Author Topic: Another first for me: paddled a river, in winter, on a displacement hull.  (Read 4290 times)

NoSaltSuper

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So I really wanted to paddle today, seeing the wind from the west, was hoping the lake ice had blown away. As you can see from the first few photos below, that didn't happen. Saw a pretty cool iceberg though.

On with plan B, paddle up and then down the Des Plaines River. I've never paddled a river, let alone in winter. But it was sunny out and about 40 degrees, perfect.

Had a great time and I'll definitely do this again, hopefully with more time before sunset. Paddling a river is quite different than a lake, especially with a displacement board. Going straight upstream, was fairly easy in the wider parts of the river. When it got narrow and faster, it got downright interesting and challenging.

When that current is pushing against your displaced nose at an angle, wow, it's a struggle. There were some tight turns, with overhanging trees and the current picking up, wasn't sure I'd get the nose around to make the turn.

When it was time to head back, just getting the board turned 180 was interesting. The current is pushing against my fin while I'm trying to bring the nose around. But once around, WOW! Super fast going down river. You really can fly paddling downstream, duh I suppose. What's interesting is, you have to look far ahead and plan for the overhanging trees, quick turns, stumps and floating logs. Cause they come up damn fast.

Anyway, enough chit chat, here's the photos. First few are Lake Michigan where I paddled last weekend, now filled with cool icebergs and such. Oh, there's also a link to my track, not even 2 miles and it was a workout!

http://runkeeper.com/user/eslrichey/activity/151990266

Semper Fi!

It's simple, either you get the wave or the wave gets you.

supthecreek

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Re: Another first for me: paddled a river, in winter, on a displacement hull.
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2013, 04:37:31 AM »
The intimacy provided by tight quarters can really enhance a the flatwater experience. You stated the exact reasons that I prefer my 9'10 x 33 surf SUP for back water cruising.... easy to turn, fits in small places and is more stable for those tricky cross current turns. Plus the length/shape enhances the workout.

I am glad you found out some of the magic that is unlocked in an "inland" paddle... lots of cool places to explore.

NoSaltSuper

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Re: Another first for me: paddled a river, in winter, on a displacement hull.
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2013, 05:05:47 AM »
Hmmm, I somehow posted all the pics twice.

I agree, a surf SUP would have advantages indeed.

This does have me wondering which board to use for the canoe marthon, 18.5 miles down river in May.

For pure speed the LPC Stealth is superior, but for comfort my 11'6" Amundson would be better. So, 'I'll have to think about this a bit.
Semper Fi!

It's simple, either you get the wave or the wave gets you.

XLR8

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Re: Another first for me: paddled a river, in winter, on a displacement hull.
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2013, 05:25:04 PM »
Great trip report!   I like a displacement hull in a river because they are fun to use at an angle against the current when going upstream for a "ferry" maneuver, which you can also do when going downstream. Foot steering seemed accentuated when going downriver too.  By dropping my left rail when going downstream I could really get a nice arcing turn to the right.  You could do that on a planing hull too, you'd just have to drop the opposite rail - so you were same side.

But rivers are really fun and often the only open water we have this time of year.  Nice review of your trip.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2013, 05:35:39 PM by XLR8 »
Blkbox Surf
Instagram: @greatlakespaddler

NoSaltSuper

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Re: Another first for me: paddled a river, in winter, on a displacement hull.
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2013, 05:48:07 PM »
Thx XLR8, it was a lot of fun!
 
Hey, please explain your ferry maneuver in more detail, sounds intriguing.

I definitely was leaning the rails to turn or keep straight, really helps upstream.

There was one narrow turn in the river where it was all I could do to pull the nose through the increased current. Thought I was going to get spun backwards into the bank.
Semper Fi!

It's simple, either you get the wave or the wave gets you.

XLR8

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Re: Another first for me: paddled a river, in winter, on a displacement hull.
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2013, 06:15:26 PM »
A ferry maneuver is popular in river running, both upstream and downstream.  Read the current lines and look for slower sections of water when going upstream.  You can ferry back and forth against the current by angling your board against the current to drive it directly across the current.  A subtle way to do this is by angling the plane of the nose of the board by footsteering, or weighting a rail.  If you weight the left rail you change the angle of entry in the water and your board will turn right. Different boards respond differently to footsteering, some are more responsive.  A narrow entry, soft rails and pintail on my 14' will footsteer a little better than a rounder nose, hard lines and a square tail.  So it depends on your board.  But all boards footsteer to some degree, especially in current.

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Instagram: @greatlakespaddler

NoSaltSuper

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Re: Another first for me: paddled a river, in winter, on a displacement hull.
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2013, 06:30:43 PM »
Ok, I think I get what your talking about.

So if the current is coming at my left off the nose, I'm weighting the right and driving the nose left?

Or are you just doing this for fun and practice?
Semper Fi!

It's simple, either you get the wave or the wave gets you.

XLR8

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Re: Another first for me: paddled a river, in winter, on a displacement hull.
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2013, 03:25:25 AM »
Now, the morning after, it doesnt look like I explained this well at all.  Sorry.  The two things I described are functional efforts, not just playing around.  I am using the two maneuver techniques throught my river paddling. 

They are:

1) foot steering.  Effective in flatwater too.  Use when going with the current downriver or against the current upriver.  This is simply weighting a rail to steer to the opposite side on a displacement hull, or same side weighting for a planing hull.  I am describing the usage when running with the current, but as you steer the different forces from the current affect your board in different ways.  This one is best kept to the concept of weighting a rail to create a steering effect.

2) the ferry.  Long used by canoers and kayaker on rivers to move back and forth across the river with minimal forward progress, or by paddling backwards to maintain position in the river while moving side to side.  This one should be pictured from a birds eye view.  Your vessel is at an angle to the current and the current force against your vessel moves it side to side depending on your angle to the current.  There should be lots out on Google on this.

Overall, rivers provide a neat chance to use more corrective strokes than I ever do normally on an SUP.   Bow and stern draws, c strokes, prys.  Your real tight turns, if it is deep enough, can also be treated as buoy turns.  Drop your tail a little and you can complete that turn quicker and have less of the nose in the water for the current to push arou d.

Sorry for my not very good explanations.  Basically I was connecting to the fun experience of the river and got carried away.

Im looking at that river race you posted...looks fun.

There's also a 12+ mile downriver marathon in August in Newaygo, MI, as part of the USCA Newaygo Nationals races.

Have fun!
Blkbox Surf
Instagram: @greatlakespaddler

NoSaltSuper

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Re: Another first for me: paddled a river, in winter, on a displacement hull.
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2013, 05:20:02 AM »
Gotcha, hadn't heard that ferry term before and I've paddled a lot, just self/Dad taught though. I do the foot/weight steering a lot more on my displacement than my planing board, really makes a difference.

Found this on the web, explains the ferry move well:
"It's really simple if there's a flow and you need to get from one side of the river to the other, paddling straight across would just push you downstream so you have to aim up stream at about a 15 degree angle, edge down stream and paddle forwards"

You're right about corrective actions being needed. It's a much more active type of paddling indeed and downstream, you have to plan in advance as things come up quickly.

Yeah, I figured out dropping the tail AFTER getting pushed around so much, will try that next time. I have a shorter/weed fin on order and will be trying that. Hoping the less drag will help and the river can get shallow.

The race is a lot of fun, I've done it about 5 times, all in a canoe. This year, my daughters will be in the canoe, I'll be on my SUP, probably my LPC Stealth (disp). Thinking I'll have them start about 30 minutes or so before me, then try to catch  them.

There's a shuttle from the finish to the start every 15 minutes. So we drop the boats at the start, drive to/park at the finish, shuttle back to the start.

Saw a few guys on SUPs last year for the first time, both surf style sups. This would be my longest paddle ever but all downstream, hopefully the south winds don't pick up.

Thanks again for the ideas/input.
Semper Fi!

It's simple, either you get the wave or the wave gets you.

 


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