Stability/flow drills in the rough?

3 years 1 month ago #31775 by PSwitzer
Checking to see if any of you have had success doing drills to improve stability/ forward progress while in the rough sloppy stuff.

Just came off a session going upwind next to cliffs so lots of breaking waves hitting from either side and getting launched off the peaks of the convergences, buried in the troughs etc with cockpit filled to the brim essentially the whole way due the white water bombs crashing over the lap.

I tried to shorten my stroke in the back to keep the rate up, which helped a bunch with stability- during the catch I could get whacked pretty hard and not lose the flow... so to help keep more force on the blade I dropped my elbows way down which also seemed to work, so for the rest of the piece just focused on keeping the elbows close to the knee on the catch and it was magic. I finished the piece in a bit of a trance, kind of aware of all the wave action around me but just concentrating on the catch/elbow/knee thing and I didn't have to consciously do anything extra to stay centered and driving through the legs.

So that's what I can offer- What do you other folks concentrate on to keep the boat moving through the slop?

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3 years 1 month ago - 3 years 1 month ago #31778 by Jordan
Have you tried any drill on the flat to improve overall stability? A drill such as catch up would be good for this, holding the stoke in the “set up” position for a couple seconds before taking the next stroke. Although, this removes the fluidity out of the stroke, that pause will improve core stability.

As for paddling in the conditions you describe, time spent in those conditions will lead to the most improvement.

The most important thing is being relaxed. And thinking about at what part of the wave you are putting the paddle in for the catch. You may not be able to keep a consistent stroke, and there will be sections where you put in a few shorter, quicker strokes.



At 6:00 minutes into this video, there’s a good section where the course goes past a cliff section with some rebound. Interesting to see how the top guys handle it. Jeremy cotter just cruises through it.

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3 years 1 month ago #31779 by zachhandler
Often in that rebound slop there is a set of waves going the direction you want burried in the mess. Either waves traveling the direction you want, or waves going 90 degrees from the direction you want that allow you so surf their “shoulders” as the pass by. Anyway, if you can find something to surf and chase, zone in on it and tune out everything else. I find that helps immensely. It probably increases stability both through physical forces and through mental trickery.

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3 years 1 month ago #31781 by PSwitzer
Thanks guys for the input.

I found this vid of Deano going downwind in the same stretch of water I'm talking about. We were doing an out-and-back, so bashed upwind for 15 min to Hanauma bay, then surfed back in about 5.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ok-erQZLWI0

Going upwind I was trying to pull into the reflected chops, as some of them were maybe 60 degrees off my direction of travel, but I couldn't get the boat speed up enough due to all the water whacking me in the gut. Before I settled into my low elbow thing, I was having ok success keeping the bottom of the boat pointed at the oncoming side chops. So if a big one was about to hit me from the left, I would tilt the hull to the right with my hips, and the impact didn't seem as bad and didn't flood the cockpit as much.

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3 years 1 month ago #31783 by zachhandler
What an awesome piece of water that is. Great filming too. Looks pretty challenging. It does apoear that Deano is working the runs through there, backing off and accelerating deliberately to chase the wave.

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