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The much maligned goon stroke

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I started canoe tripping in 1972 and until 2008 lived under the illusion that I actually new what I was doing. At which point a butterfly pointed out that my J stroke was actually the Goon stroke. It seems that if I pointed my thumb in the other direction I'd achieve the J stroke and so paddling perfection. Problem is after 25 years of living in a fantasy its hard to come back to reality. When I read about the perfect paddling form I discover how very far from grace I fall.So I decided to embrace the goon stroke after all, most of my time tripping was spent under the canoe. Even with my scow of a whitewater alumacraft I was just far enough back to be relieved of navigation and fire starting for lunch. Indeed the only real downside seems to be camp site selection.If I ever decide its time to get to front of the camp site selection line I figure a nice light Bell prospector or its equivalent will get me there. Indeed when I read about biomechanic and the physic's of the canoe stroke their seem to be a disconnect from the basic Newtonian law of force in relationship to mass times acceleration so the weight of the canoe as part of the calculation. My poor old canoe has hit enough rocks that drag also comes into play. I guess if you want to use an accelerometer you can but inherently we all sense the quantum of force we apply in anything we do. So by deduction as we paddle on a particularly boring piece of water we should be able to get a fairly good idea of what's working and whats not. Ergonomically our level of comfort is also defined and we can make adjustments to improve our level of enjoyment. So more by way of justification a goon I remain.
 
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Goon is such a undignified name. Stern Pry has so much more cachet
Most people in a canoe do the stroke badly . It puts the brakes on at the end of each stroke. They do look like goons
Now the true stern pry practitioner has perfected it so the correction is tiny and quick and the power part of the stroke so straight that there is very little yaw
I do the jstroke with a palm roll right after the Quick j so my thumb too ends up ready for an in water recovery

One of my friends is a maestro of the g....stern pry. Says he needs no stinking J
 
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I'm with Yellowcanoe, The stern pry J, or river J is quite efficient when well executed, easier on your wrist and fore harm. And, in my own opinion, more effective in WW situation. Not as elegant, and definitely not as smooth on the flat. that is why I will usually use a combination of the 2, interchanging them on long trips!
 
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Check out the Kent Ford videos for a good tutorial on the stern pry. More of a twitch than a sweep and executed right in close to the hull. Yes way better and quicker in WW than a J-stroke.
 
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J never was intended as a river stroke, Hit a rock underway and you and the paddle will be counting fish. Sometimes on the river you have to lever off the gunwale and the stern pry is best for that.
 
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Thanks for all the info everyone. I've never heard of the stern pry so now I can stop hiding at the back. The link for the suggested video from bothwell voyageur is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tr2fi4NBUGc. I've never used it like these folks are amazing.Love the music to.
 
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J never was intended as a river stroke, Hit a rock underway and you and the paddle will be counting fish. Sometimes on the river you have to lever off the gunwale and the stern pry is best for that.

But hundreds of people do it!! Especially if you're from Ontario:eek:
 
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Ergonomically our level of comfort is also defined and we can make adjustments to improve our level of enjoyment.

This is true. Once I figured out the J-stroke and was plenty comfortable with it, it evolved into never actually lifting the paddle out of the water. I found out later that I was actually doing the Box Stroke. Don't know much about how it came to be or the history behind it (if there is any) but I'm sure many of the experienced paddlers here know it.

The Goon stroke you mention can also be done without removing blade from water. Fun stuff. Like you said...turn that boring water into a practice session.
 
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Box stroke here is different from Rolf Kraiker videos.

Here its a draw to the bow, a slice back to the stern next to the boat a pry away and a slice forward. It describes the shape of a box and turns you around in a pivot.

What you up in Canada call a box stroke( why?) we call a Canadian Stroke.

Almost all trippers evolve to it.

The progression is : wappa wappa switch side with disorganization with the boat going everywhere to
A stern rudder
A stern pry ( goon)
J
Canadian
Northwoods
switching sides with high cadence and purpose and the canoe going arrow straight at mach one

So is birth and death the same
 
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And of course the ever popular...choke, pull pull, throttle, look straight ahead. As I get older, the paddle becomes more decorative and less functional.

Christy
 
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...and turns you around in a pivot.
What you up in Canada call a box stroke( why?) we call a Canadian Stroke.


Hmmm...my box stroke always took me straight...no pivoting of the canoe. Would be great to paddle with some of y'all and compare techniques.
 
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And of course the ever popular...choke, pull pull, throttle, look straight ahead. As I get older, the paddle becomes more decorative and less functional.

Christy
Something needs to be fixed Canoe tripping paddling should not be hard of all things.
Biomechanics is extremely important to avoid tiring and the arms should not be relied on
The terminology is different in Canada. Rolf Kraiker and I were once discussing the differences
 
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