RTM dag Midway maiden

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P4ddy
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RTM dag Midway maiden

Post by P4ddy »

Well what an eventful day 😂. Went to lulworth for the first go and self rescue practice. 2 Deg -1 wind chill, water 9 Deg, wearing a 4/3 wetsuit (very flexible) 2 rash tops underneath, palm vector CAG, 3mm gloves, 2.5mm socks and reef shoes, oh and a Benny hat and I was toasty.
Anyhow I got on the water and it was tippy but I had my legs out so I stayed upright. Got my legs in and started paddling but not for long as I was off. First self rescue yay I'm on....no I'm not!! Straight off the other side lol. it was shallow water still and I could stand up. This continued for a while and I was finding it a tad hard to get back on. Then I rolled off again and lost our GoPro hero 7 black 😧. It was my own fault though. So after some searching to no avail I gave up and carried on with the self rescue and paddling. Once the shop opened the wife purchased a cheap snorkel set in the hope of trying to find the GoPro. The mask was absolutely awful and was a waste of £8.99.

So I carried on with practicing slowly gaining balance. You can really feel the hard chines and it can be paddled on edge but for me it's to tippy for that yet. I get it on edge but not able to paddle any length of time. I did start with the thin seat in but I took it out finding self rescue much easier without it, plus although it's only around 1/2 inch thick I found stability improved with it removed. God only knows how anyone paddles a midway with the 1 inch thick comfort seat. Matey on hear tried one in his tempo and was swimming immediately.

I found I could self rescue from the left side but I struggle from the right. This struggling wears you out so as I don't have a paddle float and I was paddling solo (the wife had no faith that she would be warm as it was cold with a hoody and coat etc) I stayed very close to shore. I gave up trying at one point and moved to the other side.

A couple of kayakers turned up, put in and off they went as though they were on rails, whilst I'm there doing lots of swimming. Well I know people from a fishing kayak background say the midway is tippy, some who also do sea kayaking find it stable and happily fish from it in rough sea. Now given its just shy of 26in wide at its widest point I thought it'll be fine. Many have jumped into the midway as a first kayak without issue. The jersey kayaking guy said if your coming from a sot background be prepared to up your game, if from a sink then you'll be fine. I last paddled a sink in 1984 at Salcombe.

One thing that I was a bit disappointed with was the amount of water the hatch took in despite being fully closed. But it did spend half the day upside down. I also believe proper handles would help with self rescue as I was using the deck lines. The centre console proved to be no issue when self rescuing, that was my worry but it turned out that the seat was more in the way. In the end I thoroughly enjoyed myself and know this is going to take some getting used to. I did get rolled off it by a swell of 3 ft but that's because of my balance not the kayak.

And finally the tide turned and was on its way out, it was about half an hour into the ebb when I went back onto the beach when the wife said "look!! Is that it???" Yes I couldn't have been any luckier as it was indeed our GoPro being washed back onto the shore. Such a happy chappy today.

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Re: RTM dag Midway maiden

Post by ChrisJK »

Well done P4ddy
This sounds hard work. I did fall out of my 21.5 inch beamed Shrike when trying the customary sea kayak legs out landing after a 12 k paddle (see thread)
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Re: RTM dag Midway maiden

Post by P4ddy »

Video of my maiden and lots of swimming 😆.



I need to experiment with paddle length, next time I'll make it longer and possibly bring my grip inwards a bit. Not sure but looking at it it may have an influence on my newbie balance ability due to more or less upper body movement??
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Re: RTM dag Midway maiden

Post by mrcharly »

I don't think there is much wrong with your paddle length.

First thing I pick up is that you fell out when the kayak was already leant over quite a long way - and you didn't bring it back upright before taking a stroke.
The kayak should be upright - all kayaks will have a sudden tipping point - when a boat has fairly hard chines, the transition from 'stability' to going over is very abrupt.

So I suggest concentrating on simple forward paddling, gentle turns until you feel confident to try sudden stops and braces.

Also, when launching - if a bow or stern is on the shore and rest afloat, the boat will be much tippier than usual. Wade further into the water.

On the self rescue - keep your paddle in your hand. Once you are sat with both legs on one side and bum in cockpit, you can start using the paddle to move forward. You have much more stability while paddling than not. Bring one leg in at a time.
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Re: RTM dag Midway maiden

Post by P4ddy »

Thanks for the positive feedback 👍 some good advice there. Annoyingly I forgot to take note of what length I set the paddle at although I have a rough idea. The paddling whilst putting your feet in I've seen on surf ski videos.
I did have a bash at paddling it on edge but I couldn't keep it there, rather than falling out I kept going upright.


Your right, concentrate on simple paddling and gentle turns. That was when I was most comfortable and relaxed and it was more enjoyable than constant swimming. Need to learn to walk before I start trying to jog eh
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Re: RTM dag Midway maiden

Post by Owen »

Learn to live without the paddle leash, they always end up in a tangle. It caused at least one capsize in your video.

Don't drag your kayak down the beach, float it before getting on.

Learn to scull for support, lay your paddle blade on the surface of the water. Lift the leading edge up just a little bit and skim the blade across the water as far forward as is comfortable. Then lift the back edge and skim the blade back as far as you can, and repeat. This will give enough support to keep you upright whilst you lift your feet in.
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Re: RTM dag Midway maiden

Post by pathbrae »

What Owen said - and don't drag your paddle down the beach on the leash! (that was a painful moment...)

Try some basic balance and flex. stuff as well (no paddle, nice flat water) Arms out wide, rotate and touch the side of the boat in front of you then behind you. Keep trying to touch further forward and further back. Keep your hips loose
Move on to touching midline in front of you and then behind you - then opposite edges.
Maybe even start on land for these exercises?

Then move the boat - still no paddle - edge one way then the other. keep your head above the centre of balance, just use your hips.

Once you get a feel for where the balance is you should be a lot more comfy and confident
So much sea - so little time to see it.
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Re: RTM dag Midway maiden

Post by P4ddy »

Only thing if I went without a leash I'd be without a paddle. I'll try what mrcharly said and keep hold of it.

All other launches after that very first one were floating before entry, I think I was expecting to float off with one of the waves lol.
Agreed the paddle drag is painful to watch. I had no idea I had done that until I saw the footage 😳, it certainly wasn't intentional.
The balance practice sounds good, I'll have a dry run of those before trying on the water.



Just watched the paddle drag again and I did pick it up and put it on the kayak before going to launch but didn't secure it with the paddle keep, as you see it fell off straight away bit I didn't notice it.
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Re: RTM dag Midway maiden

Post by mrcharly »

I simply cannot agree with the statements made about the paddle leash.

For SoTs (whether they be a surfski or a wide recreational boat), either a paddle leash or boat-person leash is essential. Any capsize results in the paddler and boat not being connected - a wind or wave can blow the boat away much faster than a person can swim.

I've use a paddle leash since I started paddling a surf ski on the sea. Never had problems with tangling.

Nor have the many, many surfski paddlers around the globe.
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Re: RTM dag Midway maiden

Post by P4ddy »

It did tangle around my ankle on one of the accidental capsizes but I got out of it ok. Certainly agree with the boat moving away fast. It may not show on the video but there was enough wind and water movement to separate from the boat and it wasn't a fierce wind. By swimming towards it I seemed to just push it further away. I then grabbed the paddle and just pulled the boat back to me 😉.
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Re: RTM dag Midway maiden

Post by ChrisJK »

Well done P4ddy
That looked hard work.
You are slightly brave posting this but you have drawn out some helpful online coaching. Perfecting getting legs onto or into a kayak is easier while it is moving probably like balancing on a surfboard works when its picking up speed (not that I can surf)
Did you manage to join a club as other experienced paddlers are there to help and also rescue.
I don't tend to use a paddle leash but I think they are helpful when getting the spraydeck sorted etc. I have just dug mine out as I don't have bungees on the front of my kayak yet.
I always carry a spare paddle so hopefully could retrieve the other one if necessary. is there space for some splits on your SOT?
Glad you found your GoPro
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Re: RTM dag Midway maiden

Post by P4ddy »

I have the two 5 piece paddles from our inflatable until i upgrade the lomo paddles then the lomo's will become spares. I couldn't go without a leash, what if I then lost the spare too? Yes loads of room for spare paddles. Brave you think, lol, It shows it's not all as simple as people think 😄. No not joined a club, one near me has a long waiting list and costly and with the wife being on double dose immune suppressants and covid its not been the best time to look at joining.
I'll be going again early Sunday morning to catch the tide for a couple of hours in a nice calm location. I won't loose the GoPro this time though. Yes that was extremely lucky getting it back.
It'd be interesting to get someone who's only paddled sea kayaks to have paddle in my midway.
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Re: RTM dag Midway maiden

Post by P4ddy »

Been out this morning for a paddle around pool harbour. Very shallow but quite choppy (for me ATM) with strong winds.I thought this would be good safe training ground, better than the flat side at calshot as the ground at poole is stones and not mud.
Now on my first paddle I had the console up snug with my inner thighs and legs out flat, this time I had the console further forward and used 1 or 2 foot positions closer so my knees were bent and I was gripping the console just behind my knees which I believe gave me better control as whilst paddling beam on it went right over onto the edge many times and stayed there whilst paddling.
I was deliberately paddling with wind and waves beam on to push myself balance wise, well no point in learning in the flat stuff eh. I could paddle and sit with feet in much easier and my loose hips 'oooeer' were getting a good work out. With feet out I could sit until I was ready to move off again. Bow into the wind it's great and was no problem and I can envisage me sat fishing like that, although bow into the wind and swell you can see what's coming. Whilst paddling with wind and waves behind me I at one point though 'whoah! I've picked up some speed', then the stern fell into the trough of the incy wincy small wave I was riding 😁, I tried to attempt a deliberate surf but it appeared to be a one off...for now.
I did have a couple of offs, ok so maybe a couple more than that but given the conditions compared to my first paddle I think I done well. Self rescues (moved into deeper water) I still need to get bomb proof. Twice I sat my arse down but thought I was going scuba diving and went off backwards🙄. I did find that on occasions my pfd was snagging on the console, (because I'd brought it in further) so I moved it away again and all was fine.
I just can't wait to get out again and I'm more than happy to go out in the chop as a training ground. The downside to today's paddle was I cut it short as we were supposed to be out best part of the day BUT wifey left the rucksack with our food and drink just inside the front door, and even worse....it had the GoPro in it 😫😫. She of course said she thought I had put it in the car. No because she picked it up of the sofa not me. So all I have is bits she filmed with her phone 😔.

Oh and I forgot the exercises BUT I was able to look behind me turning my head both left and right and reach behind into the tank well whilst the bow was into the wind
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Re: RTM dag Midway maiden

Post by P4ddy »



Sorry about the quality. Our Lumix lens has stuck open and won't turn on so needs repairing then my wife can get better video from the shore, that and next time I WILL have the GoPro
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Re: RTM dag Midway maiden

Post by Chris Bolton »

That's progress, P4ddy. A few thoughts:

- When you're beam on to the waves, edge into the wave slightly. If a wave pushes you sideways, your boat will slide and you'll brace on the wave. If the boat is flat, the wave will knock it sideways and the downwave edge will dig in and trip it up, and you'll go over.

- It looks as if you're leaning back. That locks your hips and hinders balance, and it makes rotating to get power in the paddle much harder. Pull yourself upright with your stomach, reach forward, rotate to increase your reach, plant the paddle and pull the yourself forward.
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Re: RTM dag Midway maiden

Post by P4ddy »

I didn't feel like I was leaned back but looking at that i do appear to be leaning back. I don't think I was rotating at all, just using my arms. I'll have to remember that and make a conscious effort to do it next time. I do have a seat so I'm wondering if I should give it a other try. Been on advice noted 👍.
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Re: RTM dag Midway maiden

Post by Chris Bolton »

I do have a seat so I'm wondering if I should give it a other try.
Do you mean a seat with a backrest? After years of experiment, I've decided it's better not to rely on external support, better (if you can) to sit up and pull yourself forward from the hips; you can actually do a lot just by pulling yourself upright as you pull on the paddle.
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Re: RTM dag Midway maiden

Post by P4ddy »

Ah right ok, yes full seat with backrest.
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Re: RTM dag Midway maiden

Post by Jonny_W »

Hi P4ddy

Good progress. Couple of things :-

- is your paddle the right way up? I can’t quite see, and with the camera shake, but worth asking. If the blades were rectangles, but one of the outside corners (on each blade) was clipped - the clipped corner needs to be the lower one. Just do half a helicopter rotation over your head to sort this out.

- I used to SOT and found that the extra contact given by a fabric seat/backrest was useful. Using the footrests to push myself into the seat/backrest meant I could use my core muscles much better to paddle. People have different views on this !

I did get some thigh straps just before switching back to Sit-in kayaks but never used them. My SOT was a double, and much beamier than yours - and any sort of edging and bracing was limited by there being nothing much to lock-in my lower half. I’m not convinced the thigh strap fittings would have lasted long. The angles seemed wrong and the forces would be considerable - but I’ll never know.
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Re: RTM dag Midway maiden

Post by P4ddy »

Ah bugger, I was keeping quiet about that lol but some eagle eyed person has rumbled me. Yes the paddle was upside down BUT not the whole session. Just when the wife was recording that. I noticed it later whilst on the water and told the wife the whole time she was filming I had my paddle upside down. Each paddle has lomo written on it so I can clearly see which is up and which is down....ok well clearly not I hear you cry 😆. You see in the previous video me correcting blade orientation usually after a capsize.
The seat I have although thin I found altered the balance slightly and self rescue was easier without it. However I will most likely give the seat another try and see how it goes.
That centre console works really well and I wouldn't have done so well yesterday without it. Wether or not it's better than straps I wouldn't know but it definitely works, epecially after I moved further forward.
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Re: RTM dag Midway maiden

Post by Chris Bolton »

Using the footrests to push myself into the seat/backrest meant I could use my core muscles much better to paddle. People have different views on this !
I agree, experiences and preferences differ and I'm not saying I'm right, just my experience. I've concluded that pushing into the backrest feels as if you're using more muscle power, but actually that power isn't going into pulling the boat forward. Pushing backwards in the seat has to be balanced by pushing harder on the footbrace, so muscular effort is being used to no benefit.
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Re: RTM dag Midway maiden

Post by P4ddy »

I saw a video from Oscar Chalupsly where he was talking about pushing with the legs and I think he mentioned trying to lift your bum.
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Re: RTM dag Midway maiden

Post by mrcharly »

Oscar is a great coach and super expert on these things but it is important to pay attention to the details.

He is talking about getting rotation - and pushing with a foot relies on you having first rotated that hip forward in the previous stroke. So you pivot on the seat, moving the non-power-hand-side hip forward, and the power side backwards - turning on the seat.

In sprint paddling this is emphasized to the point that most top-end paddlers use a rotating seat (I have no idea how they balance, but they do).

As Chris said, pushing into the back of the seat does not help drive the kayak forwards.

It can be of benefit when in rough water, increasing your 'grip' on the boat. Very tiring though.
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Re: RTM dag Midway maiden

Post by Pipit »

Not a bad start at all, especially considering the beam on waves. A few quick observations. As mentioned above - sit up straight and lean forward slightly. I don't paddle with a back band at all, and don't even touch the back of my boat when I'm paddling. The overall impression of your paddling is slightly "panicked and non-committed". By that I mean, the paddle strokes are short, fast and inefficient. Your left paddle side looks slightly weaker than your right? Plant the paddle further forward, remove paddle at around the hip. Slow the strokes down. You look like you're also lifting some water. Cycle with your legs as mentioned above, and rotate. Don't cycle your arms from your elbows like feet on the pedals of a push bike. Think of the paddle more as a "brush" - plant the paddle as far forward as you feel comfortable, then sort of sweep the paddle slightly out as the paddle comes back to your hip level. Think of a virtual square in front of you so the shaft of the paddle doesn't come so close into your chest as the driving hand comes back towards your hip. Some people explain it as though you have a beach ball in between your chest and paddle shaft. It's difficult to describe, and I'm probably not doing a very good job of explaining! Additionally, for adjusting direction on the move, rather than make more short paddle strokes on the side opposite the way you want to turn, extend the outside driving hand further out away from the boat and sweep wider. That way you shouldn't lose too much forward speed either. Good luck, and most importantly, enjoy yourself!
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Re: RTM dag Midway maiden

Post by P4ddy »

Briefly watched a video earlier as it popped up and he said imagine a membrane stretched from your chest and along your arms and you have to keep it tight, no wrinkles. Same thing different analogy. Going to practice at home with a paddle. Hope to get out again on Sunday. We'll see how I do
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Re: RTM dag Midway maiden

Post by Chris Bolton »

I saw a video from Oscar Chalupsly where he was talking about pushing with the legs
As mrcharly says, that's pushing with alternate legs. It's not pushing against the backrest, it's pushing the boat forward with the foot nearest the paddle, while pulling your body forward with the paddle.

The membrane and beach ball coaching hints may not be that helpful until you get the basic idea of rotation. Try paddling without bending your arms - it's not perfect technique but it's a good way to get the feel for rotation.
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Re: RTM dag Midway maiden

Post by P4ddy »

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Re: RTM dag Midway maiden

Post by ChrisJK »

Hi P4addy

Great stuff

I took my boat out on launch no 3 with a couple of paddling partners yesterday against an 15mph ish wind and an oncoming tide in a roughly 6 mile loop. The return journey with the same wind on our backs and a fairly slow outgoing tide took 30 minutes less than the out going leg. It was along a lee shore with a bit of chop and low swell.

Some time ago one of the club coaches gave me a lesson in what he called straight armed paddling which is probably similar to the instructions you have been receiving from experienced paddlers.

On a trip I find it easy to fall back into arm led paddling rather than using straighter arms,rotating my hips and using my legs to provide the more effortless power.

On this trip a pun on the estate agents mantra of 'Location,Location,Location was morphed into 'Rotation,Rotation,Rotation' which every time assisted my forward movement.

As a note for the Euro v Greenland paddle friction. I have seen on several occasions that in sprint conditions that the Euro wins every time, but who knows the tortoise ultimately triumphed over the Hare!
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Re: RTM dag Midway maiden

Post by P4ddy »

Well I was trying to do straight arm and rotate but watching the video it isn't quite there despite how it felt. Actually looking again it looks like my arms were as straight as a banana. I was imo definitely better and even going against wind I was getting a lot more speed than last time. I surprised myself at how fast I was going. I had the car park to guage my speed and the kayak picks up quick, But I was pushing it and as i've not been doing regular cardio the past year it was hard. On a plus side I didn't fall in at all in all in the 3hrs I was on the water, I thought it was 4hrs.

I was definitely rotating all the time and didn't feel like I was using arm power much apart from pulling it up out of the water..well that's how it felt. Anyhow it is an improvement either way so I'm happy.

I have no idea why but I just continuously paddled hard like it was a race and this may have taken away from concentrating more on the technique.

A negative with the midway is with wind and waves behind me the bow wants to swing round.
Now I can comfortably paddle swim free i need to continue to work on my self rescues and I eventually found the easiest way whilst holding the paddle as apposed to letting it float. Talking of which my paddle afaik is a low angle touring blade rather than the high angle I've been doing. Gentle touring with the wife was the goal. I would like a surfski too later though 😎. I'll post the video soon complete with comedy self rescues.
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Re: RTM dag Midway maiden

Post by P4ddy »

Just looked at the previous video and in comparison I looked like I was peddling with my arms. So deffo improvement.
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