• Happy Ascent of Everest (1953) & Birthday of Tenzing Norgay (1914-86)! 🏔️🧗⛏

Taking another look at the Werner Bandit and how to use it.

Hmmm . . . does this mean I have to reduce my compliment by 50%.



Every competent whitewater paddler uses a cross-forward stroke or needs to learn it. It's the way you accelerate or vector your canoe in a straight line when your paddle is on the upstream side and you don't want the current to blow your bow downstream (and you don't want to switch paddle hands). One of the first and most common scenarios every whitewater paddler encounters in this regard is accelerating out of an eddy to do a peel out when your paddle is on the upstream side. You need to alternate cross-forward strokes with forward strokes to accelerate in a straight line from your stopped position in the eddy, to cross the eddyline, and then to get far enough into the current before you want to turn downstream—or to continue on in an upstream ferry.

My two biggest technique breakthroughs in my early stages of whitewater paddling were (1) learning to do a cross-forward stroke with ease and (2) learning to J-lean the hull to the rails with confidence on turns. Those two techniques, when fully practiced, allow one to do confident and elegant eddy turns, peel outs, upstream ferries, and surfing.

Cross-forward stroking and J-leaning (heeling) to the rails for turns are both very translatable skills to flat water paddling. They are, for example, intrinsic to the flat water freestyle curriculum.

The following thread embeds all three parts of Tom Foster's classic video on paddling technique (Catch Every Eddy—Surf Every Wave) with lots of discussion:


Tom was for years the ACA's top chief of paddling instruction and instructor certification. He had a paddling school on the Lower Millers River in Massachusetts called the Outdoor Centre of New England (OCNE). Tom sold me and personally outfitted my Dagger Encore in the early 90's. I've often wondered what happened to him and whether he is still alive.
Tom has a Facebook Page although I don't see any entries on it since his birthday last June. For a while after he sold OCNE he was doing some private instruction is canoeing in the area of Billerica, MA. More recently he seems to have returned closer to his old haunts at Greenfield, MA.

Last time I communicated with him on FB he said he was primarily "introducing" people to whitewater boating on a Shredder. That was some years ago.

My wife and I were on the Millers River with Tom the day Timothy McVeigh blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.
 
Tom has a Facebook Page although I don't see any entries on it since his birthday last June. For a while after he sold OCNE he was doing some private instruction is canoeing in the area of Billerica, MA. More recently he seems to have returned closer to his old haunts at Greenfield, MA.

I located via internet searches an 87 year old Thomas S. Foster in Alton Bay, NH, which seems to be him based on his listed previous addresses in Billerica, Millers Falls and Turners Falls, MA.
 
Back
Top