Speed: Stroke Tempo v Technique

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10 years 9 months ago #10315 by AGA
Having just spent a few weeks working on the scratchier elements of my technique I started to contemplate how much technique contributed to boat speed and how much stroke tempo or cadence contributed to speed.

My initial thoughts were that technique would be a reasonably large contributor. After all there are paddlers with slow tempos and paddlers with fast tempos. Oscar Chalupsky seems to use a slower tempo but applies great force with the stroke, Dean Gardiner uses a faster tempo.

So with a small amount of work I came up with some very rough stats on stroke tempo and speed. (Trust me, these stats are exceedingly unscientific). I looked at intermediate paddlers, champions, and sprint paddlers.

Interestingly these results suggest there is a relatively straight line relationship between improving stroke tempo and improving boat speed.



The very rough conclusions I would venture from this are:
(a) Stroke tempo is by far the dominant determinant of speed.
(b) Successful technique is as much about being able to apply good force to the paddle in a manner that encourages a fast stroke, as much as just being able to apply force to the paddle.

Nevertheless, I wouldn’t lose sight of the fact that improving the force that can be applied to the paddle should also improve speed, and some consideration should be given to the fact that some paddlers may find that applying greater force with a slower stroke tempo may suit their physical style.

Happy to hear others’ thoughts.

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10 years 9 months ago #10317 by Draftbuster
Your probable right.Increase cadence,increase speed.
Maybe!
When you increase your tempo do you remain as efficient as when you were paddling with a slower tempo?
So weve increased tempo,maintained efficiency,how long can we now paddle with our new found high tempo paddling?
Mr Bolt has a very high running cadence,and he can run a 100m faster then anyone else.he can run 200m faster then anyone else.But how long can he run at that cadence for?We dont see Mr bot running to many 400m or further.
So im thinking technique,which is the building blocks oefficiency is the area where time would be best spent.
Cheers
Chris

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10 years 9 months ago #10319 by Kayaker Greg
Seeing as we are trying to move the ski past the paddle solidly planted in the water I would have thought the better the catch the slower the stroke until the boat speed increases. Trying to up tempo the stroke just for the sake of it may just be resulting in a weaker catch.

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10 years 9 months ago #10321 by Rightarmbad
As an add on to my previous paddle videoing thread, this is what I found.


A short paddle with a big blade took .25sec for the catch, a longer paddle with a smaller blade took .44sec.
The power phase took .5 of a second irregardless of paddle.
There's one efficiency right there.

To go faster, of course you have to increase your stroke rate as the paddle is holding it's own in the water.

The increase in stroke rate is not why you are going faster but because you are going faster.

Going faster requires more work/power, simple as that.
You pull harder and you go through the stroke faster.

So to go faster, the simple answer is to pull bloody harder.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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10 years 9 months ago #10323 by Rightarmbad
The only things you can gain in technique are maximum utilisation of your personal musculature, minimum movement of the boat in any direction other than forward.

So ask yourself, how much power am I wasting by moving the boat side to side or up and down as I paddle?
Can I involve more/bigger/more powerful muscles in my stroke?


The other aside is, 'is my balance stopping me from paddling harder?', but really that's not your standard stroke mechanics, but power/balance compromise.

But really crappy technique can effect your balance to a degree, ask anybody stepping from an intermediate boat to an elite one.

I rekon that the most important technique you can learn for surfskis is to be able to body english the boat around using modified strokes that don't compromise your forward speed very much.

Practise going out through the break without breaking rhythm.
Paddle through the waves without missing a stroke unless some monster thing is going to smash you and you need to point the paddle through the wall.

Keep paddling when it gets unsettled and you feel like you want to brace, you may fall off a bit at the start, but you will quickly improve.

No amount of tech drills in flat water will teach you that.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson
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10 years 9 months ago #10325 by Paddle2Fitness
Those that know anything about paddling will realise that technique is alway king (like at any Olympic kayaking final) but extreme fitness for the elite top paddlers unfortunately sometimes win. Those that are starting out should always be taught the correct technique so you reduce injury and become more efficient.

Stroke tempo means nothing without balance / power / speed. Only correct technique will give you all three.
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10 years 9 months ago #10326 by Paddle2Fitness
Your right Chris, Technique will come first (nice PACOS shirt as well).

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10 years 8 months ago #10338 by AGA
I like the thoughts.

RAB’s point that the paddle has to move faster relative to the water at higher speeds is a good explanation of why even the rough measurements show a straight line relationship in stroke tempo and speed.

But as Drafty pointed out, you’ve got to have the stamina to then maintain the higher cadence.

The ability to maintain the pace then will come back to both fitness and technique.

Fitness speaks for itself, while the objective of good technique could probably be defined as having the most energy efficient way of applying force to the paddle at the higher cadence. The more efficient the technique the higher tempo you will be able to sustain for a given level of fitness.

There’s some good training takeaways from this line of thinking:
1. If you want to go faster, target progressively higher (maintainable) stroke tempos:
2. Then work on the fitness and technique improvements needed to be able to sustain the higher tempo.

Sounds obvious, but in the midst of thinking about rotation, leg drive, the top-10 most attractive women in the world, rolling swells and the other fleeting considerations that go through the mind when paddling, its easy to lose sight of the fundamentals: that the stroke tempo has to be faster for the boat to go faster.

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10 years 8 months ago #10339 by candela
Some good explanations above.

A few weeks ago I bought a cadence sensor for my Garmin 310xt and after a few weeks of sprint and long distance training I can see an obvious relationship between speed and cadence. When doing short sprints (a couple of minutes) my cadence graph perfectly matches my speed graph. Unfortunately I just don't have the fitness to maintain the cadence I need to hold the speeds I want.

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10 years 8 months ago #10342 by Rightarmbad
Is that the cadence unit that was being developed in New Zealand?
How much?
Where did you get it?

It's good to see that your graphs line up.
Shows that you are not loosing your stroke as you work harder.

A cadence that didn't match up would be a sure indication that your stroke was going to shit and you are wasting a lot of energy in the wrong directions.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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10 years 8 months ago #10346 by candela
Yeah it's the one from NZ vaaka.co.nz/
I think it was about $200au the exchange rate was good when I bought it.
Bought it direct from them online. Great customer service too.

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10 years 8 months ago #10347 by Rightarmbad

Those that know anything about paddling will realise that technique is alway king (like at any Olympic kayaking final) but extreme fitness for the elite top paddlers unfortunately sometimes win.


I suggest that in surfski, because of the greater length and volume of the boats, that it is simply not as critical.
Add in the moving water and help from the ocean and the importance gets diluted even more.

Witness the wide array of successful ski paddlers whose technique bear very little resemblance to each other.

I agree that a K1 is super critical of technique to be efficient.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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  • Jonojnr
  • Visitor
10 years 8 months ago - 10 years 8 months ago #10351 by Jonojnr
Replied by Jonojnr on topic Re: Speed: Stroke Tempo v Technique
Yes you are right, I was out of line. I apologize for my childish rant. Long day - short fuse!
My bad!

My humblest apologies.



My submission - Porno for Paddlers



Poetry in Motion!
Last edit: 10 years 8 months ago by Jonojnr. Reason: Did not get it all the first time.

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10 years 8 months ago #10352 by kiwial
Although they may look different, the key factors of the technique will all be the same
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10 years 8 months ago #10360 by Rightarmbad
Sounds like jonjnr got out of the wrong side of the bed.

Lucky you had a pretty picture in your post or it really would have to be classed as abusive.
Oh crap, I'm wrong, even though it does have a pretty picture, your post is still just abusive.

Everybody is entitled to voice their view on the subject and the subject in this case is technique's relative importance.

Your post is just a personal attack.

How about leaving out the stupid personal shit and tell what you believe?
How about posting up something to discuss?

Every time you throw words like 'wanker' around, you can bet that a lot on this forum will see it as a reflection on the one writing it.

You've posted a video.
How about now explaining what it is in the video you identify as being important?
Is it that you like the boys in the boats maybe?

Sucks when somebody who you don't know has a go at you online doesn't it........

P2F has posted that in his extensive experience, that he has formed the opinion that technique is of utmost importance.

I don't totally agree with that in surf ski relevance, but that is what we are having this discussion about.

Lets all share our views, see if there is something any of us are missing or have not considered and grow as paddlers.

Name calling is just bloody childish, and I for one will defend anybody's right to have a say without the fear of copping that sort of crap, even if they hold a different view to what I have formed.


Please return to your post, delete the shit, maybe add some of your own personal views on the topic at hand and I will then remove this post.

Just remember, what you post here is basically here to stay for the rest of the world to judge you.

Every time you post something, somebody, somewhere, rightly or wrongly will disagree with you, your response was just stupid and you will now have a lot of the forum of sided by your remarks.

If you have some great insights on the subject, then put them down and lets here them and allow yourself to be judged by them.
Just as the rest of us have.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson
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10 years 8 months ago #10362 by Dicko
well said

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10 years 8 months ago #10363 by Paddle2Fitness
Thanks mate. However, I can't see the point is joining conversations when we get abused like this.

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10 years 8 months ago #10364 by Paddle2Fitness
Thanks mate. However, I can't see the point in joining conversations when we get abused like this.

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  • Bermy
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10 years 8 months ago #10374 by Bermy
Replied by Bermy on topic Re: Speed: Stroke Tempo v Technique
Good on you for the apology Jono - everything was above belt except the 'wanker' bit.
In the same spirit of your comment (RAB) that 'Every time you throw words like 'wanker' around, you can bet that a lot on this forum will see it as a reflection on the one writing it.' - how about cutting out on the swearing in your posts. Sure there's a lot of kids reading this site as well that can do without the cursing. You make your points pretty fine without the descriptive expletives.

cheers

S.S.

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10 years 8 months ago - 10 years 8 months ago #10378 by superted
I think you need to harden up a bit Berny, i have'nt seen any swearing from RAB. Things always sought themselves out (like the personal dig from jono ;-) but having the forums invaded by the PC brigade would be even worse.
Last edit: 10 years 8 months ago by superted.
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