Why Paddle?

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9 years 4 months ago #16482 by STEWART
Why Paddle? was created by STEWART
Over the past few years of reading forums, chatting to fellow paddlers and observing the love of our sport I have come up with a question. Why Paddle? In particular why paddle the craft we have chosen!?
In answering I have looked at my own development and in particular, surfski paddling.

Over and again we can log onto surfski.info and read the topics; Which ski for beginners? When do I upgrade? Fenn # vs Epic #... etc. Once the usual answers have been posted; “Try to test the boats you are interested in” “Look for what others are paddling in your area” “Service for a particular Brand in your area”, I tend to wonder what ski they end up with and how they got there. What influenced the decisions and what are they paddling, are they happy or do they wish they were on something else!?

‘Different Strokes for different folks’. Yes its obvious that all of us are in it for different reasons. Some have been in the game since the bulldog was the fastest ‘most stable thing around’. Some have a brand loyalty, others don’t fit into a brand or cant get there hands on them. Training for a marathon 5/7 days a week, or simply getting some fitness in the open ocean a couple hours a week, we all have different factors..

So all those possibilities out in the open why have a I ended up with what I have now.

Starting out was easy, there was an old Fenn xt lying around, I climbed in and paddled for a few hours and was hooked. For six months all I could think of was carrying 30 odd kg’s down to the beach and paddling till I was dead, then dragging the thing out again. Looking back this helped in developing a stroke through being so stable and set in the water. Personally, I don’t believe enough can be said about stability! It all starts there, end of story.

When I started looking for the next step it was simply for a lighter ski. The speed did not bother me at all. As long as I was out there pushing my hardest it didn’t really matter where I was in the pack. I was jumping on mates skis never really had issues with stability in the tippier ones and just keeping my eyes open for something. A v10 popped up, I gave it a good go and bought it. It was lighter and faster, obviously.
About 6 months later I pulled my lower back and paddling the v10 I got some really stiff muscle issues. So I was back on the xt and slowly it came right again. Worried the v10 might tweak it I got into the swordfish frenzy and was on one of those for about a year. This was also the time when I started doing longer downwinds and spending more hours in the craft. 2 or 3 training sessions in the week at around 2-3 hours as session, longer downwinds on the weekends, 30-40 ks.
The swordfish became somewhat of a problem when dead leg started hitting in after a few hours. I think mainly due to a change in stroke, but the position of the bucket was never really the most comfortable for me. I am 6ft5 with long legs, they have to go somewhere!

I started looking around again and after a solid 45 k downwind in a v10 sport I was sold. Got out and felt I could have run a few k’s without tripping myself up. You know the feeling! So I have had the sport now in performance layup for about 18 months, it suits my paddling excursions. I feel it is bomb proof, and I don’t get a numb body.

Subsequently the v8 has struck a cord. I hopped into one after the revamp with side handles and the cut out on the back sections. I bought one and have just been so impressed with that ski. Wind is a great neutraliser in downwind paddling. My average speeds over distance have been similar between the sport and v8. But the v8 offers so much stability I find that paddling it is more fun. Averaging 13-14 kms/hr is not too bad. Must be said I don’t like paddling unless the wind is over 15 knots!

This last weekend I took the v8 for a 45 k paddle. Even strapped a rod on and pulled lures, about 1 hr in I was smashed up  but paddled hard with rod, gaff, small bag of goodies. And came in at 12.5 ks/hr. Thinking of doing a little mod for a proper rod holder.. That’s why I have the sport and v8, I get bored quickly and enjoy the switching between the two for inspiration. Sitting on runs on the v8 and searching for the link up is too much fun! They fit me and are super comfortable to be in for duration. I can stay with the pack in the sport for training if I want to and most importantly the v8 is great to get the wife into for some “couples paddling” .

Paddle Hard!
The following user(s) said Thank You: thebigadski

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9 years 4 months ago #16483 by 1xsculler
Replied by 1xsculler on topic Re: Why Paddle?
I'm a Newbie with a capital N and I am getting my feet wet, and frequently my entire body, in this sport mostly because I got bored with rowing and because I found that stabilizing an elite surfski is very, very challenging. I didn't like hearing that Stewart blew his lower back out from paddling because I'm hoping to heal a L4-5 disc I blew out while rowing and I've heard that paddling, because of the core tightening, is good for lower backs. So, I'm learning to paddle a V12 Ultra and a SES Excel on the pretty calm water in front of my home on Horsehead Bay (Gig Harbor, WA, USA). My philosophy, and it may be very flawed, is to learn to paddle these two skiis at home so when my wife and I go to Maui I can go up a step in stability to a V10 Sport Ultra and maybe handle a little bigger water than I ever will get at home. In other words learn to paddle the very tippy V12 on calm to mildly choppy water to better prepare me for much bigger chop and maybe even a wave or two when on Maui. I paddle two to three times per day and I'm making great progress on both skiis and really enjoying it. I rarely have to swim when I take the SES out but do get wet a little more frequently when I go out in the V12.
Does my reasoning make any sense?

current skis: SES Ultra. sculling boats: Fluidesign Lwt, Wintech, Empacher.

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9 years 4 months ago - 9 years 4 months ago #16484 by JonathanC
Replied by JonathanC on topic Re: Why Paddle?
This may be heresy on Surfski.info but 1xsculler with your lower back issues it may be wise to cross train a little in a different position. I was obsessed with long distance flat water and downwind stand up paddling, did a couple of Maui Molokai races and The Doctor race twice on SUP. Well too much of one thing, despite yoga etc, being obsessed and in my 50's led to some shoulder issues and that's when I started paddling ski's. Totally different stroke, position everything except still out on the water where I love to be!
SUP is a fantastic core strengthener and imo a perfect cross training complement to ski paddling. The downwind water reading skills apply to both.

I'll be in Maui later this year and I'm perfectly comfortable doing downwinders in pretty much any conditions there on a SUP, taking my ski paddle and planning to rent a boat. can feel a few little butterflies already :unsure:

And any excuse sound medical reason for more gear can't be all bad...
Last edit: 9 years 4 months ago by JonathanC.

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9 years 4 months ago #16485 by Stew
Replied by Stew on topic Re: Why Paddle?
I wrote two blogs on my website on the subject... maybe some of you can relate to them.

www.thinkkayak.com.au/2012/05/why-we-do-what-we-do/


www.thinkkayak.com.au/2013/04/im-seeing-...rtunities-out-there/

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9 years 4 months ago #16488 by 1xsculler
Replied by 1xsculler on topic Re: Why Paddle?
On Maui rent an Epic of your choice from Richard Sprock 808-283-5459. He's a great guy and I'm sure he'd love to do some paddling with you.

current skis: SES Ultra. sculling boats: Fluidesign Lwt, Wintech, Empacher.

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9 years 4 months ago #16489 by Kayaker Greg
Replied by Kayaker Greg on topic Re: Why Paddle?
Why paddle? Because I'm addicted and can't stop, its as simple as that. Everyday, I can't wait for the next days paddle, I have to schedule in days off so I can recover properly, otherwise I would just paddle everyday.

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9 years 4 months ago #16491 by STEWART
Replied by STEWART on topic Re: Why Paddle?
Morning
1xsculler- Sorry for the confusion. I didn't pull the back whilst paddling, it happened whilst loading a ski boat on and off a trailer. Paddling the v10 just made it stiff and going back to the xt was easier to manage the stiffness, Stability.

Kayaker Greg, Yes it is a serious addiction.

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9 years 4 months ago #16493 by LaPerouseBay
Replied by LaPerouseBay on topic Re: Why Paddle?
Seems like a good thread to introduce myself. Switched from standup and outrigger because they were hurting my shoulder. No more pain in ski. Lumbar used to bug me occasionally, ski fixed that too. Nice having a new body at age 52.

Huge thanks to the forum for all the safety info. Much mad respect to you that paddle in cold water, rugged beaches etc. We are truly blessed here on Maui.

10 months V-10S ultra, 10 months V-10 ultra.


downwind dilettante

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9 years 4 months ago #16495 by Love2ski
Replied by Love2ski on topic Re: Why Paddle?
I got into paddling six months ago on the advice of my physio. I have the exact same lower back problem. The first two weeks were absolute hell. No core, no hip flexors and strong lower back pain. Physician said that pain is good. Pain in legs bad.

After two weeks my hip flexors started to fire and the back pain began to subside. Six months later my core is much stronger and my back pain .

I hope you have the same success!

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9 years 4 months ago #16496 by Love2ski
Replied by Love2ski on topic Re: Why Paddle?
Sorry bad typing. My back pain has gone!

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9 years 4 months ago #16498 by partymarty
Replied by partymarty on topic Re: Why Paddle?
God - you're all a bunch of broken down old men.

But so am I.

My story. I got into paddling for the thrill. I was born in Sydney and grew up like every good Bondi Boy surfing from Bondi to Maroubra. Then I did a bit of travel and ended up in the whitsundays. While there was no surf there were lots of racing yachts needing crew.

the sailing satisfied my love of being on the water and gave me the thrills I required for a few years un til i moved back to Sydney for the Olympics.

I soon discovered the requirements for a layabout young deckie are totally different in Sydney harbour to queensland, so that was the end of my yacht racing career. I bummed around Sydney for a couple of years before deciding to grow up and settle down. And that wasn't happening in the big shitty so I moved to cairns.

now Cairns doesn't have waves, or many yachts for that matter, but it does have some wicked white water rivers very close by. So I turned to white water kayaking for my watersports thrills.

This went on for a few years until the waistline started to bulge faster than my 30's were dissappearing, so I decided I needed to get fit. I tried running, but too much football in my teens meant my knee's were shot, so that was out of the question. I grew up in the 70's and 80's so still can't get my head into a bike helmet, so cycling wasn't an option and gyms bore me to tears, so the logical soloution was to take up paddling.

So I bought myself an old clubby ski, I had no idea and bought one that must have been made for someone who was 5 foot, and me being 6'2" meant it gathered dust in the garage for a year. One day I decided to sell it and use the money to buy one of those el cheapo chinease seakayaks.

Then i was hooked. I loved it. A quick progression through a couple more seakayaks until I found myself in an Epic Touring Expedition. But then that got a bit old, So now I'm starting my Ski journey with a V10s, which is 5 months old now.

An added bonus is that the core strength from paddling has seen me not have a sciatica incident in almost 5 years, when 10 years ago I was very, very close to having 2 vertabrea fused together. My doc doesn't believe that all i do is paddle.

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9 years 4 months ago #16501 by STEWART
Replied by STEWART on topic Re: Why Paddle?
LaPerouseBay, you have great downwind conditions like that and you don't have to deal with shore or temp issues! Some do have it luckier than others! Great vid of the downwind, and others!

PartyMarty, How did you find the Epic Touring Expedition with regards to speed? The typical 'fishing ski' that is around is far too slow for my liking that's why i have started trying to do some mods to the v8. Trying to get the best of both worlds as paddling for a few hours in great fishing conditions without a line in the water dosn't sit well with me. Greedy i know, in that i am already getting my fix by riding runs..

Also great to hear how guys/ladies have developed into what they now paddle! THANKS!

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