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

2 years 11 months ago #27100 by red_pepper
I'll join with Newbflat and say that Don makes some excellent rudders at very reasonable prices. I have one of his rudders (a short, weedless rudder) on my OC1, and I had him make one or two for me for the V12 I owned.

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2 years 11 months ago #27117 by kwolfe
Lets see if I can get this video thing to work. Did 3 miles this morning in the dark and then 3 more after work with the company of my "new to me" gorpo. Avg pace of 6.7mph and top speed of 8.8 mph. Getting better. I want to get the avg over 7 and top over 9 by the time the water gets cold.

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2 years 11 months ago #27119 by Aurelius
Looks really good. I would have placed the camera dead center on the hull, but I suppose it's a matter of personal preference.

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2 years 11 months ago #27120 by RedBack

kwolfe wrote: Lets see if I can get this video thing to work. Did 3 miles this morning in the dark and then 3 more after work with the company of my "new to me" gorpo. Avg pace of 6.7mph and top speed of 8.8 mph. Getting better. I want to get the avg over 7 and top over 9 by the time the water gets cold.


Hey Kwolfe, - looking pretty good!

Hope you don't mind me making a few suggestions...?

1. Try to bend your top arm a little more after the exit. This brings the paddle back in line with the ski and enables a more vertical catch thus letting the wing generate greater "lift" during the stroke.

2. Your top arm is very straight at the catch. If you can imagine the shaft of the paddle is pivoting around the bottom hand at the point of the catch, then the straighter your top arm, the further back the blade will enter the water and shorter your effective stroke length will be. Try to keep the top arm bent until the blade is buried. You can easily gain 15-20cm of extra stroke length this way and if your stroke-rate remains the same, that's a couple of boat lengths every minute.

3. You may just have very wide shoulders (I wish I did!) but they seem to be quite straight throughout your stroke. Try really pointing your leading shoulder toward the bow of the ski at the catch in order to get more twist and therefore more power as you "unwind".

4. Related to (3) - your leg drive appears to be incomplete (causing reduced rotation) with the driving leg still bent at the end of each stroke. It should be straight.

5. Can you feel the "weight" of the blade in the water transferring to the heal of your foot throughout the stroke? If not, your legs are "going through the motions" but not really contributing to your boat speed.

Hope I haven't offended with any of these observations. They're all small things, but put them together and they're probably costing you 1.5 km/h at the same level of effort.

PS: You're also pumping the rudder pedals slightly as you paddle (rather than just using your heals). This causes the rudder to flutter and wash off speed.

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2 years 11 months ago #27123 by kwolfe
Hi all. Yes, I wish I would have centered the camera but I was in a bit of a rush and the V14 is so narrow that is was hard to find a flat spot for the suction cup. I'm gonna work on that this weekend.

RedBack,
Great observations. I'm totally open to all suggestions. Yeah, it will be interesting to do a video when I'm on my V8 for comparison as I can really apply good power in that ski cause it's so stable. I didn't fully rotate (complete the leg drive) all the time because I found it harder to replicate consistently enough to keep the ski in good balance. You can see from the video how twitchy it is!
The arm bending is really interesting though. I was trying to exit the stroke with my hands around my hips, but by doing that I think I overthought the straight arm thing. It would definitely help with a better catch. I never notice the rudder pedals. Ha! I think I was so into paying attention to the 20 other things!

Thanks for the feedback! I've said it before a few times, this ski WANTS to go fast. With good technique, it just wants to go faster and faster. It's very slippery feeling through the water.

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2 years 11 months ago #27124 by SurfskiEstonia
Kwolfe, You paddle very nicely. I am a new paddler myself and can't imagine sitting on a V14 without the coaching that I got at a k1 kayak club.

Everything that RedBack says applies 100% as far as I understand it. Additionally, I would like to share with You what an experienced K1 paddler told me as rules of thumb to get my technique on the right track.

1. Focus on having the lower hand completely straight at the catch. This is not that easy to accomplish, as the pulling motion is habitually done using the biceps/triceps and not the lats. So, keep in mind to even a bit overlock the elbow at the catch.

2. Sit up with Your back straight at about 90 degrees with Your ski. Don't lean forward, at least when You are working on Your technique.

3. With each stroke push Your leg against the hump of the ski. Only then You can know that You're doing it right. Adjust the footplate appropriately, so that You can rotate in the seat as freely, while having solid support from the footplate, when one of Your legs is down against the hump.

4. Don't let Your upper hand cross the mid-line of Your ski. This will teach You to end the stroke at the right moment. Some old school K1 paddlers say that the part of the stroke after crossing the mid-line is basically wasted energy, especially for a beginner. There are some competing K1 athletes who go far beyond that line, but they are super-experienced and have probably developed the right technique for themselves. I have found these four rules to be extremely helpful both on a K1 and ski, while paddling on flat water.

Hope You will find some of these rules of thumbs helpful :)

Nelo Ocean Ski L, Jantex Gamma Mid, Jantex Gamma Rio Large Minus

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2 years 11 months ago #27125 by Aurelius

kwolfe wrote: Hi all. Yes, I wish I would have centered the camera but I was in a bit of a rush and the V14 is so narrow that is was hard to find a flat spot for the suction cup. I'm gonna work on that this weekend.


How are you mounting it? I have a suction cup mount that has a large arm which can be positioned at different angles. To center the camera, I just attach the suction cup as close to the hull's ridge line as it will go, and then angle the arm to position the camera over the center. If the camera is off center, you may not notice errors in technique that are only evident on one side.

Yeah, it will be interesting to do a video when I'm on my V8 for comparison as I can really apply good power in that ski cause it's so stable. I didn't fully rotate (complete the leg drive) all the time because I found it harder to replicate consistently enough to keep the ski in good balance. You can see from the video how twitchy it is!


How do your speeds on the V8 compare to the V14?

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2 years 11 months ago #27128 by seajak

SurfskiEstonia wrote: 4. Don't let Your upper hand cross the mid-line of Your ski. This will teach You to end the stroke at the right moment. Some old school K1 paddlers say that the part of the stroke after crossing the mid-line is basically wasted energy, especially for a beginner. There are some competing K1 athletes who go far beyond that line, but they are super-experienced and have probably developed the right technique for themselves. I have found these four rules to be extremely helpful both on a K1 and ski, while paddling on flat water.


I had a lesson with Tim Jacobs before I left Sydney and he said the same thing. It surprised me because I'd always thought that the top hand should cross the centre line and the videos of elite paddlers often seem to show that. However, like you I decided that it was a way of shortening the stroke and ensuring that the blade comes out where it should.

cheers,
clay
The following user(s) said Thank You: SurfskiEstonia

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2 years 11 months ago #27129 by Flowmaster
It's all finetuning , but like to say that I'm impressed by what you have accomplished :)

...ooooO...................
...(.......)......Ooooo....
....\.....(.......(.......).....
.....\.__)........)...../.....
...................(__./......
JUST LEAVE FOOTPRINTS

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2 years 11 months ago #27131 by photofr
We hear and we often repeat: Stability First. Taken out of context, that is 100% correct: you always want to have a stable ski for your level. However, the best of both worlds is:

Own a stable ski…
So that you can paddle any day, any time, in nearly all conditions. There’s nothing worse than telling yourself: I wish it wasn’t so windy, or I wish it wasn’t so rough out there.

Own a tippy ski…
So that you can challenge yourself at least twice a week. There are even times when you can go from one ski and to the other during the same day.

You have a great combination, and there’s nothing wrong with it if you can afford it. It’s actually the fastest way to learn and get really REALLY good at paddling. We’ve been doing it for years: We’ll own a surfski for open water, and we will own a K1 Flat water kayak to fine tune.

Stay young, and keep doing what you are doing… keep a combo similar to V8+V14 or V10+V14

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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2 years 11 months ago - 2 years 11 months ago #27132 by Aurelius
Inspired by Kwolfe's bold venture, I paid a visit to the local Stellar dealer yesterday to have a look at my next upgrade. The very fastest skis Stellar makes are the SEL and SES, so I had a close look at those in particular. The SES was scratched off my list immediately: it's designed for much smaller paddlers, and couldn't accommodate someone my size. The SEL G2, by contrast, was a perfect fit. The bucket doesn't put pressure on my tailbone, and while the seat is a snug fit, its not so tight that it impairs my movements.

But then the owner showed me a very unusual ski he purchased from another dealer. It was an SEL G1, but it had some features that were not standard, like the double venturi drains and possibly its hull construction. Despite being longer than the G2, it was actually lighter. Stellar lists the weight of the current SEL in the Excel layup as 26 lbs, but the G1 Excel felt significantly lighter than even that. I was told that it was built from a combination of carbon fiber and kevlar, which differs from the G2, which uses no carbon fiber. Whatever it's made of, it's so light that I would have to take the precaution of tying it down to the kayak rack, lest the wind carries it off!

The fit of the SEL G1 was perfect for me. You couldn't slide a dollar bill between my hips and the hull, but there was just enough clearance to permit full hip rotation without producing pressure points anywhere. With a listed beam of only 17.1" and weighing less than 26 lbs, it's going to be quite a challenge for me to paddle compared to my SR. But seeing how quickly Kwolfe has adapted to his tippy V14, I'm pretty confident I'll be able to make the transition to an elite ski as well. My test paddle is scheduled for two weeks from now, at which time I'll be trying out the SEI G2, SEL G2, and the radical SEL G1. :woohoo:

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2 years 11 months ago - 2 years 11 months ago #27133 by Aurelius

SurfskiEstonia wrote: 4. Don't let Your upper hand cross the mid-line of Your ski. This will teach You to end the stroke at the right moment. Some old school K1 paddlers say that the part of the stroke after crossing the mid-line is basically wasted energy, especially for a beginner. There are some competing K1 athletes who go far beyond that line, but they are super-experienced and have probably developed the right technique for themselves. I have found these four rules to be extremely helpful both on a K1 and ski, while paddling on flat water.


I had to go out and test this technique. I've seen countless videos of elite paddlers, and all of them twist much, much further than that, so I was deeply skeptical that any good could come from stopping the stroke before your upper hand crosses the center line of the ski.

It took a little time to get used to the abbreviated stroke. I'm accustomed to using more upper body twist, so at first it felt awkward to stop the stroke earlier than I'm accustomed to. I also had to re-calibrate the timing of my leg drive to adjust for the higher cadence. It seemed to work though, because after a time my average speed rose a bit, and I managed to cross the entire lake using the new method without getting fatigued. It also paid off in one other way. Because the arc the blade travels is now shorter, the leg drive contributes proportionately more to it than it did before. That made me really focus on getting the most out of the leg drive, and soon I was able to put much more power into my hips. That works well for me, because many years of hard cycling has made my legs much stronger than my comparatively weak upper body, so the more I can use my legs, the better.

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2 years 11 months ago #27142 by kwolfe
Thanks everyone for the tips and kind words. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous when I made the jump but am glad I did. Just need to get as much bucket time in before the water starts getting too cold. Then the V8 comes back out for the winter.

Aurelius,
I don't have a speed comparison yet but I think I might take the V8 out tomorrow to see. I just go the Garmin so for the past year, I have never tracked it. I'm glad I could help you make horrible choices like me! :laugh: Having two skis is definitely a must for me. There will be days where the wind is howling or it's dark where having the security of a stable ski is great. I think my perfect combo would be a V10 Sport and the V14 but that will have to wait until next season unless some miraculous happens.

As for the top hand, I'm not sure what to believe. Every video I see shows the top hand coming across the face to about the the opposite shoulder. When I sprint and cadence is fast, I tend to keep it from crossing the center line but during regular distance, it crosses to the opposite shoulder.

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2 years 11 months ago #27143 by Aurelius

kwolfe wrote: Aurelius,
I don't have a speed comparison yet but I think I might take the V8 out tomorrow to see. I just go the Garmin so for the past year, I have never tracked it. I'm glad I could help you make horrible choices like me! :laugh:


Well, if nothing else, it will at least improve my swimming skills. :S

Having two skis is definitely a must for me. There will be days where the wind is howling or it's dark where having the security of a stable ski is great. I think my perfect combo would be a V10 Sport and the V14 but that will have to wait until next season unless some miraculous happens.


Absolutely! I bought the V7 because in addition to lakes, I also paddle in rivers where I encounter all sorts of obstacles like fallen trees just below the surface, rocks, or shallow patches. The V7's plastic hull can handle that kind of abuse, and it's kick-up rudder won't get stuck like a conventional rudder would. It's stability also makes it a great platform to practice on.

As for the top hand, I'm not sure what to believe. Every video I see shows the top hand coming across the face to about the the opposite shoulder. When I sprint and cadence is fast, I tend to keep it from crossing the center line but during regular distance, it crosses to the opposite shoulder.


I hear you. It's actually very hard for me NOT to cross the center line, but you should definitely give it a try and compare your results. It seems to work for me. I'm inclined to think that there isn't one "best" technique when it comes to paddling. It may be that, just as in other sports, the type of stroke that works best for a given individual has to take into account variables such as his/her physical proportions, degree of spinal mobility, the relative strength of the active muscle groups, etc. If the science of kinesiology tells us anything, it's that there is no one size fits all when it comes to the most efficient technique.

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2 years 11 months ago #27152 by RedBack
Don't get too hung up on not crossing the centre-line thing.

That advice is usually given to assist a paddler at a particular stage of technique development. It's often done to address an identified issue such as crossing arms in front of their chest (rather than rotating the torso), reducing paddle "stall" in the water at the end of the stoke, or to optimise balance.

Tim Jacobs is a great paddler, but I've paddled behind him quite a few times (never in front!) and he definitely crosses the centre line.

I think I have a video somewhere to prove it! :-)

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2 years 11 months ago #27156 by kwolfe
So I got the V8 out this morning for some pre-dawn training. The speed comparison was interesting but not surprising. I averaged 6mph over 5miles with a top sprint speed of 8.5mph which I could only hold few a few seconds.

This is the lake where I paddle 1/2 mile and turn around to go the other way so I think actual average would probably be around 6.2-6.3. Needless to say, I'm at least 1/2mph faster on the V14 even with mediocre balance. Top speeds were less than 1/2mph apart, but in the V8, I'm able to throw all of my power down to the water. If I could get 2/3 of that in the 14, I would easily be closer to 9.5mph.

Lastly, I felt more tired after being on the V8. As if it took more energy to hold that average. On the 14, my core gets tired, but on the V8, I feel it more in the lats and shoulders.

I hear some say that at a certain mph, both boats take the same energy to keep them at pace because the 14 has more weted surface due to the length. Personally, I feel like once over 5mph, the 14 feels like it glides better and every stroke pushes the boat easier.

That's it for now folks. More fun to come.

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2 years 11 months ago #27157 by Aurelius

kwolfe wrote: So I got the V8 out this morning for some pre-dawn training. The speed comparison was interesting but not surprising. I averaged 6mph over 5miles with a top sprint speed of 8.5mph which I could only hold few a few seconds.

This is the lake where I paddle 1/2 mile and turn around to go the other way so I think actual average would probably be around 6.2-6.3. Needless to say, I'm at least 1/2mph faster on the V14 even with mediocre balance. Top speeds were less than 1/2mph apart, but in the V8, I'm able to throw all of my power down to the water. If I could get 2/3 of that in the 14, I would easily be closer to 9.5mph.

Lastly, I felt more tired after being on the V8. As if it took more energy to hold that average. On the 14, my core gets tired, but on the V8, I feel it more in the lats and shoulders.

I hear some say that at a certain mph, both boats take the same energy to keep them at pace because the 14 has more weted surface due to the length. Personally, I feel like once over 5mph, the 14 feels like it glides better and every stroke pushes the boat easier.

That's it for now folks. More fun to come.


That's kind of a surprising result. I can average close to 6 mph over a five mile distance in my V7 (which isn't much slower than the V8, according to Epic), but there's no way I could even approach your top speed. The fastest I've been able to make it go in windless conditions is 7.1 mph, but only for a few seconds.

Now on my Stellar SR, I've averaged 6.4 mph for 5 miles in a practice race, and my best top speed so far is 8.1 mph. That's a full 1 mph faster than I can manage in the V7. I'm guessing (hoping?) that in an elite ski like the SEL, I would be able to increase my average speed by about 0.5 mph. Unfortunately the SEL is so tippy that my top speed may turn out to be lower than it is in the SR. I'll know for sure in two weeks, when I take one out for a test paddle.

When comparing the SR to the V7, the most noticeable difference is how fast the SR accelerates. The V7, probably owing to its weight (50 lbs), takes a lot more muscle to get going. The difference in average speed isn't as huge as I would have expected, but I think that has to do with the fact that I can put more power into my strokes on the V7 without fear of falling over. In the SR, I have to paddle for about 15 minutes before my stroke smooths out and the boat stops rocking. I bought one of those Swiss balls from Amazon, so following the advice of another forum member, I'll be using it to improve my balance so that hopefully I won't embarrass myself too badly when I take the SEL out. :dry:

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2 years 11 months ago #27159 by photofr
@kwolfe:
You are getting more and more data, and time on the water; Very promising!

Looks like you are getting about 0.5 MPH more speed out of the V14 - on flat water. It would be interesting to see how much of that speed you loose when conditions deteriorate completely. My best guess: you'd get 1MPH more speed on your V8, but again: it would be very interesting to see on paper.

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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2 years 11 months ago #27161 by Aurelius

photofr wrote: @kwolfe:
You are getting more and more data, and time on the water; Very promising!

Looks like you are getting about 0.5 MPH more speed out of the V14 - on flat water. It would be interesting to see how much of that speed you loose when conditions deteriorate completely.


You mean like going out on the ocean? Who would do a crazy thing like that?!

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2 years 11 months ago #27162 by kwolfe
photofr,
It would be interesting. I guess the question is how bad the conditions would have be. As it is, I still have the occasional swim because I stopped paying attention in the 14. However, I find that the better pace I keep on the boat, the more stable it becomes so going slow actually makes it tippy. I am rock solid on the V8 though. I could paddle sloppy mix chop garbage and still make decent progress.

Aurelius,
The top speed is really a function of stability. I'm so confident in the V8 that I can really apply brute strength to the water to get that speed. At that speed, it feels like I'm climbing uphill!! If I could put that grunt behind the 14, I'd be above 10mph for sure. Just not there yet.

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