Early goals

5 years 3 weeks ago #25655 by jwturnbull
Early goals was created by jwturnbull
Hi this is my first post here. I am a long time canoeist (Hawksebury Classic many times in a TC2) and have just bought a ski, Fenn Mako XT. I've been working on my technique and am getting an average speed of around 8 kmh over 13 km on flat water. Is this reasonable or way too slow? I've read the XT should be able to go 10 kmh but is that flat out? I'm interested in views on what would be a reasonable goal for me to sustain over long distance. Starting to plan on the 'Classic again this year and I want to know what to aim for. I'm a "veteran" (52 yrs) around 80 kg. Thanks!

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5 years 3 weeks ago #25656 by Hacker Mike
Replied by Hacker Mike on topic Early goals
Hi & welcome

I am also a 52 yr old 80kg's paddler who has just returned (Dec 2015) to surfski after a complete break of 20 yr. My experience regarding pace is as follows.

I am very much in towards the back of the 3rd quarter of the pack at the Dice's that are happening around Cape Town. On flat I am averaging just on 10km/h with a top end of around 11.5km/h at the moment. The top guys are significantly faster than that (13km/hr plus). An average of 8km/hr would put one towards the back of the field.

Hope that helps provide some sort of a benchmark. All the best with the surfski adventure
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5 years 3 weeks ago #25657 by jagter
Replied by jagter on topic Early goals
IMHO a 'back of middle pack'/'front of back pack' paddler will be able to maintain a constant 10km/h in an XT without too much strain. Give yourself a few months to get used to the motion and stroke and you'll be able to do that no problem.

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5 years 3 weeks ago #25658 by Ranga
Replied by Ranga on topic Early goals
You should be able to get over 10km/hr in an Epic 18X sea kayak, so an XT should be no problem being a bit longer.

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5 years 3 weeks ago #25664 by jwturnbull
Replied by jwturnbull on topic Early goals
Thanks all, I suppose my question is about sustainable long term speed. The Hawkesbury Classic is 111 km, and people in OCR1 class seem to do it in 10-12 hrs so that's an average of 10-11 kmh with breaks. I can currently push up to 10 kmh and hold it for a short distance, but on long paddles (13 km or so) I average less. Sounds like I need more time in the boat - I've had it for 2 months and have been getting out 3 times a week.

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5 years 3 weeks ago #25667 by Love2ski
Replied by Love2ski on topic Early goals
Hi,

I've been paddling about 3 years and started on the XT as well. I am about the same age. I found I could only do about 8km/hr for the first couple of months. Then I started to get faster but began to level out at an average of 10km/hr. From that point on technique and proper rotation became the most significant factor necessary for going faster. My technique has gradually improved (but I still have a long way to go) but my speeds have not gone up hugely because I am paddling in rougher and rougher conditions, and I am moving to tippier boats; currently on a swordfish. I have also found the jump from the XT or v10sport exposed my lack of core strength. That is, the Xt and sport are more forgiving on your core.

I think once you get to beginner/intermediate stage on boats like the swordfish you need to paddle in conditions that will challenge your core at least 4 times a week if you want to go faster. I find I can go pretty quick now in a fairly testing downwind, eg average about 12, but on Sydney Harbour I tend to average 10-10.5km/hr.
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5 years 3 weeks ago #25668 by Love2ski
Replied by Love2ski on topic Early goals
Also the XT is an awesome downwind boat but it's short length and rocker does restrict it's flat water performance. If you are going to focus solely on flatwater you might find you can move to a longer ski with less rocker and get quite a jump in speed. The XT gets it's DNA from club surfskis which are made for bump. Skis made by builders like epic tend to be a bit more flat water influenced.
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5 years 3 weeks ago #25676 by jwturnbull
Replied by jwturnbull on topic Early goals
Thanks for all the replies. I worked on stroke and torso rotation today and suddenly was sitting happily on 9 km/h - the quest for 10 continues :)

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5 years 1 week ago #25708 by [email protected]
Replied by [email protected] on topic Early goals
Its simply time in the boat. When I first started 3 years ago , 8kph was about it. I was fairly fit from cycling so it wasn't cardio slowing me down, it was purely technique and training the specific muscles It took me about 6 months to average 10kph, from there it was more time and intervals that took my speed to 11kph. which is back of middle pack, seems a lot of people can paddle at that speed, to get to front of middle pack took specific work and training and probably 4 days or more a week. any ski on the market now should easily be able to do 10kph. I have an Epic V7 for the family and I can sit on 11 in it (hard work though) good luck and be prepared you will be addicted !

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5 years 1 week ago #25725 by Cpdsyd
Replied by Cpdsyd on topic Early goals
Hi jwturnbull Thanks for starting this discussion, perfect timing for me ;)

I am also 52 yo 70kg. Always been relatively fit but I haven't done upper body exercise for over 20 years. The last 20 years has been intensive running mountain biking and snowskiing. I have never paddled other than a wave ski I had 30 years ago.

I got my surf ski 5 weeks ago, probably been out on it 10 times now. My goal has been to get to an average of 10kmh over 10kms.... then I will get some instruction. My body has taken a pummeling I have to say having not really done upper body work for so long but the improvement has been gratifyingly rapid. I am now averaging in the 9kmh's so getting close to my goal.

I also got into SUPing a month ago so the pain on the body has been doubly intense but then the benefit probably similar!

Thanks for the posts guys n gals, good to have some benchmarks as to where we are at.

I am on a V10 Sport btw.

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5 years 1 week ago #25727 by Kayaker Greg
Replied by Kayaker Greg on topic Early goals
Be best not to delay the instruction as you will only be ingraining bad technique which will make it all the harder to correct the longer you go as you are.

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5 years 1 week ago #25728 by [email protected]
Replied by [email protected] on topic Early goals
Absolutely get a lesson first. My son started paddling a couple of years ago and got tuition from the start , best way by far is technique first speed second. I was the other way around poor move!

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5 years 1 week ago #25729 by Cpdsyd
Replied by Cpdsyd on topic Early goals
Thanks guys. Agreed expert pointers are really useful. I learned that from other sports.

But I wanted to get some hours up with my bum in the ski first to at least get some idea of stroke and more importantly balance.

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4 years 11 months ago #25895 by Cpdsyd
Replied by Cpdsyd on topic Early goals
I had a technique session on dry land on a machine on the weekend, then went for a paddle yesterday. Made a huge difference, much more efficient and more power more easily. Bit like golf though, easy to overthink it. Overall HUGELY worthwhile.

BUT I found my stability was well off, I think because of the different hand / arm placement. I guess I will get used to it again, but in the meantime - what are the thoughts on the benefit from being snugly planted in the seat? (as on another thread). I am small and small bum so I do not contact the sides of the bucket at all (V10 Sport). Thanks in advance for any input.

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4 years 11 months ago #25896 by Ranga
Replied by Ranga on topic Early goals
You need to be able to rotate in the seat but not move around too much. I dont mind moving around a lot but others might, I also do not touch the sides.

You can pad the sides up with 10mm EVA foam rubber (camping mattress) available at most outdoor camping shops. Just cut it into pieces about 200mm x 100mm and round the edged off. Glue in with contact adhesive or superglue. Just a few blobs of glue around the edge should do. If you have an Epic agent at hand or online they do have pads available where you can just insert different thicknesses of padding into a sleeve. This is fixed in with double sided tape and the inserts are held in with a velcro flap. I remove the velcro and glue in with contact, lasts longer than double sided tape.

Make sure your leg length setting is not too short, on full rotation your calves should touch the ski, this will give you your best balance.

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4 years 11 months ago #25901 by RedBack
Replied by RedBack on topic Early goals
Greg and Ranga offer good advice.

Find a good coach, get your positional set-up correct and primarily work on developing your technique.

It's much easier to learn good habits as a novice than to un-learn bad habits as someone with more "experience".

If you get your movement patterns correct, the speed will come, even if the fitness to maintain that speed isn't quite there. Fitness too will come with training, and when it does, it won't be wasted on inefficient technique.

I'm 57 and 75kg and returned to paddling as my primary sport about 7 years ago. I've been very fortunate to find a good coach and have the opportunity to regularly train with elite paddlers (including some current, former and future Olympians...?).

While I won't be going to the Olympics any time soon (except maybe as a spectator!) I can assure you that making a nuisance of yourself in the lead pack (at least for a while) is not beyond reach, - even for old codgers like us! :laugh:

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