Ideal Cadence?

9 years 10 months ago #6055 by Scott S
Ideal Cadence? was created by Scott S
A couple of questions came from Dale & Rob’s comments about Cadence in the recent back seat trip with Oscar.

What should my paddle cadence be for cruising, sprinting and mid distance time trial?

Any tips on how to best measure your cadence?

I use a GPS App on the i-phone and can’t see my speed until after I finish the paddle.
Currently when I pick up my cadence to sprint it feels faster but on the GPS it isn’t much faster for all the effort. I assume I am trading off a higher cadence with stoke efficiency.

Any tips on how to develop increased cadence without trading off stroke efficiency?

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9 years 10 months ago #6056 by beejay65
Replied by beejay65 on topic Re:Ideal Cadence?
Scott, I was wondering the same thing after reading the report. Whilst watching the video I used a Iphone metronome (very accurate of course) to gauge Oscar's cadence which looks about 100 strokes per minute.
I also watched a video of Dawid and the same super accurate method shows about 115 s/p/m.
I will have to video my stroke to see my own cadence but I would be surprised if it is anywhere near 100.
I'll be intersted to hear others responses on how to speed cadence up or if in fact it should be in the first place.

BJ

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9 years 10 months ago #6059 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re:Ideal Cadence?
What matters is that you are efficient at the cadence that suits your body.

The blade size needs to match the force/speed that you apply so that it does not slip.
When it does not slip, it is efficient.

If the paddle is not slipping in the water, then the blade needs to be moved through more water per a given amount of time, as you go faster and faster. Just like a wheel has to contact a longer amount of road to go faster.

You can adjust the efficient paddle interface to yourself, by playing with the variable of paddle length and specifically, how much the paddle extends from your bottom hand.

A longer hand to blade length will slow your cadence at the trade off of a longer stroke length/ harder pull.
A shorter hand to blade length will quicken your cadence at the trade off of shorter stroke length/ easier pull.

With the correct blade size chosen for either condition, you have maximized your efficiency of the paddle, and yourself.

When you have matched the optimum cadence speed of your body to what the paddle forces you to do, you can do no better.

Just don't be scared to try as many differing paddle variables to find your bodies natural efficiency.

It's not like riding a bike where you can just change gears to match your body, the paddle is relatively fixed so you need to find the best compromise that works for you.

To sum it up, the paddle is efficient if it does not slip when you crank hard on it.
If it slips, then you are then using drag dominated resistance rather that lift dominated resistance.
Drag is bad.

You have found your ideal hand to paddle length, when the cadence you are forced to use by that length matches your own bodies natural firing frequency.
You can fudge this a bit by changing your grip on the paddle, but again, everybody has a natural width of hands that they prefer.

So really, if you are heading off with a big push from behind, your increased speed should come from a longer paddle/ stroke, not by spinning your arms faster than your body is efficient at.

A good reason to have an adjustable length, helps you to match your body to the prevailing conditions.

The biggest problem with this theory is that a long paddle can be unwieldy in the rough.

Oscar's solution to this appears to be, to have a quite low upper hand height, no higher than chest height, with a large amount of body rotation so as to be able attain a long paddle stroke but with a reasonable short paddle so as to work better in the rough.

He is also quite a large barrel chested type of bloke, so may very well have a higher torque output and prefer a slower cadence to many.

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 10 months ago #6065 by beejay65
Replied by beejay65 on topic Re:Ideal Cadence?
Rightarmbad wrote:

What matters is that you are efficient at the cadence that suits your body.


RAB I found that point when riding my bike. I can sprint and hill climb etc but I always seem to come back to about 88 rpm. That seems to be where I feel most comfortable, particularly on long rides.

I will experiment with paddle length and try and find the optimum cadence/output ec that suits me. I have only been paddling for 18 months so still learning this caper.

BJ

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9 years 10 months ago #6067 by Scott S
Replied by Scott S on topic Re:Ideal Cadence?
Thanks RAB & BJ,
More variables than I had considered and thanks the explanation makes sense.
I suspect my natural cadence is faster than I am paddling but new to this sport I need to develop more power/strength to be able to pull my mid size blade faster through the water.
My other concern then is how to cement your paddle technique strongly enough so it doesn't deteriate with a higher cadence and fatigue. No point a higher cadence with a crap stroke.
What are the technique drills Oscar or anyone does?
Scott

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9 years 10 months ago #6068 by Zebra
Replied by Zebra on topic Re:Ideal Cadence?
quote:
"Any tips on how to best measure your cadence?" quote

I now use a Garmin 310XT, but when I was paddling with my Polar 625/725 series HR watches, I played around with my bicycle's (wireless) cadence sensor, and it looked quite feasible to glue the sensor to the paddle shaft; it weighs about 4 grams, about the size of 4 matches, and the sending unit (smaller than a box of matches) to the hull at/near the point of catch.(both are waterproof).

If the two pass in close proximity, then you would get yor cadence reading, but would likely need to multiply it by 2.

Since the sensor is simply a very small magnet, then likely a flat strip of magnetic mat would work?

Thoughts?
Attachments:

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9 years 10 months ago #6069 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re:Ideal Cadence?
Don't do it, others have tried and the salt kills the electronics.
There is a thread on the Garmin forums related to this.

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 10 months ago #6070 by grasshopper
Replied by grasshopper on topic Re:Ideal Cadence?
I've used the garmin 310xt with the garmin footpod. I sealed the footpod in a plastic bag and then taped it to the paddle. I've only tried it twice, first time I had it taped too close to blade and I kept losing signal as it was going under water, second time I taped it above my hand and it worked ok.

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9 years 10 months ago #6075 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re:Ideal Cadence?
Do you have access to any electronic testing equipment to see if you are picking up reliably?

There is a guy that is developing a paddle cadence sensor at the moment.
He had a lot of trouble with getting every stroke reliably, he has it sorted now and is finalising the packaging and submitting it to Garmin for approval.

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 10 months ago #6076 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re:Ideal Cadence?
Just to muddy the waters a bit.

I have found that there can be more than one island of efficiency.
My best paddle length for flat water is a monstrous 222cm.
That is the single best match for me for a continuous type output.
I also found another island of efficiency between 213 and 215cm.
Lucky for me as 222cm was just too long to use in the waves.

I devoted 4 months of controlled testing to find these, but in my opinion worth it, as I now know that this one variable is sorted.
Nothing worse than continually wondering if something is a bit better or not.
Put some real numbers on it and the guessing goes away.

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 10 months ago #6077 by grasshopper
Replied by grasshopper on topic Re:Ideal Cadence?
I don't have any gear for testing but I'll try it again and get some video to count my strokes. Not definitive proof that it will work all the time but will give an indication if it is worth trying.

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9 years 10 months ago #6078 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re:Ideal Cadence?
You don't have to get a video, all you need to do is count strokes over a time period.
Just make the GPS beep at a time and count strokes.

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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8 years 4 months ago #12255 by bponeill
Replied by bponeill on topic Re:Ideal Cadence?
The worlds first paddle mounted, paddle cadence meter is produced by Vaaka at http:/www.insightsport.com It allows paddlers to see their cadence in real time while paddling. Cadence data is wirelessly transfered to a GPS sports watch such as a Garmin forerunner or Timex ironman. It's becoming an essential piece of kayak equipment.

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8 years 4 months ago #12257 by Kennneee
Replied by Kennneee on topic Re:Ideal Cadence?
Any idea what this "essential" piece of gear is going to cost?

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8 years 4 months ago #12260 by Fenzocs
Replied by Fenzocs on topic Re: Ideal Cadence?
Cadence can also be measured with an accelerometer. In fact, with an accelerometer you can also measure the power applied.
See a link for an integrated GPS and accelerometer

www.braca-sport.com/paddles/digitrainer.shtml

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8 years 4 months ago #12261 by bponeill
Replied by bponeill on topic Re:Ideal Cadence?
The Vaaka kayak cadence sensor sells for USD$249 They will be back in stock early august and available for sale on the website www.insightsport.com

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