Paddling Question; More Power or Faster Cadence?

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6 years 2 months ago #26875 by zachhandler
We are getting a bit side tracked from the OP question about cadence vs power. But this is a useful tangent in regards to developing a powerful stroke.

I think it is true that surfski does not allow the same type of rotation as a k1 does. It is not about rotating seats as most k1 paddlers do not use them. Rather, it is about the physical confinement of a cockpit that is designed to increase control and decrease potential bathtub volume. The tradeoff that is made is less freedom of motion.

But i think the majority of important hip rotation can still be achieved in a ski. Another way to say it is that a lot of the exaggerated rotation in a k1 is only adding a small amount of power. Most of the power in the stroke is in the first 18 inches or so of blade travel. That corresponds to maybe the first 2 inches of rotation of the hips. The important thing is learning to make the torso and arms rigid in a way that allows that small rotation at the hips to translate power all the way out to the blade. If you can do that you dont need a lot of rotation.

Look at the classic video of clint in the doctor. World champion in ski and sprint k1. His surfski stroke does not appear to have great rotation at first glance. But the important first few inches is there and he delivers huge power when he accelerates onto the runs.


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

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6 years 2 months ago - 6 years 2 months ago #26878 by Aurelius
Here's a short video taken of me in the lake this morning. Unfortunately the image quality deteriorates very badly when uploading it to YouTube, so it's very hard to see what's going on. The original video is sharp as a tack, however, and it clearly shows that my rotation is nowhere near what I thought it was.

Last edit: 6 years 2 months ago by Aurelius.

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6 years 2 months ago - 6 years 2 months ago #26879 by drjay9051
I'm a novice but think too much is made of "knee action" if you look at Szolt in this video it looks like he is peddling a recumbent bike at 1:00 At 1:27 great example of using larger muscles e.g. lats,obliques etc.



On the other hand Clint in this video starting at 2:10 he appears to have no leg drive



They are both world class so clearly what you see is not all there is. Body types differ as does technique. One thing they have in common is they use their larger muscles and core.

For quite a will I tried to get leg action like Szolt and realized I cannot due to both lack of experience and different body type.

In the end i'm happy with a good catch, good drive and clean paddle exit.

In regards to power vs cadence : After achieving a good solid technique I think it is actually a combination of the two.. For longer distances I imagine a slower stroke rate. Similar to 100 meter dash vs 10 k run.
Last edit: 6 years 2 months ago by drjay9051.

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6 years 2 months ago #26880 by photofr
There are a lot of positive things here, mainly that you are wanting to get better. That's seriously a huge step that (unfortunately) few people aim at.

Here are some things to help you:
1. BODY POSITION
It's slightly back. This will prevent rotation. Try sitting up tall and slightly forward.

2. GLIDE / SETUP
When your blade exits the water, you'll want to let your ski glide a little more. Use that time to prepare the next catch (this is crucial, this is where you use heels + legs + hips + back to rotate for the next catch).

3. EXIT PROBLEMS
Try exiting your blade sooner. That will also give you more time to prepare for the next catch phase.

4. PADDLE TRAVEL
Unsure about this one, but in the video, it looks as though your blade is not travelling away from the ski (seems like the blade is staying closer to the ski than what is intended for a wing blade.) Look into that a little to be sure.

All and all, don't beat yourself up: There are like 20 things happening in less than a second. As I always say: that's what so cool about this sport... there's always something to work on.

DRILLS
There are several drills you can do. I always recommend seeing an instructor, but here's something that may help you. Let's say your next stroke is going to be paddling on the RIGHT. Well, get ready, make your rotation to paddle on the right side, but instead: DIP THE TIP of your blade on the LEFT SIDE first. It's sort of like you want to plant on the right, but you overshoot and over rotate the right blade so that it's now on the left side of your ski. There's no way to do this without rotation. Probably hard to explain in writing, but works great when I demo this, and great results from students using this drill.

Good luck.

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)
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6 years 2 months ago #26882 by Aurelius
Thanks, Lodovic. I was thinking about this problem while I was out in the lake just now, when I realized something that should have been obvious to me earlier: The pro racers in the previous videos posted here are among the fastest in the world, which means they're probably generating two or three times the power with every paddle stroke than I am. In fact, I'm actually producing less power than I'm capable of in the Stellar SR due to it's relative instability. So I decided to see what would happen if I went as hard as I could in my Epic V7, which is stable as a rock by comparison. When I did that, right away my hips began to swivel, and the more force I put into each paddle stroke, the more my knees bobbed up and down, much like in the videos of the K1 racers!

So it looks like the mystery is solved. I'm not sure what this means as far as my training goes, however, because there's no way I can generate that king of power in the SR without losing control of the boat. Maybe I should stick to training in the V7 for a while?

As far as exit problems, you're absolutely right. I've gotten into the bad habit of keeping my paddle in the water too long. It feels unnatural to pull the blade out so soon, so I'll need to pay closer attention to that.

Paddle travel is not an issue. I push my paddle away from the boat so that the blade's path of travel is roughly parallel to the wake produced by the bow.

I'm something of a fanatic when it comes to mastering technique. I was once a champion marksman, and it took me thousands of hours of practice before I even felt ready to compete, so I'm more than ready to put in the time to perfect my paddling stroke, even if I never race.

By the way, I tried Garmin's editing program and got a much improved video of this morning's paddle:

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6 years 2 months ago #26883 by Kiwi Dave
Once you have some good quality video an excellent open source (free) program for examining whats going on is Kinovea (www.kinovea.org/). You can focus on a portion, slow it down, step forward / backward or loop etc.

Works quite well with the high frame rates modern cameras can capture at. The Sony I have can do 120fps at 720p which is quite good for this type of thing.
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6 years 2 months ago #26884 by WingSuit
If you can get your hands on a GoPro, record yourself from the front. It will be telling. I found that I wasn't rotating as much one one side, a bit asymmetrical. This thread has been very instructive to me, thanks for all the advice!

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6 years 2 months ago #26885 by [email protected]

Once you have some good quality video an excellent open source (free) program for examining whats going on is Kinovea (www.kinovea.org/). You can focus on a portion, slow it down, step forward / backward or loop etc.


That's a fascinating bit of kit.. Combo with Motionize?

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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6 years 2 months ago #26887 by RedBack
This is good advice Wingsuit.

I occasionally set one up on the front of my ski to monitor for bad habits - and I always seem to find some! In particular toward the end of a session when I'm getting tired.

Below is a video of the last 3 efforts of a 60 minute session of 30sec on, 30 off. The object of the session was to use higher cadence to get the boat up quickly, then run it at a comfortable pace.

While the lens distortion can sometimes be an issue, you can still find your faults. I found at least four! :blush:

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6 years 2 months ago #26888 by Aurelius
Unfortunately the Garmin Virb camera doesn't come with a suction cup mount like the GoPro. All it has is a mounting base with an adhesive backing. I'm worried, though, that once I stick it onto the hull of my ski, I won't be able to get it off!

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6 years 2 months ago #26889 by Aurelius

RedBack wrote: This is good advice Wingsuit.

I occasionally set one up on the front of my ski to monitor for bad habits - and I always seem to find some! In particular toward the end of a session when I'm getting tired.

Below is a video of the last 3 efforts of a 60 minute session of 30sec on, 30 off. The object of the session was to use higher cadence to get the boat up quickly, then run it at a comfortable pace.

While the lens distortion can sometimes be an issue, you can still find your faults. I found at least four! :blush:


That looks perfect to me. What were the four errors??

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6 years 2 months ago #26891 by WingSuit
Stick the mount on the front of the cockpit, not on the skin of the top of the boat, much thicker there. Plus, you can floss off a go pro mount with heavy monofilament (fishing) line when you want it gone.

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6 years 2 months ago #26892 by Aurelius

WingSuit wrote: Stick the mount on the front of the cockpit, not on the skin of the top of the boat, much thicker there. Plus, you can floss off a go pro mount with heavy monofilament (fishing) line when you want it gone.


It turns out that my Garmin video camera came with an adapter which fits my old GoPro suction cup mount perfectly. That means I can use it on any ski and position it in different places. Unfortunately it looks like it's about to rain, or I'd be in the lake trying it out right now. B)

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6 years 2 months ago #26894 by RedBack
Thanks Aurelius, but "perfect"? I wish...!! :)

Two of the faults are inter-related, - I was unwinding too early on my right side and thus losing some rotational movement before the left blade was properly buried and; my left leg drive was too early, wasting a significant portion of my leg recruitment before the blade was fully locked.

I was also getting slightly lazy at the back end of the stroke, just letting the blade come out of the water, rather than accelerating it out to generate that final bit of lift from the foil of the blade. (This fault usually appears when I'm tired.)

My knees were slightly splayed rather than vertical, reducing leg power and causing excessive roll in the boat.

I don't think any of these would be considered "fundamental" problems (more fine-tuning) - but they were clearly robbing me of some power and boat-run (glide).

I've subsequently addressed them, but it's probably time for another video to identify some new ones! :unsure:

As Ludovic said, - the great beauty of this sport is that no matter how long you've been paddling, there are always things to learn and improvements to be made.

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6 years 2 months ago #26895 by Aurelius

RedBack wrote: Thanks Aurelius, but "perfect"? I wish...!! :)

Two of the faults are inter-related, - I was unwinding too early on my right side and thus losing some rotational movement before the left blade was properly buried and; my left leg drive was too early, wasting a significant portion of my leg recruitment before the blade was fully locked.

I was also getting slightly lazy at the back end of the stroke, just letting the blade come out of the water, rather than accelerating it out to generate that final bit of lift from the foil of the blade. (This fault usually appears when I'm tired.)

My knees were slightly splayed rather than vertical, reducing leg power and causing excessive roll in the boat.

I don't think any of these would be considered "fundamental" problems (more fine-tuning) - but they were clearly robbing me of some power and boat-run (glide).

I've subsequently addressed them, but it's probably time for another video to identify some new ones! :unsure:

As Ludovic said, - the great beauty of this sport is that no matter how long you've been paddling, there are always things to learn and improvements to be made.


Well, you certainly have a jeweler's eye. I wouldn't have spotted any of those problems. That's an interesting point you make about having your knees splayed. I always keep mine pressed against the side of the boat because I thought that's what you're supposed to do! I'll try keeping mine vertical next time.

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6 years 2 months ago #26896 by photofr
I know it may " sound weird" but try keeping your knees together when paddling a surfski. This will do two things for you:
1. You will actually have better balance on your ski (just try it for more than 3 seconds before you rule this out)
2. Legs in the center will add to your efficiency (you'll get more power when in-line)

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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6 years 2 months ago - 6 years 2 months ago #26899 by Newbflat

drjay9051 wrote: I'm a novice but think too much is made of "knee action" if you look at Szolt in this video it looks like he is peddling a recumbent bike at 1:00 At 1:27 great example of using larger muscles e.g. lats,obliques etc.



On the other hand Clint in this video starting at 2:10 he appears to have no leg drive



They are both world class so clearly what you see is not all there is. Body types differ as does technique. One thing they have in common is they use their larger muscles and core.

For quite a will I tried to get leg action like Szolt and realized I cannot due to both lack of experience and different body type.

In the end i'm happy with a good catch, good drive and clean paddle exit.

In regards to power vs cadence : After achieving a good solid technique I think it is actually a combination of the two.. For longer distances I imagine a slower stroke rate. Similar to 100 meter dash vs 10 k run.


Really.... Dissing Ztolt's technique!?

The reason Clint is not rotating his hips much is that that deep spec ski bucket is because It locks your hips in and you can't really drive your legs because the bump is huge. Spec ski's buckets have changed a lot to allow more rotation.

Here is Clint "peddling" his way to a medal.

FENN Bluefin S
FENN Swordfish S carbon hybrid
Epic V8 double gen 2
Lot and lots of DK rudders.


Had:
Stellar SEL excel (gen 2)
Stellar SR excel (gen2)
Stellar S18s g1 (excel)
Epic V10 Double (performance)
Stellar SR (gen 1)
V10 sport (gen 2)
V10 (Gen 2)
Beater SEL (gen 1)
Last edit: 6 years 2 months ago by Newbflat.

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6 years 2 months ago #26900 by Newbflat

Aurelius wrote: Thanks, Lodovic. I was thinking about this problem while I was out in the lake just now, when I realized something that should have been obvious to me earlier: The pro racers in the previous videos posted here are among the fastest in the world, which means they're probably generating two or three times the power with every paddle stroke than I am. In fact, I'm actually producing less power than I'm capable of in the Stellar SR due to it's relative instability. So I decided to see what would happen if I went as hard as I could in my Epic V7, which is stable as a rock by comparison. When I did that, right away my hips began to swivel, and the more force I put into each paddle stroke, the more my knees bobbed up and down, much like in the videos of the K1 racers!

So it looks like the mystery is solved. I'm not sure what this means as far as my training goes, however, because there's no way I can generate that king of power in the SR without losing control of the boat. Maybe I should stick to training in the V7 for a while?

As far as exit problems, you're absolutely right. I've gotten into the bad habit of keeping my paddle in the water too long. It feels unnatural to pull the blade out so soon, so I'll need to pay closer attention to that.

Paddle travel is not an issue. I push my paddle away from the boat so that the blade's path of travel is roughly parallel to the wake produced by the bow.

I'm something of a fanatic when it comes to mastering technique. I was once a champion marksman, and it took me thousands of hours of practice before I even felt ready to compete, so I'm more than ready to put in the time to perfect my paddling stroke, even if I never race.

By the way, I tried Garmin's editing program and got a much improved video of this morning's paddle:




Love love love that Clint, Doctor clip. I must have watched that 50 times over the years. Some day when I grow up I will paddle just like him.

While I get what your saying, I will say that for the most part he is cursing along not paddling that hard. But at about :50 and 2:04 he digs in and his hips rotate a lot. It's proportional to the power output.

That is very important, it's proportional to the power out put. The video of you paddling buy shows many things many of which have been mentioned. But if your trying to achieve rotation and drive from the legs you are not paddling hard enough. If you paddle hard like sprinting or climbing over a wave or catching one on a downwind then leg drive is super important. Like in that Ztolt's clip, he is crusing fast in most of it and putting down solid power so he has solid drive proportional to be he stroke. When he dive in he drives even harder, easy cruse very light leg drive.

FENN Bluefin S
FENN Swordfish S carbon hybrid
Epic V8 double gen 2
Lot and lots of DK rudders.


Had:
Stellar SEL excel (gen 2)
Stellar SR excel (gen2)
Stellar S18s g1 (excel)
Epic V10 Double (performance)
Stellar SR (gen 1)
V10 sport (gen 2)
V10 (Gen 2)
Beater SEL (gen 1)

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6 years 2 months ago - 6 years 2 months ago #26903 by Aurelius
How about stroke length? The paddler in the video below pulls the paddle out of the water at approximately the point where his low hand is in line with his hip joint. This method feels most natural to me.



However, all the other instructional videos I've seen show the power stroke ending much sooner, roughly at the point where the paddler's low hand is just behind the knee. An example of this can be seen in the video below at the 7:00 mark, where the narrator explains that, "the blade should exit the water at mid-thigh level".

Last edit: 6 years 2 months ago by Aurelius.

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6 years 2 months ago #26907 by nell
Aurelius - to me, your two video clips are examples of good technique that lie at both ends along the technique spectum.

The top video is what you'd do in a marathon or long race, i.e. lower hands, more torso rotation, longer stroke with the exit beginning about when the hand reaches the hip and exiting the water a bit further back.

The bottom video is what you'd do in a shorter sprint session or during an acceleration when you're already going fast and still trying to build up to a more derirable higher stroke rate. The higher stroke rate necessitates a stroke that exits earlier and a top hand that's more of a "fixed" fulcrum, allowing the pulling arm to rotate around it more quickly to end each stroke. If that makes sense...

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