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Poll: How often do you switch sides?

Poll: How often do you switch sides?

  • Every 1-3 strokes. I'm a hit-and-switch paddler.

    Votes: 1 3.6%
  • Every 4-10 strokes.

    Votes: 4 14.3%
  • 11 to 20 or more strokes.

    Votes: 13 46.4%
  • What is this 'switch' of which you speak? I'm a unisidular paddler!

    Votes: 10 35.7%

  • Total voters
    28
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Just to recap:

..... carrying the paddle in back of your hip..those loong slow strokes of yore always had a strong sweep at the end that had to be undone with a hard correction stroke


keeping a loaded tripping canoe moving at an all day relaxing stroke while watching what you came to see in my experience is enhanced by that loong slow stroke, way beyond my hip.

I I just can't see paddling a loaded tripping canoe and stopping your stroke at the hip all day,
 
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There is a bit of work involved in getting the Bruiser moving as it is kind of a Prospector/Bobs special cross. Pretty boat though. And it paddles well enough once it is moving but works better as a tandem to be honest. Once I get it under way then I go back to the normal J stroke and yes I do leave the paddle in well past my hip with a looooong correction/rudder. But if I think it needs to move faster I go with a bunch of short, end at the hip strokes to increase forward motion, then slip back to my long slow corrections. Those long strokes are how I troll as well.

I do have a carbon bent shaft and I LOVE that paddle. It truly takes all the shoulder and neck strain away. Not real great for solo work but I have my otter and beaver tails too that are balanced nice so seem light.

I have a 14 foot Huron here that could do as a solo for me at some point. Or build a light version of the Jacks. Doug Ingrams swift fox is mighty tempting too.
For now, me and the Bruiser are still in the middle of a torrid afffair though. I hate to cheat on her.

Christy
 
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its ok to end the power part of the stroke ahead of you and let the correction rudder part trail back.. the trouble is when one does too long a power stroke.. Trailing back is actually known in FreeStyle circles ( no pun intended) as the Tex-Florida weed stroke.. The tendency is to pick up hydrilla during the power phase and to let it go best with out more work the paddle is allowed to trail back.. you essentially slide your shaft hand way up toward the grip as the paddle trails back and hopefully releases the offending plant.
 

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keeping a loaded tripping canoe moving at an all day relaxing stroke while watching what you came to see in my experience is enhanced by that loong slow stroke, way beyond my hip.

I I just can't see paddling a loaded tripping canoe and stopping your stroke at the hip all day,

In fairness, I think all YC was doing in that post was listing common factors that induce yaw. Carrying the power phase of the forward stroke further and further behind the hip obviously is one such factor.

Moreover, the further one powers the paddle behind the hip, the more one is simply lifting water (and the bow of the canoe) with a rapidly diminishing forward propulsion component and a rapidly increasing vertical bobbing component. However, if one is correcting while the blade is "back there" behind the hip, then the yaw and bob can be eliminated.

Although your video was really too brief to see, Robin, when you were paddling lefty you seemed to be correcting as the blade passed your hip because your grip wrist was turning increasingly downward. You seemed to be using a correcting blend of a pitching-J stroke and a Canadian return stroke.

Additionally, the length of the paddle affects the ability to carry a paddle much behind the hip. I paddle all canoes and all loads with a 48.5" carbon bent paddle, using various intermixed single-sided correction strokes (C, pitch, J, Canadian). I can't carry such a short paddle much behind the hip. Yet I paddle very leisurely and effortlessly at a fairly slow stroke rate. If I were using a long paddle, especially a long-bladed paddle, I would have trouble getting it as vertical as I want it; and also trouble removing it at the hip, because such a paddle is simply too long for me to do so without feeling clumsy or awkward.
 
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So here's another shot of my left side as I paddle with the wind for the first half, and the second half is against the wind. I'm not going to a bent shaft at the point and I now use a 57" paddle down from a 60" a few years back. I have tried smaller paddles but don't feel comfortable or powerful enough in the water.
I tried stopping my stroke sooner but feel I give up a lot of push and lose momentum, and I also feel the paddle spends a lot of time out of the water too.
Just wondering about that hip thing?

https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipOmhtZ5c3LiDvZacMWlJMV_bH-sYRHt5L4EHOCi
 
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Robin.. I don't have a Google account so your pic is all locked up for me? No rush would love to see but am off to grandsons hockey games in Mass
 
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I do have a google account, and google is telling me that the URL is not found.... I suspect perhaps a copy-pasta mistake?
 
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Nope not yet but if I may mention missing a lot of push. You are missing some push but its probably misdirected push. Power phase is supposed to be parallel to the keel line but its impossible to carry your hand in back of your hip without making a curve. To try and do that and keep the stroke parallel to the keeline is painful on the shoulder. You can t without chicken winging your elbow up

Try it with a shop broom standing inside..

new things are sometimes weird especially if the old thing has been around a long time..
 
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Robin I think you are missing some letters, etc. from the link. It's not just locked (Which google will say outright!) but the link itself points nowhere. I finally got to watch the video from further up-thread, and if that is a long stroke, I need to re-evaluate my meterstick. That is a much shorter stroke than my starting "normal" stroke.

I did a couple-hour day paddle, playing with some of the thoughts that came up in this thread. I did both shorter strokes with an out of water return, and stopping the power portion of the stroke earlier, allowing the blade to trail back to rudder position and doing correction only behind my hip, as yellowcanoe
suggested. I can see what she means. I'm still working on trimming the canoe, and I think it will always require some correction, but it was less than my typical long stokes. I was also able to continue moving steadily, and surprised myself by how far I'd traveled without noticing the effort I had put in.

I also discovered that I need a shorter shaft for this style of paddling. Check my paddle build thread for current dimensions that I'm using.
 
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I switch however often is needed to keep a more or less straight course. Depends on the canoe, how heavily it's loaded, how hard I'm paddling, and wind direction/velocity.

If everything is perfectly flat and calm I'll get around half a dozen strokes/side. Other days I might paddle 90% on one side just because of how the wind is affecting the boat. Sometimes I slow down a little and add a slight correction into the stroke and can get a dozen strokes per side. Or slow down a little more and paddle indefinitely on one side, but I don't usually do that unless I'm out for a lazy day paddle. But usually I'm just straight hit and switch with little to no correction.

I'm almost always using a carbon bent shaft between 48-50" (depending on canoe and load) at around 55-60 strokes/minute, even with a heavy tripping load. To most people that seems like too fast of a cadence but it's what I'm used to and I find it plenty comfortable. At 60 strokes/minute my head can still be on a swivel and I spend plenty of time looking around. Faster than that and it's more head down and go.

On my last trip I took a wood paddle for the first time in years. It was a 56" 24oz. straight. Using that paddle I'm much more likely to stay on one side and use some sort of correction to keep going straight. It takes a lot more time and effort to switch sides. With a short carbon I can snap it from side to side without even missing a stroke. The heavier and longer paddle was more unwieldy. The extra length makes correction strokes easier/more effective.

As for "not carrying the power stroke past the hip" that used to bother me a lot because it's very hard to do and seems impossible if you're using a J-stroke or other correction at the end of the stroke. I'd watch videos of good paddlers and many were carrying the blade past the hip. Finally I realized the key, and what they meant, is to stop applying power at the hip. Power is most efficiently applied on the forward half of the stroke. So plant the blade, give it a short and hard pull, and then back off power and let the blade trail behind where you can apply your correction before the recovery stroke. It takes a while to train the mind and body but once you do I find it to be less work and less correction is needed.

Alan
 

Glenn MacGrady

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As for "not carrying the power stroke past the hip" that used to bother me a lot because it's very hard to do and seems impossible if you're using a J-stroke or other correction at the end of the stroke. I'd watch videos of good paddlers and many were carrying the blade past the hip. Finally I realized the key, and what they meant, is to stop applying power at the hip. Power is most efficiently applied on the forward half of the stroke.

Good insight and explanation, but I'd clarify one thing: Power is most efficiently applied at the position in the forward power stroke where the blade is perpendicular (90º) to the water. That vertical blade position will differ depending on whether you are sitting or kneeling, on whether your paddle shaft is straight or bent, and the length of your paddle shaft and blade.

Simply determine this perpendicular/vertical blade position by experimenting with your own paddle in your own boat. This vertical blade position will be the longitudinal (fore-aft) center of your forward power stroke -- in other words, the center of the stroke length where you are applying forward power.

The length of your power stroke on each side of this central, perpendicular paddle blade position has been called the "Winters window", most often by Charlie Wilson. John Winters, the naval architect and canoe and kayak designer, has experimented with the effective force on each side of the perpendicular paddle blade point. I don't have a reference right now to his experiments, but the "Winters window" of effective forward propulsion power is variously stated to be between 20º-30º on each side of the central, perpendicular blade position.

Using 25º as a compromise to give an example of the Winters power window, the paddler doing a forward stroke would "catch" and begin applying power at 25º in front of the vertical blade position and end the power phase at 25º aft of that vertical position. The "hip" is frequently used as an approximate end point of the Winters window for kneeling paddlers using a straight blade paddle. In actuality, as stated above, the Winters window changes position as the perpendicular blade position changes due to different paddling positions and paddle types.

If you begin the power-application phase significantly forward of the Winters window, too much vector force will simply be directed toward the bottom of the lake and you will lifting the stern. If you end the power-application phase significantly aft of the Winters window, too much vector force will be directed toward the sky and you will be lifting the bow.

However, as many of us have emphasized, the paddle can travel further aft than the end of the Winters window -- and almost always does for non-switching, single-sided correction stroke paddlers -- but the blade should be correcting once aft of the Winters window. This correction can be a pitch to a goon-rudder (meh), an opposite pitch to a J-pry (better), or an outward and upward loaded Canadian-stroke slice (best, in my experience).
 
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I am going to just say this. We(wife and I) have an unique style that works for us. It would give a heart attack to any canoe instructor. Hit and switch with white water correction strokes with the stern following the bow using bent shafts. The bow sees a lot of logs in tannin water the stern dose not. It gets us through many a tight spring run or black water creek with many wonderful fallen trees at a good pace even when going up stream. Since we live in Florida and every one uses animal tail paddles I guess you could call our paddles manatee tails. Short wide and bent.
 
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