Backpaddling

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2 years 2 weeks ago #36771 by Arcturus
Backpaddling was created by Arcturus
How often do you backpaddle the ski? I mean in situations where there isn’t room to turn around and you don’t need to go far. When I do it, the rudder wants to take directional control since it is now in the forward position relative to travel. The toe pedals are harder to keep aligned with each other when paddling in reverse.

This may just be one of those techniques that doesn’t cross over well from other kinds of kayaking, but surely sometimes  people backpaddle a ski for a short distance?? 

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2 years 2 weeks ago #36772 by Sailkayak
Replied by Sailkayak on topic Backpaddling
I do it although on a river and not for very far but the rudder will work in reverse

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2 years 2 weeks ago #36773 by MCImes
Replied by MCImes on topic Backpaddling
I back paddle to get out of the slip and to maintain position on the ocean outside of the break line while waiting for a big set to come through.

The trick is to keep pressure on both pedals, because as soon as you're past the neutral position, the rudder is actually held in place by the opposite foot (assuming you dont let it go to the hard stop) and if you dont have pressure against both pedals the rudder is immediately grabbed and thrown to the hard stop.

It takes a little practice but you can do it. I've swam more than once while back padding  though. The rudder induces a lot more roll and it happens immediately since the water wants to push it to the extreme

Currently paddling a Kai Wa'a Vega Flex in Southern California's ocean waters
Past Boats: Epic V10g1, Stellar SRg1, Fenn XTg1, Swordfish S
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"

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2 years 2 weeks ago #36774 by Bill L
Replied by Bill L on topic Backpaddling
Usually if I need to clear a mat of seaweed from my rudder, and so sometimes in fairly rough water as that is often where the seaweed has been stirred up after a storm (when the swells are running high and I want to go out). 

Like anything, practice and you get better at it.  While it initially is disconcerting, I have come to look upon it as another way to increase my balance capability.  For a real treat (i.e., balance improvement exercises), once you get decent at it, try doing it with your eyes closed for a bit. 

For any paddling skill involving balance, I have found that closing my eyes really helps me improve as I am forced to use only my inherent motion senses and not my vision.

Bill L

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2 years 2 weeks ago - 2 years 2 weeks ago #36777 by Arcturus
Replied by Arcturus on topic Backpaddling
Those are the kinds of very-short-distance reversing situations I had in mind. Yes, I could make it track by holding the pedals very firmly using my toes, but it felt strange. If this is a matter of practice, then all is good. I will practice it. Thank you for confirming that the strangeness is due to unfamiliarity with paddling a ruddered boat in reverse.

I may end up combining backpaddling with remount practice!

The suggestion to close eyes for practice is a good one, though I have not yet done so with the ski. I only did it in the sea kayak for checking forward stroke symmetry, or to see how much effect any kind of wind other than headwind had on tracking if I could not use my eyes.
Last edit: 2 years 2 weeks ago by Arcturus.

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