Advice - Technique or Paddle Length Issue?

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markbailey
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Advice - Technique or Paddle Length Issue?

Post by markbailey » Sat May 13, 2017 8:37 am

Hi,

We (me an the wife) are new to the sport and I'm writing to see if anyone can offer any advice on the following.

On our first trip out the other day I noticed that the shaft of my wife's paddle rubbed on the side of the kayak as she paddled.

This can be seen in the following short video clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aB8ehnQHIbk

I wondered if it was a technique or paddle length issue?

My wife is 5ft 4" and the paddle she is using is 205cm.

Thanks, Mark

Chris Bolton
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Re: Advice - Technique or Paddle Length Issue?

Post by Chris Bolton » Sat May 13, 2017 12:02 pm

Hi Mark,

That's mostly technique, the paddle length is near enough for now. Holding her top hand higher will help, but the main thing is that she's pulling the paddle past the boat, by bending her arms. That seems the obvious thing to do, but it's much more effective to think about pulling the boat past the paddle, using torso rotation. Reach forward as far as possible, with body rotation not just arm, plant the paddle in the water, pushing it down so that the blade is fully immersed, then pull the boat up to it. Don't pull the boat past the paddle; once your elbow is bent to 90º, take the paddle out and plant on the other side.

Graham T
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Re: Advice - Technique or Paddle Length Issue?

Post by Graham T » Sat May 13, 2017 1:58 pm

Looks rather as a result of a small person in a wide kayak or sit on top
I am the same height and use around a 210 paddle length and think my technique is alright but looking at the short film i think i would have a similar issue

Chris Bolton
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Re: Advice - Technique or Paddle Length Issue?

Post by Chris Bolton » Sat May 13, 2017 2:47 pm

The width of the boat is a good point, I should have spotted that. A slightly longer paddle (210) might help, but not unless she holds her arms away from her body. It's a useful exercise to try paddling without bending your arms.

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Grian
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Re: Advice - Technique or Paddle Length Issue?

Post by Grian » Sat May 13, 2017 3:27 pm

I just watched this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqXIF4ToUcE before coming here to look for info on my problem, it breaks all parts of the stroke down and shows the ways it often goes wrong. Nothing on scuffing the side of the boat unfortunately.

markbailey
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Re: Advice - Technique or Paddle Length Issue?

Post by markbailey » Sat May 13, 2017 9:14 pm

Hi All,

Thanks for the input / advice.

It looks like improvements can be made with her technique and also maybe a slightly longer paddle.

Next time we are out my wife can use my paddle which is a 215cm and she'll pay attention to the technique detailed in Chris's reply and show in the YouTube vid linked above.

Many Thanks, Mark

Chris Bolton
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Re: Advice - Technique or Paddle Length Issue?

Post by Chris Bolton » Sat May 13, 2017 10:28 pm

This is worth a watch too - Grian's link is the definitive expert view, but may take a bit more time to understand.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGATHwnvIFs

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Jim
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Re: Advice - Technique or Paddle Length Issue?

Post by Jim » Sun May 14, 2017 2:13 am

Inflatable kayak or canoe?
Apart from the width issue, it looks like the seating position is pretty high, in fact it looks like it is more set up as a double canoe than a double kayak?

I think it will be pretty difficult to completely emulate the technique of top racers in that boat with that width and that seating positioning, but it is certainly a good guide for improving what you have now. One thing I would say is not to try to get your top arm straight on the catch, I think it will generally make the angle too steep for such a wide boat, it can also lead to arm swinging instead of true rotation. Instead try to keep your top elbow slightly bent with your hand about at eye level, maybe mouth level as the blade enters the water, and then keeping your arms set at the angles in that instant turn your body from the waist until the lower hand reaches your hips, then lift the blade out raising that arm and dropping the other so the opposite blade goes into the water.

It might be easier to paddle the boat as a canoe - with single blade paddles. It will take longer to learn how to control the boat that way, but you can both sit slightly off to your paddle side to reduce the effect of the width, it is also more natural to use a relatively longer paddle with a single blade paddle because you don't have any of it waving about over your head.

jamesl2play
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Re: Advice - Technique or Paddle Length Issue?

Post by jamesl2play » Sun May 14, 2017 6:59 pm

My view is that trying to emulate Ivan's info from his coaching clinic and applying it to someone starting out in an inflatable kayak is a bit like chasing rainbows.
There will be too much to think about and will most likely demoralise the patient..
I do not think a longer paddle will solve the problem.
Keep it simple, three easy things to think about as a starter:

Width of the hands apart on the shaft - commom mistake, too close.
Both hands too low which is why the shaft rubs the gunwale. Neither of them come above the ladies chest at any time.
As said above no torso rotation.

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TechnoEngineer
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Re: Advice - Technique or Paddle Length Issue?

Post by TechnoEngineer » Sun May 14, 2017 10:46 pm

A longer paddle may be needed due to the width of the kayak, in a similar vein to SOTs - I'd suggest an extra 10cm compared to the normal length for the given paddler's height.

Technique-wise there are two observations:

1) You can see her elbows are moving behind the shoulder line - this means she is paddling "arms only" and will tire quickly. Secondly it exposes the shoulders to risk of dislocation. She needs to rotate her body in order to get her stronger core muscles to assist. Being in a less restrictive SOT kayak than a sit-in, she should be able to rotate her whole body, not just the upper torso. She can pedal her legs to assist with this too. Her feet need to be braced against something to transfer power to the kayak.

2) She is holding the paddle too close to her body - this manifests with the paddle entering the water by her body and exiting some distance behind. It's not efficient and would cause turning in a short kayak. She needs to hold the paddle away from her so that her arms are straighter. This will then encourage her to use body rotation to propel the kayak.

In short - the first exercise she needs to do is to paddle with her arms (almost) straight, rotating her body in order to move the paddle.

Take a look at this video from 1:09 onwards:
https://youtu.be/yzISAC04DPY?t=1m9s
XL-Burn-3 / Monstar / Kodiak / My Videos

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TechnoEngineer
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Re: Advice - Technique or Paddle Length Issue?

Post by TechnoEngineer » Sun May 14, 2017 11:00 pm

Also check out this video from 1:16 onwards:
https://youtu.be/nGsphWWrs00?t=1m16s
XL-Burn-3 / Monstar / Kodiak / My Videos

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Grian
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Re: Advice - Technique or Paddle Length Issue?

Post by Grian » Wed May 17, 2017 10:21 am


Irish Sea
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Re: Advice - Technique or Paddle Length Issue?

Post by Irish Sea » Wed May 17, 2017 2:04 pm

Here's another good video on forward paddling by Gordon Brown:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIfx-QD ... O&index=11

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