Author Topic: Flatwater Paddling Technique Question  (Read 1852 times)

bigmak

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Flatwater Paddling Technique Question
« on: August 18, 2016, 09:40:57 AM »
Hey guys,

I feel kinda dumb even asking about this but I can't figure this shit out to save my life.  I usually SUS but I recently bought a touring/race board for the days I can't get to the surf and to stay in shape.  New new board is big, 14x30 and I love it, but something's not right.  When I paddle on my right side, I go straight.  I don't turn and it tracks straight.  But as soon as I change sides and paddle on my left I turn to the right really quickly. I only have a handful of rides on the new board and the last couple times out I spend 80% of the time paddling on my right side, which is kind of bass ackwards for me because I had surgery at the beginning of the year to address a left neck/arm/shoulder issue and bought a flat water board to rehab and now my left arm and traps aren't getting any work. I also have a really hard time turning the board to the left period.   

And here's what has me so confused:  When I take out my SUS boards to surf, I have the exact opposite effect.  I usually paddle on the left and tend to turn right to get into waves because I ride goofy. 

So, seems to me either something is wrong with my new board?  Or with the fin?  I just ordered a new fin, so plan on trying it out to see what happens.  Any suggestions on what to look for?  The board looks straight and not warped at all.         
Custom Kronos 10'x33
Custom Foote 10'4 x 34
Fanatic Allwave 9'10 x 33
Starboard Avanti 11'2 x 36
Joe Blair 11'3 x 38
Naish Glide GTW 14'x30

Bean

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Re: Flatwater Paddling Technique Question
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2016, 10:09:25 AM »
The fin does make the most sense.  But, the bias you describe should be fairly easy to spot.  You could also check the fin box alignment, just stretch a string from the center of the nose to the center of the tail.  And while you have the string in place, you can check the overall symmetry of the board.

It could be the rider, remember that at displacement speeds you will turn in the direction of the outline which is the opposite of turning with the rocker.  So if you have a lean to the left your board will hull-steer you to the right.

Bulky

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Re: Flatwater Paddling Technique Question
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2016, 11:14:15 AM »
are you in parallel stance?  Whether you are or not, it could be that you're not mirroring your stroke.  It's actually a good thing to be able to paddle on one side and go straight--most of us start by yawing like crazy from one side to the other.  Total speculation here, but since you do mention an injury you're trying to rehab could it be that you aren't doing the same motion on the left side because of it.  Lots of stuff on here about stroke basics, but be sure you're getting the paddle shaft vertical and starting the stroke away from the rail and bringing the paddle in toward your feet (vs. tracing the rail, which is curved and will make the nose go right).

Reason I ask about your stance is that you could be weighting the left rail too much the whole time.  One tip to keep the board going straight is to weight the opposite rail from that you're paddling on.  That might account for the thing going straight when you paddle on the right but then make for a quick turn when you go to your left.  One way to fight this is to put both feet more toward the middle of the board.

It can be frustrating, but trimming things is often a matter of small adjustments to position and stroke.  I would be very surprised if there's any issue with the board or fin (but still check that).  Hang in there!
Santa Barbara, CA

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King's 14'
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bigmak

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Re: Flatwater Paddling Technique Question
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2016, 11:32:57 AM »
Thanks for the quick responses.  It's funny because I thought a big touring flat water board would be easier to use and I find it requires way more finesse than my surf specific boards. 

I am in a parallel stance when I paddle.  And it is a displacement board.  I just figured out the whole leaning opposite of paddling side 3 sessions ago.  Seemed counterintuitive to me, but totally worked.  I know for a fact that my left leg is a tad longer than my right and I tend to favor/weight that foot.  When I was younger I skateboarded a lot and ride goofy and push with my left, so it's my dominant foot for board sports (skating, snowboarding, SUS), even tho I'm right handed. 

I've played with stroke technique too and just get frustrated. Guess I'll just have to keep practicing and maybe try a slightly staggered stance.  Like I said before, I thought this would be a lot easier than it is, but it really does take a different set of skills.  Kinda cool and fun to be learning something new tho.       
Custom Kronos 10'x33
Custom Foote 10'4 x 34
Fanatic Allwave 9'10 x 33
Starboard Avanti 11'2 x 36
Joe Blair 11'3 x 38
Naish Glide GTW 14'x30

Bulky

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Re: Flatwater Paddling Technique Question
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2016, 01:16:46 PM »
One quick follow up from looking at your signature.  Assume you're talking about the Naish Glide here, correct?  Not entirely familiar with the newer models but if the stock fin has changed much that isn't doing you many favors.  They used to be pretty straight and deep daggers--if that's still the case that's not doing you any favors.  Something swept back more like an Allison Ninja (what I use on mine) would help a bit with tracking.
Santa Barbara, CA

Infinity Blackfish 14'
King's 14'
Naish Glide 14' (2012)
SupSports Hammer 8'11
Starboard WidePoint 10'5
Ke Nalu Mana, Konihi, Maliko

bigmak

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Re: Flatwater Paddling Technique Question
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2016, 02:58:56 PM »
One quick follow up from looking at your signature.  Assume you're talking about the Naish Glide here, correct?  Not entirely familiar with the newer models but if the stock fin has changed much that isn't doing you many favors.  They used to be pretty straight and deep daggers--if that's still the case that's not doing you any favors.  Something swept back more like an Allison Ninja (what I use on mine) would help a bit with tracking.

Ya, it's a brand new '16 Glide and I ditched the stock fin asap.  Running a Futures Triangle Cutaway, the biggest one they make.  I'm a big guy and I like the larger fin for added stability.  I'm going to try another larger fin and see what I think.  Should arrive in the next day or two. 

Thanks again.
Custom Kronos 10'x33
Custom Foote 10'4 x 34
Fanatic Allwave 9'10 x 33
Starboard Avanti 11'2 x 36
Joe Blair 11'3 x 38
Naish Glide GTW 14'x30

 


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