Anyone try paddling with your eyes closed?

8 months 3 weeks ago - 8 months 3 weeks ago #35300 by MCImes
Tonight in a new experiment I tried paddling with my eyes closed for an extended period on the ocean, like 1 minute at a time. We had 1-2ft wind waves with 3-4 foot ground swell, and it made for quite a disorienting experience!

When the smaller 1-2 foot wind waves passed, it was fairly easy to maintain normal paddling, as the boat rides over smaller waves without much effect to the pitch and roll of the boat. The larger swell was coming in 7 and 14 second sets, and when the bigger stuff passed and combined with the wind waves it was a crazy ride! I had to brace a few times but never swam - it felt like a roller coaster and at one point almost felt like free fall a couple times as a particularly steep and bumpy set came through! With my eyes open, the conditions were no problem at all, but eyes closed is totally different!

I also developed some slight seasickness, but nothing bad once I opened my eyes.

I was able to maintain relatively good directionality because the sun was setting, and luckily my usual route is nearly straight west-east loops, so I used the sun (through closed eyes) as a direction guide.

Anyways, anyone else ever try paddling with your eyes closed in some decent sized waves?

Currently - Swordfish S in Southern California's ocean waters
Past Boats: Epic V10 g0, Stellar SR g1, Fenn XT g1
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"

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8 months 3 weeks ago - 8 months 3 weeks ago #35303 by Watto
Frankly no, at least not in 1-2ft wind waves with 3-4 foot ground swell. Image below came to mind at what would be going on in my head..



Having said that I'll give it a go on the flat and see where I end up. Walking/jogging blind is a hiking/rogaining training activity to see how your body works at kind of a proprioceptor level. Don't know how one could paddle in mixed chop at least where I paddle unless gentle and regular (is chop ever regular?) . 
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8 months 3 weeks ago #35304 by waverider
Not done it on a ski, but gave it a shot on a stable kayak. Weird to say the least, Lousy catches were the first casualty either planting too deep or only a half paddle depth, gave a feeling like constantly tripping and stumbling. Yep and the nausea

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8 months 3 weeks ago #35310 by Arcturus
Yes, but only on flat water with a sea kayak. Going into a mild headwind was easy to stay on course. Any other wind direction resulted in heading in a different direction pretty soon.

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8 months 3 weeks ago #35311 by SpaceSputnik
Done that for sure. A local coach suggested that as an exercise. 
Not in crazy conditions but with some chop. I can manage just fine and kinda like the feeling of connectedness with water.
I have to say though, that I often don't look straight ahead, but at my feet. Not sure why and it's not ideal with other craft on water. Have to make myself to look up every so often.

Current: Epic 18x Sport, Stellar SES 1g.
Past: Think Evo II, Epic V7

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