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

Paddling Technique - Part #1 of 6 - Balance

  • dez
  • Visitor
12 years 6 months ago #8924 by dez
DISCLAIMER:

Pleae note - I'm not claiming to be a good paddler or a coach. These are merely my personal efforts to try and capture what I believe are the six key areas paddlers can work on to improve their paddling technique to go faster and enjoy paddling more. Hope you enjoy them.

INTRO:

This is the first of a set of six technique drill sessions I'm developing for my own paddling technique. They may help support you along your own journey to improve your paddling. Hope you enjoy them. Click on the following link to go to the full article:

blastpaddlers.com/2011/09/technique-clinics-1-of-6-balance/

FEEDBACK AND INPUT WELCOME

I'd love any input, feedback, or your thoughts in general, as I would like to continue to develop and improve on each of the six clinics over time, so your ideas, opinion etc would be very welcome, as these are about helping each of us improve, to support and grow paddle sport as a whole.

Cheers,
Dez

--
Dez Blanchfield
p: +61 414 464 356
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12 years 6 months ago #8927 by AGA
Great read Dez. I'm guessing you're the bloke with the "Blast" numberplates and the Fenn ski I've seen whizzing through the local backstreets.

As an intermediate I thought I'd add a few thoughts which I've found valuable in learning.

On posture, I like your upright position recommendation generally. However, in practice I've found stability to be assisted by a slight tilt forward when paddling into the wind and a more upright position when paddling downwind. I expect this brings the rocker into play, planting the ski firmly in the direction where the water is coming from.

I also see correct foot pressure as one of the most vital elements. It made a big difference to me so is probably worth highlighting. I made the mistake of having most of my weight on the upper part of my feet, which gives a more delicate feel to controlling balance, but which failed to provide sufficient resistance to the normal forces confronting the ski. By changing the foot pressure to the heels I had a significantly more solid position, without having to make the heel to butt pressure excessive. The firm but not excessive heel to butt pressure then encouraged my upper body to be in the correct position both for the stroke and for the state of the water.

A further point I would consider as an important learning step, is to keep driving forward to plant the next stroke. This process minimises the time spent in the less stable positions in the course of the stroke (ie when the weight is shifting from one side to the other and the paddle is out of the water). The process similarly maximises the time spent in a strong position, with weight firmly anchored from heel to butt. Hand in hand with this is having the other end of the paddle exit the water in line with or not behind the hips (which pulls the torso out of balance).

I liked your points on starting relaxed to get the feel of the ski, and for a similar reason consider trusting the ski while you are paddling is also important for stability. I've found the nervous twitch in a ski to be a lot about a paddler's legs (mainly mine) reacting to the minor movements of the ski. The more I trust the natural curve of the ski to cope with the movement of the water, and the less I allow my legs to react to the minor changes occuring, the greater the solidity of the ski through messy conditions.

I can't say I've mastered the hardest conditions, but those points have certainly been meaningful in getting much further up the learning curve.

I'll look fwd to Episode 2.
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  • dez
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12 years 6 months ago #8973 by dez
G'day,

> Great read Dez.

hey thanks, appreciate your kind words ;-)

> I'm guessing you're the bloke with the "Blast" number plates

yea, that's me, the trusty old Blast wagon - well over due a new machine, wish I could get someone to sponsor a new wagon, get a big Blast logo across the sides and on the front and back ;-)

> and the Fenn ski I've seen whizzing through the local backstreets.

the Fenn is long gone, I used to paddle a 2nd hand Carbon Mako 6, but my legs would go to sleep after a while, and the seat was too wide, wobbled around too much.

these days I paddle a range of ski's depending on what I'm offered to demo paddle from time to time, currently paddling a Carbonology Vault from Malcolm Hall here in Sydney, and am loving it.

hey thanks for the awesome feedback too, going to take all that on board and include it in the next version / update.

hope to see you at a Blast time trial some time soon yea?

cheers,
Dez

--
Dez Blanchfield
Blast Paddlers
p: +61 414 464 356
e: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
w: blastpaddlers.com/
w: pacificoceanseries.com/
w: summerseries.blastpaddlers.com/

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12 years 6 months ago #8975 by AGA
Good to put a name to the face Dez.

I was motoring a cruiser around the harbour a year or so back and had you riding the bow wave for 300m. I was so busy watching the great surf ski technique I nearly stacked the boat.

I'll certainly have to wangle some time in the future to get along to a trial.
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12 years 6 months ago - 12 years 6 months ago #8978 by Rightarmbad
Posted in wrong thread and there seems to be no delete function.
Please remove Rob....

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
Last edit: 12 years 6 months ago by Rightarmbad.

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