled in two inches or more for slalom racing. This rounded the bottom of the hull significantly and made the boat less stable (but faster). If you find the Nova Ocoee too tender for your taste, you might be able to improve stability by pushing it out a couple of inches by either relocating the thwarts or installing longer ones.


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PostPosted: April 27th, 2015, 2:28 pm 
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Congratulation, I did the same and picked up one for my self as well.
Mine is red meaning it is the lightweight royalex version. I had preferred the yellow version which is a heavier royalex but this wasn't availabe anymore as a bare hull.

I have 2 recommendations for you:

1. Check how you gunnels are affixed to the hull. Mine has carbon steel self-tapping screws and these alreay showed corrosion right from the shop. Replace them with stainless steel screws or aluminium rivets (or accept corroded screws). For me the screw are no problem because I plan to replace the vinyl gunnels by wood anyhow.

2. I strongly advise you to store the boat for at least a year or so to let the royalex cure and harden. New royalex is VERY SOFT and will easily dent/damage.
I checked the rolalex of my new Ocoee this weekend and noticed that the foam core of the royalex is so very soft that I can put a dent in it by pressing with my finger!
Wow.. that's bad...
My hull was produced in December 2014.


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PostPosted: May 1st, 2015, 6:58 am 
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Location: Coldstream, Ontario Canada
Drill is based on old school stern correction, it's a totally different style of paddling then the 2x4 where 95 % of you correction strokes are done in the bow. Stern correction strokes are fine for longer older style boats that have more glide, but not for short boats. Further more if you want to advance your paddling into those higher skill sets, you will need to develop confidence on the off side in mid stream current when wanting to change course direction.

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PostPosted: June 8th, 2020, 8:43 am 
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Location: Georgetown, ON
pblanc wrote:
The Nova Craft Ocoee mold was taken off an Ocoee that had been pulled in two inches or more for slalom racing. This rounded the bottom of the hull significantly and made the boat less stable (but faster). If you find the Nova Ocoee too tender for your taste, you might be able to improve stability by pushing it out a couple of inches by either relocating the thwarts or installing longer ones.


I ended up talking to both of Brian Shields, who was able to confirm by direct comparison that my boat has the same dimensions as the 'original' Ocoee mold, and Gail Shields who provided the actual sample used by Nova Craft to duplicate it. They did not support this idea that there was any interpretation of the previous shape. Measurements of the thwarts confirmed that they are the same length.

The canoe sat on the racks for most of five seasons through several renovations and a birth.

I have all of the suggested books and videos now. Of the lot my favorite book is actually 'Catch Every Eddy ... Surf Every Wave: A Contemporary Guide to Whitewater' by Thomas Foster.

I did not replace the original screws, which are holding up just fine. They may not look very nice, but it seems to be just surface rust.

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PostPosted: June 8th, 2020, 3:51 pm 
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eberlym wrote:
I ended up talking to both of Brian Shields, who was able to confirm by direct comparison that my boat has the same dimensions as the 'original' Ocoee mold, and Gail Shields who provided the actual sample used by Nova Craft to duplicate it. They did not support this idea that there was any interpretation of the previous shape. Measurements of the thwarts confirmed that they are the same length.


I think there must have been a misunderstanding here. It may stem from the fact that most of the seasoned paddler's modified the Ocoee to be narrower and this became somewhat of the norm. The stock Nova Craft Ocoee is far narrower than an unmodified Dagger Ocoee or even an Echo Echoee for that matter. Seeing them side by side makes this obvious - paddling them one after the other makes it even more obvious! I bought the very last Ocoee Nova Craft had aside from one they had that got twisted coming out of the mold. When I replaced the vinyl gunnels with wood I pushed mine out at the same time. My "widened" boat is about 25.5" from the outside of RX to outside of RX. If I recall it was 24" when I picked it up. For comparison, the Echoee's I've seen are about 26" and the stock Dagger's a bit wider. The good news is that if you master paddling the narrow version, you will be able to paddle any boat! I hope to spend some time in mine this year. Like your's mine's spend all but 3 or 4 days on the racks since I bought it.


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PostPosted: June 10th, 2020, 2:13 pm 
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Lots of good resources on YouTube!

Big waves shouldn't be your first interest. You can keep practicing what you are used to doing - going straight!!

The first challenge of a solo playboat is being able to get it to go where you want on flatwater. Specifically, being able to apply power strokes (forward strokes) without sending yourself into a spin.

Practice accelerating your boat in a straight line. Play with various combos of c-strokes, Js or pries, offside power, and different tilts. Until you can reliably get your boat up to speed while staying on target, don't worry too much about currents and waves. IMHO, this basic step of being confident with making your boat go straight (and/or taking power strokes without losing your angle, depending on how you look at it - different sides of the same coin) is overlooked.

Here are some tips: start with gentle strokes and add power gradually; don't be afraid to paddle on your offside a lot; keep your strokes short; and "micro manage" your direction, making tiny corrections one-step-ahead, before you need to fight anything with a major correction. Ask your self over and over whether you're paddling on your offside enough, whether your paddle is vertical, and whether you're keeping your strokes short. If you're having trouble, dial it back to gentle, short strokes.

The "2x4" drills like doing a figure-8 with offside circles are also great - but I think you need to get good at going straight before you can be good at doing circles.

Then hit Youtube for various ww how-tos and other inspiration.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1ReP-v1jbo

Good luck, P.

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