Author Topic: Paddling slower, Going faster  (Read 2257 times)

deepmud

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Paddling slower, Going faster
« on: September 13, 2018, 03:40:22 PM »
I think I found a thread on that already on here, but my search comes up with a bunch of non-helpful threads -

Anyway - I'm  pretty slow :D I am an overweight clydesdale - maybe the small end of "big men" - you know, I'm stronger/bigger than most people but there are plenty who are bigger. Like an average Samoan maybe. Not a skinny paddler :D .  At 278 this morning I'm happily down from the 295 I was hitting this spring - and it's due to flatwater sup. I'm working on eating better but the sup is my reward and my stick both - this preamble is about pointing that for ME at 51, 5mph is hauling ass - pretty much top speed. I have some sprints close to 6mph but I haven't been able to maintain much more than a 4.3 average - even when I was trying for speed. Lots of "trips" 2 to 6 miles with an average of 4.2 or maybe 4.4 mph when I am done.

I was trying to be more efficient on Tuesday - working on a stroke, not speed. I sort of imagine a gondolier in my head singing and paddling..."oh solo..." reach, plant, pull..."mio...."....pull to my feet, rotate my torso, work my core...go just past my feet maybe...."oh, solo mio" again and I'm whipping the blade up and forward, thinking "NO splash" and planting for the next stroke..... but I ended up with a 1/2 mile at 6:02 (Garmin Vivoactive buzzes me every 1/2 mile) - and when I went back to my GPS on my phone, it was really a mile at around 5mph . What gets me is I wasn't trying for speed  - and my heart rate stayed pretty low (mid 90's)up until I got into some speed boat chop :D which also killed my speed.

I wish my season wasn't about to end, I feel like I'm starting to "get it" - but I go in for a new inner half of my left knee on Sept. 18 - but it's getting colder here already, and the lakes are full of  dead Red salmon, I needed to pull the trigger or I'd be trying to rehab on icy streets.




 

Luc Benac

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Re: Paddling slower, Going faster
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2018, 04:07:23 PM »
Search Youtube for stroke video by John Puakea

i.e.
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Area 10

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Re: Paddling slower, Going faster
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2018, 04:46:27 PM »
I recently went swimming in a pool in central London, UK. The lanes were marked “fast”, “medium” and “slow”. I used to swim competitively decades ago, but hadn’t had a proper swim session in about a year, so I plonked myself in the slow lane. Did a couple of lengths and the people in the medium lane next to me seemed to be swimming with more intent and less stopping, so I switched to that. Well, it turns out that although they seemed to be trying hard and looked pretty fit, they weren’t going very fast and I could only take about 3 strokes before I was poking my nose into someone’s feet. So, somewhat reluctantly since I was just at the pool for a relaxing swim in boardshorts and t-shirt not a full-on workout, and the guys in the fast lane all had swim hats on, speedos and GPS watches, heart rate monitors etc and were thrashing the water with great gusto.

Anyway, I slipped into the maelstrom and started swimming. Three strokes and my hand touched the feet of the guy in front. So I passed him. A few seconds later I ran into the back of the next triathlete apparently going full tilt, churning up the water like an outboard motor. Well, I ended up passing him using legs only. In the end, I just ended up using my legs only for the whole session. They were just too damn slow, it was pointless. “Fast lane” my arse. “Max effort” lane, maybe. “Fast lane”, not so much.

Paddling a SUP is no different. Like swimming, it’s SO much about technique, and being smooth and economical. Splashing and crashing and bouncing the board like a tugboat on a trampoline will only make you slower. Get the paddle blade right under the rail of the board with the shaft pointing straight up to the sky, perfectly vertical. Get a smooth catch and don’t pull harder than you need to: you aren’t lifting weights. You are asking the water to help you, and no-one feels co-operative when pushed around roughly, so keep it smooth and gently and regular. Bend your knees and get that blade deep in the water.

The speed will come. But it takes a while. Good distance swimmers will train for hours and hours each week. Up and down, up and down, for mile after mile. To become a good paddler you have to do that too. But thrashing is pointless. It’s just wasted energy and speed. Be polite to the water instead :)


PonoBill

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Re: Paddling slower, Going faster
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2018, 05:52:47 PM »
Both Johnny Puakea and Dave Kalama teach essentially the same stroke. Watching their videos will help a lot. Paddling an OC6 teaches your that paddle speed faster than boat speed is generally wasted energy unless everyone in the boat has the power to go faster. If you think about it a little, what's happening when you pull the paddle faster than the board is going? Mostly the blade will slip through the water--lost energy just making the water churn. Some slip is inevitable, and if you're trying to make the board accelerate, you have to pull the blade faster than the board is going. But a lot of effort that "hard" paddlers make is just turned into a tiny bit of added heat in the water.

For heavy guys this is even more important. A 300 pound OC6 can easily weigh 1200 pounds with six paddlers in it. Nothing great happens when one person is pulling harder and faster. I'm 230,and I've been paddling for more than ten years. Over time my blades have gotten smaller, my stroke much more deliberate, and even though I'm older and weaker I make about the same peak and sustained speeds as when I was pulling harder and faster.
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Billekrub

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Re: Paddling slower, Going faster
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2018, 06:53:36 PM »
There are times when the board moves so much faster with less effort.  So all of this hits home.  Spending "time" to get the paddle fully inserted before loading helps quite a bit, for starters.

It would seem, while accelerating, that a bigger paddle would need to slip less, give more purchase, allow slower turnover, a longer stroke interval under load, and a smaller amount of time overall out of the water.  Lower turnover might also make finding the optimal form easier, compared to a smaller paddle at higher SPM. 

Most surf paddlers, including some of the very best local performers use a small paddle and windmill violently with arms and shoulders, and do not appear to load the paddle very much with their body.  Perhaps, why so many of them have had shoulder reconstruction after years of impingement, sometimes both shoulders, or, at least have to stop and recover for some months.

ukgm

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Re: Paddling slower, Going faster
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2018, 01:49:04 AM »
I recently went swimming in a pool in central London, UK. The lanes were marked “fast”, “medium” and “slow”. I used to swim competitively decades ago, but hadn’t had a proper swim session in about a year,

The speed will come. But it takes a while. Good distance swimmers will train for hours and hours each week. Up and down, up and down, for mile after mile. To become a good paddler you have to do that too. But thrashing is pointless. It’s just wasted energy and speed. Be polite to the water instead :)

I agree with you. You're just one of those annoying people I refer to as a 'classically trained' swimmer. I've got a couple of overweight unfit friends who were high level club swimmers in their teens and they can crank out a 5 minute 400m on no training at all as their technique was ingrained and polished so early, it never left. I on the other hand in my teens had the choice between swimming club or lifeguarding and I opted for the latter. As a result, I'm a strong swimmer and can turn out a 6 minute dead 400m having not swum for a year or two but I can't physically go under that without a major amount of work. I just don't have the refinement.

yugi

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Re: Paddling slower, Going faster
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2018, 06:38:52 AM »
Sounds like you're getting it, mud. Cool. And SUP will be great rehab for your knee when spring comes.

Like the Navy Seals say: Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.

Swimming is a very good analogy. In swimming it is clear that the better the swimmer the longer the glide per stroke.

Which is why, in swimming, the measure of efficiency is stroke index. Basically the measure of a better stroke.  Used to improve swimming technique.

In SUP we aren't as attached to this as hard and fast rule. I remember watching a race this year, I think it was Carolina Cup, where Connor Baxter and someone else are sprinting to finish. Both going the same speed and Baxter using a much higher cadence.

OK, Baxter is a a different kind of paddler who has many strokes in his toolbox. We may see the "diesel stroke" become more the norm for flat water paddling as a new generation of racers emerge that weren't first surfers.

Just to say that in SUP depending on the situation there are more tools than one. For example upwind you want to plant your blade on the top of a wave so you end up with a very irregular cadence.

UKGM, we can argue in another thread why Stroke Index is a measure of the paddler "diesel stroke" efficiency and not a measure of board drag.   ;)
« Last Edit: September 14, 2018, 06:46:28 AM by yugi »

Ichabod Spoonbill

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Re: Paddling slower, Going faster
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2018, 07:02:35 AM »
I've been working on this lately too. I'm probably never going to be a really fast paddler, and I don't care enough about racing to make the effort. I do care about having an efficient stroke, so lately I've been working on getting that torso twist in on each stroke. It hurst like hell after a while, but those are my core muscles complaining, so it's probably what I need anyway.
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1tuberider

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Re: Paddling slower, Going faster
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2018, 07:06:08 AM »
Hi Deepmud and welcome
Could wind be a factor? For us on the pond (ocean) we also deal with current and tidal changes.
GPS would reflect speed over ground where impeller on board would reflect speed over water.

Sounds like your doing great and having a good time with healthy benefits.

ukgm

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Re: Paddling slower, Going faster
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2018, 08:09:40 AM »
1) In SUP we aren't as attached to this as hard and fast rule. I remember watching a race this year, I think it was Carolina Cup, where Connor Baxter and someone else are sprinting to finish. Both going the same speed and Baxter using a much higher cadence.

2) We may see the "diesel stroke" become more the norm for flat water paddling as a new generation of racers emerge that weren't first surfers.

3) UKGM, we can argue in another thread why Stroke Index is a measure of the paddler "diesel stroke" efficiency and not a measure of board drag.   ;)

1) I wouldn't know but I suspect if you put Connor in a lab and did the tests, he'd be shown to have a good Vo2 max. As a result, such athletes are better suited (or likely more able) to tolerate higher stroke rates (in the same way that some cyclists can handle 100rpm+ whereas others are actually more efficient at producing power down at around 75rpm). This means it may not make sense to copy them (note: such fads happened in other sports like cycling when everyone tried copying Lance Armstrong with his high revving style circa 2003 which then turned out to be a huge mistake for obvious reasons).

2) My feeling is that I would suggest its merely a case of ensuring that training is undertaken to match the needs (i.e. the speed or power) of the event and that stroke rate and equipment is matched to the physiology and the mechanics of the paddler.

3) I don't believe I ever said SI was a measure of board drag. (I use coast down tests instead to measure board drag). SI is a measure of paddling efficiency of the entire paddle & board system. SI is used by kayakers and C1 too but I am currently have a pet project running to create metrics that are more applicable to SUP directly. Ask me in about 6 months...  ;D
« Last Edit: September 14, 2018, 08:12:08 AM by ukgm »

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Re: Paddling slower, Going faster
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2018, 08:18:53 AM »
My Garmin Fenix (and Vivoactive) gives distance per stroke. So presumably if you can convolve this with speed (perhaps also HR) then you get to learn what you want to know - enough anyhow for amateur training purposes.

ukgm

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Re: Paddling slower, Going faster
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2018, 10:04:06 AM »
My Garmin Fenix (and Vivoactive) gives distance per stroke. So presumably if you can convolve this with speed (perhaps also HR) then you get to learn what you want to know - enough anyhow for amateur training purposes.

Just as a sidebar: be aware that you don't use the recorded speed as a basis for analysis. These watches seems to work reasonably well for distance per stroke analysis purposes but wrist mounting will overestimate average speeds of your training paddles.

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Re: Paddling slower, Going faster
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2018, 10:14:13 AM »
Doesn’t it just calculate speed *at the end* (rather than live speed) as overall distance/time?

I get pretty similar readings for the average speed over a section from my deck-mounted Velocitek Makai and my wrist-mounted Garmin, although certainly they do not agree entirely on distances covered.

Luc Benac

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Re: Paddling slower, Going faster
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2018, 10:16:00 AM »
Doesn’t it just calculate speed *at the end* (rather than live speed) as overall distance/time?

I get pretty similar readings for the average speed over a section from my deck-mounted Velocitek Makai and my wrist-mounted Garmin, although certainly they do not agree entirely on distances covered.

Same here.
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ukgm

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Re: Paddling slower, Going faster
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2018, 02:58:51 PM »
1) Doesn’t it just calculate speed *at the end* (rather than live speed) as overall distance/time?

2) I get pretty similar readings for the average speed over a section from my deck-mounted Velocitek Makai and my wrist-mounted Garmin, although certainly they do not agree entirely on distances covered.

1) I'm not sure. I do know that I can even see differences between Garmins own software and others I use though.

2) If they don't agree on distances covered (but you suspected that they calculate average speed as distance/time), surely that would lead to inaccuracies. This contradiction would suggest that maybe they don't use that method to calculate average speed ?
« Last Edit: September 14, 2018, 03:27:44 PM by ukgm »