Stroke technique

4 weeks 2 days ago #37542 by Raider
Stroke technique was created by Raider
I've been paddling with a 45 to 60 degree feather right hand control. My catch on the left pull side is fine but I am slicing my stroke on the right side pull which is my control side. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks

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4 weeks 1 day ago #37544 by waverider
Replied by waverider on topic Stroke technique
Do you mean your right hand catch is not going in with blade perpendicular to hull?
Is it gurgling like it is cavitating?

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4 weeks 1 day ago #37545 by Raider
Replied by Raider on topic Stroke technique
Yes waverider, getting a strong catch on my left hand pull but having trouble getting the blade perpendicular to the boat when switching back to my right hand control side.

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4 weeks 1 day ago #37546 by kwolfe
Replied by kwolfe on topic Stroke technique
My left side catch has always been a little crisper as well.  I think it's due to the fact that the right hand (my control hand) enables me to "spear" the catch more easily.  I would try concentrating on the left hand control the exit of the paddle and setting up a good angle for the right side catch.  Not really gripping the paddle but guiding the shaft angle. 

The other thing I noticed and when I switch from and oval shaft to a round shaft.  With the oval shaft, it's much easier to index the blade.  When I shaft to a paddle with a round shaft, I almost have to loosen my grip for half second at the catch, let the blade set it self the way it wants to, and then grip and pull.  Does that make sense?  Before I did that, I could feel the blade wanting to rotate slightly because it wasn't totally perpendicular.

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4 weeks 1 day ago #37547 by Raider
Replied by Raider on topic Stroke technique
Thanks kwolfe, I have noticed if I loosen my grip on my right hand push the left hand pull seems to help index the paddle as it exits the water setting up my right hand pull, not sure if this is the proper technique.

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4 weeks 1 day ago #37548 by Arcturus
Replied by Arcturus on topic Stroke technique
Literally the last time I paddled the ski, this is what I found helpful in improving the stroke in my right side: 

Think of the stroke as whatever side the blade is going to enter the water, the top hand controls, but the lower hand controls the exit. So this causes me to view it as “the catch-and-exit side” rather than left or right side. For some reason, this makes me focus on the full, integrated  stroke each side rather than on which hand is moving from one side to the other. I don’t know if my explanation is clear, but viewing the stroke this way makes for a more consistent stroke on both sides. Maybe because then the left and right hands BOTH dominate on the same side, but at different phases of the stroke.

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4 weeks 1 day ago - 4 weeks 1 day ago #37554 by waverider
Replied by waverider on topic Stroke technique
With my technique my lower had aligns the catch, top hand is open palm and effectively braces against shoulder it has no influence on shaft orientation. Blade and shaft is aligned with straight wrist of lower hand at the catch. If lower hand is perpendicular to blade then it goes in perpendicular

I find a lot of poor catch and power alignments occur due to dropping of top hand when it comes across. If top hand drops shaft pivots around bottom hand lowering angle of shaft causing it to slice out sideways with top edge of blade often coming out of water slightly and cavitating. So try some drills making sure top had comes across horizontally, shaft maintains its angle to vertical, rather than trying to spear down after the catch (it only spears into catch, not after, it becomes fixed in space relative to shoulder as you rotate), spearing down during power phase does the opposite of what you are trying to achieve. You can even see this if you sit in your chair now and do the motion without being on the water. It took a front view camera angle to actually show how much I did this even though I was trying not to.

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4 weeks 1 day ago #37555 by Raider
Replied by Raider on topic Stroke technique
Thanks waverider for the good feedback, you gave me some great tips. Thanks again!

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4 weeks 20 hours ago #37561 by manta
Replied by manta on topic Stroke technique
Hi

I started off with an unfeathered paddle. Went to a feathered paddle (30 degrees) now I am back at unfeathered. 

What I learned with an unfeathered paddle which helped me immensely when I paddled feathered was that when you have the paddle unfeathered, both hands take turns in being the control hand. What this taught my brain and my nervous system was how to orientate the paddle correctly regardless of side.

It actually took a long time to learn to paddle unfeathered correctly because it feels unnatural to let the paddle slip in the non control hand especially if you are right hand dominant. In any event for the purposes of only focussing on the catch try some slow unfeathered training just to allow your hands to find their place as the blade enters the water.

The only reason I returned to unfeathered after feathered is I find it biomechanically better for my body. Doing unfeathered correctly where the paddle is allowed to slip in the non control hand means my wrists never bend. No more wrist or shoulder pain.

M

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4 weeks 10 hours ago #37565 by mrcharly
Replied by mrcharly on topic Stroke technique
Two things
1) The best feather for you is the one that suits your stroke. (this is likely to change over time as technique improves)
this is a good video on determining a feather for you  https://youtu.be/1p7EW04RKAk 

2) with a wing blade, the blade should 'set' itself on the pull. You should also be able to slightly change direction as you pull, but not by rotating the blade.

If you are slicing, I suspect that you might be pulling too straight to the hull with not enough rotation. With the arms locked into relation, you push with feet, rotate body  - you are pushing the boat past the blade - your body rotation should take the blade out to the side. 

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4 weeks 5 hours ago #37567 by Raider
Replied by Raider on topic Stroke technique
Thanks mantra and mrcharly for the great feedback and tips on improving my technique. I'm new to this board and really appreciate all the great advice! Thanks again guys!

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3 weeks 5 days ago #37582 by tve
Replied by tve on topic Stroke technique
As far as I can tell, getting a good stroke takes a lot of bucket time for everyone, the reason being that you need to not only build the muscle memory, you also need to build the muscles that give you power. Without power you can do the right movement and nothing really happens...

You also have to listen to lots of different people and try what they suggest. Most will make little sense to you, but then something clicks. We all learn differently.

For me, the first "aha moment" was when I did Oscar's top-hand drill. It made me realize I can control the stroke with my top hand instead of bottom hand. Well, initially I really couldn't... The drill is to take a few strokes to get some momentum and then to hold the paddle only with the top hand and spear the blade into the water and then watch it go around rotating the body to keep watching it. Feels really awkward!

The next step is to also use the lower hand by just loosely hooking the fingers around the shaft, no real gripping. Then do the same and use the bottom hand just to guide the paddle around while the top hand controls it. No power applied yet. Be sure to rotate.  Just do a couple of repeated strokes on the same side then switch.

The next step is to do that with a bit of power. What I found is that the hardest thing is to keep the top hand in the same place in front of my shoulder and not punch forward. I had to use a lot of strength to push down along the paddle shaft with my top hand so it would stay in the same position ~10" in front of my shoulder as I rotate. The bottom hand always holds onto the shaft loosely with just the fingers, no matter how hard it's actually pulling.

For weeks my main focus was on the top hand trying to keep it stationary with respect to my body and not punch forward. Little by little the muscles adapted and strengthened. Now I focus much more on the timing of the pull and getting the blade in as far forward as possible. My top hand just does it's thing and I absolutely cannot reproduce the struggles I had, it just seems so easy now.

WRT feathering, pick what gives you the cleanest entry and least wrist movement. It depends a lot on the paddling angle (how vertical you hold the shaft). It will change over time as you learn. Just change it up/down by 10-15 degrees and paddle for a few minutes to see how it feels. Have someone paddle next to you or behind you to observe with you.

Enjoy the learning, it's a lot of fun!

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3 weeks 4 days ago #37588 by Raider
Replied by Raider on topic Stroke technique
Thanks tve, your break down of the kayak stroke was very helpful and gave me a lot of great information that I use to improve my technique. Thanks again!

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