Upwind paddling

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9 years 6 months ago #21365 by craigDBN
Upwind paddling was created by craigDBN
Any tips for UPWIND paddling? As is customary in a NE wind, the Geriatskis paddle this morning was to the shipping can and back. The way out was a 6km hack into s stiff 10-12 knot wind on smallish 1.5m swell. Wanting to get the upwind leg over and done with as quickly as possible, I experimented with various methods for the most beneficial results. Long power strokes versus short sharp strokes / hit the chop front or versus slight angle....nothing seemed to make a difference. I usually focus on keeping a consistent waterline for best results, but maybe it was just the short wave period that made so difficult in this case. So many times, boat came slamming down the back of a wave, burning off all the speed, and necessitating another tiresome build up of momentum again. Would appreciate some tips.
PS : the downwind return leg was absolute bliss which made it all worthwhile.

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9 years 6 months ago - 9 years 6 months ago #21366 by Col Campbell
Replied by Col Campbell on topic Upwind paddling
I find shortening your paddle is the best bet, it allows you to keep a decent stroke rate & maintain your technique. It is no different to cycling into the wind, where you will be riding in a lower gear to maintain a higher cadence.
On the flat I paddle 212cm & work down to 209cm depending on wind speed & race distance.
I also find the shorter paddle can help in bigger downwind as well when trying to pull onto fast moving runners, the shorter paddle can let you get onto the runners without them all passing underneath you without being able to get onto them, once you are on them & linking etc maybe it is a small handicap but I find more positives in using a smaller shorter paddle in big conditions than negatives.
Last edit: 9 years 6 months ago by Col Campbell.

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9 years 6 months ago #21372 by Bill L
Replied by Bill L on topic Upwind paddling
I'll second all the Col Campbell said; I went to a 207 length to help counteract all that. But, as you noticed, the harder the upwind portion, the better the downwind leg: I think there is some equation at work here, where the fun factor of the downwind run is equal to the height of the upwind bowslap squared. :woohoo:

For bowslap, especially for steep chop in the ocean generated by 15+ knot winds, I have found that leaning forward at the crest to get that bow down as quick as possible helps a bit. But still, it is the price you pay...

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9 years 6 months ago #21401 by uk_exile
Replied by uk_exile on topic Upwind paddling
To be honest I'm not sure if this actually helps at all in sea as I've never tried it, but in rivers the bow slap of our 6m to 6.5m multisport kayaks in rapids can dramatically be reduced by timing your catch to be on the top of waves rather than in troughs. It really helps and adds stability too (which is quite useful in grade 2 rapids)

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9 years 6 months ago #21435 by photofr
Replied by photofr on topic Upwind paddling
I personally use the same length paddle, but use a smaller blade for big upwind conditions. Another trick that works well for me is the plant your blade atop each passing wave - the more the merrier.

It helps keep the really high cadence, and seems to keep your blade where it should be: in front of the boat. All things go wrong when the blade goes past your waist.

In sum, some blades, quick cadence, stroke is shorten, and try to plant on top of a passing wave at all times. My speed can increase by 20 to 30% using the above.

Another upside of using a smaller blade is preventing shoulder problems on the long run. The downside is for a 200m sprint (doesn't really happen in a ski), and a bit of a negligeable penalty for downwind action (where I have to increase RPM).

Last but not least: watch your breathing… breathe out as much as possible when faced with strong winds. In my experience, breathing in is never a problem. People just "forget" to breathe out. :)

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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9 years 6 months ago #21471 by Chris329a
Replied by Chris329a on topic Upwind paddling
Same again, knock some length off the paddle helps loads and reduces strain imo.

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9 years 6 months ago #21472 by uk_exile
Replied by uk_exile on topic Upwind paddling
It's good to know paddle placement at top of waves works both in sea and river

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9 years 6 months ago #21495 by NKirby_6
Replied by NKirby_6 on topic Upwind paddling
One of the best bits of advice I ever got given in regards to upwind paddling was to approach it in almost the same way you approach downwind. That is, rather than just charging straight ahead and busting your guts, observe what's in front of you and play it on its merit. If you see the water in front of you is a little flatter, try to actively accelerate and build a little speed, that way when you hit a bumpier section you have a little more speed to punch through, or manoeuvre around. It takes a little getting used to conceptually, but ultimately it works really well.

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9 years 6 months ago #21496 by [email protected]
Replied by [email protected] on topic Upwind paddling

If you see the water in front of you is a little flatter, try to actively accelerate and build a little speed, that way when you hit a bumpier section you have a little more speed to punch through, or manoeuvre around


Not only that, but more often than not, the guys around you are dozing off, grinding away at a constant speed. If you're wide-awake and accelerate as soon as you hit a flatter section or the wind dies a little, you can surge ahead before they realize what you're up to!

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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