Go Big or Go Home......V8 to V14

3 years 11 months ago #27487 by SkiFun

photofr wrote: Another way of looking at it is:
You can walk all day on two legs, using (mainly) leg muscles to carry your weight.
You can't do push ups all day using just your arms.
If you want to paddle more efficiently, using less arms and more legs, to paddle greater distances at higher speeds, you WILL have to use your legs, and therefore will have to work on proper rotation.

Rotation may give you a little more reach, but I feel that it's more important to note that it gives you tons more power when done properly.



What do you think about a swivel seat ?
I think it is relatively easy to rotate our body (the well defined rotation axis at the center) with the swivel seat.
We may need a thin swivel seat (about a half inch high ?) to minimize the stability issue.

Has anyone tried it on surf ski ?
Is it doable ?

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3 years 11 months ago #27488 by red_pepper
A friend with a Van Dusen Mohican tried it (the Mohican is essentially a flat-water racing ski). The swivel seat is an option with that boat (which has some ICF elements to the cockpit). He said he nearly fell out of the boat, so he immediately removed it and replaced it with a Bumfortable seat. :) Unless you're just racing flat water, and your stability skills are impeccable, I doubt you'll find a swivel seat to your liking. Your connection to the boat is reduced, compromising your stability.

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3 years 11 months ago #27489 by photofr
Not do-able: in the sense that if you raise your seat height by merely 1/4 inch, you will immediately feel the difference - and it may not be very pleasant.

Better ask yourself:
Why do I need help in rotation?
Is it because your hips aren't flexible enough? and if so, why?
Do you need more stretching?
Would it not be better to learn to rotate without a rotational seat first?

The real demotivation: installing a swivel seat in a surfski seems like a nightmare and a half - but this is just how I perceive it.

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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3 years 11 months ago - 3 years 11 months ago #27490 by RedBack

Aurelius wrote: Thanks again, Redback! Comparing my video to the instructional videos I've seen, I knew something was fundamentally wrong, but I couldn't put my finger on it until I read your explanation.

When I paddle, I try to keep my top hand at eye level, but as you note, it drops down quite a bit during the power phase. I did notice that some elite paddlers (eg: Knut Hollmann) keep their top hand at roughly the same level all the way to the end of the power phase. Others don't do that, so I wasn't sure whether this mattered.

Now as far as the green line in your diagram is concerned, the reason I stop my top hand just after it crosses the center line of the ski is because that helps me keep my stroke short enough to extract the blade just after my low hand passes my knee. If I rotate further than what you're seeing, it results in lengthening my stroke, with my low hand traveling all the way to my hip. Stopping my top hand at the center line is just a temporary measure another forum member recommended to me. Once I get the basics right, I can work on increasing the amount of torso rotation, as you suggested.

The technique I'm trying to emulate is demonstrated by the Australian racing coach Jimmy Walker, in the video below (start at 1:35). Notice how little torso rotation Walker uses compared to other elite paddlers. I don't know whether his technique is the "best", but it's certainly the easiest for me to copy at this stage of my development.


Jimmy is a very good paddler (and a good guy!) but as others have indicated, he's on a "Spec" ski.

I race Spec skis as well as Ocean skis and because of the Spec ski's design, you never get quite the same amount of leg drive, or rotation on a Speccie as you do in an Ocean ski or K1.

While Jimmy has a "squarer" technique than many other paddlers, when he's in a K1 he does stroke longer and with more rotation than that video indicates.

Incidentally, the water in which Jimmy and co are paddling isn't considered "rough" in our neck of the woods.

Here's an example of typical Spec ski race conditions...

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3 years 11 months ago #27491 by Aurelius

RedBack wrote: Jimmy is a very good paddler (and a good guy!) but as others have indicated, he's on a "Spec" ski.

I race Spec skis as well as Ocean skis and because of the Spec ski's design, you never get quite the same amount of leg drive, or rotation on a Speccie as you do in an Ocean ski or K1.

While Jimmy has a "squarer" technique than many other paddlers, when he's in a K1 he does stroke longer and with more rotation than that video indicates.

Incidentally, the water in which Jimmy and co are paddling isn't considered "rough" in our neck of the woods.

Here's an example of typical Spec ski race conditions...


That wouldn't be considered rough here either. I've paddled in rougher seas than that (Daytona & Rhode Island), but I was in a sea kayak.

I wasn't aware there was such a thing as a "Spec" ski. How would they compare in terms of speed on flat water to a "regular" ski?

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3 years 11 months ago - 3 years 11 months ago #27496 by RedBack
In flat water they are generally slower than an ocean ski of equivalent stability.
(Think Stellar SR speed, but not as stable.)

Unfortunately, they are built to a very tight specification (hence "spec") so they must be a certain width, length, and weight and even the amount of rocker and volume is mandated.

The're generally better at negotiating broken waves than Ocean skis and at 18kg (40lbs) they are fairly robust, but quite heavy.

Spec Skis have been around for more than 50 years and they were really the precursor to today's Ocean Skis.

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3 years 11 months ago - 3 years 11 months ago #27498 by Aurelius

RedBack wrote: I've done a quick diagram.

The red line indicates the preferred height of (both) your hands at the end of the stroke (when your shaft is parallel with the water). The green line is the lateral finishing position of your top hand at the end of the stroke. The arrows indicate where your hands need to move to.



For that to work, your torso will need to rotate more.


I've been thinking about this diagram for quite some time, and it just occurred to me what you're getting at. I had another look at the video I posted at 1/4 speed. From the 21 second mark to the 28 second mark, I deliberately increased the angle of the shaft by raising my top hand from eye height to the top of my head. Not only did it result in the blade being much closer to the hull, but I also noticed that the path of travel of my top hand was much closer to horizontal. More trunk rotation would have kept it horizontal all of the way; the lack of rotation is what causes the top hand to drop.

Now I know what I'm going to concentrate on doing this weekend. B)

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3 years 11 months ago - 3 years 11 months ago #27499 by Aurelius
Here's another question for the surf skiing Illuminati:

When comparing the paddling technique of Knut Holmann and Anders Gustafsson, I notice two big differences.

Starting with Holmann, I see that the sweep of his top hand during the power phase remains pretty horizontal throughout. The start of his stroke positions the top hand at forehead level, and it never drops below eye level.

When viewed from the side, I also notice that almost all of his torso rotation is caused by leg drive, not by twisting along the length of the spine. If you draw an imaginary vertical line from his shoulder joint to his hip joint, you'll see that the line remains pretty much vertical all the way through the stroke (at 54-59 seconds in the video below).



In Gustafsson's case, I notice just the opposite, as the sweep of his top hand moves downward at a much steeper angle. At the start of the stroke, Gustafsson's top hand is just above his head and gradually moves down to about chin level. (2:35-3:00)

When viewed from the side, his shoulder also moves well in front of his hip joint as he positions the blade for the catch, indicating that his paddle strokes rely a great deal more on spinal twist than Holmann's.



Why are these techniques so different? Does it just come down to personal preference, or is one objectively better than the other?

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3 years 11 months ago #27500 by photofr
I can tell you are detailed-oriented, but you have to compare what is "comparable".

You are on a surfski (a V8, with a much wider front end than most surfskis).
The two athletes you are making reference to are on K1s.

Rotating should no longer be your aim - you'll end up planting your paddle on the deck.

Instead, you may want to work on a shorter stroke (lift your paddle out of the water sooner), or perhaps work on getting your entire blade in the water... or perhaps relaxing your entire body from jaw to toes. Once you nail those, move on to raising your seat... and then changing skis to further your surfski ventures. You'll love having solid fondations, by the time you move up to a V14, 560, or any other other elite ski.

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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3 years 11 months ago #27501 by Aurelius

photofr wrote: I can tell you are detailed-oriented, but you have to compare what is "comparable".

You are on a surfski (a V8, with a much wider front end than most surfskis).
The two athletes you are making reference to are on K1s.

Rotating should no longer be your aim - you'll end up planting your paddle on the deck.

Instead, you may want to work on a shorter stroke (lift your paddle out of the water sooner), or perhaps work on getting your entire blade in the water... or perhaps relaxing your entire body from jaw to toes. Once you nail those, move on to raising your seat... and then changing skis to further your surfski ventures. You'll love having solid fondations, by the time you move up to a V14, 560, or any other other elite ski.


I realize my V7 is no K1, but I wasn't comparing my paddling technique to either Holmann or Gustafsson. I was simply curious why their techniques differ so much from each other.

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3 years 11 months ago #27502 by photofr
It's like telemark skiing, or even Tennis: the principle is basically the same, but everyone is going to have a different style.

To make matters even "worse", the two paddlers could be using different paddles.
Knut is more of a purist, using a similar technique that is often required for a Braca IV (4).
Anders is aiming at using his favorite muscles, and uses a technique more geared towards a Braca XI (11).

Of course, they could be using the exact same paddle... but that's how I would best describe their technique in a nutshell.

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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3 years 11 months ago #27503 by Uffilation
well well, the mob variety of paddlers ... from 0:50, if on the flats/less rough

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3 years 11 months ago #27504 by Uffilation
yeah ... or mention Braca :)

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3 years 11 months ago - 3 years 11 months ago #27505 by Uffilation
btw. kwolfe > V14 , again no low elbow wave paddling, rather the flatter conditions again

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3 years 11 months ago #27506 by photofr
One thing is true for all sports:
Take the weakest paddler you can find, and look at how they paddle, what paddle they use... then add your muscles, mix in their technique, and you MAY hit the jackpot.

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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3 years 11 months ago #27507 by Uffilation

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3 years 11 months ago #27508 by Stew

red_pepper wrote: A friend with a Van Dusen Mohican tried it (the Mohican is essentially a flat-water racing ski). The swivel seat is an option with that boat (which has some ICF elements to the cockpit). He said he nearly fell out of the boat, so he immediately removed it and replaced it with a Bumfortable seat. :) Unless you're just racing flat water, and your stability skills are impeccable, I doubt you'll find a swivel seat to your liking. Your connection to the boat is reduced, compromising your stability.


Rotating seats are super comfortable, and once you get used to it, probably more stable, at least I have found that in my K1.

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3 years 11 months ago #27509 by Stew

photofr wrote: It's like telemark skiing, or even Tennis: the principle is basically the same, but everyone is going to have a different style.

To make matters even "worse", the two paddlers could be using different paddles.
Knut is more of a purist, using a similar technique that is often required for a Braca IV (4).
Anders is aiming at using his favorite muscles, and uses a technique more geared towards a Braca XI (11).

Of course, they could be using the exact same paddle... but that's how I would best describe their technique in a nutshell.


Both Knut and Anders used parallel shaped paddles. Not sure what brand Knut paddled with, maybe Rasmussen from Norway? Anders used Turbos.

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3 years 11 months ago #27510 by Stew

Uffilation wrote: well well, the mob variety of paddlers ... from 0:50, if on the flats/less rough



I'm actually in this video. Good times with a great squad :)

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3 years 11 months ago #27512 by Uffilation
Stew, that is very cool. I'd cut my left toe off to have had a traing squad in younger years instead of teaching myself from vids as the old slob that I am lol.

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