Author Topic: I'll fight the yaw...and it won't win!  (Read 6671 times)

Bulky

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I'll fight the yaw...and it won't win!
« on: June 08, 2016, 06:39:01 PM »
Posted recently on my experience in the fog (http://www.standupzone.com/forum/index.php/topic,29892.0.html) and yugi made an unrelated observation on how much yaw there was on my course track.  My first instinct was to get a little defensive and make excuses like "I'm sure the GPS capture makes it look much worse than it is" which is kind of like saying "the camera adds 10lbs".  I was going to point out that I'm actually on my back-up board since my main ride is in the shop but looking at past tracks would have voided that argument.  Even considered starting a "yugi is a jerk" campaign to the get back at the guy in cyberspace who decided to point out the bad habit I'd grown to accept.

But he did have a point.  I remember looking at a Larry Cain video of him paddling in a canal going just straight as a dart and never changing sides and dismissed it cuz he's pretty much a freak.  There's lots of things the pros do that I'll never be able to so I just figured this is the way I paddle.  But since yugi pointed it out, I decided to do a few searches of old Zoner posts and decided to see if there were a few pointers I might pick up.

I paddle a lot and have pretty good endurance and paddle control--don't use RSP because I almost never wack the rails--but one simple mistake I was doing was simply tracing the profile of the rail with each stroke.  Since there's always going to be some kind of arc from the tip to the cockpit, that means that each stroke was not even close to parallel with the vector of travel and would push me off my heading.  For the last two days, I've made the simple adjustment to make sure I'm reaching out away from the rail when I plant so the stroke is more parallel to my centerline--feels like it's way out there, but it's probably only a couple inches.  I've also moved my feet slightly to the center so I'm not weighting the paddle side rail as much.  Beyond that, it really is a matter of concentration and focus--easy for me to daydream and not really pay attention to how far I'm letting the nose yaw.  Even easier to just get tired and not reach out that extra couple inches.

Pretty noticeable difference in only two days.  Amazing how I can definitely feel a change like this in terms of fatigue after my session.  Aching little muscles are a pretty good indicator that I'm using a few different ones from what I've been doing habitually.  You can see the difference on tracks below. 

First pic is the track yugi noticed my inability to maintain a heading.  Second one is also a before pic along the route I've done the last two mornings for a clearer point of reference.  Last two pics are the last two mornings trying to break a bad habit and learn a new skill.  Pleased to see some noticeable improvement already.

Love to hear feedback and any further advice you geniuses have...
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PonoBill

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Re: I'll fight the yaw...and it won't win!
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2016, 06:55:15 PM »
Good. I hear people say they never hit the rail as if it were a fault those rail whackers should correct. If you stack your shoulders, get the paddle as vertical as you can, reach hard to get the paddle completely in the water, and then uncoil into your stroke you're gonna hit the rail unless your rails are perfectly straight and your paddle is really buried so the neck of the blade is fully under the board. People who don't generally have their paddle angled instead of vertical and they have it too far away from the board. Both of those faults apply turning torque.
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stoneaxe

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Re: I'll fight the yaw...and it won't win!
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2016, 07:18:22 PM »
Timely post. My PT and I have decided that my paddle technique may be partly if not largely to blame for the SI joint pain I'm having. I'm a 5-1 right side paddler (at least) and can go straight forever right side but instantly yaw when I switch left. Almost all due to the fact that I heavily weight the right rail. It's a very bad habit I developed from the start and it's been self reinforcing. I need to balance out and even try to go a little left for awhile and focus on technique is going to be key. I may look for some paddle coaching once I'm back in shape to work at it.

It's also made me wonder if the left shoulder problems I've been having are partly due to the imbalance in paddling. Going straight with balanced paddling for me is the goal. At least the parts will wear out at similar rates that way..... :P
« Last Edit: June 08, 2016, 07:26:59 PM by stoneaxe »
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southwesterly

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Re: I'll fight the yaw...and it won't win!
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2016, 08:11:39 PM »
 I fought the yaw and the yaw won.

Bulky

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Re: I'll fight the yaw...and it won't win!
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2016, 10:52:39 PM »
Good. I hear people say they never hit the rail as if it were a fault those rail whackers should correct. If you stack your shoulders, get the paddle as vertical as you can, reach hard to get the paddle completely in the water, and then uncoil into your stroke you're gonna hit the rail unless your rails are perfectly straight and your paddle is really buried so the neck of the blade is fully under the board. People who don't generally have their paddle angled instead of vertical and they have it too far away from the board. Both of those faults apply turning torque.

Point taken.  Might have to revisit my thinking on this a bit.
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Area 10

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Re: I'll fight the yaw...and it won't win!
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2016, 01:34:51 AM »
Good progress. Now go out and ONLY paddle on one side. The whole way out on one side, and the whole way back on the other.

You can't do it? Is that what you are now saying?

Yes you can. Just decide that even if a shark appears next to you, or a Colombian drug cartel boss holds a gun to your head and orders you to switch sides, you are not going to do it. Then, slowly and carefully, be on your way. You be surprised at how easy it is once you get your head round it. Surprisingly fast when you don't change hands, too (once you have it figured).

I saw the Cain video too and reckoned he was a freak. Then I tried it and within a few goes I was doing it to. My friends have done the same. But it's a battle of wills to have the discipline to do it at first. Just make sure that every paddle stroke is subtle and taking you in the right direction, keep the blade vertical (or sometimes even try to get part of the blade under the rail), and paddle in the direction you want to go, not where you are already going, and don't follow the rails with your paddle. And yes, watch *very* carefully the weighting of your rails.

Give it a go. It's torture for the first few minutes but it's amazing how quickly it becomes easier. Once you can paddle at will on one side and still go straight, decide upon a number of strokes per side your body is comfortable with (not less the 10) and then count your strokes to make sure you stick roughly to it - or exceed it.

Good luck!

yugi

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Re: I'll fight the yaw...and it won't win!
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2016, 04:13:13 AM »
Thanks, Bulky, I’ll take that as a compliment! Happy to see I can still be a RudeBoy and disruptive even as I become an old fart.

My first steps in paddling were near perfect idiocy. I figured it was easy enough so passed on a day of free instruction with Dave Kalama the weekend following my board purchase. Doh!



(Well, it was a powder day). A session or two later I was out in upwind chop and, OMG, was it almost impossible to hold a course. I kept veering off the wind dramatically and had to near stop to reset direction and start again. There had to be a better way. Humbled, I looked for some instruction on the interwebz and tumbled upon a youtube showing how to paddle straight. Pono, was that yours? (video mounted on rear of board, rider in boots, with commentary - is it still online?) I simply applied what I learned there early on and nipped the yaw habit in the bud.

Once you know how to go straight and try drafting someone who yaws it’s amazing how much effort you actually need to add to keep turning the board. I think one tends to have this perception that yawing is natural and one needs to add effort to go straight. Other than a mental effort to stay focused on going straight it’s actually the other way around. Yawing is tremendous effort. Effort just wasted in turning the board one way then another. Doing away with that makes you so much more efficient. Besides saving you distance traveled.

Last few sessions I’ve been working on a few changes in my stroke Titouan Puyo suggested to me. I surprised myself how much I started yawing, especially after having just calling you out on it. As I focused on the change in style my paddle shaft was obviously no longer as vertical as it used to be. While working on improving my stroke I realised that I also, at the same time, need to keep doing what I’ve always been doing in term of maintaining my course. As I see my course drift I need to just gently, also, adjust it back. No point learning muscle memory in a new stroke wrong. Got to incorporate the directional ability in right from the get go.

Once you know how to correct your course, both left and right while paddling on one side the trick is simply to keep an eye on your course and just continually adjust to stay on it. That’s really all you need to do to go straight.

Look where you’re going, and stick to it.

« Last Edit: June 09, 2016, 04:22:18 AM by yugi »

johnysmoke

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Re: I'll fight the yaw...and it won't win!
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2016, 04:19:13 AM »
But wind,currents, coriolis effect, national doughnut day, all factors that will veer me off my intended course. I've never used a GPS to track my course, but have always accepted a serpentine trajectory as part of the sup experience. Sometimes a straight line isn't the fastest way from point A to point B, but would probably be a good skill to have. Keeping my eyes up and looking where I want to go is something I need to focus on, especially getting back on the water this time of year, not getting stuck in that tiny spot between the nose of the board and the bill of my hat.

Getting someone to take video of you paddling is a great feedback tool for stroke work.
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yugi

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Re: I'll fight the yaw...and it won't win!
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2016, 04:59:07 AM »
..., not getting stuck in that tiny spot between the nose of the board and the bill of my hat.
...

Yep. That, right there, is most peeps problem.

Glowmaster

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Re: I'll fight the yaw...and it won't win!
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2016, 05:00:16 AM »
looking at GPS tracks is a great way to see yaw.  I used it while testing fins.  Is your fin vertical?
Perhaps a more sweep back design.  This adds amazingly to tracking.

Here is a link to one of my tracks from the same program. Motion x GPS>

14' Banh Pho and Makani Tere fin.  Tracks very well, even in cross winds.

http://gps.motionx.com/maps/10def3ad0853be0a9da91cff741619e7

zoom in and you almost cant see the yaw.  My vertical fin tracks look much like yours.

ed
« Last Edit: June 09, 2016, 05:04:43 AM by Glowmaster »

yugi

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Re: I'll fight the yaw...and it won't win!
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2016, 05:14:05 AM »
Once you know how to paddle straight you really don’t need a very “directionally stable” fin to sort you out. It’s just a crutch for poor technique.

I prefer a fin that lets the board turn when you want it to. Personally I have no problem paddling straight but want as much help as I can get (without resorting to a rudder) to turn the board quick in downwind bump riding. When you need to turn you want it to turn quick.

johnysmoke

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Re: I'll fight the yaw...and it won't win!
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2016, 06:45:20 AM »
Once you know how to paddle straight you really don’t need a very “directionally stable” fin to sort you out.
That's what I'm hoping for, but I'm still kind of a new at this sup thing. Seems once the wind and waves pick up, I'm fighting the board more for directional control with a really tracky fin, just wants to point downwind. My car is almost never parked directly downwind. Would rather have a loose setup so the board is less affected by the wind and I can control my direction better.
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surfcowboy

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Re: I'll fight the yaw...and it won't win!
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2016, 08:23:20 AM »
Bulky, why you gotta go and make me think about this, man? ;)

I'm breaking in a new paddling buddy and this may be the way to keep me from out running him. Argh. But thanks for the tips. I need to go look at some video.

addapost

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Re: I'll fight the yaw...and it won't win!
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2016, 02:36:04 PM »
Good progress. Now go out and ONLY paddle on one side. The whole way out on one side, and the whole way back on the other.

You can't do it? Is that what you are now saying?

Yes you can. Just decide that even if a shark appears next to you, or a Colombian drug cartel boss holds a gun to your head and orders you to switch sides, you are not going to do it. Then, slowly and carefully, be on your way. You be surprised at how easy it is once you get your head round it. Surprisingly fast when you don't change hands, too (once you have it figured).

Then when you have mastered that, here are a couple other drills you can try to develop that skill of keeping the board going straight (or any direction you want it to go.) Try paddling ONLY on the upwind side of your board. Paddle cross-wind. If the wind is hitting your right side paddle only on that side (you wanna do a sweep on the left, don't you? DON'T!) Keep paddling on the right side and keep the board going straight. Your blade entry needs to be further away from the rail and the stroke brings it to your foot. Another drill is to paddle in a circle where you only paddle on the INSIDE of the circle, no corrective sweeps on the outside. Play with the cant of the blade, it's angle in relation to the direction of travel. See what happens when you angle the face a tiny bit toward the rail during the stroke. Have fun!
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mik911

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Re: I'll fight the yaw...and it won't win!
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2016, 09:37:52 PM »
What about altering the direction of the stroke at the last second (end of stroke)?
I remember watching an ancient SUP paddling video (maybe same boot guy)  where they do some type of "J" Stroke (or something) at the end of the paddle stroke.
Does anyone do this? is it efficient? will it prevent yaw?
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