Ridin' the bumps

2 weeks 2 days ago #38402 by Epicpaddler
Ridin' the bumps was created by Epicpaddler
Got a quick question for the group.

Yesterday I was paddling  my first non wetsuit paddle of the season and it was quite bumpy out. Not good "bumps" like the waves you can ride, but a steady 2 foot chop and powerboat wakes coming from every angle. I'm still getting used to the stability profile of my Epic v10. One thing I discovered was that if I kept my eyes focused solidly on the horizon, focused on  stroke technique, and let the boat move freely under me I was fine. The second I tensed up as the powerboats swarmed my balance went to hell. 

Any pro tips for maintaining stability when the waves are bouncing in from every direction? I never fell out, but had way more brace stokes than I can remember.

Thanks

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2 weeks 2 days ago #38404 by SurfskiEstonia
Replied by SurfskiEstonia on topic Ridin' the bumps
Hi, Epicpaddler! Not a pro by any means, but I have mastered paddling an elite ski from a beginner to the sport 5 years ago.

I think the only remedy is time in the bucket. If possible, paddle day after day even if for 30 minutes. Take on all conditions (but dangerous). There will come a moment when Your body will somehow know the ski and how to react to all sorts of bumps, waves, rebounds etc. I know it's not the kind of advice You were looking forward to, but it's the honest one.

There are a few practical tips as well that I have deducted for myself:
1. Try to sit above Your boat, not in the boat. That means constantly stretching Your back and neck upwards and not letting Yourself become flabby in the boat. That gets progressively harder with the duration of the session.
2. Press Your feet hard onto the footrest and Your but against the rear wall of the bucket. That connection may give a lot of confidence and feeling of the boat (at least I do it sometimes, when I lose my nerve in some situation - just press my feet harder on the footrest and feel that I'm in control).

:)

Current: Carbonology Boost double, Jantex Gamma Mid
Previous: Nelo Ocean Ski L, Jantex Gamma Rio Large Minus

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2 weeks 2 days ago #38405 by Epicpaddler
Replied by Epicpaddler on topic Ridin' the bumps
Solid advice.

I try to paddle at least 3 times per week in the off season and just about every day during the warmer months. 
I paddled the v10 all winter but I never pushed it too hard. Luckily there wasn't much boat traffic to content with. 

Now that its warmer out the powerboats swarm like mosquitos.  I love trying to surf the wakes but  I find that I tense up a bit when they blast by on both sides at the same time. The v8pro I had was floating dock stable so I never worried about getting dumped. I've got a  solid remount from either side (cold water is a great motivator).

I think I'm not afraid of falling out but embarrassing myself in front of all the boat traffic. 

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2 weeks 2 days ago #38407 by MCImes
Replied by MCImes on topic Ridin' the bumps
The more confused the waves are, the more stability comes from your paddle stroke or a stroke brace (using the stroke to stabilize yourself).

When its really sloppy, every single stroke is also a balance correction. For that reason, it is important to keep paddling at a normal pace in waves.
Also as was said, keeping loose hips is paramount. When its truly haystacked you're riding a bull and should be loose enough that the boat can roll in any direction. Your stability almost completely comes from the paddle stroke.

Also having a good / fast / subconscious slap brace is key for when your primary balance fails

Currently - Swordfish S in Southern California's ocean waters
Past Boats: Epic V10 g0, Stellar SR g1, Fenn XT g1
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"

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2 weeks 2 days ago #38408 by John Ski
Replied by John Ski on topic Ridin' the bumps
New paddler here
I found that loose hips definitely help with stability, but then, you really aren't using hip drive to power thru the waves.  Just using arms and loose hips, to stay stable in confused waters was more tiring than just powering thru.  Maybe someone with more experience can confirm this.

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2 weeks 2 days ago #38409 by zachhandler
Replied by zachhandler on topic Ridin' the bumps
In confused chop there are waves going every direction. There is almost always some sort of a wave going roughly the direction you want to go. Lock onto that wave visually and then follow it through the chaos. I find that helps immensely. I also find it super fun. When I figure out the wave and ride it through the chop it feels like I am cheating the laws of physics. Speed goes up instantly and the boat gets stable. Its also a skill that is applicable downwind water reading. 
The following user(s) said Thank You: mrcharly

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2 weeks 1 day ago #38411 by tve
Replied by tve on topic Ridin' the bumps
I was about the write the same!

zachhandler wrote: In confused chop there are waves going every direction. There is almost always some sort of a wave going roughly the direction you want to go. Lock onto that wave visually and then follow it through the chaos. I find that helps immensely. I also find it super fun. When I figure out the wave and ride it through the chop it feels like I am cheating the laws of physics. Speed goes up instantly and the boat gets stable. Its also a skill that is applicable downwind water reading. 

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2 weeks 1 day ago #38415 by mrcharly
Replied by mrcharly on topic Ridin' the bumps

zachhandler wrote: In confused chop there are waves going every direction. There is almost always some sort of a wave going roughly the direction you want to go. Lock onto that wave visually and then follow it through the chaos. I find that helps immensely. I also find it super fun. When I figure out the wave and ride it through the chop it feels like I am cheating the laws of physics. Speed goes up instantly and the boat gets stable. Its also a skill that is applicable downwind water reading. 


I watched a Boyan vid posted here. One thing that struck me is that he didn't 'stick to a course' but chased the bumps, looking and heading off to the favourable wave.

That is something I haven't done, I've been trying to 'go  in direction X'.
Of course it isn't always possible to just follow the waves; the waters here are a maze of small islets and reefs, so some discretion is required.

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