Technical work on balance

9 years 11 months ago #5930 by Nelo Surfski Tahiti
Hello guys,

Especially when paddling in the lagoon, and we'd like to be more comfortable in the harshest conditions on the high seas
Is there a technique, a trick to work on his balance when on'a not get to often out at sea?

Jonathan

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9 years 11 months ago #5932 by Zebra
Replied by Zebra on topic Re:Technical work on balance
Yes, there are a couple of balancing exercises:

Best one I know, get hold of one of those large, inflated gym balance balls (also know as 'Swiss' balls), and sit on it, lifting your feet off the floor (ie balance on it).

In time, you can control movement atop the ball using your core muscles - first in one (say clockwise) direction, then the other. If you find it easyish, then straighten out your legs in front of you, as this makes it more challenging again.

When you've mastered that, post again, and I'll give you step two!
Cheers

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9 years 11 months ago #5933 by cvh
Replied by cvh on topic Re:Technical work on balance
There is an great clip on www.dailypaddle.com on core exercises with gym balls. This guy is a regular circus freak!

www.dailypaddle.com/media/kayak-core-sta...d-rotation-training/

Regards
Craig

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9 years 11 months ago #5934 by Nelo Surfski Tahiti
Thank you for the info, I'll try all that stuff, and I tell you what I think.

Cordialy

Jonathan

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9 years 11 months ago #5935 by Tom_D
Replied by Tom_D on topic Re:Technical work on balance
I do the balance exercise where I sit on one big swiss ball (65cm) with my feet on a soccer ball. I use a 4 foot stick as a paddle as in the video. A trick is to put a chair on either side of you that you can brace the paddle (stick) on the seats if you real start to go over. I put a slit tennis ball on either end of the stick to pad the end so as not to mark the chairs (keeping my wife happy).

I watch TV and balance and simulate a paddling motion for 20 mins or so as a cool down after my KayakPro ergometer work out (where no balance is required). It is fun. I have no idea if it will help my balance in my ski but I am much better at balancing on the balls than I was when I started. Mostly it is fun and relaxing. Secondary stability of the swiss ball sucks though... The big ball cost about $25 USD at the local gym.

Cheers
Tom

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9 years 11 months ago - 9 years 11 months ago #5936 by firecon
I just got a Gibbons slackline and have it between two trees in my backyard. Also unable to verify any actual correlation between walking or sitting on the webbing and balancing the ski-but I feel like I should be better. And it's fun.

S/F,
Steve

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9 years 11 months ago #5941 by candela
My understanding is that your balance regarding ears and eyes is genetic, what you have is what you have. But since we use more than just ears and eyes for balance, such as our muscles, strengthening your core and building up core endurance should translate to better balance during an long ocean paddle where you suffer fatigue.

My assumption (I'm no expert, just thinking out loud) is you may have a genetic balance level of say 8 out of 10 and when you first try a proper racing ski you may feel your balance level drops to 5 out of 10 until your confidence and boat time increases and you eventually get to your genetic 8 out of 10 level. At this point no matter how much you train you may never advance past 8. I'm not taking speed just balance.

Would others agree or disagree with this assumption?

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9 years 11 months ago #5947 by Sandy
Replied by Sandy on topic Re:Technical work on balance
There may well be a genitic component , seems a bigger piece may be ones ability through training to temper amd modulate reactions to balance challanges. Take someone with really good balance and put them in a 17" ski for the first time , like;y they will be swimming shortly , after some training and practice that same person will likely be paddling along. What changed ?

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9 years 11 months ago #5951 by beejay65
My balance has improved dramatically since doing these type of exersizes and strengthening my core etc. However I still have real trouble when side on to the waves. Does anyone have any hints on how to improve in that area.

Is it just a matter of exposing myeslf to more of those conditions to build the skills necessary or are there specific methods I can use to help.

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9 years 11 months ago #5952 by owenw
Replied by owenw on topic Re:Technical work on balance
cvh wrote:

This guy is a regular circus freak!


He's certainly great on the balls - but can he paddle! Somehow, I can't recall Oscar doing all this stuff.

I'm somewhat reminded of many years ago an eager cycling reporter asked Eddie Merckx (greatest ever road cycling pro) a great long and complex question on his training secrets (thresholds, intervals, oxygen takeups etc) and the great man's simple reply was: "I cycle lots".

Life truly lived is full of risk; to fence out risk is to fence out life itself

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9 years 11 months ago #5955 by svengali
do i detect a hint of jealousy owenw?!

i don't think the thread is simply askng how to be a better paddler - it's asking how to improve your paddling by land-based core strength training

can it make you a better paddler if it supplements your on-water work? of course

as for Eddie Merckx - why would anyone expect a champion to share his training techniques with his competitors and the world at large? That's something you do to keep the money rolling in when you're retired, which the likes of Oscar does now :)

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9 years 11 months ago #5956 by Tom_D
Replied by Tom_D on topic Re:Technical work on balance
Remember the 10,000 hour rule. This is the widely documented observation that in most truly complex activities, like athletics and music, the outstanding performers have logged over 10,000 hours practicing their activity. This usually translates to about 10 years of serious involvement. There certainly are a few exceptions but unless one is just super talented there is no substitute for "time on".

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9 years 11 months ago #5957 by Rightarmbad
Hence my belief that begginer ski's are only for clubs to own and share around or somebody that will never take it seriously.
Get a ski that you will learn into.
Your gonna take a lot of hours anyways, why not learn the elite skis right from the start?

It's cheaper to change the conditions that you paddle in than your ski.........

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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9 years 11 months ago #5958 by svengali
controversial post there, Rightarmbad. Many of the coaches and elite paddlers (all of whom are associated with ski manufacturers who want to put you on an upgrade path) speak of the need to start with a beginner ski and get your technique and balance sorted before moving up to something tippier.

however, i tend to agree that if you are going to be serious about the sport and put in the hours it makes sense to not get something so stable, because unless you're getting regular technique coaching, a very stable hull is too forgiving of poor technique.

When i moved from beginner to elite ski i thought i was quite accomplished in terms of balance and technique but boy was i wrong - i had to completely re-train myself because a stable ski allows you to unknowingly get away with bad technique.

Little quirks in my stroke exit didnt make any difference in the beginner ski but could actually tip me in if i was sprinting on an elite ski.

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9 years 11 months ago - 9 years 11 months ago #5960 by beejay65
Some interesting posts here. Whilst I tend to agree with the stance of putting more hours into something will make you better at it, there is also something to be said for skills based training.
The great Eddie Merckz, whilst riding his bike lots,did so up and over mountains that I would have trouble driving over.

I am paddling more and more at the moment so hopefully, for me anyway, that will help.

Rightarmbad, I too like the idea of getting a ski above your skill level and growing into it as long as it the frustration of swimming lots doesn't frustrate you out of the sport. There has to be a tipping point somewhere.(No pun intended)

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9 years 11 months ago #5961 by Rightarmbad
The only value I see in a very stable ski is to learn the ocean, not yourself.
Paddling my very stable kayaks does nothing for my technique or balance.

To learn technique, I am convinced that it can be learnt better in an elite ski in easier water.
I also believe that it is better to learn a ski's own characteristics in easier water, then progress to lumpier stuff.

After you know and understand how the ski responds to smaller waves and twisty currents, that skill set is in place and aids the learning of how it responds to tougher stuff.
Learning to paddle in a strong side wind without the huge swell to complicate things, makes you better at side chop, then add in the big stuff.

Then the full on conditions are only a matter of putting already developed skills into a whole.
All the time being on an elite type ski that lets you learn intimately how the ski behaves, how you influence it with your own mechanics, and finally how the sea influences the whole package.

The only other skill set to master is then the ocean itself.
From what I have observed, this is a very long process in itself.
Reading the water and how to capture runs that just don't seem to be there when you start out, is a forever skill.

I can't see that sitting in a stable ski for a year is going to make any difference at year three to the development of this skill, as the faster ski's behave differently to the stable ski anyways.

I can see however, a big dent in my finances for the privileged of upgrading in a series of steps to facilitate a so called better learning curve.

Use the water you choose as the means to create progression in skills, not the boat.

Water's free!

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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9 years 11 months ago - 9 years 11 months ago #5962 by Red
Replied by Red on topic Re:Technical work on balance
From a coaching point of view, and I know there is a lot of experience in this thread already, I would hesitate in advancing straight to an elite ski for a social athlete. Yes the ability to balance will not be developed as quickly as if you spend all your time on a tippy ski but there is more to ski racing than balance, you need to paddle as well.

Basic paddling technique, the actual motor skill and timing of putting the blade efficiently in the water with power, is most effectively trained in a boat that a social athlete can sit on without falling in. Poor technique is generated and reinforced if the only concern is not to swim.

Good technique will be rewarded on an elite ski, bad technique will just lead to injuries and more swimming.

For balance on dry land - sit on the swiss ball as in the video, in front of a mirror if possible, and close your eyes as you practice the paddle stroke.

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9 years 5 months ago #7196 by Beanboy
Good thread...

Just got back from a weekend spent on a lake with a great mix of wind chop mixed with reflected waves and boat wake.

Disappointed that I haven't progressed more in terms of balance with my V10 Sport, but I shouldn't be surprised because I haven't had as much seat time as I wanted in said conditions.

Was disappointed to the point of thinking of stepping down to an Epic V8 so I could work more on form in chop conditions/enter ocean races without having to worry too much of conditions.

However, I do have plenty of flatwater to work on form, and damn it, I do want to get better, so I'll make the time to get into conditions I'll most likely swim.

As a beginner, definitely something to think about though. Both from exercises in balance on-land as well as boat selection and being honest with yourself as to how serious you are about the sport.

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9 years 5 months ago #7202 by Kocho
Replied by Kocho on topic Re:Technical work on balance
Something I did not see mentioned is to develop a reliable bracing ability (combined with lose hips/waist, so that the movements of the boat don't get you off balance too much).

The purpose of bracing is simple - you will fall out much less often if you can brace effectively. This increases your confidence in staying upright and you can spend more time balancing on the ski rather than remounting.

There are 2 kinds of bracing - during the stroke or just bracing. In more extreme cases you "just brace" (either a low or a high brace) to stay upright. Just bracing obviously does not propel you forward and will slow you down if done excessively. Bracing during the paddle stroke is for helping your balance while still making forward progress. Obviously, any energy used for this kind of bracing is energy lost that could have been used for forward progress, so the less you do the better.

Paddling in white water or just flat but moving water in a river or a creek (in the ski or in another boat) helps a lot with developing a reliable brace. Find a rip current if you are in a tidal area or some safe river with eddies and currents to suit your ability. Just make sure it is safe - moving water is dangerous; you don't want to get trapped in a strainer or flushed out in a too turbulent area or bashed against rocks, etc.

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9 years 4 months ago #7317 by kiwial
Replied by kiwial on topic Re:Technical work on balance
All skis sit upright in the water, they only tip over with a paddler in them, therefore learning to trust your ski, through time on the water, is the best bet for "improving" your stability. I find if I get my learners to paddle on their rail in the flat for 50 strokes 1 side 50 strokes the other (over and over) they learn to feel the point of no return and are also more inclined to keep their head over the centre line of the ski which helps them learn to trust their ski. If you put your ski right over on its rail with your head over the long axis of the ski you will not get wet hair, only when you shift your head to the side of that axis will you need to remount. Time on the water can't be beat for improving your trust in yourself/your ski=less swims

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