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

Posture

More
11 years 11 months ago #12641 by drjay9051
Posture was created by drjay9051
Greetings:

I finally bought a surf ski. it is an Epic V10 Sport with the larger bucket. Being 1.8 meters and 118 kilo I did not fit in the smaller bucket.
Anyway, worked with the Epic representative this past Saturday for 2 hours to get a feel for the ski. I did alot of swimming but at one point I put together 20 or so strokes before swimming. He coached me on low brace for stability etc. 2 days ago went out alone for first time in a nice calm lake. Exhausted after 45 minutes of swimming and remounting.

Yesterday in the lake again but made some progress. I can feel the stability increasing after just a couple of sessions.

Here is my biggest problem: When I self rescue and drop into the bucket I find myself sort of scooted down in the bucket in a semi reclining position. As a result when I bring my legs in I feel very cramped and clearly am not in proper position to effectively paddle.

I try to grasp the sides of the ski and lift up my butt to sit upright: over I go. I try to press against the footplate to slide back into proper position but it just does not feel right.

When I worked with the Epic rep he steadied the ski while I got set in the bucket properly. Doing this alone is very difficult.

Clearly the extra weight is the big problem but I'm working on that everyday diet and exercise.

Anybody have some simple tips to achieve proper position in the bucket?

I know that after a couple of days in the ski my kayak will feel quite stable this weekend.

Oh yes, I did try a session in a coastal bay light chop maybe 6 in waves and a breeze of say 5-7 kts. Impossible to stay in ski
even in mild conditions. Looks like I'll stay on the lake for now but I know that one day i will be paddling in the ocean!!!
Maybe not for weeks or months but I will succeed!!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • patrickswitz
  • Visitor
11 years 11 months ago #12649 by patrickswitz
Replied by patrickswitz on topic Re: Posture
If you're falling out that much stick to shallow water where you can just stand up when you swim.

Start by sitting in the bucket with legs over the sides and paddle in hands. Then as you stroke right, put the right foot in the well and push off the heel to get your hips upright, then repeat on the left. The only way to get rid of the slouch is by pushing with your heels to straighten up. As you've noticed, for a beginner it is impossible to maneuver around in the cockpit without both hands on the paddle for stability.

Another balance drill: Do in shallow water: Sit in the boat with no paddle and use your hands in the water to "eggbeater" so that you stay upright. Basically you're trying to learn how to use your connection to the water for your stability. Once you've got that started you're on the way to "dynamic" balance instead of the helpless-feeling "static" balance that is generally useless on the water.

Eventually you will be able to use your paddle the same way you use your hands in this drill. But for a long time you will only be able to low brace when the boat is moving forward.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 11 months ago #12650 by drjay9051
Replied by drjay9051 on topic Re: Posture

patrickswitz wrote: If you're falling out that much stick to shallow water where you can just stand up when you swim.

Start by sitting in the bucket with legs over the sides and paddle in hands. Then as you stroke right, put the right foot in the well and push off the heel to get your hips upright, then repeat on the left. The only way to get rid of the slouch is by pushing with your heels to straighten up. As you've noticed, for a beginner it is impossible to maneuver around in the cockpit without both hands on the paddle for stability.

Another balance drill: Do in shallow water: Sit in the boat with no paddle and use your hands in the water to "eggbeater" so that you stay upright. Basically you're trying to learn how to use your connection to the water for your stability. Once you've got that started you're on the way to "dynamic" balance instead of the helpless-feeling "static" balance that is generally useless on the water.

Eventually you will be able to use your paddle the same way you use your hands in this drill. But for a long time you will only be able to low brace when the boat is moving forward.


Thanks for the reply. I am surprised at the difference in stability between a 24 in beam sea kayak and a 19 in ski. This is quite difficult for me. Being somewhat of an accomplished athlete it is frustrating but I love the challenge.

Thanks again.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 10 months ago #12657 by Dooley
Replied by Dooley on topic Re: Posture
It's difficult to know exactly what the problem is without watching you self-rescue.
I assume your referring to a difficulty re-entering your boat in deep water (that is, where you cannot stand)?

I suspect that your technique of getting out of the water into the boat probably needs some practice or even some modification.

There are a few ways of doing it, all have advantages and disadvantages. Some are more difficult for people with a bit of a tummy (or a bulky PFD), or smaller people without much strength - but with practice they will all work okay for most people.

One method is to re-enter as you would get onto a surfboard, by lying along the ski (or diagonally) and then straddling the ski before dropping your bum into the seat. The risk with this technique, for men, is that you will end up with a gunnel between their leg and something they don't want to injure (say no more). :ohmy:

Another technique, and the one I find the best when you get the hang of it, is more difficult to describe (but I will try):
(1) position yourself in the water just in front of the seat bucket, beside the boat;
(2) face towards the front of the boat;
(3) tip the boat towards you so that the closest gunnel is just above water height;
(4) firmly hold the opposite gunnel at about the level of the hump (the edge of the footwell) with one hand (thumb in the boat) - and also hold your blade in the same hand;
(5) grasp the closest gunnel (again, thumb in the boat) at about the level of the front of the seat (with enough space for you to do (6) below);
(6) thrust yourself up and twist your lower body so you can side-saddle the boat, then level up and lift your front facing leg into the boat and put it in position on the footplate, then (once your ready) lift the other leg into the boat.
Sounds complicated but with practice you will get to be able to re-enter real fast in all conditions - which is really necessary if your going on the ocean.

The third technique is a variation of the above, where the starting hand positions differ, and it suits some people better. There is a very good video showing this technique on the Carbonology web site (which links to vimeo.com/28376307).

Whatever method you decide on, when you get the technique right then make sure you practice it every time you paddle, and in all the conditions your likely to paddle in. It may just save your life.

I hope this helps slightly... :)
The following user(s) said Thank You: FalllGuy

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 10 months ago #12659 by Marieski
Replied by Marieski on topic Re: Posture
As I understand it you can get back in the ski in a seated position but your bum is too far forward and you have trouble pushing it back.

2 suggestions: when you remount, try to drop your bum in further toward the back in the first place. Secondly, wear more slippery shorts. I'm not joking. I had a pair of shorts with a grippy surface on the backside which made it impossible to alter my position in the ski without lifting my bum clear using both hands. Forward back or sideways.

Good luck and keep trying.

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

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 10 months ago #12661 by drjay9051
Replied by drjay9051 on topic Re: Posture

Marieski wrote: As I understand it you can get back in the ski in a seated position but your bum is too far forward and you have trouble pushing it back.

2 suggestions: when you remount, try to drop your bum in further toward the back in the first place. Secondly, wear more slippery shorts. I'm not joking. I had a pair of shorts with a grippy surface on the backside which made it impossible to alter my position in the ski without lifting my bum clear using both hands. Forward back or sideways.

Good luck and keep trying.


Great idea. Slippery shorts. You may be right.I do find it difficult to scoot back and it just may be the material not the technique!!

I have been using cotton swim shorts. I'll give it a try maybe lycra biking shorts etc.

Hey, what about nude(in the buff)? No not a good idea in public area just a thought.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 10 months ago #12662 by Bill L
Replied by Bill L on topic Re: Posture

drjay9051 wrote:

Marieski wrote: Hey, what about nude(in the buff)? No not a good idea in public area just a thought.


Yes, that and a coat of grease on your butt will do it. It's how we all learned. :laugh:

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 10 months ago #12663 by Bill L
Replied by Bill L on topic Re: Posture

Dooley wrote: Whatever method you decide on, when you get the technique right then make sure you practice it every time you paddle, and in all the conditions your likely to paddle in. It may just save your life. :)


In all seriousness, the point above about practicing in all conditions is very valid. It is one thing to be able to remount in flat water; a very different experience to remount in heavy seas when you have just been pitched into the water on the downwind side of the ski following a broach on a big wave.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 10 months ago #12665 by Sandy
Replied by Sandy on topic Re: Posture
Perhaps the Fenn Bikini girls could do a video demonstration comparing various "short" materials or lack thereof , could you arange that Rob ? guarantee=video of the week !

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • JeandeFlorette
  • Visitor
11 years 10 months ago #12669 by JeandeFlorette
Replied by JeandeFlorette on topic Re: Posture
Hi DJAY,

congrats for your purchase. It is quite frustrating to learn ski paddling at time as it is quite technical and people underestimate how hard and tiring it is to remount. I did a race once in a Fenn Mako6 in 2-3m swell and 23+knot winds, fell off at a headland where massive waves were smashing against the rock. I panicked when the waves started to take me ever closer to the headland, pushed myself into the seat after 3 goes, got in started paddling when I felt a stabbing pain in my shoulder blade. Determination kept me going, I was not going to be overcome by the conditions... the pain ease only slightly, then off I went again, this time the pain was almost unbearable. I had to take a few deep breath, then went on to finish the race in atrocious conditions. I was proud to finish even though I was amongst the last paddlers...by then the swell had picked up to over 3m+ and I had to pass that same headland again on the way back... it was the Lion Island challenge in Australia. I later found out that I tore a muscle but because I was so addicted to paddling it took the best part of 4 months to heal.

Long story just to tell you that synchronizing leg drive with the catch and using core muscle from Hip/Shoulder rotation as opposed to uncoordinated catch/arm paddling will fix the problem. Be patiet and focus on one thing at a time.

There are plenty of good material on the net on proper paddling technique, also look at Rambo's Locker online for videos of the pros in action during races (my favourite are Tim Jacobs, Dean Gardiner, Oscar Chalupski, Dawid Mocke, Murray Steward... to name just a few).

Have fun.

JDF

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 10 months ago #12677 by Dooley
Replied by Dooley on topic Re: Posture
Silly me, giving advice about how to remount a ski when there is already a great section on this site under "Getting Started"!

I should read more and type less! :lol:

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 10 months ago #12678 by drjay9051
Replied by drjay9051 on topic Re: Posture

Dooley wrote: Silly me, giving advice about how to remount a ski when there is already a great section on this site under "Getting Started"!

I should read more and type less! :lol:


Dooley:

I had read that section along with much else. However, nowhere did these articles address how to get back in the seat when slouched forward. Getting in is not the issue getting srt in properly is.

DR J

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 10 months ago #12679 by Dooley
Replied by Dooley on topic Re: Posture
I have re-read your original post and I obviously missed the point. Unfortunately I am not sure how to help with your question DR J.

I find pushing back off the footplate always gets my but back where it should be. As someone else has said, more slippery shorts might help. If that proves difficult then another possibility may be that your footplate might be too far forward?

Anyway, I am sure the difficulty will resolve itself in time. :)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 10 months ago #12680 by DougMar
Replied by DougMar on topic Re: Posture
Quoting Dooley:

Another technique, and the one I find the best when you get the hang of it, is more difficult to describe (but I will try):
(1) position yourself in the water just in front of the seat bucket, beside the boat;
(2) face towards the front of the boat;
(3) tip the boat towards you so that the closest gunnel is just above water height;
(4) firmly hold the opposite gunnel at about the level of the hump (the edge of the footwell) with one hand (thumb in the boat) - and also hold your blade in the same hand;
(5) grasp the closest gunnel (again, thumb in the boat) at about the level of the front of the seat (with enough space for you to do (6) below);
(6) thrust yourself up and twist your lower body so you can side-saddle the boat, then level up and lift your front facing leg into the boat and put it in position on the footplate, then (once your ready) lift the other leg into the boat.
Sounds complicated but with practice you will get to be able to re-enter real fast in all conditions - which is really necessary if your going on the ocean.

I would like to add to his fine prose:
If possible, position yourself upwind/upwaves of the boat. This way, the boat has no chance of rolling over you, and the paddle does not dig in due to wind to create this hazard. This also means you really need to practice re-entry from both sides. Also, I keep my body perpendicular to the boat, then do some quick kicks to get my body on the surface of the water so that there is less distance to move my mass upward. If I am exhausted, I lift my body over the cockpit and just lay across the boat for a few seconds while judging the waves, then pick an opportune time to lift and twist my torso over the cockpit and side-saddle the bucket with my legs to windward, and my butt in the bucket. If not too fatiqued, I just lift and twist my body from the water and throw my butt into the bucket all in one motion. Actually, I've learned to gently land in the bucket perfectly without disturbing the boat's stability, and keeping the boat in one piece. Too hard a landing can result in the boat's groaning under your inertia.
Once in the bucket, the paddle then gets positioned and I do a few small strokes, and then the legs get put into their respective positions, taking my time in big conditions (maybe just a couple of seconds), again watching for the opportune moment of wave action, especially when I'm fatiqued.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 10 months ago #12681 by DougMar
Replied by DougMar on topic Re: Posture
On the topic of sliding aftward to properly get the paddler's butt into the correct position within the bucket: I routinely wax my V12's bucket, and my favorite paddling shorts are my old cycling shorts and bib-shorts, with chamois (padding) still in place. The lycra material slides well, and this also allows for proper butt rotation for the efficient forward stroke. The wax job may initially make you feel a bit jittery, but it will reduce the amount of over-control that a stiff paddler transmits to the hull, and allow the boat to pick it's way through the rough a bit easier. As you become more of a smooth operator, the wax may not be needed as often, but I still really like that loose feeling, especially when it gets really rough. The boat just seems to have smoother reactions to the conditions, and it feels faster, with less strain on the paddler. Some other paddlers may vehemently disagree with my bucket waxing, but I have found that it can really help. Please, don’t wax the gunnels!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 10 months ago - 11 years 10 months ago #12690 by Dooley
Replied by Dooley on topic Re: Posture
I absolutely agree with Doug on his pointers for re-entry and on the need to practice getting into position correctly the first time.

Also, and as a general (and perhaps too obvious) tip for any beginners, always make sure you hold your blade the right way up before you remount, as you will need to get it in the water and get the boat moving quickly in rough water.

Further, make sure you also know how to re-enter when wearing a boat leash/leg rope. Practice this thoroughly on flat water, as you don't ever want to have to unclip your leash to re-mount in windy conditions.

Some attachment positions are easier to remount with while using a leash. But with some it can be difficult to get your leg into the boat via the side-saddle technique without tangling with the leg rope.

For example, some paddlers attach the boat leash to their PFD's (which is fine if the other end is attached further forward onto the boats foot strap so there is plenty of room to get your foot under the rope, but not so fine if the leash is connected to an inbuilt attachment point between your legs).

I know lots of paddlers who, like Doug, also wax their seat buckets. They tell me that it assists them to get more power to the water when racing and also to use their bodies more to direct the boat in rough water.
Last edit: 11 years 10 months ago by Dooley. Reason: Misnomer

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 10 months ago - 11 years 10 months ago #12695 by Bill L
Replied by Bill L on topic Re: Posture

Dooley wrote:
Some attachment positions are easier to remount with while using a leash. But with some it can be difficult to get your leg into the boat via the side-saddle technique without tangling with the leg rope.

For example, some paddlers attach the boat leash to their PFD's (which is fine if the other end is attached further forward onto the boats foot strap so there is plenty of room to get your foot under the rope, but not so fine if the leash is connected to an inbuilt attachment point between your legs).


I now use a leash that attaches from the bottom of my PFD to the attachment point on the ski between my legs (as on stellar and think skis). To make getting in easy, PRIOR to remounting, you merely put the leash under the leg closest to the ski (as you are facing forward). It is then in the correct position when you side-saddle remount and off you go.

Bill L
Last edit: 11 years 10 months ago by Bill L.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 10 months ago #12701 by Dooley
Replied by Dooley on topic Re: Posture
Thanks Bill, good tip. I will try that.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 10 months ago #12705 by Dooley
Replied by Dooley on topic Re: Posture

Dooley wrote: Thanks Bill, good tip. I will try that.


Bill, I tried your suggestion. It works okay - but in my case it slows down my remount a bit.

So I think I will keep attaching the leash to my leg in rough and windy conditions.

But thanks for the tip. :)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 10 months ago #12711 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re: Posture
I too polish the bucket, makes paddling and re-entry easier.

Good thoughts about leash mount points.
I haven't used my leash on the V12 yet, I've had it in the boat but not connected and hadn't considered that the new leash point might make it hard to swing the leg over coming in sidesaddle.

So maybe unclipping before remounting might be the way to go.

I have tied a small loop in the connection cord near the leash mount so that can just clip the leash back on itself and keep it out of way of my feet , I hate having a strap blocking the drain or getting under my heels and annoying me.


I do find that having a paddle leash to my leg makes entry much easier, just let go of paddle, remount with better use of both hands, pull on leash to get paddle and go.

I always find a leg leash a liability, in ocean conditions it is easy to hold onto the boat and it is easy to put an arm around it as you go over, well maybe not for smaller peoples, but for me, whether I have a leash or not, I usually have a hold of the ski as I go over, and more often than not, can keep at least one foot under the straps as well.

Still considering the paddle leash to the boat thing and hanging onto the paddle, either way, I think that boat leashes have a way to evolve yet, and that paddle leashes are under rated.

If I am out by myself, I will run a boat leash to my leg and a paddle leash to my leg as well on the same strap.

That way I can either undo the strap and have the paddle stay with the boat, or undo the boat leash and have the paddle stay connected to me if coming in to shore in big conditions.

Having both leashes can create a tangle sometimes though if the boat rolls a couple of times.
Although in that position, I probably should be disconnected anyways.

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

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Latest Forum Topics