Angle of Paddle Plant

2 years 5 months ago #29519 by pulpfiction44
I asked this in the TIPS section but not much traction. Being new to the site and surfski i hope I can post here as well.

I am currently 2 days into surfski, a Stellar S18S. Working on getting footboard just right. Once i have this sorted out my next step is to figure how to best enter the water with the paddle, an Epic mid wing.

Is the best possible scenario to enter as far forward as possible with the shaft perpendicular to the surface of the water?

If so and my arm length precludes this unless I lean forward to plant do I lean forward (bad posture?) or do i simply plant a bit further back towards the stern, which in my mind will rob my stroke of power.

Lastly given the choice of a shorter stroke or a longer stroke by entering not quite perpendicular but forward which is the best option?

In a perfect world with the footboard set properly my arm length would be such that i could enter very far forward without leaning however I don't see this happening as my arms are lot very long.

I know I may be overthinking this but I want to develop good habits at the outset.

Being 63 y/o I have no illusions of a Miller's Run or Molokai but want to do this the right way.

Any thoughts from you experienced folks would be most welcome.

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2 years 5 months ago #29521 by seajak
Replied by seajak on topic Angle of Paddle Plant
Check out the Ivan Lawler video mentioned in your previous thread. He has a very good description of the ideal catch. The paddle blade shouldn't be vertical but should enter the water at an angle close to your feet, usually referred to as 'spearing the salmon'.

cheers,
clay

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2 years 5 months ago #29523 by LakeMan
Replied by LakeMan on topic Angle of Paddle Plant
Take a look at these Epic videos. They should be memorized so when you're on the water you'll know what to do.

www.epickayaks.com/article/article/epic-technique-series

Practice, practice, practice

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

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2 years 5 months ago #29529 by malvina
Replied by malvina on topic Angle of Paddle Plant
Hi,

I take this opportunity to check my knowledge / ignorance in this area. I understand that when people say that the shaft should be as vertical as possible, they refer to the shaft as seen from the front of the boat. If seen from the side of the boat, however, the shaft should be at a pretty substantial angle when entering the water (some people refer to this as a "positive" angle). When paddling, I try to enter the water with an angle somewhere between 45 and 60 degrees (with 90 being a completely vertical shaft) as seen from the side. If seen from the front, however, I try to enter the water with the shaft as close to 90 degrees as possible.

Please bear in mind that this is not intended as a dogmatic answer to Pulpfiction44. I am not a very expert paddle and I would welcome confirmation or correction comments from more expert paddlers. I have researched this subject at length but still find it quite slippery.

Many thanks
Juan

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2 years 5 months ago #29531 by Kiwi Dave
Replied by Kiwi Dave on topic Angle of Paddle Plant
* The below is all just my take on things and I'm a mid level paddler give or take.

I think when people suggest the paddle should be as close to 90° as possible they are suggesting this is more how it 'feels' than how it really is. Most videos / images would support this i think ?

Is the best possible scenario to enter as far forward as possible with the shaft perpendicular to the surface of the water?

I'd go for as far forward as possible (within the context of the next answer) but you'd aim to be near vertical (viewed from the side) at or before the blade is fully in the water ... this is where you'll get a solid lock on the water and maximise the forward motion. So the entry is the typical 'spearing the fish' but transitioning to vertical quickly before the blade is fully in.

If so and my arm length precludes this unless I lean forward to plant do I lean forward (bad posture?) or do i simply plant a bit further back towards the stern, which in my mind will rob my stroke of power.

Yes, you want an amount of forward lean. Its not huge but it is noticeable ... in the videos of myself I will link below I'm too vertical (and rounded). For me, when its 'good' it feels like I'm slightly over or on top of the paddle and it just feels more powerful. The power is in the front of the stroke so you want to get the blade in smoothly, quickly and deep. Another point is you don't want to be 'stretching' the arms out to get the catch forward, you want to be in a 'wound up' position (how you finish the previous stroke after rotation) projecting the shoulder forward instead ready to rotate and pull through the back (lats ?).

Lastly given the choice of a shorter stroke or a longer stroke by entering not quite perpendicular but forward which is the best option?

Depends where the shorter stroke is ... if its out front then I'd go with that. I'd suggest working on one or two aspects per session as there is a lot to pull together. There are plenty of drills to reinforce / train your body to do the right things at the right time.

Just this weekend I got together with a drone camera guy and took some footage to see if it would be a worthy tool to work on technique. Have just put some short videos together which you can take a look at ... I'm not saying this is amaze-balls technique but I would think its 'ok' and should give some context to my comments above. Have various angles and they are all slowed to 40% so its easier to see whats going on.

I welcome critique from anyone also !! I've been more excited about putting the videos together than actually looking at my technique thus far but I can see my standard lack of forward lean and rotation is there but not awesome.

Side:

Front:

Rear 1:

Rear 2:
The following user(s) said Thank You: mike k

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2 years 5 months ago #29532 by TaffyMick
Replied by TaffyMick on topic Angle of Paddle Plant
Ah, the old Stellar S18S. My first surfski several years ago and thinking of buying another one for the wife and for me to use when conditions are off the chart. Also, my very first wing paddle to go with it, the Epic Mid Wing (which is a my spare, spare in my paddle bag). Sorry mate, reminiscing, as you are where I was when I graduated from a sea kayak to a ski back in 2010. Was a late starter too when I was aged 54.

In my opinion the S18S is arguably the best ski to learn on in all areas, closely followed by the Fenn Bluefin (have had both). It is the perfect boat to get your leg drive and rotation sorted out. With the angle of the dangle I found that the optimum angle paddling my S18S using my Epic Mid Wing was 60 degrees right hand feather and 212 length in calm water/wind chop/low swell. Marginal conditions and downwind I shortened it to 210.

As mentioned previously, do not fall into the trap of accentuating the angle of the entry to near-vertical. Get the rotation going with a forward lean into the catch angled in towards your toes. You know you have got it right when there is minimal splash on the catch, and you feel the power through the shaft as you follow through on the stroke into your exit/recovery, which will be level to your hips.

I also endorse that you watch the many videos that are available on YouTube and in the Video section on this forum, etc.. Also, if you are really serious, a couple of sessions with a paddle coach will teach you so much more. Well worth the cost.

Anyhow, welcome to the world of surf ski paddling. You are spot on regarding the boat and paddle you have selected to start off in the sport. Hope some of this helps.

Caution though... it's a bloody addictive pastime!

Mick

Stellar SEI, Fenn Bluefin S, Sladecraft Comet Long Rec & Vajda K1

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2 years 5 months ago - 2 years 5 months ago #29537 by gstamer
Replied by gstamer on topic Angle of Paddle Plant
As mentioned, the Ivan Lawler video has a good section describing the angle of the paddle during the power-phase at 13:37.
To paraphrase Ivan, "The moment your top arm overtakes your bottom arm you can't move ... "you are rubbish". Power zone: where your top hand is behind your bottom hand.

A helpful series of images of the great Knut Holmann, showing front, side, and back shots, for different parts of the stroke is at http://home.clear.net.nz/pages/racersedge/Coaching.htm .

(I'm not affiliated with the website). These images show the paddle angle from different perspectives, for different phases of the stroke.

Greg Stamer

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2 years 5 months ago #29547 by PharmGeek
Replied by PharmGeek on topic Angle of Paddle Plant
Great topic.

I'm on my now 2nd attempt at paddling my first surf ski...I have an appt with a pro for Skype based critique/analysis tomorrow night and hope to get some coaching within the year.

Total noob - doing my best after watching many videos etc - the coaching virtual will help I think.

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2 years 4 months ago - 2 years 3 months ago #29765 by davgdavg
Replied by davgdavg on topic Angle of Paddle Plant
Wow, looks like a nice place. Where are you paddling?

Im not an expert by any means, but it looks like your bringing your top hand up too high. A lot of your stroke is pitching the paddle into the water (down) instead of just straight back.

I've always read that right about eye height is the ideal (you seem to be well above the top of your head) for the top hand, and from watching the really good paddlers that seems about right. Some go lower like Oscar seems to, but nobody goes higher. Also the K1 guys are almost all right around there.

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