Wedge seat cushion

More
7 months 3 weeks ago #39633 by dapara2004
I went on a longer paddle in my surfski today. As I grew fatigued on the return, I found it more and more difficult to maintain an posture
In which I angled my hips forward to keep my lower back neutral. I have tried some foam pads in my seat or tucked in my shorts (to avoid friction) but think a wedge-shaped cushion may help release my low back and help me avoid soreness while I gain endurance. In the USA are there any products available or DIY materials that might be recommended for use in the boat or as an addition to my board shorts that might work ? I’ve seen something advertised that Velcros to a pad at the back part of the bucket . It’s out of country and maybe not available here. Thank you in advance for any that help.

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

More
7 months 3 weeks ago #39634 by zachhandler
Replied by zachhandler on topic Wedge seat cushion

Current Skis: Epic v10 g3, NK 670 double, NK exrcize, Kai Wa’a Vega, Carbonology Feather, Think Jet, Knysna Sonic X
Former Skis: Epic V12 g2, Epic V12 g1, Epic v10 double, Nelo 550 g2, Fenn Elite S, Custom Kayaks Synergy
The following user(s) said Thank You: dapara2004

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

More
7 months 3 weeks ago - 7 months 3 weeks ago #39639 by agooding2
Replied by agooding2 on topic Wedge seat cushion
The Epic back pad works well, a lot of surfskis like my Nelo 550 1G are designed to allow you to lean back for down wind but the back pad keeps me upright when paddling on flatwater.
Strong core and hip and hamstring flexibility also helps but early in the season and long paddles I find the pad essential. One warning is to be sure to remove it when done as the Velcro is not strong enough to hold when the ski is on top of the car going 70 mph. You can guess how I know.
I've thought about making/building a seat pad with a wedge, but have not yet as I don't want to give up the stability as that would raise me out of the bucket and require covering it with a slippery surface for optimal rotation. I already find the bucket of my ski comfortable.
-- Andrew

Nelo 550L, Streuer Fejna, Nelo Viper 55

Braca XI 705 EL blade, 17K shaft
Braca XI 675 marathon blade, 19K shaft
Braca IV 670 soft blade, 19K shaft
Last edit: 7 months 3 weeks ago by agooding2. Reason: Typos
The following user(s) said Thank You: dapara2004

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

More
7 months 3 weeks ago #39640 by dapara2004
Replied by dapara2004 on topic Wedge seat cushion

The Epic back pad works well, a lot of surfskis like my Nelo 550 1G are designed to allow you to lean back for down wind but the back pad keeps me upright when paddling on flatwater.
Strong core and hip and hamstring flexibility also helps but early in the season and long paddles I find the pad essential. One warning is to be sure to remove it when done as the Velcro is not strong enough to hold when the ski is on top of the car going 70 mph. You can guess how I know.
I've thought about making/building a seat pad with a wedge, but have not yet as I don't want to give up the stability as that would raise me out of the bucket and require covering it with a slippery surface for optimal rotation. I already find the bucket of my ski comfortable.
-- Andrew

I’m in the very stable 2G Nelo 540L so am able to add an inch or so without much impact on stability. However, my goal would be to use my own conditioning to be able to maintain good posture and avoid the additional equipment. Would common yoga hip and hamstring mobility and stretching exercises, as well as L-sits for core strength be useful? Sit-ups and those exercises that put load on a bent spine do seem to bother my back, so I am trying to find alternatives that can strengthen the muscles needed. While in the boat, is the goal a neutral low back and actively sitting tall and forward while swiveling in the seat a way to spare the back?
The following user(s) said Thank You: agooding2

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

More
7 months 3 weeks ago #39641 by agooding2
Replied by agooding2 on topic Wedge seat cushion
Excellent ideas, I'll be interested to see what others have to say as I need to do these exercises myself.

Of course it does depend on the seat angle which is probably pretty good in my Nelo, but may not always be optimal compared to say a K1. I do find I slouch more in other brands.

-- Andrew

Nelo 550L, Streuer Fejna, Nelo Viper 55

Braca XI 705 EL blade, 17K shaft
Braca XI 675 marathon blade, 19K shaft
Braca IV 670 soft blade, 19K shaft
The following user(s) said Thank You: dapara2004

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

More
7 months 2 weeks ago #39642 by qmento
Replied by qmento on topic Wedge seat cushion
I found this to be very helpful with improving my L sit and thus my posture in a ski. Hope it works for you. Don't rush or your back won't like it.

The following user(s) said Thank You: zachhandler, agooding2, CrabStick, dapara2004

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

More
7 months 2 weeks ago #39643 by LaPerouseBay
Replied by LaPerouseBay on topic Wedge seat cushion

While in the boat, is the goal a neutral low back and actively sitting tall and forward while swiveling in the seat a way to spare the back?

Yes.

The good news is that you can eventually achieve good posture if you are patient and let the body heal and adjust to the demands of sitting and paddling. It eliminated decades of pain in my lumbar.

Breathing is important too. Inhale deep in thru the nose. When you expand the chest methodically as you paddle, a strong foundation of breathing is worked into the system. That's important later on when you want to begin some cardio or go longer distance.

I don't know much about stretching, I have always had flexy hamstrings. But I think the current science favors "active" stretching. Beware holding stretches like they did in the old days. I think the current science favors movement of the muscle as you work to "lengthen" it. Dynamic, not static.

Ivan has a bunch of videos about dry land training. That's what I'd do if I needed to stretch. He's a wizard.

Here's the bones stacking properly for maximum power and endurance. Very important for breathing.



This shows all the muscles involved in breathing deeply. Huge crossover with paddling. All should be as coordinated as possible with the stroke for more power and endurance.





Here is a link to Ivan's dryland exercise/technique tips.


downwind dilettante
The following user(s) said Thank You: dapara2004

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

More
7 months 2 weeks ago #39646 by mrcharly
Replied by mrcharly on topic Wedge seat cushion
I find my hip flexors get tired first.

Dry land exercise; lie back with legs slightly bent, hook toes under something solid/weighty. Now 'sit up' until your back is at about 15degrees to the floor. Holding this position, cross your arms on your chest and twist to left and right, touching elbows to floor if you can. 30-40 on each side.

When that gets too easy, hold a weight in your hands. I have a plastic milk bottle filled with water.
The following user(s) said Thank You: dapara2004

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

More
7 months 2 weeks ago #39650 by LaPerouseBay
Replied by LaPerouseBay on topic Wedge seat cushion
You may want to be very cautious when doing any type of 'situp' or 'crunch' type of exercise. Particularly if you have any type of pack issues. And it may be the wrong exercise to help with sore hip flexors.

A friend of mine is doing a ton of research into some hip and low back issues she's had recently with foiling. She's solved her particular issues using several avenues including the books and videos of Stuart McGill. She's an elite athlete and very detail oriented about self therapy.

When we were chatting about it on yesterday's ride up to do a downwinder she mentioned something that really caught my attention. I think it's McGill that says that anything to do with situps or crunches are not a good idea. I think they have new methods to identify, isolate and strengthen individual areas, one at a time. This approach seems more logical, based on how complex the core is.

I'm just tossing it out there, not an expert. But I've seen that name McGill pop up over the years.

I do remember that hip flexor pain is a very common issue with new paddlers, particularly men. This video has a neat tip that may address what he describes as the 'common' problem that causes it. Makes sense to me, because I remember from studying this stuff long ago that if something hurts on one side of the body, the root issue is probably on the other side. As in - A back problem is probably cause by a weak abdomen and vice versa.

So yeah, I wouldn't be recommending situps to fix anything. If it works for you, great. But it may be counterproductive to someone else.


downwind dilettante
The following user(s) said Thank You: dapara2004

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

More
7 months 2 weeks ago #39651 by dapara2004
Replied by dapara2004 on topic Wedge seat cushion
I just got a copy of McGill’s book. Superbly researched! Thank you very much for the cautions and recommendation. The key seems to be to keep the spine in as neutral a position as possible. Appropriate flexibility and strengthening of multiple muscles involved in generating the required work also seemed like a point made in the text. A McGill style surfski workout with hints on how to tailor it to a particular individual would be a great resource; perhaps Ivan Lawler’s land drills leaving out spine loading exercises?

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

More
7 months 2 weeks ago #39652 by LaPerouseBay
Replied by LaPerouseBay on topic Wedge seat cushion
If you have the book, just tailor it to your specific strength/weakness. I've not read the book or had to get too deep into it because I managed to get out of my hole by simply paddling. I was very lucky. I've also had lessons from 4 different pros. They all say the same thing, just in a different way. But that one on one view from a true expert is invaluable. Probably the most bang for your buck if you know how to listen.

But my friend told me that in general, McGill's overall message is a powerful tool to learn your body. Sounds like yoga to me. Anyone can take a class - but if you stick with it long enough, you develop your own 'practice'.

That's how yoga works. It's universally understood to be one of the very few absolute guarantees to fix back pain. That is because it's so comprehensive if done correctly. That's why it's been around for thousands of years.

Yoga didn't fix me, I kinda overdid it for awhile. That's part of the journey with yoga. Ski will be the same way. But if you go easy AND use McGill's science, you will achieve your potential without the common setbacks. Ski is not easy.

That video I linked with the forced inspiration will take on new meaning as you begin to understand the ski stroke. It's a very elegant system integration.

Try to remember that ski is a sport that rewards grace and fluidity. The fastest sprinters look the calmest.

Swim sprinting is the same way. The 50 meter Olympics is won by the guy that uses the fewest strokes. Same in ski.

It's hard to learn the timing. But when you do, your body won't fail you in any conditions.

downwind dilettante
The following user(s) said Thank You: dapara2004

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

More
7 months 2 weeks ago #39653 by mrcharly
Replied by mrcharly on topic Wedge seat cushion
I don't do situps, or crunches, because my lower back gets strained and injured doing them.

In the exercise described above, there is no curving of the spine; you are staying 'neutral' spine. Nearly all the loading is on abdominals and hip flexors.

It is a similar position to the (extreme) kayaker's workout where they hook legs around two bars holding their body out clear of the ground, then do a 'paddling' motion with a barbell in their hands.

That exercise seems to be done by most elite sprint paddlers; I doubt they'd be doing it if it was detrimental.
The following user(s) said Thank You: dapara2004

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

More
7 months 2 weeks ago #39654 by LaPerouseBay
Replied by LaPerouseBay on topic Wedge seat cushion
Another old story in ski to forget is "top hand level across the horizon."

That changed years ago. My favorite coach runs an Epic center in Costa Rica. I got a lesson from him here on Maui back in August of 2019. He's a world class coach and has extended visits in Costa Rica from other coaches at the top of the competitive scene.

As he was going thru the details of my stroke, I asked him specifically about the old saying "top hand level, as it goes across in front." He said, "No, they don't teach that anymore, it's all changed now. The Olympic coaches are more about driving that top hand DOWN, into the water."

I have 12 short videos he made of me paddling on flat water. He's wearing a head cam, commenting on my stroke. The most common phrase was "Elbow to knee". and "Straight bottom arm."

Ivan is similar in his 'shoulder to knee.' advice. Same idea. Driving down with the top hand. The shaft will resist going down into the water if you have a good paddle angle. That's the key. If you want powerful forward motion, the blade is pushing down. Not pulling back. That's why Ivan calls it a "pushing sport, not a pulling sport"


Here's a video of Clint in 2018. See his top hand driving down? HIs old, old videos have the level top hand, but they don't teach that anymore.


downwind dilettante
The following user(s) said Thank You: dapara2004

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

More
7 months 1 week ago #39655 by mrcharly
Replied by mrcharly on topic Wedge seat cushion
I've watch a lot of Ivan's videos (and talked to him).

He really doesn't say to push the top hand down.

He says that the paddle blade must be pushing down, not pulling back.

Once the blade is in the water, the top arm must be locked in its relationship to the chest, the body rotates.

As the lower arm comes around and the blade starts to lift, then the top hand drops.
The following user(s) said Thank You: dapara2004

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

More
7 months 1 week ago #39656 by LaPerouseBay
Replied by LaPerouseBay on topic Wedge seat cushion

I don't do situps, or crunches, because my lower back gets strained and injured doing them.
In the exercise described above, there is no curving of the spine; you are staying 'neutral' spine. Nearly all the loading is on abdominals and hip flexors.
It is a similar position to the (extreme) kayaker's workout where they hook legs around two bars holding their body out clear of the ground, then do a 'paddling' motion with a barbell in their hands.
That exercise seems to be done by most elite sprint paddlers; I doubt they'd be doing it if it was detrimental.

And there you go, defending your advice to the original poster, by claiming that exercises similar to your situp/crunch version "seems to be done by most elite sprint paddlers" therefore, in YOUR opinion, it must not be detrimental.

Well, I know for a fact that that it IS detrimental to some paddlers because I was one of them. When I started in ski (at age 50) that situp motion was impossible. It would result in severe pain, spasms etc. I'm fixed now, but it was a long, hard road.

I'm 61 now and still working as a finish carpenter. I walk around all day, moving stuff, lifting stuff and climbing up ladders without any pain. The only thing that makes that possible is the ski. I was very, very lucky to find the one exercise that is fun and fixes me. I'd like to see that happen for more people. Lumbar pain is very common in old athletes.

I know for a fact that if it had not been for the ski motion, I would have been screwed in old age. I had lumbar pain all thru my athletic and working career - up to my 50's. Then I bought a ski. It took some time, but it all balanced out eventually.

As you have seen from my videos, I can paddle in some extreme wind without anxiety. I was going upwind/downwind in some 40mph wind last Friday, after a particularly hard day at work. I knew it would make me feel better and it did. But it took years to get to that point. Years of trial and error to gradually learn to use the big core muscles with balance.

I'd like to see the beginners on this forum, like the original poster in this thread, get some encouragement and advice geared to someone that is BEGINNING in ski, not an ELITE paddler. This is a fantastically rewarding sport, but it has to be respected for what it is. It's a very challenging position to get used to. Particularly for men with tight hams/psoas or anything out of balance in the core. That's a lot to ask of a new paddler.

If I had not already purchased my ski before sitting in one, I doubt I'd still be paddling at all. It was brutal to transition from racing an outrigger to sitting in a ski. I have it all documented in writing and pictures in a huge thread over on the standup paddle forum. Anyone interested can look it up, I have the same username over there. It's hilarious for me to review that thread once and awhile.

So, If you want to shame and terrify the early adopters of ski that have the courage to post here, go ahead. Tell them to grab a barbell, hang off a bench and rotate like a real man. I've seen that over on the SUP forum for years. And I've seen some of those keyboard experts on the water and they are not athletic people.

The original poster said he has occasional lumbar pain. Ski's are crazy good fun and worth whatever it takes to stay in them. But you have to start slow and respect individual circumstances.

If McGill says situps or crunches are not a good idea to fix back issues, well, that certainly resonates with me. I was there. I learned to get around it. I was one of the lucky ones. I can do it now, but I had to fix other stuff first.

downwind dilettante
The following user(s) said Thank You: dapara2004

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

More
7 months 1 week ago #39657 by LaPerouseBay
Replied by LaPerouseBay on topic Wedge seat cushion

I've watch a lot of Ivan's videos (and talked to him).
He really doesn't say to push the top hand down.
He says that the paddle blade must be pushing down, not pulling back.

That's the same damn thing.

The angle of the blade when applying power is what matters.

I'm going to add some thoughts here to help newer paddlers avoid the inevitable confusion that comes from online bickering about proper ski technique.

There are many variations of advice from the pros when it comes to the top hand.

Jasper Mocke says to go ahead and push forward with the top hand. It's on the Mocke's free video of "common paddling mistakes." (Excellent online course, well worth the small price).

Oscar yelled at us 'never ever push forward with the top hand!"

My favorite coach says that many coaches have eliminated "top hand level." They recommend driving that top hand down in the power phase.

All the top downwind experts are on video in rough water, driving down, in the power phase. They also do it with a very level top hand. It depends on the circumstances.

Clint is doing it in flat water in that video I linked. My favorite coach is an Aussie and that's exactly what he taught me in 2019. Drive that top hand down. It's not easy with a good paddle angle.

I'm not disputing what Ivan says in his clinic in the gym. But new paddlers are going to get confused with all this mumbo jumbo if nobody tells them that there can be significant variation and it's still ok.

Ivan's gym video is for K-1. That's why he calls it 'canoeing'. Canoeing is how Brits refer to flat water K-1 sprinting and river K-1 marathon racing.

Open ocean ski is a little different. Not much, but different. Ivan's gym video is probably the best thing on the internet for a solid foundation of ski paddling. That's why it has 200k+ views. But it's not the be all end all of paddling any type of Kayak. I'm sure he would agree.

The Mocke's, Oscar and my favorite coach teach what I do, which is open ocean ski paddling.

Rougher water requires frequent, often unanticipated balance adjustments.

Watch the Mocke's in this video. See the wild variation in the top hand? Great paddlers. Two of the best.



I've seen you write about wanting to do big downwind in Scotland or wherever you are. I'd recommend forgetting those old flat water K-1 mantras (like a level top hand) and move on to what the top Aussie coaches are teaching.

If they have figured out a way to make it work in flat water, it certainly has merit.

Personally, I think the top hand driving down adds a safety margin for my downwinding. That safety margin is what you want to stay relaxed in challenging conditions.

When those guys sprint, their form gets very solid. Big leg drive, top hand barely dropping.

That's really, really hard to do in rough water. It's a huge tax on the cardio system. That's why nobody does it for an entire rough water session.

Downwinding is all about cruising along, setting up a good angle for a sprint.

When we are at 'medium' effort, waiting for an opening, we are often on an unstable part of the wave. Kinda sideways on a bump, surfing along. This is when to breathe deep, save energy for another sprint.

That's what the Mocke's are doing when they are driving that top hand down. They have a good blade angle and rotation. That's what Clint is doing on flat water, in his clinic video I linked.

It's surprisingly difficult to do and requires a lot of flexibility. Planting the blade way up front is not that easy in rough water, but it's best for stability.

Watch the video of Sharon Armstrong in the margin. That girl is a master of reading the waves. She's a wizard at using the power of the water. Note the less than ideal technique. She's relaxed and making good decisions because she has tremendous reserve power in her back pocket. She can get out of any situation because she can plant the blade deep and use her big muscles if necessary. But it seldom is when you paddle smart like she does. That's how to downwind. Easy does it with the big reserve power. She's ticking over with just enough energy. Nothing wasted on "ideal form."

downwind dilettante
The following user(s) said Thank You: dapara2004

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

More
7 months 1 week ago #39659 by dapara2004
Replied by dapara2004 on topic Wedge seat cushion

Then I bought a ski. It took some time, but it all balanced out eventually. …As you have seen from my videos, I can paddle in some extreme wind without anxiety. … I have it all documented in writing and pictures in a huge thread over on the standup paddle forum. Anyone interested can look it up, I have the same username over there. It's hilarious for me to review that thread once and awhile.

If McGill says situps or crunches are not a good idea to fix back issues, well, that certainly resonates with me. I was there. I learned to get around it. I was one of the lucky ones. I can do it now, but I had to fix other stuff first.

Thank you very much for sharing your circumstances and the encouragement. I would be interested in seeing some of the videos and reading the posts mentioned in your reply if you could point me in the right direction with a link (I SUP a bit, too, so reading about the transition will be informative).
I am trying to arrange for lessons from a local coach/ racer to help me work through this beginning and sometimes aching period. My surfski is so stable (the Nelo 540) that I am temporarily placing a foam pad in the lowered out part of the seat with a slight angle forward towards the feet. It seems to help and I still feel balanced. Hopefully a pro watching me paddle will be able to identify the inefficiencies and unbalanced aspects of my stroke and suggest some technical exercises and drills to help me keep going in the sport and succeed like you did. Thank you for the encouragement.

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

More
7 months 1 week ago #39660 by dapara2004
Replied by dapara2004 on topic Wedge seat cushion

I'm not disputing what Ivan says in his clinic in the gym. But new paddlers are going to get confused with all this mumbo jumbo if nobody tells them that there can be significant variation and it's still ok.
Ivan's gym video is for K-1. That's why he calls it 'canoeing'. Canoeing is how Brits refer to flat water K-1 sprinting and river K-1 marathon racing.
Open ocean ski is a little different. Not much, but different. Ivan's gym video is probably the best thing on the internet for a solid foundation of ski paddling. That's why it has 200k+ views. But it's not the be all end all of paddling any type of Kayak. I'm sure he would agree.
….
When those guys sprint, their form gets very solid. Big leg drive, top hand barely dropping.
That's really, really hard to do in rough water. It's a huge tax on the cardio system. That's why nobody does it for an entire rough water session.
Downwinding is all about cruising along, setting up a good angle for a sprint.

I have not had an opportunity yet to paddle a K1, or even sit in one on land to see how the seated position compares/contrasts to the surfski. K1 isn’t really an option where I paddle due to rapidly changing conditions that create big seas. But I do paddle on the flat days and wonder how the canoe technique applies to surfski and if the ergonomic aspects of each setup are different enough to affect the technique on flat water. In swell, I have noticed at my novice level, that I tend to paddle more forward relative to the boat and have to use shorter strokes to maintain stability and quick response to side chop. Choppy sea conditions do seem to naturally suggest variations in technique and I was very interested in your post. I am hoping to schedule a lesson with a local downwind pro paddler to get some help. I believe that this skier mentions the variety of techniques used when facing waves as opposed to paddling on flat water.

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

More
7 months 1 week ago #39661 by mrcharly
Replied by mrcharly on topic Wedge seat cushion
There is some major mis-quoting going on here. I most certainly did not write this:

Then I bought a ski. It took some time, but it all balanced out eventually. …As you have seen from my videos, I can paddle in some extreme wind without anxiety. … I have it all documented in writing and pictures in a huge thread over on the standup paddle forum. Anyone interested can look it up, I have the same username over there. It's hilarious for me to review that thread once and awhile.


I do not, nor have I ever paddled standup paddling.

LaPerouse, I don't know why you are getting so het up. The exercise I described; it is from Ivan Lawler from the video that you linked earlier!

I'm not contradicting you, I'm describing doing something that you recommended!

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

More
7 months 1 week ago #39662 by LaPerouseBay
Replied by LaPerouseBay on topic Wedge seat cushion

There is some major mis-quoting going on here. I most certainly did not write this:

The quoting feature in this forum software is very handy. It's easy to use if the entire post is quoted in a response.

When the writer hits the quote button rather than the respond button, the software copies the entire post and pastes it in a window that can be edited. It includes 'code' in square brackets. The 'code' in the square brackets indicates when the quote will begin and end.

If you want to select quotes from a post that has several quotes in it, those 'codes' need to be carefully edited.

depara2004 missed a few 'codes' when he edited and hit send. Very common. Happens all the time. I did it too until I learned how to edit those little square bracketed 'codes.'

The trick is to look for the square brackets, read the poster's name and keep that at the beginning of the material you want to quote. Then look for a square bracket that surrounds /quote.

LaPerouse, I don't know why you are getting so het up. The exercise I described; it is from Ivan Lawler from the video that you linked earlier!
I'm not contradicting you, I'm describing doing something that you recommended!

I may have steered the OP to Ivan's dry land exercises but I also suggested that if the OP was feeling any back pain that McGill is probably a good option.

McGill says stay away from anything resembling situps or crunches. Superman's too, whatever those are. Don't do those. Don't do those if you have back pain. McGill has a method that he's developed. He's been at it for 35 years.

You were the one recommending Ivan's exercise. Also, In my humble opinion, you were boasting about how you can do it with added weight. Then you dismissed my suggestion that situps may not be a good idea by stating that pros do it with a damn barbell, so it must be ok. That's just crazy talk.

This thread is about someone trying to deal with something that may be an imbalance in his core. Maybe it will heal quickly, maybe not. He's wondering if maybe a wedge will help. I'm glad he has McGill's book. I don't know anything about fixing back pain or wedges. But I'm smart enough to know what isn't a good idea.

This thread should not be used as a quick opportunity for you to jump in and tell us how strong you are. It may make you feel good, but it doesn't help the OP.

Fringe athletic forums like cycling, standup and kayaking are full of middle aged people starting a new sport. Many are looking for some advice on how to make things easier. Some of us are pretty beat up to begin with. We are only looking for some tips to get going and figure things out. Some came from a background behind a desk. Some came from an athletic background. But we are all beginners at some point.

So, the internet comes along and every forum has the same problem. Some guy (it's always a guy) has found a sport in middle age and goes all in. He becomes a big expert on the web, posting constantly, on every thread. Good for them, I'm glad they are happy and doing sporty stuff. It's good for us.

The problem comes - and it haunts every forum I've ever been on - when the beginners come around with simple questions. The new experts race to the keyboard and use the thread to boast about their expertise and ability. But they never answer the question that started the thread! What the fuck!

Occasionally an old timer on the forum will chime in and give some advice, which is always solid. Right on cue, here comes the new internet expert. Thread goes south, old timer bails. He knows better than to wrestle with a pig. The original poster, not sure how to deal with the conflicting information, goes away and never comes back.

I remember rubbing elbows with pros back when I was an amateur in my prime. The gap between us amateurs and pros was as wide as the grand canyon. Those guys and girls were always helpful and patient with any questions we had. They didn't have to type out how great they were, you could see it. They were always happy, cheerful and full of expert advice - if we asked.

That's why individual one on one coaching in ski is so valuable. Pro's enjoy helping us. They can see what we need and how to address what we need and how to get the most from the sport.

I'd like to see more of that attitude on this forum when new paddlers come around. Helpful advice geared to the beginners question.

Sadly it will never happen. Forums are like that. Egos run wild. Internet posers have not been around long enough to know the difference. But they sure can fly that skinny ski on some lake in bumfuck Iowa. So, they gotta let the world know about it.

Boyan's surski 600 ruse is a perfect example. Internet 'experts' were apoplectic with rage at Boyan's claim that he had reinvented a ski that was stable and faster than a skinny boat. Very revealing thread. Ran for a long, long time.

Boyan isn't just any pro either. He has a degree in sports science from the Eastern Block. All he wanted to do was help grow the sport of ski by proving how fun stable boats are. But the push back from the "experts" was unreal. Not the real experts of course, they know the score. But the internet posers... Jeebus, they wanted to lynch him. Just crazy.

That's why I get so "het up" whatever that is...

downwind dilettante

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

Latest Forum Topics