Bow/draw strokes

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PolecatApollo
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Bow/draw strokes

Post by PolecatApollo » Fri Mar 04, 2016 10:51 pm

Is there any good videos on carving, bow draws or draw stokes for whitewater situations? Or even just good written advice? Were just moving on to buying dedicated WW kayaks (Crossovers prior) and these vertical 'carving strokes' have never seemed to do much. I hope to understand it once we have our shorter boats. I see it in peoples kayaking montages but never seems to do much while paddling. The times a draw stroke (at least what I think a draw stroke is) works for me, I 'm left turning in the same direction even after I turn the sweep into forward a momentum stroke, then I'm left trying to get the thing straight again. So we still rely on turn kayak, then paddle forward, hard to progress with this.


Me and my friend have been paddling for a year and half. We are self taught through experience and YT videos.

I know a club or official training course would benefit us, but locally that means a long time in a swimming pool (Meh) or a lot of cash (less boats and dry suits). We are looking to do a SWT course anyway, this also questions the fact we paddle as a pair, rescues are obviously better in bigger numbers.

We are seeking out continues grade 3 and can roll 9/10 times in an eddy situation (heat of the moment rolls are still a little sloppy due to head lifting)

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Re: Bow/draw strokes

Post by Mark Dixon » Sat Mar 05, 2016 8:04 am

I dont know any technical videos but when I had a Mamba it wandered all the time and I relied heavily on Bow draw strokes going down rapids, I think this was more of a transition of my paddling not being good enough but I dont think its something thats good practice as I was always getting told off for it. I changed it, improved as a paddler and now look for forward paddling, the only time I try to use a bow draw is in an eddy.
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Re: Bow/draw strokes

Post by TechnoEngineer » Sat Mar 05, 2016 9:12 am

You need to consider trim.

You're probably used to a boat with stern heavy trim, i.e. it pivots at the back. In such a scenario, a bow draw wouldn't seem to be very effective compared to using a sweep stroke. The sweep stroke would swing the front of the kayak sideways, with the back not turning as much.

Whitewater kayaks, on the other hand, are set up for "bow heavy trim", i.e. they pivot at the front. In that case, a sweep stroke would swing the back of the boat round, and not much at the front. So in order to dodge an oncoming rock, you would need to use a sweep stroke to change the kayak's angle, and then use forward strokes to make it move "sideways". In this scenario, a bow draw (note the blade is actually in line with your knees rather than the bow) works much better because it drags the front of the kayak sideways, so is a much better means of dodging obstacles in WW. I didn't fully appreciate this until I did 3* Open Canoe, where the effects are a lot more obvious.

DVD-wise, I'd recommend you watch "EJ's Strokes and Concepts".

It's probably worth you going along to a "West London Whitewater" trip as well; Glenn is excellent at getting you started. See this group on FB:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/166415273500937/
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Re: Bow/draw strokes

Post by SimonMW » Sat Mar 05, 2016 11:27 am

Simon Westgarths Genotype 2 is well worth a watch for this sort of stuff applied.

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Re: Bow/draw strokes

Post by Chris Bolton » Sat Mar 05, 2016 12:19 pm

See if any of the following helps:

A draw stroke is using your arm/body to pull the boat towards the paddle. If you do it in the centre of the boat, it moves sideways, if you do it towards either end, it turns. Because you're actually pulling the boat sideways, it works even if you don't have much forward speed.

A bow rudder uses the force of the water on the blade held at an angle to pull the bow sideways and hence turn the boat. If you're not moving forwards through the water, it has as much effect as turning the steering wheel on a parked car.

There's no reason why you can't combine the two, ie, plant a bow rudder out from the hull and pull sideways on it. And then convert it to a sweep or a forward stroke. Which makes it hard to work out what somebody is doing in a video. In practice all kinds of strokes are combined together - canadian paddlers in particular do lots of this.

Once a WW boat has turned, so that it's not facing the direction it's moving, it will keep turning - the bow is gripping the water but momentum is pushing the boat from the middle. So if you want to straighten it up, you have to do something, typically turning your bow draw into a sweep.

Try watching some video of good slalom paddlers, particularly C1s, and look at the the angle of the blade, where it's planted and what follows. May need slow motion.

If you don't follow what I've written, which bits are a problem and I'll try to clarify?

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Re: Bow/draw strokes

Post by Franky » Sat Mar 05, 2016 12:42 pm

Does anyone use the side-slip stroke much?

From what I understand, this is when you place the paddle vertically slightly behind your backside, with the blade slightly open (i.e. with the concave side pointing forwards). You then use a draw to pull the boat sideways, e.g. away from a rock that you spotted at the last minute. The boat moves sideways but does not alter its angle.

You can move the paddle very slightly forwards and backwards, and alter the angle of the blade, to fine-tune your direction. But you stay pointed essentially downstream. You have to get the position of the blade right, otherwise the boat will spin rather than slide.

Sometimes on bouncy rapids when I don't want more forward momentum, I keep the blade vertical in the water to keep the boat on its trajectory, then try a side-slip when I want to move sideways. I'm not sure if this is good practice or not, because keeping your paddle vertical in the water presumably carries the risk of it catching a rock.

I just remembered what EJ writes in his excellent "Whitewater Paddling" about thinking of your paddle as a keel. This is particularly pertinent with a twitchy boat like the Mamba!

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Re: Bow/draw strokes

Post by Adrian Cooper » Sat Mar 05, 2016 7:11 pm

Yes Franky, we use it in Canadian quite a bit

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Re: Bow/draw strokes

Post by Jim » Mon Mar 07, 2016 12:36 am

Chris Bolton wrote:Try watching some video of good slalom paddlers, particularly C1s, and look at the the angle of the blade, where it's planted and what follows. May need slow motion.
Or you could try watching a video of a crap slalom paddler.....

I made this of my practise runs yesterday and was appalled at how many bow draws I used continually killing the speed I was trying to build up. You will see a lot of compound strokes in there and strokes linked by slicing and drawing.


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Re: Bow/draw strokes

Post by Chris Bolton » Mon Mar 07, 2016 2:33 pm

You will see a lot of compound strokes in there and strokes linked by slicing and drawing
Yes, indeed, just the kind of thing I meant.

(Now a slight movement off topic but should still be of interest to the OP):
was appalled at how many bow draws I used continually killing the speed I was trying to build up
I would call them "C strokes" rather than bow draws, ie, the J stroke is a forward stroke with a pry at the end, and the C stroke is a forward stroke with a draw at the start and a pry at the end and, as you say, is a very tempting stroke to do but inefficient. My guess is that when you did the C strokes, the boat was pointing a bit to your offside compared to the direction of movement, so was trying to turn further that way, and rather than C stroke you need to kill that with a bigger J then put the forward power on.

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Re: Bow/draw strokes

Post by garya » Mon Mar 07, 2016 3:52 pm

ok there are a couple of different things in your question so I will try and separate then out here for ease...

Carving turns in whitewater boats.... Whitewater boats are designed to turn and turn all the time.. as soon as you take your paddle out of the water or are not doing anything active to keep the boat on track it will turn. Its the design and shape of the hull that make them do this plus the short length that make them turn fast, this is ideal for manoeuvring around with quick tight turns on whitewater.

if the boat is a at cruising speed a sharp power stroke on the outside of the turn followed by good body rotation to the inside of the turn will put the boat on edge and be enough to initiate a turn in the desired direction. brining your head or weight over the inside knee to help with balance and to hold the boat hull on edge to ride it around the turn. think about how you ride a bike through a turn and lot of the work is done with your body position and looking into the turn to maintain balance with speed and momentum.

Spin Momentum and control. We said already that whitewater boats like to spin. learning to harness and control this will unlock smooth carving turns for you. This is usually best controlled by using a stern squeeze or rudder type stroke at the stern or rear of the boat, this will hold the boat on course through a turn so that it carries its momentum forwards and does not spin out. by varying the pressure on the blade you can vary the radius of the turn. If you slice the blade forward at the end of the turn it will have a dramatic effect on tighten the turn and allow to position the blade for a forward power stroke to sit the boat up or power forward in a new direction.

Bow draw stroke combinations
... This are rarely needed insolation to turn modern whitewater boats.. They are more commonly used as part of a combination of stokes or as a quicker way to position the paddle or initiate a turning sequence. the building block for this is to go back to the flat-water sculling draw. When you scull the blade forward towards your toes you rotate your knuckles back to open the blade face. This is the same amount of feather or close to it is what you would use in a bow draw.

visualise a right angled triangle beside your boat... The right angle is by your toes, the base line is parallel to the edge of the boat with the next angle just by your hips, the final angle is about 2-3 feet out to the side of your boat. Start 2-3 feet from the boat and draw into your toes, then rotate the paddle for a forward power stroke. when it is just in front of your hips, slice the blade along the long edge of the triangle to your start point. You can also try tracing the triangle using your hip as the start point at the end of a power stroke. keeping the paddle shaft as close to vertical as possible make this stroke much more efficient.

Driving the blade out at an angle while keeping it in the water is more efficient and starts the turn earlier and part of a combination stroke, it will result in quite a dramatic turn if you have forward momentum and speed . Look at the C stroke that canoeist do , the bow draw is similar to the first half of this.

Be careful of opening the blade face angle too much. it will stall the boat and turn, it will also load a lot of pressure into your forearm and can result in injury or carpal type symptoms, keep your elbows low and maintain a good paddlers box to protect your shoulders.

it is a very hard stroke to observe and learn from as it is all about the submerged blade angle and path as well as the water pressure feedback you will feel from it. Watch paddlers wrist and hand position, and top blade to give you clues as to what is happening.


The Gene 17 videos and original EJ strokes and concepts are good videos on this... also get out and try lots of experiments.. finding someone to show you will help unlock some of the finer points and your understanding a bit faster as well.

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Re: Bow/draw strokes

Post by DaveBland » Mon Mar 07, 2016 5:58 pm

I don't think a pure bow draw is used much in general ww. More as a combo stroke, either 'stirring the porridge' or by altering blade angle with the feel of the water.
I guess they are often used when entering big eddies under no pressure, just 'cuz they are fun to do, but not through necessity.

This vid may be of relevance as it shows a few slalom paddlers in creek boats in slow mo. I only spotted one set of draw strokes being used [right at the end, yellow Tuna].
The old guy with the VEs certainly didn't use any!

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Re: Bow/draw strokes

Post by Jim » Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:03 pm

Chris Bolton wrote:My guess is that when you did the C strokes, the boat was pointing a bit to your offside compared to the direction of movement, so was trying to turn further that way, and rather than C stroke you need to kill that with a bigger J then put the forward power on.
That's pretty much the conclusion I came up with. Also I am paddling reactively instead of proactively, so I am using a C-stroke to correct the boat when I should have used the previous J-stroke to get the effect.

I think I am lining up early enough most of the time, but then instead of confidently driving the boat where I want it, I wait to see where it goes and then get it back.... I need to train more!

It is interesting that in canoeing we have names for some of the common compound strokes, but not in kayaking.
You will also notice I use a curved paddle these days to stop myself using Indian strokes in the C1 (and OC1) :)

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Re: Bow/draw strokes

Post by davebrads » Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:08 pm

DaveBland wrote:I don't think a pure bow draw is used much in general ww. More as a combo stroke, either 'stirring the porridge' or by altering blade angle with the feel of the water.
I guess they are often used when entering big eddies under no pressure, just 'cuz they are fun to do, but not through necessity.

This vid may be of relevance as it shows a few slalom paddlers in creek boats in slow mo. I only spotted one set of draw strokes being used [right at the end, yellow Tuna].
The old guy with the VEs certainly didn't use any!

I got a lot more.

I reckon the very first stroke you see in the video is a draw stroke which is then converted into a forward stroke. There's another combo draw/forward stroke at 0:59, a pivot draw at 1:00, a hint of a draw at 1:07 and another draw at 1:21. And I missed the one in the Tuna, unless you mean the short draw as he's dropping into the stopper.

I reckon all decent white water kayakers use draw strokes, but as they normally combine with other strokes and the transitions are so smooth they are easily missed.
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Re: Bow/draw strokes

Post by DaveBland » Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:21 pm

...are we talking draw or bow draw specifically?

Draw stokes 100% used in combo all the time and pivot draws, yes too - especially in something like the vid where there are poles involved.
But a pure bow draw? Used a lot for minor lateral directional corrections at the start of a forward stroke – petty much a J stroke, I guess.

Need to watch the vid again and count...
Last edited by DaveBland on Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:34 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Bow/draw strokes

Post by Jim » Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:26 pm

PoleCatApollo - reading through your questions again it is quite hard to visualise exactly what you problems are, but it reads like you may still be in the kind of beginnery situation where you are correcting by paddling harder, and soon lose control because there is a limit to how hard you can paddle to stop the boat spinning in the wrong direction? If so you might just need to spend more time on flat water paddling in straight lines, because that is actually how you learn to control spin.

Or I might be missing the point about the kind of kayaks you are using - do your cross over kayaks have a small keel at the stern, or even at both ends? If so you will really struggle until you get your new boats...

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Re: Bow/draw strokes

Post by DaveBland » Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:34 pm

Watched again on non-phone screen and yes Dave, exactly where you say for combo draw strokes. Interestingly the mix in that vid is about half pole dodgers and half creekers. Of course it's the pole dodgers doing more draws.
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Re: Bow/draw strokes

Post by davebrads » Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:06 pm

DaveBland wrote:...are we talking draw or bow draw specifically?.
I use the terms interchangeably these days, I should try to be more precise.
The bow draw is almost obsolete in WW boats as they turn so easily there is no need to place it at the bow. It is at its most effective when placed as close to the pivot point as possible which is normally right under your bum. With so much rocker available the boater can adjust the trim, sitting back to move the pivot point towards the stern and shorten the waterline or leaning forward to lengthen it. When combined with placement of the draw stroke the boat can be made to snap round or take a more classic longer arc to maintain speed.
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Re: Bow/draw strokes

Post by PolecatApollo » Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:38 pm

Thanks for all the replies. I had it in my head the bow draw was pulling the front of the kayak towards the power face of the blade, which after reading the replies I think I had the right idea. I kind of use it to catch eddies and peel out if I need to pull the turn in quicker.

I think I'm using too many back strokes in rapids and should maybe be more aggressive. In the heat of the moment I'll use a back stroke towards the front of the kayak to pull the bow in to miss a rock or whatever rather than a vertical bow draw.

I thought the bow rudder was aiding with carving, this doesn't seem to have a huge effect when I try. I've only paddled displacement boats so far so perhaps edging in doesn't have a huge effect. Recently tried using it to turn out of the main flow after a particular rapid as the current piles straight against a wall.... I hit the wall. But this was 3/4 territory which I've had little-no experience of

Draw stroke is another one that didn't have much effect. The boat does move sideways but no so much that I'd feel like using it in a rapid.

The crossovers more whitewater based, just a long displacement hull but perhaps less rocker than a full on WW. No keel but has a drop skeg which I never use anymore.

I'll have another read through some of your descriptions again just before I head out next time. Thanks again.

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Re: Bow/draw strokes

Post by garya » Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:41 am

is the crossover boat you are paddling a Pyranha Fusion ?

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Re: Bow/draw strokes

Post by PolecatApollo » Wed Mar 09, 2016 6:09 pm

Katana. Getting a karma soon. Thanks for your great descriptions before.

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Re: Bow/draw strokes

Post by DaveBland » Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:47 pm

PolecatApollo wrote:In the heat of the moment I'll use a back stroke towards the front of the kayak to pull the bow in to miss a rock or whatever rather than a vertical bow draw.
Neitheris the right answer. Back stroke works best when started further back. Also can be combined with a draw - so half backstroke starting behind your butt, then as you get to 90º from your hip, flick wrist over and bring into draw to move boat sideways.
PolecatApollo wrote:I thought the bow rudder was aiding with carving, this doesn't seem to have a huge effect when I try.
It won't. It's all ablaut the edging. if you have seen paddlers looking like they are doing a bow rudder, it's more them timing and holding the blade ready for a stroke.

I've only paddled displacement boats so far so perhaps edging in doesn't have a huge effect. Recently tried using it to turn out of the main flow after a particular rapid as the current piles straight against a wall.... I hit the wall. But this was 3/4 territory which I've had little-no experience of
PolecatApollo wrote:Draw stroke is another one that didn't have much effect. The boat does move sideways but no so much that I'd feel like using it in a rapid.
Again, it's all about combining strokes. Have a look at that vid again at the times where Dave Brads points out the draw strokes. They are all combined in one fluid motion to achieve boat positioning.

Ultimately, combining strokes all comes with practice and experience. It'll get there without you thinking about it. It's a bit like writing. It kinda gets joined up as you do more as one letter leads into the next with your pen dragging on the paper, rather than writing individual letters.
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Re: Bow/draw strokes

Post by Dan Yates. » Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:57 pm

I use a hanging bow draw to boof quite a lot. Bow rudders get used loads breaking in and out or just crossing eddy lines mid flow whilst ferrying.

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Re: Bow/draw strokes

Post by Jim » Thu Mar 10, 2016 12:03 am

This is difficult.
Carving has nothing to do with paddle strokes, it is about how you engage the hull with the water to 'carve' a smooth curved path through the water.
BUT
having said that, it is not quite as straight forward as just edging the boat and using power strokes, you do need to learn to alter your paddle strokes to achieve or maintain the amount of carve you want, as well as fine tuning the amount of edge.

How about some flat water exercises?
First, try to keep you hull level, gently build up a little speed and then stop paddling.
You should find the boat turns away from your last paddle stroke.
Try again a few times reducing the power of the last stroke until you can get the boat to run straight for a little while after the last stroke (it won't last for long).
Once you get a feel for doing that, do your last power stroke, check you are running straight and then edge your boat a little (keep your body upright, just tilt the hull a little form the hips - you can hover the paddle over the water on that side ready to low brace if you edge too much, but you won't need to edge enough to use it.
Now you should find that after you edge the boat it will start to carve a gradual turn (which will get tighter in a sort of spiral if you maintain the same amount of edge). Keep an open mind at this stage, you may find the boat naturally turns the opposite way than you expect, I beleive most boats do when left to carve naturally, but it doesn't matter, if given an initial spin direction the boat will continue to carve that way whichever way it would naturally carve.
After you do this a few times to convince yourself what is happening, try to edge and then continue gently paddling - you should find that as you add a bit of power the carve gets a bit tighter, the harder you paddle, the tighter the boat will turn.
Notice how at some point the carve stalls and the boat just spins to the inside of the turn. It will also do this if you edge too far or paddle too hard.
See if you can keep the boat carving for longer by varying the edge, or sweeping against the carve (i.e. if the boat is carving to the right, can right forward sweeps (with left power strokes) be used to stop it stalling and spinning in and maintain the carve a bit longer?

You may never replicate any of that on white water, but hopefully it will give you a feel for how the boat carves, and how to adjust the carve, which you can then transfer to moving water situations.

The reason Chris suggested watching a C1 (or any canoe being paddled well) is that when you only have one paddle blade, instead of swapping sides every other stroke, it is more efficient to make the boat carve continuously towards your paddling side so that instead of turning you, the paddle strokes keep you going straight (albeit that to help the carve we use J-strokes, goon strokes or C strokes as appropriate to give a bit of spin momentum towards the paddling side).
Trad boaters tend to get their carve the way most kayakers do, by edging the boat into the carve (i.e. edge down to the inside of the turn) - this is because they get better reach by sitting closer to the paddling side of the boat.
C1s (decked canoes) and OC1s (small WW open canoes) tend to edge down to the outside of the turn because that is the way the boat will naturally carve and the paddler is strapped or wedged in the middle of the narrow boat so reach is not an issue like it is for trad boaters. It is very subtle, but it is slightly easier to stop the boat stalling if you carve with the outside edge down, and we need al lthe help we can get.

It is hard to see, but if you watch my video from 6 sec - 13 sec, after I take the cross forward stroke out (helps to get the boat moving initially), I edge the boat very slightly to my left (remember you are watching from the front) or 'offside' so that it naturally carves towards my paddling side, I then take the first gate and paddle all the way to the second only using 'onside' J-strokes, the J stroke being a power stroke with a sharp outward twist right at the end before I lift the paddle out which cancels the spin momentum imparted by the power stroke. I don't paddle a completely straight line which is one of the reasons I don't hold the edge exactly the same all the way (I am also reacting to the current), I am varying the amount of carve to dictate whether the boat goes straight, or turns slightly right or left.
At 13 seconds I get to an offside upstream gate and lean onto a cross bow rudder (i.e. now edging the same way as I'm turning, but a lot further over) to turn the boat into the eddy and through the gate. After that you I am compounding cross forward strokes, cross bow rudders, recovery slices and bow draws to try to keep the boat moving upstream past the gate, back out into the flow and breaking back into it - I am still pretty messy at all that and not getting enough drive off my cross forward strokes because there is a lot more drawing and slicing going on in them than power phase, in fact I don't think I get the blade perpendicular to the boat at any point in that entire cross-deck sequence!

From 38 seconds to about 45 seconds I use several compound on-side strokes - there are power phases, J or pry phases (stuff at the back of the boat to kill the spin imparted by the power phase), it looks like in the recovery phase (slicing the blade back to the bow without lifting it out of the water) I am flaring the blade whilst it is about level with my hips to briefly catch the water with the drive face like a momentary bow rudder placed a long way aft, before finishing the recovery but pushing the blade wide of the boat as it goes forward (i.e. flaring it slightly) so that I can convert to a bow draw pulling the bow of the boat over to the blade before starting a new power phase.

Obviously in a kayak with possibility to paddle equally on both sides things are quite a lot easier than in a canoe, but I hope using a canoe makes it easier to see what is happening?

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Re: Bow/draw strokes

Post by Simongelder » Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:28 am

It might help to practice on a slalom course. You could make your own mini course with a little imagination - floating objects, big sticks, rocks etc. Plan your route and try to navigate your course smoothly and quickly. You will quickly start using combo strokes, probably without too much conscious effort. Experiment to see what works and feels best.

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Re: Bow/draw strokes

Post by lora may » Sat Mar 19, 2016 4:38 am

I have the problem of on flat non moving water I can do sweeps bow rudder to straighten my boat and it's a Katana10 having just gone from a karma because I really struggled to paddle that in a few straight line. As soon as I have it on any kind of moving water the sweep stroke doesn't work and I revert to a backwards sweep which rightly so I get shouted at by my coaches at the club but does work and with the bow rudder /draw I end up nearly tipping myself out. One of the reasons has been said is that although I am only 5'4'' I am a large lady but most of the weight is behind the central point and the bow sits high so my sweep strokes aren't as effective. I am practicing my forward paddling but would I be better off trying to perfect my bow rudder and using that when I am going off to the side. Sorry for the long winded post

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Re: Bow/draw strokes

Post by Adrian Cooper » Sun Mar 20, 2016 3:40 pm

The Karma is probably an easier turning boat than the Katana and you may have discovered this. There are a number of things you should try, first off try moving your seat forward, this should improve the trim and make it easier to control. You really need to work on the forward stroke, relying on sweeps and rudders to keep it in a straight line will restrict your development. Certainly a bow rudder is the wrong technique for maintaining a straight course, this is definitely a turning stroke. Make sure that, when paddling forward, the majority of your stoke is at the front of the boat, pulling the boat along, as soon as you bring the paddle behind your hips you are pushing or reddening off course.

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Re: Bow/draw strokes

Post by Chris Bolton » Sun Mar 20, 2016 4:47 pm

The trick to paddling in a straight line is to catch it early. Once you let it go off line it takes a lot to get it straight, and that means using turning strokes, so you go off the other way. Try taking shorter strokes, further forward, and concentrate on keeping straight - it that means you need to slow down, do that. It does take practice, but it's like changing gear in a car, when you're learning, it's impossible, then when you can do it, you wonder what was difficult.

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Re: Bow/draw strokes

Post by garya » Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:41 am

lora may wrote:I have the problem of on flat non moving water I can do sweeps bow rudder to straighten my boat and it's a Katana10 having just gone from a karma because I really struggled to paddle that in a few straight line. As soon as I have it on any kind of moving water the sweep stroke doesn't work and I revert to a backwards sweep which rightly so I get shouted at by my coaches at the club but does work and with the bow rudder /draw I end up nearly tipping myself out. One of the reasons has been said is that although I am only 5'4'' I am a large lady but most of the weight is behind the central point and the bow sits high so my sweep strokes aren't as effective. I am practicing my forward paddling but would I be better off trying to perfect my bow rudder and using that when I am going off to the side. Sorry for the long winded post

Are you facing upstream or down stream when you go off line ?
There different techniques that work better and more effectively depending which way you are facing, its like getting the forces in the water to work in harmony with what you are trying to achieve.

Do you always start you sweep strokes by your toes ?
Have you tried a half sweep / Stern draw at the back of the boat ?
Think of trying to skid the tail of the boat in line. You can also bump your hip into the stroke to give it an extra boost.. Take a normal forward stroke till it reaches your hips. then slice it out sideways and bring it in sharply towards the stern of the boat.

On moving water ... read the water and look to see if you can identify little micro eddies that are mid stream or along the sides. These can just be small tiny patches of flat water among the waves. learn to spot and anticipate then. if you run over the top of them your bow will hit slower water and the boat will usually spin. timing you strokes or taking a stroke on the same side as the flat water will often counter the tendency to spin into the eddy.

You will also find these areas of slower water along the sides of rivers too. They don't look like normal eddies with waves and rocks, but will knock you off course and have you heading towards the bank all the same.

You can try setting you boat on a 45 degree angle away from the bank as you float down river on easy sections. This give you the advantage of good up and down river visibility of the group. if you drop an stern rudder in the water the water it will also gently move or track you away from the bank in control and stop you spinning into eddies.

Don't worry about your boat or paddling in a straight lines, the reason it is spinning so much probably has more to do with how it is reacting to the water than anything you are doing... some experiments and practice on easy moving water will being to unlock some new ideas, tactics and techniques to keep the boat on the course you want to paddle.

Gary A

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Re: Bow/draw strokes

Post by Jim » Mon Mar 21, 2016 1:49 pm

Are you using the skeg on the Katana?
Dropping the skeg in moving water will have the effect that any time you are moving slower than the current, the boat will try to turn around and face upstream, even if you are moving faster than the current lateral currents will cause you problems

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Re: Bow/draw strokes

Post by morsey » Mon Mar 21, 2016 3:10 pm

Coaching required?

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