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To Pause or not to Pause


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#21 leong

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 11:40 AM

Leon, as far as I remember, the DVD I have is <only> Oscar -- but I could be wrong. My momory ain't wot it used to be! It was all filmed in Durban (I know that because I recognized every single spot where they filmed) and I do not think Mr. Barton is in the picture at all. Frankly, <much> as I admire his prowess, I did not find Oscar such an effective teacher as, say, Ben Lawrie...(FWIW)

I shall check up tonight on the Chalupsky DVD for you...

Yes, that’s a different video that I don’t have.

Unlike the Barton and Oscar video, Brent Reitz’s video breaks down the stroke into minute detail. He’s a real teacher. But I still like to watch the superstars paddle.

PS
Hey, NSPN-ers. In case you don’t know it, the forward stroke is used for more than just racing. I’m surprised that so few of you have added your two cents to my two cents, both here and in the other post “To Glide or not to Glide”.

#22 overhill

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 02:23 PM

Folks,
It seems obvious that "what works" for the individual is the key here. Simple physics show even the layman that force applied and drag determine how far one will propel oneself with a given amount of effort. How fast one gets from point A to point B depends on how efficient their stroke is, and how well their hull displaces the water around it, and quite frankly how young and determined one is.. This is simple! Some of You are way too involved in the question. If You race for a living or ego , then the discussion is important to You. Otherwise it does appear a bit silly, at least to me.
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#23 Suz

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 03:16 PM

Folks,
It seems obvious that "what works" for the individual is the key here. Simple physics show even the layman that force applied and drag determine how far one will propel oneself with a given amount of effort. How fast one gets from point A to point B depends on how efficient their stroke is, and how well their hull displaces the water around it, and quite frankly how young and determined one is.. This is simple! Some of You are way too involved in the question. If You race for a living or ego , then the discussion is important to You. Otherwise it does appear a bit silly, at least to me.
Tom

Tom,
It isn't a silly discussion at all. Although Leon wonders why more of us are not discussing it, for my part, it is because I don't do well with writing an argument - takes too much time and I am lazy. You may find that when you paddle in groups and not alone, the whole discussion of the forward stroke takes on new meaning. Those who are slow and inefficient end up not always able to keep up with the group and then perhaps don't get to go with the group next time. When you are the fast paddler, the forward stroke becomes important - your wishing the slower people would learn a more efficient one. Alternatively, if you are the last in the pack, it becomes obvious why you want to develop a better forward stroke. The reason why people write about it is two fold - some people learn by thinking and writing about it, others learn by reading about it. Still others by going out and doing it.

I will say, I am not a fan of the chicken wing. I started writing something this morning explaining why but deleted it. Basically when the elbow is bent on the release, it usually means that there is some pulling in of the blade relative to where it was. This of course is causes the boat to turn and any turning loses efficiency. Also, there are more efficient ways of getting the blade out of the water - just lift the knuckles and then the elbow follows up - the blade exits clean.

I am a fan of the pause and allowing the boat to glide a bit between strokes. Usually if you paddle next to someone and add a slight pause, you find that you take 1/3 fewer strokes but end up at the same place at the same time.

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#24 leong

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 03:36 PM

Tom,
It isn't a silly discussion at all. Although Leon wonders why more of us are not discussing it, for my part, it is because I don't do well with writing an argument - takes too much time and I am lazy. You may find that when you paddle in groups and not alone, the whole discussion of the forward stroke takes on new meaning. Those who are slow and inefficient end up not always able to keep up with the group and then perhaps don't get to go with the group next time. When you are the fast paddler, the forward stroke becomes important - your wishing the slower people would learn a more efficient one. Alternatively, if you are the last in the pack, it becomes obvious why you want to develop a better forward stroke. The reason why people write about it is two fold - some people learn by thinking and writing about it, others learn by reading about it. Still others by going out and doing it.

I will say, I am not a fan of the chicken wing. I started writing something this morning explaining why but deleted it. Basically when the elbow is bent on the release, it usually means that there is some pulling in of the blade relative to where it was. This of course is causes the boat to turn and any turning loses efficiency. Also, there are more efficient ways of getting the blade out of the water - just lift the knuckles and then the elbow follows up - the blade exits clean.

I am a fan of the pause and allowing the boat to glide a bit between strokes. Usually if you paddle next to someone and add a slight pause, you find that you take 1/3 fewer strokes but end up at the same place at the same time.

Suz


Thanks Suz,

Your argument is flawless. Covers things that I left unsaid.

Leon

#25 spider

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 05:35 PM

I think some folks, perhaps like myself, tend to scan the topics see one like this and say that's nice and continue to search for a subject of more interest to them.
I didn't read this one till I noticed it had some 20 responses and thought what the heck is all the talk about.

Checking it further I wasn't overly surprised to see it was a discussion between 4 or 5 people who were interested in it.

That's also fine by me and moved onto a subject that I thought might get no responses but you never know there might be a person or two interested then again maybe not which again is also fine.

#26 leong

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 08:26 PM

I think some folks, perhaps like myself, tend to scan the topics see one like this and say that's nice and continue to search for a subject of more interest to them.
I didn't read this one till I noticed it had some 20 responses and thought what the heck is all the talk about.

Checking it further I wasn't overly surprised to see it was a discussion between 4 or 5 people who were interested in it.

That's also fine by me and moved onto a subject that I thought might get no responses but you never know there might be a person or two interested then again maybe not which again is also fine.

Of course, it’s fine with me if only a few people respond to this thread. I realize that everyone has his (or her) own particular interests. But I thought this topic would be of more general interest because of the following reasons:

1. The forward stroke is the stroke we do 95% of the time.
2. It is also the stroke that most of us are the least proficient at.
3. This and my other post (To Glide and not to Glide) addresses the most difficult and controversial portions of the forward stroke.
4. You’ll enjoy sea kayak touring much more if you have an efficient forward stroke.

In addition to paddling efficiency, let me say something about fitness paddling as well. I’m sure my training partner (LHuntington) wouldn’t mind if I used her exact words, which are better than what I could say anyway:

“So I'll give a little plug for doing some fitness paddling on the side, even if you can only find time to go to a local river, as is often the case for me. The training gives you a nice focus for physical fitness in general - you push yourself hard and it feels good. You get a nice strong core and lose weight while doing what you love. You reduce the chances of repetitive injury by getting stronger. When winter comes and there is only a gym to fall back on, you always have your kayaking goals to work toward. It makes it more interesting. Then as a nice fringe benefit, on group paddles you can sit back and enjoy the scenery. I'd much rather spend my exercise time racing my own time to the North Bridge and back on the Concord River than doing 1-1/2 hours on the Stairmaster (!)”

Leon

PS

Lisa, good luck in tomorrow’s ROTC race. Remember to paddle at a higher cadence into the wind. You go girl!

#27 GCosloy

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 12:22 PM

The forward stroke represents 95% of the paddlers effort but not for everyone. We who love rock gardening perhaps rely on many more strokes to get us through: back strokes, sweeps, bow and stern rudders and all the interesting side slip strokes and draws. In big water a little understanding of the strokes used in surfing also is employed. I don't know what the ratios are but if you're slightly inefficient in the forward stroke you can still get to your destination. If you don't know the rudiments of these other strokes you can wind up high and dry or worse capsized. Different strokes for different folks! I admire Leon's and Lisa's efforts to master their skills within a sport they love and excel. Will I ever be able to keep up with them by improving my forward stroke? No! Do I want to? Not really. The other nice thing about rock gardening is that as far as speed or distance covered, its a great equalizer. If you're in a group you usually need to wait your turn and have time to catch a breath between challenges. Viva la différence!
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#28 leong

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 06:26 PM

The forward stroke represents 95% of the paddlers effort but not for everyone. We who love rock gardening perhaps rely on many more strokes to get us through: back strokes, sweeps, bow and stern rudders and all the interesting side slip strokes and draws. In big water a little understanding of the strokes used in surfing also is employed. I don't know what the ratios are but if you're slightly inefficient in the forward stroke you can still get to your destination. If you don't know the rudiments of these other strokes you can wind up high and dry or worse capsized. Different strokes for different folks! I admire Leon's and Lisa's efforts to master their skills within a sport they love and excel. Will I ever be able to keep up with them by improving my forward stroke? No! Do I want to? Not really. The other nice thing about rock gardening is that as far as speed or distance covered, its a great equalizer. If you're in a group you usually need to wait your turn and have time to catch a breath between challenges. Viva la différence!

No argument here Gene. My penultimate post (so far) in this thread was just to respond to the assertion that all this efficiency stuff for the forward stroke was silly, nothing else. But the topic is not an either/or game. All strokes are important, depending on what you’re doing. I have no idea if the 95% figure is correct or not. I just saw that number used in several “how to do the forward stroke” articles so I used it.

Biff

#29 pinkpaddler

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 07:06 AM

Leon,
I'd like to thank you for posting this topic. I'm not quite ready yet to get this technical about my forward stroke, but I am ready to improve it and I learned a lot of tips just from reading everyone's input. I paddled the Concord River Saturday with my husband with the goal of spending the entire time focusing on torso rotation, because I have always been more of an arm paddler (yes, I know, that's bad) and that little pause just letting the paddle slip into the water and then exerting force on it. Perhaps the brand new high angle blade helped, but bottom line, I blew past my husband and stayed ahead of him the entire trip and that has never happened in the 5 years we've been paddling! :yippie: :yippie:
I'm looking forward to continuing this so it comes automatically with less concentration. The pause part was hardest, especially when paddling hard against a headwind, but every once in a while I felt that rhythm where everything was working.

Thanks everyone!
Cathy
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#30 leong

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 09:43 AM

Leon,
I'd like to thank you for posting this topic. I'm not quite ready yet to get this technical about my forward stroke, but I am ready to improve it and I learned a lot of tips just from reading everyone's input. I paddled the Concord River Saturday with my husband with the goal of spending the entire time focusing on torso rotation, because I have always been more of an arm paddler (yes, I know, that's bad) and that little pause just letting the paddle slip into the water and then exerting force on it. Perhaps the brand new high angle blade helped, but bottom line, I blew past my husband and stayed ahead of him the entire trip and that has never happened in the 5 years we've been paddling! :yippie: :yippie:
I'm looking forward to continuing this so it comes automatically with less concentration. The pause part was hardest, especially when paddling hard against a headwind, but every once in a while I felt that rhythm where everything was working.

Thanks everyone!
Cathy

Cathy,

I don’t know what the experts say about pausing into a headwind so I’ll pretend to be an expert.

First, there are two pauses being discussed. The pause before the spearing action and the “pause” during the spearing action.

Heading into a strong headwind the first pause should probably be skipped altogether because there is little glide to take advantage of.

As I said earlier in this thread, the second “pause” is really not a pause, at least the way I define a pause. Brent Reitz (a real expert) calls it a pause but I think that was a poorly chosen word. Read what I said about it earlier in the thread.

Leon

#31 overhill

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 08:19 PM

Tom,
It isn't a silly discussion at all. Although Leon wonders why more of us are not discussing it, for my part, it is because I don't do well with writing an argument - takes too much time and I am lazy. You may find that when you paddle in groups and not alone, the whole discussion of the forward stroke takes on new meaning. Those who are slow and inefficient end up not always able to keep up with the group and then perhaps don't get to go with the group next time. When you are the fast paddler, the forward stroke becomes important - your wishing the slower people would learn a more efficient one. Alternatively, if you are the last in the pack, it becomes obvious why you want to develop a better forward stroke. The reason why people write about it is two fold - some people learn by thinking and writing about it, others learn by reading about it. Still others by going out and doing it.

I will say, I am not a fan of the chicken wing. I started writing something this morning explaining why but deleted it. Basically when the elbow is bent on the release, it usually means that there is some pulling in of the blade relative to where it was. This of course is causes the boat to turn and any turning loses efficiency. Also, there are more efficient ways of getting the blade out of the water - just lift the knuckles and then the elbow follows up - the blade exits clean.

I am a fan of the pause and allowing the boat to glide a bit between strokes. Usually if you paddle next to someone and add a slight pause, you find that you take 1/3 fewer strokes but end up at the same place at the same time.

Suz


Suz,
You are right, I guess. I'll keep muddling along as I have been for 45 years.
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