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Wednesday 25 November 2020
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What is this all about?

We can learn to control the kayak with precision and grace, by reviewing basic

strokes, then developing blade awareness and use of effective techniques through a

range of advanced strokes and drills practice.

Concepts to Consider

Paddler’s Box, Edging by weighting the sit bone (NOT lifting the knee), Control

Blade face with Elbow, Force Arrow perpendicular to back of blade.

Forward Sweep Stroke:

1) Torso rotation – wind up NOT lean forward for catch at feet

2) Extension – sweep paddle well out away from boat

3) Maintain Paddler’s Box

4) Vertical blade face more efficient, climbing angle for more support

5) Horizontal shaft – keep non-working blade hand low (aids extension).

6) Catch near bow, close to boat; release near stern, close to boat

7) Edge towards working blade

8) Look in direction of turn

9) Push with same side foot (push boat away from blade)

10)Move the boat not water (minimal bubbles)

Reverse Sweep Stroke:

1) Torso rotation – rotate backwards DON’T lean back for catch towards

2) Use back of the blade

3) Extension – sweep paddle well out away from boat

4) Maintain Paddler’s Box

5) Vertical blade face more efficient, climbing angle for more support

6) Horizontal shaft – keep non-working blade hand low (aids extension)

7) Catch near stern, close to boat; release near bow, close to boat

8) Edge towards working blade

9) Look in direction of turn

10)Hook boat towards working blade with opposite knee – crunch

11)Move the boat not water (minimal bubbles)

Standard Draw Stroke:

1) Torso rotation (face your work)

2) Keep paddle shaft near vertical.

stern

3) Watch blade angle.

4) Keep upper hand steady – it functions as a pivot point.

5) Slice blade well before it reaches boat to avoid tripping

6) Edging will improve efficiency – edge towards or away from working

7) Move the boat not water (minimal bubbles)

Sculling Draw:

1) Torso rotation (face your work)

2) Keep paddle shaft near vertical

3) Slice blade from knees to as far back as is comfortable using torso

4) Open up power face of blade in the direction of each slice (spreading

5) Keep lower hand elbow tucked into ribs; top hand in front of forehead

6) Edging will improve efficiency – edge towards or away from working

7) Move the boat not water (minimal bubbles)

Low Brace:

1) Keep elbows up, above paddle shaft.

2) Edge, then lean to tip boat off balance

3) Push down into water with back of blade.

4) Blade recovery – drop elbow to slice blade forward and straight up.

5) Hip snap simultaneous with blade push.

6) Hip snap by throwing weight from working side hip to the other hip

High Brace:

1) Elbows below paddle shaft, close to body; paddle shaft well below

2) Keep paddle shaft horizontal – don’t push up with non-working blade

3) Edge, then lean to tip boat off balance

4) Blade angle – slap flat to water with power face of blade.

5) Blade recovery – slice back and straight up.

6) Hip snap simultaneous with blade slap.

7) Hip snap by throwing weight from working side hip to the other hip

Low Brace Turn:

1) Initiate with an eyyhffective sweep stroke

blade

rotation

butter on toast)

blade

chin.

hand.

2) Low Brace position on side you want to turn towards – elbows high

3) Edge into turn or away from turn (inside or outside)

4) Inside edge is more stable but means you need to switch edge from

5) You need speed to make this stroke effective – should turn you 90

sweep stroke side

degrees

Bow Rudder:

1) Initiate turn with an effective sweep stroke

2) Blade is placed in the water between knees and feet on side you want

3) Paddle shaft near vertical – top hand in front of forehead

4) Open up power face of blade progressively – then close it down as you

5) Edge into turn or away from turn (inside or outside)

6) Outside edge – slow speed turn (sea kayak); inside edge – fast turn

7) You need speed to make this stroke effective – should turn you 90

to turn towards

lose speed

(whitewater kayak)

degrees

Cross Bow Rudder:

1) Initiate turn with effective sweep stroke

2) Same blade used for sweep stroke is taken across center line of kayak

and placed in water between knees and feet on side you want to turn

towards

3) Achieved by torso rotation – maintain Paddler’s Box!

4) Paddle shaft as near vertical as you can with top hand near your ear

5) Open up power face of blade progressively – then close it down as you

6) Edge into turn or away from turn (inside or outside)

7) Outside edge – slow speed turn (sea kayak); inside edge – fast turn

8) You need speed to make this stroke effective – should turn you at least

9) Powerful stroke but requires good balance – challenging in rough

lose speed

(whitewater kayak)

90 degrees

conditions

Stern Rudder:

1) Torso rotation – if you drop the paddle it should land in the water

2) Paddle shaft should be parallel to center line of kayak with blade

3) PRY – edge away from direction of turn and away from paddle – roll

4) DRAW – edge away from direction of turn and towards the paddle – roll

vertical for NEUTRAL position

wrist to put pressure on backside of blade – BOTTOM to BOTTOM

(bottom of the blade to the bottom of the boat) – most powerful!

the wrist to put pressure on the power face of the blade – TOP to TOP

(top of the paddle to the top of the boat)

should be at chest height or lower

5) Front hand will pull during the PRY and push during the DRAW and

6) Power is generated from the torso by maintaining Paddler’s Box

Bow Draw

1) Used at the end of a Low Brace Turn or Bow Rudder to blend into a

2) With the LBT, use the back side of the blade; with the BR use the

Forward Stroke and maintain momentum

power face to pull the bow towards the blade to complete the turn and

go immediately into the catch position for a Forward Stroke

.

STROKE MODIFICATIONS

Forward Sweep Stroke with Low Brace Recovery

Enables you to maintain edge in rough water. Just do the first two thirds of sweep

with a climbing angle to blade. At finish of sweep, slice blade forwards for the

next catch in LOW brace position, controlling blade face with elbows.

Reverse Sweep with High Brace Recovery

Enables you to maintain edge in rough water. Just do the first two thirds of sweep

with a climbing angle to blade. At finish of sweep, slice blade forwards for the

next catch in HIGH brace position, controlling blade face with elbows.

STROKE COMBINATIONS

Key with all these is to maintain momentum! Use a physical target to turn around.

Pivot Turns using Forward & Reverse Sweeps (with Brace Recovery)

Forward Sweep ~ Low Brace Turn ~ Bow Draw ~ Forward Stroke

Forward Sweep ~ Bow Rudder ~ Bow Draw ~ Forward Stroke

Cross-Bow into Low Brace Turn into Bow Draw into Forward Stroke

(180’s)

‘Outside’ Drill

Paddle backwards then spin 180 and paddle forwards.

Experiment with different stroke combinations to see which works best.

Consider: how much space the turn requires; how long it takes; how quickly you

get the boat moving out of the ‘danger’ zone.

DRILLS

These are intended to develop blade awareness, improve balance and feel for

the boat and water.

180’s – Hands only

A great way to get a feel for what the boat does. No bubbles! Close your eyes

while hand paddling to really feel it. When you feel ready, edge the boat.

(Remember – Use only your hips for the tilt, don’t lean over the side.)

Seated on Back Deck

Forward & Reverse Sweeps, Pivot Turns, Low Brace Turn, Bow Rudder, Cross

Bow Rudder – then see how easy they are SEATED IN COCKPIT.

Zig Zag with Sweeps

Paddling forwards using Forward Sweeps (with Low Brace recovery), 2 strokes

on one side, and two strokes on the other side. Try going in reverse.

Zig Zag with Bow Rudder & Stern Draw

Paddle forwards, sweep on right, bow rudder on left into stern draw on left.

Repeat on opposite side.

Canoe Stroke Zig Zag

C-1 stroke using right blade only. Reach as far forward as possible on the catch.

Use J-stroke (stern pry) to stay straight. Slice blade forward to begin next stroke

(blade never leaves the water). After five strokes or so, switch to left C-1 strokes.

Cross-Bow Canoe Stroke Zig Zag

Same as Canoe Zig Zag but using cross bow stroke; without changing your grip

on the shaft, put the left blade into the water on the right side of the boat and vice

versa. The blade never leaves the water.

Double-Stroke Paddle

With two strokes on each side of the boat: right, right – left, left. But use both

blades each time. Thus it is: stroke on right with right blade, stroke on right

with left blade, stroke on left with left blade, stroke on left with right blade, and so

on. You will need good feathering skills to free the crossed blade from the water

without tipping.

Stirring the Pudding

Reach out to the side as far as you are able. Draw the blade into the bow with

the power face forward, then pull the paddle alongside and toward the stern with

the power face against the hull. Then pry the blade away from the stern with

power face out. Do as a continuous, circular motion with the blade never leaving

the water. Reach out, forward and back as far as you can. The boat should pivot.

Do four spins in each direction.

Cross-Bow Stirring

Same as above only on the cross side (left blade on the right side of the boat).

This will restrict your range of motion a lot. Be ready to tip over!

Cross-Deck Scull

Normal scull stroke but on cross side [left blade in water on right side of

hull without changing grip] Edge the boat if you can.

Inverted Scull

Scull by reversing the normal blade angle: When you move the blade through the

water have the leading edge of the blade closer to the hull, causing the stroke to

push you away from the paddle rather than pull toward it. Edge!

Cross-Deck Inverted Scull

Again pitch the blade so that the leading edge is closer to the hull than the trailing

edge. The blade is on the cross side. Edge if you are able.

Slalom Practice

Find suitable set of buoys, bath toys, jetty piles, boats or other obstacles to set

up a slalom course.

Try it with no reverse strokes, then backwards.