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RIP J-Stroke: ACA No Longer Teaches the J-Stroke (EDIT: Or Does It?)

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If your paddling on the right hand(starboard) side of the canoe, and the wind is from your left(poft); you dont have to pry....or J... IMO J is a waste of time, and effort. I get a lot more power that wasting time & effort on J.
I always use the wind to help keep on track. The further back in the boat you are, or to put it another way, the lighter the bow is, the less wind it takes to have this effect. You won't get near as much help from the wind paddling from a center seat.
 
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If your paddling on the right hand(starboard) side of the canoe, and the wind is from your left(poft); you dont have to pry....or J... IMO J is a waste of time, and effort. I get a lot more power that wasting time & effort on J.
The J is a waste of tie and effort if not done correctly or efficently. Dragging the paddle behind as many will do ( a hold over from a habit of ruddering with the thumb up goon stroke, I believe) is a waste of time and effort. Completion of the J, as following from a pitch, need not hesitate at any point to effect directional control. One smooth constant motion throughout the entire stroke is what you strive to do witth pracdtically zero yaw of the bow's direction of travel.

Of course for straight ahead power and speed racers require, only a pure power stroke is more efficient. But that only leads to the too frequent boring and paddle drips of hit and switch to maintain directional control. In contrast, for recreational pleasure crusing, a much more varied tool box of linkable paddle strokes will take you far.
 
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the J Stroke is a difficult thing for many people to learn. The Stern pry is not. If you can get someone going straight with a stern pry, wait for a few days or even weeks and then re-try the J Stroke.

nearly killed me to learn the J stroke.. took me a couple of years to become barely competent at it. My offside J stroke may still have a small pry component to it when I get tired..

I used to teach a Boy Scout class, usually 3 days. Most kids got the stern pry quickly and could at least get the boat going roughly straight. The J was introduced as something to practice in future, maybe one or two of the older kids ever got it working in the class.

My friend Jeff teaches the instructor class for ACA whitewater, will have to ask him how they do it these days..
 
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If someone suffers cardiopulmonary arrest due to drowning the cause is respiratory, not cardiac, and by the time they are pulseless their blood is very deoxygenated. In this setting, at least a few initial rescue breaths are essential.

an excellent point.. I learned CPR with rescue breathing decades ago. When re-certifying a year or so back was surprised to find CPR is now taught hands-only. However that as you say is for the general public with mostly cardiac conditions. The other aspect to rescue breathing I guess is the insanitary aspect of mouth-to-mouth. Good clean-living canoe paddlers probably are less likely to have horrible communicable diseases too ;-)
 
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The poor J. It is a cab forward stroke with a swift powerful small J at the hip.. Not combined with a long forward stroke that follows the gunwales which in most all cases is actually a sweep, which needs to be corrected.

Ending the forward stroke early ( by your thigh if sitting, ahead of your knees if kneeling) negates the need to J often,

But it is such an elegant linking stroke.. to the Canadian or a sideslip moving your boat sideways while doing nothing. Or a turn to the offside or onside again while just doing nothing but change the paddle angle.
Vectors are king
 
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You can do an effective J with a bent shaft paddle. But linking to other "advanced" strokes, especially those that require a palm roll to power the opposite blade face are either awkward or not at all practical to do.
 
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You can do the J with a bent shaft paddle. But linking to other "advanced" strokes, especially those that require a palm roll to power the opposite blade face are either awkward or not at all practical to do.
I actually learned the J finally with a bent shaft in a solo canoe. I learned it out of necessity. Hit and switch is great for go fast but not so hot for a more leisurely pace; to do the J with a bent shaft you have to pull the top grip over towards your offside to give a lateral correction. You can also do a partial in-water recovery after, but a palm roll just sets the paddle backwards.

If I’m paddling a solo, currently I take my ottertail and a bent shaft. Now that the varnish on my “home depole” is finally dried I need to start taking it along. Not in the Prism I don’t think, but with practice I should be able to pole in my Polaris on the Wacissa River. I may also decide to make a shorter pusher pole like Mike McCrae makes for pushing off the bank and etc. things that would damage a wood paddle… I definitely want to find a duck head grip for that!
 
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J stroke with a bent shaft paddle works just fine as above. Cliff Jacobsen maintains the J stroke works better with a bent shaft paddle. I'm not sure about that but it certainly works as well as with a straight shaft.

What does not work well with a bent shaft paddle is the stern pry which becomes very ineffective because of the angle of the blade. If I am paddling with a bent shaft paddle and find I need more correction to my on-side than I can get with a J stroke, I will reverse my grip to a thumbs-up position so I can pry away with the power face of the blade.
 
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You can do an effective J with a bent shaft paddle. But linking to other "advanced" strokes, especially those that require a palm roll to power the opposite blade face are either awkward or not at all practical to do.
yep a palm roll with a bent invariably has the bent diving under the canoe and behaving in all sorts of undesirable ways.. It does J nicely.. just don't try an inwater recovery unless you want to learn how to capsize.
 

Glenn MacGrady

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Did it make any difference if the bent shaft is less than 12 degrees? I am thinking of building a bent with slightly less bend (maybe 8 degrees)

I paddle mostly with a bent and don't have any difficulty doing corrections. As I've said, my normal correction is a sort of fluid slight draw, slight pitch, slight J, into a short Canadian in-water return.

My bents range from 10° to 15°, and I'd say correction with a bent requires slightly more technique finesse or slightly more corrective power than with a straight. So, since 8° is even closer to straight than any of my bents, it should be no problem with a J (and variants) if you have the technique.
 
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