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

Paddle grip

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13 years 4 months ago #6263 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re:Paddle grip
So how did you go with this Marie?

I put bicycle handlebar tape on mine and it made a huge difference.
I really like the larger diameter.

But it didn't go away completely.
Just sort off doubled the time it took to come on.

What I have found though, is that a good upper back massage stops it completely.
Especially aiming at the area between and just below the shoulder blades.

I have always been susceptible to tightness in this area, especially on the opposite side to my hand numbness, but I had never done any serious work paddling before to show up the numb hand.

I bumped into a SA paddler this afternoon and he was having the same problem.
We swapped paddles and he was amazed how good the grip worked.
Several KM later, he said he was definitely going to do this.

Obviously there are many things that can cause similar symptoms, so maybe a very good consideration of all the musculature involved is in order.

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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13 years 4 months ago #6264 by Shed
Replied by Shed on topic Re:Paddle grip
Before I start paddling I rub a little bit of sand (if at the beach) or a little bit of dirt on my hands and onto my paddle shaft, then rinse it off. Simple and it works- try it. A slippery paddle will result in you gripping the paddle too hard and your forearms will fatigue.

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13 years 4 months ago #6265 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re:Paddle grip
Nothing to do with my forearm fatigue.
It's simply a loss of feeling and numbness.
The grips allow paddling to continue even when sensation is minimal as it is so much easier to do.

In my case, it is a nerve being irritated in my back as I apply pressure.
I feel the tingles on the push as well as the pull.
A shorter paddle helps.
So does a few hard strokes followed by a couple of soft strokes.
Only happens under constant hard going, a general paddle will not elicit a response at all unless I put myself on the clock for at least 4 or 5 KM.

What trigged me to investigate my back was that it can happen when I am leaning back on my chair at the computer and using a mouse.
Pressure on my shoulder blade can give the same symptoms.

It may very well be caused by computer my use.
Hammering myself on rough stuff on my mountain bike will make me more susceptible to it, as it tightens up my shoulders/ upper back.

I think that there are many that out there that may have issues with their back, and that it may be a common cause.

Sand does nothing, especially on a weekend when a film of oil is on the water due to water craft.

Everybody that has tried my paddle is impressed with how good having a grip is.
Especially with control of the paddle when all out sprinting.

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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13 years 4 months ago #6266 by Marieski
Replied by Marieski on topic Re:Paddle grip
Mr RAB, it got better but possibly because I had to stop paddling for other reasons: went to Perth on holiday and couldn't find anywhere to hire/borrow/steal a ski. (Any clues on this in future, anyone?). Started Stand Up Paddleboarding instead, being desperate to paddle something. It's a hoot! The basics are much easier than ski paddling but there are then infinite levels of difficulty to satisfy the most ardent difficulty seeker.

Now back in Tassie and alternating my SUP board with trying to stay on my new ski. The latter means you can't put as much power in anyway.All resulting in forearm not being such an issue. My plan is to work my way more gradually into harder paddling, which hopefully means, if there was a compartment syndrome, it won't recur.

Of interest, on speaking to the best and most open thinking of our local physio's, she said she always looks at the back first with forearm issues. Not because of nerve compression (I can't imagine how your shoulder blade can impinge on your arm nerves; it is nowhere near them) but because lack of mobility in the low back causes compensatory stresses in the upper limb on paddling. I'll get back to you when I can get some more detail on that.

By the way, I put tennis raquet grip on my paddle which is great. Not as spongy as bike handlebar stuff, but seems so far to have no trouble with repeated salt water immersion.

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 7 months ago #8339 by DougMar
Replied by DougMar on topic Re: Paddle grip
RightArmBad: have you looked into Trigger Points...These are "points" within the muscle tissue that have been triggered to contract while the brain is signalling them to relax. These are NOT pressure points. These so called points were discovered by Doctors Janet Travel and David Simons in their work in the 1980's, if I recall correctly. Google "Trigger Points." The thing about trigger points is that a single point or series of points in your neck and/or shoulder area can create pains in remote areas like the elbow, forearm, and fingers. I have had similar pains, and worked at messaging my romboids, trapezius,delts, and especially the scalenes in the neck. Use a hard ball (tennis and/or lacross) against a wall to message posterior delts, romboids, supraspinatus, and infraspinatus muscles. Take a look at Clair Davies' books, or other authors, on Trigger points. After a week of these messages, the pains in my forearms, upper arm and hands were noticably reduced. Now, no more pain while paddling, or otherwise.

I have always used a thin, cork bicycle handlebar tape on all my paddles. It provides a very slip-free, softer surface for excellent grip even with a VERY relaxed hand grip. I recently tried an old Epic mid wing (smooth carbon shaft)last week that I had bought from a friend a while ago (without tape)as a beater paddle and I could barely grip the thing with prolonged hard efforts. The cork tape fixed that right away, though I can't stand the old oval grip! Much prefer a round grip... the paddle knows what rotation it likes to dig with a good form. On my newer (2.5 yrs old) Epic mid wing, I've made the loom round with very low density Glass Bubble filler (3M) and epoxy. Topped that off with cork tape, of course. Swings just epic-ly! Now I'd like to try a bigger wing for power training.
P.S. I like to vary my hand position depending on paddling conditions, so I wrap the tape from the point at blade attachment, to just over 12 inches( 31 cm) toward the center. The cork is so light as to not have any noticeable effect on paddling mechanics.

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