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 Post subject: Re: Guide stroke video
PostPosted: October 28th, 2018, 6:33 am 
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Splake wrote:

Coming back to the video however I don't see any downward pitch on your recovery stroke. The angles I'm seeing in the video are actually pulling the paddle away from the hull which would counter the pry portion of the J stroke if it was actually having any steering impact.

In practice I would say that I let the paddle move forward freely on the recovery, knifing through the water at an angle to minimize resistance. That would be consistent with the angles I see in the video where you are knifing the blade through the water on the recovery and where the recovery includes moving the blade back out a bit wider to accommodate the width the hull will be when you reach your maximum forward extension and start the next power phase of your stroke.


Maybe this is when words fail.

The "downward pitch" I mention is just the leading edge of the paddle. During the recovery the leading edge pitches down just a tad and the amount of pitch and where it starts is going to depend on how much correction is required. Most students have a hard time finding that pitch, you have to "feel" it. When students are struggling my technique for helping them find that feel is to have my canoe beside theirs and I stand behind them with one foot in my canoe and one in theirs. I reach over them and guide their hands with mine. They need to find the sweet spot where you get the feel of resistance and once they do one right I ask "did you feel that?" and the answer is yes. I guide their hands a few more times but with light pressure from mine. Ask if they are getting the feel and then get back into my boat so they can practice on their own. Your description of what you're doing and what I'm doing sound pretty close. I guess I might have to add a bit of footage to illustrate what I meant by downward pitch.

I like using that one hand recovery to help students find the pitch. For those who are averse to prying off the gunnel I get them to not grip the shaft with the lower hand but keep the grip loose enough that the lower hand acts like an oar lock. The control is all done with the top hand and if you're doing anything to control the paddle with the lower hand you're wasting energy.

The proof is always in the outcome, not the theory. At the last symposium I attended, one of the other instructors commented to my partner on shore while I was out on the water that my tandem canoe paddled solo was moving a heck of a lot faster than the effort I seemed to be putting into it.


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 Post subject: Re: Guide stroke video
PostPosted: October 28th, 2018, 10:46 am 
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Location: Saskatchewan
In your video your recovery looks very smooth. I use the canadian a lot as it's the least work. I want to use this method all the time to avoid lifting my arms but there's a common instance for me that I can't really, and it's back to the J or on to the indian stroke.

The downward pitch that I have to have paddling the South Saskatchewan River, if I want to cross from one bank to another or paddle upstream, places the power face almost perpendicular to the water surface. This makes the canadian a tough recovery as the pressure of the water forces a half C or U shaped dive and ascent path of travel, especially after a brief pause at the back, for the blade to return to a slicing position in the water as I move the blade forward. In this situation I switch up and return to the J, but sometimes I'm lazy and feel like giving the canadian another chance. So depending on the amount or speed that the I rotate the blade in this U shape it will cause the blade to pop up out of the water; although it's not very efficient, desired or smooth, the pop is otherwise satisfying.

Being a result of such a corrective J stroke I can't seem to think of a better way, so I usually just lift the paddle forward and out and quickly repeat. I nick-named this maneuver for myself as the "shoveling J." If there's a better way, or if I should continue to abandon the idea of using the canadian on a faster flowing river as described, let me know. For me the old adage "easier is better" often applies.

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 Post subject: Re: Guide stroke video
PostPosted: October 28th, 2018, 12:38 pm 
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Location: HFX, Nova Scotia canada
Great video! Its something I have been doing for years, not knowing what its called but it works.
I find paddlers get hung up on what strokes they should use and what conditions to use them in. We recently had a nasty lake crossing on our last :( trip of the season. We had one solo paddler with not a ton of experience really struggle into and across the wind. Granted it was extremely challenging conditions but it took a sweep finished off with a bit of a j kinda stroke on the downwind side to surf and keep boat angle while the wind was on our rear quarter. Tough to explain to a newbie without the experience to adapt strokes to get it done.


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 Post subject: Re: Guide stroke video
PostPosted: October 28th, 2018, 2:29 pm 
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scoops wrote:
Tough to explain to a newbie without the experience to adapt strokes to get it done.
That's the value of some initial formal instruction to learn the named parts of equipment and techniques. So that even if the paddler is not well accomplished at the stroke, at least they can understand what "should" be done by name when someone assists them how to move the paddle to get out of a difficult situation.


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 Post subject: Re: Guide stroke video
PostPosted: October 29th, 2018, 11:55 am 
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Scoops said
Quote:
I find paddlers get hung up on what strokes they should use and what conditions to use them in


Type of of boats, paddles and techniques will always be the never ending "discussion" :roll:
I just recently say a very similar discussion on Green land paddles.
It ended up being a lose-lose discussion.
In my younger racing days I too would have argued heavily on what I would have been taught
There are benefits/efficiencies in all and some are better than others in certain condtions.
As I have aged, :-? I have ending up using a large variety, depending on the situation and what I am doing.
That said I still prefer the "T" grip so that both hands can have that loose grip on the recovery part of the stroke so the various muscles can relax and save me energy.
With all the you tube channels and some with questionable expertise it is great to see a good one, especially the underwater work of the paddle and see what the blade is actually doing.
Keeping an open mind in all aspects of paddling is important because what works for one does not always work for another.
Physical conditioning, body shape/ size weight, previous or present injuries all come into play.
But it took me the better part of 51 years of paddle to realize that. :oops:
Jeff

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 Post subject: Re: Guide stroke video
PostPosted: October 29th, 2018, 3:22 pm 
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GRS Riverrider wrote:

The downward pitch that I have to have paddling the South Saskatchewan River, if I want to cross from one bank to another or paddle upstream, places the power face almost perpendicular to the water surface. This makes the canadian a tough recovery as the pressure of the water forces a half C or U shaped dive and ascent path of travel, especially after a brief pause at the back, for the blade to return to a slicing position in the water as I move the blade forward. In this situation I switch up and return to the J, but sometimes I'm lazy and feel like giving the canadian another chance. So depending on the amount or speed that the I rotate the blade in this U shape it will cause the blade to pop up out of the water; although it's not very efficient, desired or smooth, the pop is otherwise satisfying.


The guide stroke is really most appropriate for calm water cruising. Done well it is efficient and relaxing. White water paddling is different. From lots of experience teaching white water and having used slow motion replay of students there are three things that stick out for things that people could benefit from improvement on, especially for what you described. First is being able to read river features well and take advantage of all the forces of current and eddies that can help. Second is timing of strokes, people often try to plant a paddle when they shouldn't and if they'd waited a bit or done it a bit sooner it would have been effective. The last thing is angle and tilt of boat. You can use the hull of canoe much like you can use the sail on a sail boat. Setting the angle, and especially the tilt can redirect the force of the current and it makes it a lot easier to slide across a current. Done well, its kinda like being able to sail into the wind instead of being blown down with the wind.


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 Post subject: Re: Guide stroke video
PostPosted: October 29th, 2018, 7:23 pm 
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Your video is excellent. I would add that efficient paddlers plant the paddle with a slight reach and twist the onside hip to wind up the core, stack the top and bottom hands vertically and don't pull past the hips. Pushing with the feet also helps engage the core.

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 Post subject: Re: Guide stroke video
PostPosted: October 30th, 2018, 3:20 am 
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Indeed one can use the gunwale for leverage on the shaft of the paddle during the J-stroke or the rudder stroke, which is also known as the thumb-up J-stroke, goon stroke or stern pry in white water paddling.

The problem with using the gunwale for prying when doing a correction stroke, is that it can be bad for your stability. Not something you may feel directly in stable touring canoe on flatwater, but in heavy waves or in a tippy solo canoe like the Mad River Canoe Pearl or the Twister, you can sure notice the bad effect it can have on your stability, especially when you are paddling with a (too) long paddle.

I remember someone from the BCU during the International Canoe Symposium in the Netherlands, who 'suggested' that it would be stupid [sic] not to use the gunwale for prying when doing a correction stroke. However, the next day when trying to paddle the Twister, he quickly returned with just a few strokes because his prying correction gave him too much stability problems in this canoe. Admittedly, he also used a too long paddle, so that wasn't helping too.

So I won't argue that using the gunwale for prying judiciously can be useful in certain situations, but being able to paddle without it, is more recommendable in my view. Because even in stable boats the negative effect of prying of the gunwale may turn up in critical situations where problems with stability are not appreciated.

Another point is that when one uses a pitch stroke to go straight, the paddle shaft (has to) move a bit away from the gunwale (unless you are a bow paddler) so then it is impossible to use the gunwale.

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 Post subject: Re: Guide stroke video
PostPosted: October 31st, 2018, 8:46 am 
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jefffski wrote:
Your video is excellent. I would add that efficient paddlers plant the paddle with a slight reach and twist the onside hip to wind up the core, stack the top and bottom hands vertically and don't pull past the hips. Pushing with the feet also helps engage the core.


Efficient means different things to different people. I'm guessing you are describing technique that would be efficient for Marathon races that sit in a canoe. Olympic sprint racers kneel on one knee with the other foot planted on the bottom of the canoe that doesn't allow for pushing with the feet and their strokes end a bit behind the hips. The technique shown in my video demonstrates things that can be done to lessen the amount "work" to sustain cruising speed over long distance touring in a canoe. In all three instances there are ways to attain greater efficiency but the goals are different and the approach is different. My definition of efficient was getting the most out of what you can do with the paddle while putting the least amount of effort into it. Different strokes for different folks :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Guide stroke video
PostPosted: October 31st, 2018, 8:59 am 
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Dirk Barends wrote:
The problem with using the gunwale for prying when doing a correction stroke, is that it can be bad for your stability. Not something you may feel directly in stable touring canoe on flatwater, but in heavy waves or in a tippy solo canoe like the Mad River Canoe Pearl or the Twister, you can sure notice the bad effect it can have on your stability, especially when you are paddling with a (too) long paddle.


Granted prying on the gunnel has an influence on stability but its an easy fix to correct it by putting in a bit of counter weight in the opposite direction with your body. Takes a bit of practice but when you get good at it I'm pretty sure you can manage that in just about any boat. I was remiss in not mentioning the counterbalance aspect in the video so thanks for bringing it up Dirk.


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