× Tips and techniques for getting the most out of surfskiing.

Leg drive

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12 years 3 weeks ago #11759 by kemi
Leg drive was created by kemi
First of all this is what I mean when I say leg drive :



I would like to open up that can of worms, hope you don't mind :)

If you look at the video there is no way I can do what he is doing in a V12. If I try to put the footrest where I can stretch my leg, my paddle position suffers and I have to use to much energy just staying upright. Where it is now I have a bit of leg movement, but if I try to stretch it, I am going to hit the backrest. Being to close to the backrest was one of my big mistakes. I discovered, that I have to pull myself clear of it, to get proper rotation. This is where a well adjusted strap comes into the picture.

Of cause there is a seat height difference between a K1 and a V12, so to expect to have the same leg drive in a V12 is of cause naive. The only way for that to happen is to pad the sucker up and we all know that sucks :( I know the surfski in the video is not a K1, but he drives it as one.

But what is your take, are we surfski paddlers missing out on something important ? Some of these flat water Muppet's can do 17 Km/h on average over 5000 meters! Most guys who know what they are doing, have a hard time just doing that distance at 12 Km/h.

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12 years 3 weeks ago #11760 by Kayaker Greg
Replied by Kayaker Greg on topic Re: Leg drive
Great video and while its not on the subject you have bought up (sorry) I am a little surprised and confused by a couple of things I see. We all know he is a great paddler but what I don't get is the amount of yaw that the ski has as I understand this is not the best and slows the ski? Also the amount the ski leans to the side opposite of the paddle? I know that is common but there are also top paddlers that say the ski should lean to the side the paddle is on, to open up the body and also the power of the catch is the brace. No expert here, just questioning what I am seeing.

Thanks for a great video. Hope we can discuss a number of things relating to the video without anyone attacking some ones credibility and ruining another topic.

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12 years 3 weeks ago #11771 by ErikE
Replied by ErikE on topic Re: Leg drive
Are you sure of the 17 km/h average speed on 5000 m? In the flat-water world championships last year, the winner on K1 5000 m men did it at 19:51, which gives a average speed of 15.11 km/h, if I calculate it correctly. The winner of K1 1000m men got the time 3:36, i.e. 16.666 km on average. 17 km/h on 5000m seems a bit unlikely to me. (All results here: results.sportline.hu/competition/16777217/races)

In any case, one advantage racing kayaks has over surf skis when it comes to leg drive/body rotation, is that they can be equipped with rotation seats. I'm not sure how big that advantage is (have never tried a rotation seat myself), and I don't know how many actually use it, but it might help a little bit.

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12 years 3 weeks ago #11772 by AR_convert
Replied by AR_convert on topic Re: Leg drive
Ahhhh, the elusive leg drive :laugh: Took me sooo long to finally get how to use it. The thing is it's usually the first thing to drop off in ocean conditions due to either instability or fatigue. I have found that lots of flat water paddling has helped to cement good technique and now when I go out in choppy conditions I find myself looking to revert to good technique rather than struggling to perform it.

Here is my order of technique strength, ie leg drive drops off first, then rotation etc.

1. Hand height
2. Catch well forward of feet
3. Rotation of upper body
4. Hip rotation/Leg drive

Part of the reason I am loving this sport, every session shows you how much better you could be ;)

Always looking for the next boat :)

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12 years 3 weeks ago #11773 by kemi
Replied by kemi on topic Re: Leg drive
On this page : kajakresultater.blogspot.com/2011_05_01_archive.html

There is this result : 5000 m. K-1: 1. Lani Belcher (GBR) 17:43.9, 2. Adamov√° (CZE) 17:45.1, 2. Egan (IRL) 17:46.7, 3. Zur (USA) 17:52.2

And that is just under 17 Km/h

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12 years 3 weeks ago #11775 by ErikE
Replied by ErikE on topic Re: Leg drive
Those amaizingly good results sometimes recorded on 5000m are discussed here (in swedish): bloggen.motionspaddla.nu/2011/06/snabb-snabbare-snabbast.html One point made there is that the 5000m courses aren't allways measured very accurately, and may sometimes be too short. Of course, that cuts both ways; maybe the 5000m in last years world championships was a bit too long.

However, given that the best recorded time on 1000m ever is 3:24:5 (www.canoeicf.com/dms/icf/documents/Resul...t%20Times%202010.pdf), which gives 17.6 km/h, I find 17 km/h on 5000m a bit higher that I'm willing to belive in (we have to take into account that those best ever times on 1000m are probably paddled in strong tailwind).

Also, one has to take into account that those people winning world championships and world cups aren't average fitness paddlers, but world elite. I don't know what the world elite surfski paddlers can do on 5 km flat water, but I wouldn't be suprised if it was somewhere around 15 km/h.

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12 years 3 weeks ago #11776 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re: Leg drive
Surf skis are different!
Surprise!

The single biggest difference is the hump.
For general handling and stability in open water, we need contact with the boat.
K1 do not, and all of their force is directed through their legs.

Surfski, on the other hand has this wonderful hump directly in front of our torso and a fair bit of contact with the side of the bucket.
So a fair proportion of the drive force can be channeled through contact other than the feet.

We generally don't have the extreme leg drive of a K1, nor do we need it.
We are different.

But if you have no movement in your knees, you can probably guarantee that that you are not engaging as much of your body as you could be to produce propulsion.

So use your legs as much as you have to to transmit force that cannot be transmitted by the rest of the body contact, but just know that in surfski, leg movement is more about allowing good muscle engagement through rotation than transmitting force to the boat.

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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12 years 3 weeks ago #11778 by Marieski
Replied by Marieski on topic Re: Leg drive
Can't access the video. What is it's title so I can search for it separately?

Past skis: Spirit PRS, EpicV10Sport Performance, Epic V10 Elite, Stellar SES Advantage. Current skis: Fenn Elite Spark, Fenn Swordfish vacuum. Custom Horizon, Epic V7

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12 years 3 weeks ago #11779 by Kayaker Greg
Replied by Kayaker Greg on topic Re: Leg drive
Paddling With Zsolt

On Youtube

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12 years 2 weeks ago #11795 by Kayaker Greg
Replied by Kayaker Greg on topic Re: Leg drive
A great video here in a K1. It goes into slow mo from the front if you watch to the end.


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12 years 2 weeks ago #11801 by Marieski
Replied by Marieski on topic Re: Leg drive
Thanks very much Greg.

Those who don't like hobbyhorses, stop reading right now.

In my recent attempts to make leg drive feel meaningful (like it was making some kind of contribution, rather than just my knees following my rotation up and down) I discovered how much difference the boat makes. I was trying to make this work in the Swordfish. It is more stable than the SES and I figured working on a technique issue one needed not to be wasting any mental energy in staying upright. It was so frustrating and discouraging. I really couldn't get anything going till I tried it in the SES, where I immediately felt the power transmission through the leg, up through the hip across the body through the opposite shoulder and into the paddle hand; what a great feeling when it all comes together!

The big difference is the hump. In the Swordy, the size of the hump is such that I can't get any major leg movement unless I make my leg length ridiculously short, such that my hips are far too flexed. No such problem in the SES which has a tiny hump. Which brings me to the hobby horse: I noticed that in the long and positive thread on the Swordy (which I agree is a wonderful lumpy water boat, improved even further by the surf rudder) there was only one mention of the hump. This is likely because you are all people with longer legs. Another example of skis being overwhelmingly made for bigger heavier people.

Sigh. Hurry up, Hein!

Past skis: Spirit PRS, EpicV10Sport Performance, Epic V10 Elite, Stellar SES Advantage. Current skis: Fenn Elite Spark, Fenn Swordfish vacuum. Custom Horizon, Epic V7

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12 years 2 weeks ago #11802 by Kayaker Greg
Replied by Kayaker Greg on topic Re: Leg drive
Thats great info on the Swordfish Marie, as they are not available here yet (NZ) and the Swordfish was a ski I was considering on proviso it had a low hump, which is why I got the SES, anything higher strains my hip flexors. Thinking I'm gonna stick with the SES as I'm getting better in it with time in rougher waters anyway.

Also no one really picked up on it, but notice how as I was saying in my earlier post how Knut opens up the side of his body on the paddle side and the boat leans to the same side as the paddle, not opposite as in The Paddling with Zsolt video.

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12 years 2 weeks ago #11803 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re: Leg drive

Also no one really picked up on it, but notice how as I was saying in my earlier post how Knut opens up the side of his body on the paddle side and the boat leans to the same side as the paddle, not opposite as in The Paddling with Zsolt video.


The only sensible conclusion that can be drawn from that, is that the boat leaning either way, is either not that detrimental or not required either way.
If two great paddlers do it completely opposite, it cannot be a path to good technique, more like just a quirk of each paddler.


I think that maybe the majority of swordy paddlers do not have good leg drive to start with and don't notice the hump restricting it, or that because of the high hump it is not required so much.(see my previous reasoning)

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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12 years 2 weeks ago #11805 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re: Leg drive
My own personal opinion is that you should forget trying to make your stroke look pretty, and just make it effective.
Whatever is best for you will be different to everybody else and will probably be different in different craft and using differing paddles.

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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12 years 2 weeks ago - 12 years 2 weeks ago #11807 by Kocho
Replied by Kocho on topic Re: Leg drive
What happened to the video from the original post above? Can't see it from my iPad today...

Paddled a couple of hours yesterday in the V10Sport trying to think back to this video and found a few things that I wanted to re-check against the video...

EDIT: I suppose whoever posted the video thought it should not be viewable on certain devices... Shows-up fine on the PC...
Last edit: 12 years 2 weeks ago by Kocho.

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12 years 2 weeks ago #11809 by Kayaker Greg
Replied by Kayaker Greg on topic Re: Leg drive
Its still there Kocho, must have salt water inside your ipad.

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12 years 2 weeks ago #11810 by Kocho
Replied by Kocho on topic Re: Leg drive
yup. see it now on my phone. not sure why it was crossed over as unavailable earlier today...

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12 years 2 weeks ago #11811 by Physio
Replied by Physio on topic Re: Leg drive
Kocko.
I get a dif, result each day with iPad, sometimes I can view it sometimes I can't.
I think it's a feature apple put in to keep us on edge.

I could be way off here, but the diff between the two videos, is clearly effort, the zsolt video he is not racing. Which way the boat rocks is to do with both the effort and timing of upper and lower body, when cruzeing zsolt is prob not putting full effort in to his leg which can result in the boat lifting away from the paddle. He may have been trying to Show something specific on the vid which oft means your normal timing is off. Or this could be just how he paddles at race speed i dont know. Efficiency wise the less rocking has to be ideal.
Also looking at it again it looks like his pelvis on the drive side is sliding up the back of the seat as it goes back resulting in an oblique action, the shoulder and pelvis getting closer. The k1 wouldn't do that.

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12 years 2 weeks ago - 12 years 2 weeks ago #11812 by Kocho
Replied by Kocho on topic Re: Leg drive
Darn, the first video still does not show on the iPad but the second does ... My phone or PC have no issue with the first vid... So, can't compare right now, but on the second video, in the K-1, I don't think the tilting is intentional. There is a paddler in blue, #2, who passes b/w the camera and the main paddler, and that guy seems to be tilting the opposite way. Looking at the slow motion, the tilt does not seem significantly big - just a gentle move around the center, most likely induced by some butt movement that itself would be less efficient to remove than having a bit of a tilit... But I know nothing about K-1 racing, just observing...
Last edit: 12 years 2 weeks ago by Kocho.

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12 years 2 weeks ago #11821 by gstamer
Replied by gstamer on topic Re: Leg drive
Some excellent K1 coaching material is available online by the great Hungarian sprint kayaker turned coach, Imre Kemecsey.

I recommend that you search out and read his material. His work with "Power Circles" is required reading for K1 paddlers. Surfski paddlers can debate whether the concepts apply or not. I try to apply the same principles, whether in a ski, K1 or sea kayak.

His material is availble on his website at kemecsey.uw.hu/ (go to the Publications tab).

Relating to this topic, Imre teaches that the kayak (partially as a result of pushing with your heel), leans toward the stroke side (pulling side). Here is an excerpt of Imre's take on boat lean:

"I highly recommend observing video clips of Knut Holmann (13), Akos Vereczkei (14), Eirik Veraas Larsen (15), Adam van Koeverden (16)& Natasha Janic (17). Use pictures taken from the front, a few strokes are enough. Watch each video a minimum of 10 -20 times. Focus on the horizontal movements, and rocking motion of the boat. Then watch the leaning of the boat to the pulling side. I suggest watching these athletes because they are working together with the boat in a perfect harmony. We should memorize their rhythm, which is like a symphony, the symphony of kayaking. (18).

Feel the water supporting the hull. The hull uses that to provide a solid base of support for the powerful motions used in a good paddling technique.

Now look for the swinging motion of the trunk to the opposite side from the paddle (19). At this point the boat is leaning towards the blade which is locked in the water (20). On the opposite side of the boat the "water wall" supports the force of the swinging trunk. (21).

Next watch the position of the shoulders (22). The shoulder on the support side moves as if locked to the hip on the pulling side (23). Because we cannot see this muscle action we need to feel it during our own practice on water or on a kayak erg."

It can take awhile to digest some of Imre's concepts but I find them very worthwhile. He breaks down the components of a K1 stroke in great detail and with great imagery.

Greg Stamer
The following user(s) said Thank You: Moll, Kayaker Greg, Physio

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