Cross Swell Balance

7 years 8 months ago #14045 by smilicus
Cross Swell Balance was created by smilicus
Hello Guys

Just started surfski'ing. I am 1.8, 100kg and a bit on the top heavy side due to weight training all the years. Taken up Surfski to shed some pounds and get a leaner upper body.

I have been out a few time and I seem to be ok with and against the swell. My biggest problem is cross swell (so far just had small cross swell) - needless to say my remount is practised to perfection by now.

I know time on the water is the only real solution, but do any of you have any tip or training exercise (while on the ski) to better my balance while getting cross swell?

All advice would be much appreciated.

Happy paddling everyone

Smilicus

Regards

Smilicus
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Everyday's an Adventure

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7 years 8 months ago #14046 by antonsa
Replied by antonsa on topic Re: Cross Swell Balance
Play with the cross swell - tack in and out of it a little bit all of the time - make it your friend! This way it is only beating you side on for a short while and the rest of the time have fun with it. Also use your rudder and lean a bit off vertical. Relax the hips if you can.

Welcome and enjoy the sport.

Anton

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7 years 8 months ago - 7 years 8 months ago #14047 by Kayaker Greg
A couple of things that might help. Firstly practice paddling in shallow water where if you tip out you can just jump back on and put the ski on an extreme edge and paddle for about 20 strokes, then swap to the other edge and do the same. This will teach yourself how far you can lean the ski without falling over and make yourself more comfortable. Try to keep the upper body upright and lean at the hips.
The other thing to do when you are hit with cross swells is to look at the horizon rather than the swells that are coming.

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7 years 8 months ago #14048 by smilicus
Replied by smilicus on topic Re: Cross Swell Balance
Thank you Anton and Greg for the great advice and tips. Will sure use the it the next time I go out. Will let you know how I progress. Any other tips for a beginner is always welcome.

Happy Paddling

Regards

Smilicus
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Everyday's an Adventure

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7 years 8 months ago - 7 years 8 months ago #14049 by Kayaker Greg
Your welcome, still regard myself as a beginner ski paddler so any more tips to come are helpful to many of us.

BTW, thinking about your being top heavy has me considering trying to loose weight up top and really working the butt and squats to transfer some weight down below and so make myself more stable. :silly:

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7 years 8 months ago #14052 by Zephyrus
Replied by Zephyrus on topic Re: Cross Swell Balance

Kayaker Greg wrote: Your welcome, still regard myself as a beginner ski paddler so any more tips to come are helpful to many of us.

BTW, thinking about your being top heavy has me considering trying to loose weight up top and really working the butt and squats to transfer some weight down below and so make myself more stable. :silly:


Might sitting on some beefier glutes raise your center of gravity? :silly:

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7 years 8 months ago #14054 by Love2ski
Replied by Love2ski on topic Re: Cross Swell Balance
Hi

I am new as well. These are the things I have pieced together for handling cross swell.

1 as you hit the swell lean forward
2 push with your heels to make your legs rigid
3 really stretch forward each time you paddle to keep a blade in the water as far forward of your body. I learnt that most times I fall off is when the blade is next to my hips
4 increase the rate of paddling to constantly keep a paddle blade connected to the water and well forward
5 lower your hands to lower the centre of gravity

I found the cross swells from a boat wake gives me a chance to practice as you get 4 or 5 swells before you get a rest.
The following user(s) said Thank You: wateronirondawg

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7 years 8 months ago #14056 by wateronirondawg
ya cant wait to check it out bro . thanks

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7 years 8 months ago #14058 by smilicus
Replied by smilicus on topic Re: Cross Swell Balance
Thanks for all the tips guys. Sure to test them out this weekend.

Keep the tips coming, loving it.

Happy paddling

Smilicus

Regards

Smilicus
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Everyday's an Adventure

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7 years 8 months ago #14059 by rubberDuck
Replied by rubberDuck on topic Re: Cross Swell Balance
Figure 8s help me a lot with that aspect of my paddling. As I got more confident with the cross-chop parts of the figure 8, I just made it bigger and bigger until I was paddling the whole bay full.

Another stupid tidbit of advice that helped me. Get yourself some chewing gum to chew while paddling. It settles your nerves, which makes your body less tense and rigid. To help your lower body to do the work in the cross-chop, it must be detached from your upper body sothat your shoulders and head stay still and your hips move about as the chop moves the ski. Try it. You might just be surprised.

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7 years 8 months ago #14060 by smilicus
Replied by smilicus on topic Re: Cross Swell Balance
Thanks for the tips rubberduck. I'll try out the chewing gum trick.

Regards

Smilicus
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Everyday's an Adventure

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7 years 8 months ago #14064 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re: Cross Swell Balance
Funnily enough, I did have some chewing gum when I paddled today, and I felt way more relaxed.


But I think it had more to do with modding my footboard, lifting it up 5cm and getting my feet of of the steering controls and having a nice rigid board to push against and steering with my toes.

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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7 years 8 months ago #14065 by JeandeFlorette
Replied by JeandeFlorette on topic Re: Cross Swell Balance
Cross swell paddling can be daunting for the beginners and I sure did struggle for a while when I first hopped on a surf ski. I asked a few experts and tried to practiced what they recommended. there are a few elements to bear in mind :
(1) loose hips - keep the upper body upright at all times thereby maintaining your centre of gravity
(2) trust the craft secondary ability - ski can lean to a certain extent on its side whilst remaining stable
(3) leg drive, that is synchronisation with the catch by applying enough pressure from the legs to lock bum in the back of the seat at the same time as the paddle blade hits the water. When you transfer power from the paddle, if you feel the pressure down to your backside, you are doing well. Heels, leg, bum locked on same side as the stroke, keep this in mind
(4) increasing stroke rate will help

The ski will want to sway and the combination of all of the above will help keep you upright and moving steadily, hesitation is not in your favour as cross can be unforgiving for the uninitiated. Practice, play with one or more of the above techniques and at some point in time introduce the next one until you master all at once and Bob is your uncle. Surf ski paddling is not like sea kayak paddling where the increased stability takes care of things, Here you need to be in control as your craft is skinny, hence less stable. Untimately, you want to avoid having the tip of your craft sawing from side to side at each stroke, you want to transfer the stroke in a forward motion...

Providing the explanation reminded me how I struggled in the downwind up and down the coast in the first Ocean and Fenn series as the wind and swell rarely lined up with the general direction you were going. I can safely say that I can choose the direction I am aiming for now and irrespective of wind chop or swell direction, I can keep the ski moving in a reasonably stable manner, you have to let the ski do what it is supposed to do, having a blade in the water at the time the swell hits you certainly helps.

Have fun and keep practicing... it is possible... I am proof, being a converted sea kayaker now paddling a skinny surf ski in open ocean...! :)

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7 years 8 months ago - 7 years 8 months ago #14072 by smilicus
Replied by smilicus on topic Re: Cross Swell Balance
Hey Guys

Thanks for all the great advice and tips. I have been swamped at work, so could not get out on the water yet this week. Will definitely by out on the water over the weekend and try out all your advice and tips, just need to remember to by gum as well..hehe

Enjoy the paddle

Regards

Smilicus
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Everyday's an Adventure

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7 years 8 months ago #14075 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re: Cross Swell Balance

you have to let the ski do what it is supposed to do


+1

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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7 years 8 months ago #14076 by Boof Head
Replied by Boof Head on topic Re: Cross Swell Balance
Smilicus, I notice you have a spec ski in your profile image so you will have a steep learning curve. I find the spec skis to be far tippier than an ocean racing skis with their heigher seat.They are primarily designed for in and out paddling and I expect that they would be challenging in beaming conditions?

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7 years 8 months ago - 7 years 8 months ago #14082 by Kocho
Replied by Kocho on topic Re: Cross Swell Balance
Balance is key obviously, but once you get into breaking waves and wind chop (not smooth swell) you will need to rely on some bracing component in your stroke. At first you will tend to stop your forward stroke and slam the paddle down to do low braces to maintain balance. Works OK to keep you on top of the ski but slows you down and if all you are doing is bracing you are not moving forward. Trust me :) (I spent almost a full minute upright in my first sitting in a real tippy K1, but I only travelled about 10 feet forward during that time - I could keep upright pretty well while bracing but that was not helpful at all because my balance was so rough I could not maintain it during forward paddling).

Eventually, you will figure out how to use your forward stroke to maintain balane without stopping to brace. I suppose you could intentionally disrupt your balance and lean on the paddle during forward stroke to feel the support you can get from it... The goal is to do less and less of any kind of bracing and rely on being centered for balance. The ski does have some secondary stability to keep you upright, then if things start to get hairy, begin using a bracing component in your forward stroke, and only when things get really gnarly - use a low or a high brace to keep upright.

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7 years 8 months ago - 7 years 8 months ago #14100 by Kayaker Greg
Well I tried the chewing gum trick today in some tricky conditions and I feel I was much more relaxed, otherwise I would have been breathing too hard, tensing the face and the diaphram, so felt chewing on gum had a relaxing effect on my paddling in choppy conditions. Good tip, thanks.

This in turn led to me being a lot looser on the ski and instead of my trying to hold a firm line I let the ski move around more with the waves, let myself feel the water which made me even more relaxed, had a good day out there in tricky conditions.

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7 years 8 months ago #14103 by smilicus
Replied by smilicus on topic Re: Cross Swell Balance
Hello Guys

Was out for a quick paddle yesterday and tried some of the advice give in this forum.

What worked so far:

1. Sat in the cross swell with legs over the side for a awhile and then with legs in.
2. While paddling, been using my legs more - Straighten and stiffen the leg on the same side of the paddling arm
3. Stopped bracing so much, since when I just start to tip I do a BIG brace with the paddle and that normally throws me more off balance...rather did "smaller" brace shots.
4. Tried some figure of 8's (need to get them bigger)


I was going to try the chewing gum trick/tip. Bought a pack of gum, but forgot it at home when I went to the club.

Well, one day I will get the hang of my new (but very old) Hammerhead ski.

Enjoy the paddle

Regards

Smilicus
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Everyday's an Adventure

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7 years 8 months ago #14104 by Zephyrus
Replied by Zephyrus on topic Re: Cross Swell Balance
Just don't swallow the gum when a big wave hits!

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