Author Topic: Lower hand position  (Read 2727 times)

Bean

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Re: Lower hand position
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2016, 08:17:32 AM »
"Grip it and rip it" is probably one of the most oxymoronic phrases ever uttered in sports, since even in the game of golf, a light grip key to a powerful stroke.

mrbig

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Re: Lower hand position
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2016, 09:24:56 AM »
Zactly!
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stoneaxe

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Re: Lower hand position
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2016, 09:38:24 AM »
Very rare that I have more than 3 fingers engaged...pinky extension for sure.... :). Can't even imagine paddling with my palm.
Bob

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Bean

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Re: Lower hand position
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2016, 10:33:42 AM »
But, if you had silly little hands like DT, you would need to use your palms for sure... ;D
« Last Edit: October 21, 2016, 10:35:47 AM by Bean »

pdxmike

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Re: Lower hand position
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2016, 11:04:26 AM »
Try it and see. It's not the standard advice that's given, but I think we have to be open to new possibilities. If it were possible to keep the shaft in the palm and still remain as loose as a goose then maybe there might be advantages. I'd be worried about the loss of reach, and perhaps fine control over the blade orientation, but perhaps that's just a matter of practice. It is possible that the advice you were given was part of a package of things that work together to address a particular shortcoming, perhaps.

But the message here is clear: whatever you do, try to stay as relaxed as possible. If using the palm means that you tense up then you might lose any theoretical gains.

It's an interesting and unusual suggestion. I'm going to give it a go today. It doesn't sound "right" to me - but then again as Dave Kalama pointed out, there's not much about a good paddle stroke that is intuitive.
Yes to everything you said.  It's funny how hbsteve had to remind people like me not to assume that palm grip equals death grip, which is obvious now that he said that.

I was reading about sprinters who believe that some tension in your hands is better than none, which was an interesting sidetrack to this.

I'm always wary of saying any technique advice is definitely right or wrong.  What seems like scientific truth now will be viewed as naive next year.  As you said, the palm grip conflicts with what most people here seem to do, but may be perfect when combined with other advice for any particular person. 

I think the next technique focus (which has already started--see the recent Travis Grant videos) will be to NOT reach too far.  In swimming, when "reach" became king, people started rotating and reaching as far as possible because "more reach is better" only to reach so far that they had no power until their hand came back several inches.  Smart swimmers and coaches realized if you cut out the last few inches of reach, you not only cut out a fraction of a second, it also means you don't waste another fraction of a second pulling your hand back to the point where you have some power.  Better to just put your hand in where it should have gone in the first place, start the catch there, and get right into the pull.

For some people, the bit of extra reach you get from a non-palm grip may just be allowing you to reach further than is best for you. 

robcasey

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Re: Lower hand position
« Reply #20 on: November 14, 2016, 01:29:03 PM »
Less is more.  as PDX Mike stated, a looser grip means less strain on the body, less energy used, etc. My lower is just fingers, even when surfing, downwinding and racing. Upper hand is similar, on the forward stroke, I'll just be pushing with my palm - thumb/fingers free then grip lightly for the exit and recovery.
Rob Casey
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Aquanerd

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Re: Lower hand position
« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2017, 04:26:45 PM »
There are two lessons that I learned from kayaking that I think are relevant to this discussion. The first is that in order to prevent wrist problems, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, the wrist should be kept straight while paddling. A straight lower wrist is difficult or impossible to achieve unless at least the little finger is kept loose. The second lesson is to relax the upper hand every few strokes, and just push with your palm, as Rob suggests, with the fingers extended.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2017, 04:31:31 PM by Aquanerd »

Bean

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Re: Lower hand position
« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2017, 08:46:20 PM »
Great observation Aqua.

connector14

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Re: Lower hand position
« Reply #23 on: February 10, 2017, 09:02:42 PM »
I am really happy whenever I hear people say "whatever works for you" and "there really is no right way".
I will never be a pro class paddler,  but I still strive to get the best results I can and so I pay attention to what everybody says to do and I try it. And I monitor my performance diligently to see what is "working for me".
So I try hard to avoid "the death grip" and if I start to get cramps in my hands I alter my technique and generally for me,  staying as loose and relaxed as possible works for me.
I think one of the beauties of this sport for me is that you are continuously being challenged (if you want) and there is so much to be learned from trying different techniques and always "going for more". I will probably never really get to where I want to be....but that's the challenge and the reason to keep after it.
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