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Author Topic: Tips for Beginners  (Read 31852 times)

LoudounSUP

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Re: Tips for Beginners
« Reply #45 on: June 28, 2020, 02:23:36 PM »
The blade angle is inefficient once the paddle is past your feet.  If you pull to your feet, the blade will travel past your feet during the exit and that's what you are seeing in the video.  If you pull past your feet the negative angle will push water up which compresses you down against the water, which is not efficient.

Thanks Robert - that's a perfect explanation! Can't wait to get out tomorrow and focus on that for a few kilometers.
SUP in Nordic Virginia
2019 SIC RS Air Glide 14x28

TallDude

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Re: Tips for Beginners
« Reply #46 on: June 28, 2020, 03:39:53 PM »
You've made the first biggest transition in paddling which is starting to want to streamline your stroke. Most people just splash away oblivious to the fact that there is actually a technique to paddling. There are years of discussion on paddling technique on this forum. I grew up surfing and windsurfing, but I'd never so much as paddled even a canoe. When I started sup about 13 years ago or so, I knew nothing about how to use a paddle. I started paddling distance with older gentlemen who had paddled outriggers competitively for most of his life. We both had unlimited 18' boards and paddled a few times a week together. He showed me how to paddle.
 It starts with shoulder and hip turn with elbows almost locked. Blade goes in quiet as far forward as you can reach. There should not be any splash, ripple or even sound when the blade enters the water. You then anchor the blade (pushing down) and pull. This catch (or anchor and pull) phase is the power phase. The maximum energy use starts and ramps from an almost anchored (fully submerged) blade, then ends with shoulders and hips back to squared with the board. Release the power phase sooner than you think and let the blade surface quietly with no force.
At this point I intentionally twist my blade flat to the water and swing it around forming a 'D' shape as I swing it around for the next stroke. Twisting the blade flat with the surface of the water allows it to cut through the wind like a knife and allows me to feather my blade which I sometimes need to do on very narrow race boards in choppy conditions.
Then there's the smooth change of paddle sides. This transition could be equated to the flip turn in swimming. Done right and you maintain your pace. Done poorly and you loose your glide. When I switch sides, I move my top hand off the handle and loosely put it around the paddle shaft. I hold my arm and hand in place and slide the shaft upwards with my lower hand till my hands meet. At that point (while my hands are together) I'll cross the blade in front of me to the other side. As it crosses over, what was my lower hand crosses over what was my upper hand and grabs the handle draws the shaft up. So this is just one up stroke that crosses over. It's super smooth when you get it down.
I'm probably losing you about now, but that's just scratching the surface.
There's matching board speed and not putting your paddle in the water to fast. Sometimes the faster you paddle the more inefficient you become. Anchoring your paddle will stop some of your glide. It's knowing the right tempo or cadence. Foot or board steering. Position on the board based on the wind and swell if any. paddling in quarter wind,etc. etc.
It's not overhead to me!
8'8" L-41 ST and a whole pile of boards I rarely use.

LoudounSUP

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Re: Tips for Beginners
« Reply #47 on: June 28, 2020, 04:15:09 PM »
Thanks Talldude. Your description reminds be very much of how rowers/scullers move a boat. That is my background with an 18-year gap. Your description of a "D" pattern is perfect. I keep hearing about the mythical "J" stroke but as you mention its actually a "D". Also, LOL about the smooth hand-change transition. (insert facepalm emoji). I've got work in that department. Thanks for all this and I cannot wait to get out tomorrow morning!
SUP in Nordic Virginia
2019 SIC RS Air Glide 14x28

Dusk Patrol

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Re: Tips for Beginners
« Reply #48 on: June 29, 2020, 02:43:48 PM »
Hey - Look for some paddling/stroke videos from Quickblade's Jim Terrell. They're very helpful.

The "mythical J stroke" is alive and well but seldom needed on a SUP.  Think of sitting in the back of a canoe, just one person, your paddle stroke, pulling straight back, will move the canoe forward but the canoe's front will also veer to the to opposite direction.  But if at the end of your straight pull you twist the blade, still in the water, roughly 45 degrees so you're in effect pushing the blade away from the canoe, that will counteract the veering tendency of the canoe's front, keeping it tracing straight, more or less. So all told it looks like  "J" in the water. Pull straight back then twist and push out.

The only time one would use a J stroke on a SUP might be when surfing, wanting to maintain an angle to a wave but needing forward speed as well. Otherwise you can just switch sides. I personally add a little J into each stroke just cause I grew up doing it in canoes, result is I don't have to switch sides as often.

Or if you want to change headings, you can do a sort of reverse J stroke by, at the beginning of your stroke, reaching out slightly in the direction you want to go in, thus beginning your stroke by pulling in toward the SUP, thereby pulling the nose of your board toward the direction you want to head.   

There's a ton of info about the primary SUP paddle stroke, but not so much about paddlecraft in general. 

     
Bullet V2; RS 14x26; JL Destroyer 9'8; BluePlanet 9'4

LoudounSUP

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Re: Tips for Beginners
« Reply #49 on: June 29, 2020, 03:06:31 PM »
Hey - Look for some paddling/stroke videos from Quickblade's Jim Terrell. They're very helpful.

The "mythical J stroke" is alive and well but seldom needed on a SUP.  Think of sitting in the back of a canoe, just one person, your paddle stroke, pulling straight back, will move the canoe forward but the canoe's front will also veer to the to opposite direction.  But if at the end of your straight pull you twist the blade, still in the water, roughly 45 degrees so you're in effect pushing the blade away from the canoe, that will counteract the veering tendency of the canoe's front, keeping it tracing straight, more or less. So all told it looks like  "J" in the water. Pull straight back then twist and push out.

The only time one would use a J stroke on a SUP might be when surfing, wanting to maintain an angle to a wave but needing forward speed as well. Otherwise you can just switch sides. I personally add a little J into each stroke just cause I grew up doing it in canoes, result is I don't have to switch sides as often.

Or if you want to change headings, you can do a sort of reverse J stroke by, at the beginning of your stroke, reaching out slightly in the direction you want to go in, thus beginning your stroke by pulling in toward the SUP, thereby pulling the nose of your board toward the direction you want to head.   

There's a ton of info about the primary SUP paddle stroke, but not so much about paddlecraft in general. 

   

Hello Dusk Patrol! Great tips and many thanks for the imagery of pushing back and away - looking forward to trying that tomorrow morning! I did find some of Jim Terrell's videos online (I loved the one where he's perched up on a pedestal SUP providing stoke lessons). That's when I realized how important holding a vertical shaft is for going straight. Cheers!
SUP in Nordic Virginia
2019 SIC RS Air Glide 14x28

Dusk Patrol

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Re: Tips for Beginners
« Reply #50 on: June 29, 2020, 03:09:23 PM »
I forgot about this guy... how could I forget my hero Canoe Drummond?

Yep, as contrived a contraption as that pedestal was, it really illustrated Terrell's point. Other things I took away from him were efficient hand position as you shift (toss really) the paddle from one side to the other, and separately, instead of expending energy lifting your paddle blade at the end of the stroke, just let your top hand (and its shoulder) just naturally fall, which does a lot of the work for you.     
« Last Edit: June 29, 2020, 03:24:38 PM by Dusk Patrol »
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LoudounSUP

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Re: Tips for Beginners
« Reply #51 on: July 11, 2020, 04:44:25 PM »
Anyone have a good video on changing paddle sides? I've looked on YouTube and surprisingly, there isn't much online about changing sides smoothly - and with balance. I'm wasting too much time and breaking rhythm during my side changes. Definitely an area for improvement.
SUP in Nordic Virginia
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blueplanetsurf

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Re: Tips for Beginners
« Reply #52 on: July 21, 2020, 06:00:14 PM »
Anyone have a good video on changing paddle sides? I've looked on YouTube and surprisingly, there isn't much online about changing sides smoothly - and with balance. I'm wasting too much time and breaking rhythm during my side changes. Definitely an area for improvement.
That's a good idea for a video.
Basically you want to bring your blade forward at about the same speed as when you paddle on one side, only you bring it across the board diagonally while you lift the bade a bit higher to clear the deck, switch the bottom hand and slide the thumb of the new top hand up to catch the handle.
I see beginners handing the paddle from one hand to the other sideways, then reaching forward on the new side, so making an L shape with the blade instead of a diagonal line to the new catch on the other side.
Robert Stehlik
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