Newbie with a couple of questions

Paddling , Rolling , Rescues , Surfing
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Tor
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Newbie with a couple of questions

Postby Tor » Sat Dec 21, 2013 10:16 am

I am a total beginner kayaking. My boat is a Wilderness Systems Zephyr 160 glass. I haven't had it long, and have been on the water 7-8 trips. Have done wet exits and re-entry using float with very good results. Scrambles have not been that successful, and I think it's because I don't use my paddle good enough for bracing in the final part (getting my butt and legs inside the cockpit). High / low brace practice is also going pretty good, but reaction time and blade awareness is lagging behind a bit. Rolling exercises with float assist is going very well too, and getting ready to try full rolls.
Also working hard to get the right technique and form nailed on the forward strokes.

Having said all of that, here is what I am struggling with. BALANCE!! Edging / Edging and sweep strokes. What is happening is that I can't edge this thing and leave it there. I am NOT able to keep the boat on an edge, because my body / hips want to constantly adjust because I feel I am about to loose balance. The boat is going from good edge angle to very little edge angle back to good edge angle.I can't seem to hold the boats angle. I know its a balance problem / psychological "fear" of rolling over. It really don't bother me to capsize. I still can't seem to calm my upper body / hips / muscles down enough to maintain the angle. Is this something that will come with more boat handling practice / skill, or is there something in particular I should be working on to improve this. I guess the analogy of learning to bicycle is appropriate. I guess I am asking too much of myself too soon. I'm completely hooked on sea kayaking, but realize there is a lot of work ahead before I get there. Any points would be much appreciated.
'12 WS Zephyr 160 Glass
"Adventure Is Just Bad Planning" - Roald Amundsen

joel
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Re: Newbie with a couple of questions

Postby joel » Sat Dec 21, 2013 10:40 am

i have began to try and really edge my tank (PE WS tsunami 165) and i found as a control measure i was doing it at a slow speed, which made it very difficult to hold and control on the edge.
the solution i found was to do all edging at a moderate paddling pace, ie, i would paddle at a quick cruising speed and do 15 strokes edges on the right, than 15 strokes on the left until i could edge the boat with complete control at all speeds whether paddling or performing a stern/bow rudder etc.

i still need a lot of practice.

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TIMAX
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Re: Newbie with a couple of questions

Postby TIMAX » Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:30 am

Regarding the rolling with a float, im not into that at all. I think it would teach some bad habits. Are you getting tuition or trying to teach yourself? Nothing beats a good teacher and good paddling partners so a club environment is good.
Now to Balance. I also struggle if i havnt been in the boat for a while. It takes time to be comfortable and depends on many things. eg , water bladder on pfd , upper body size, how tall you are ,seat height, what you have on your deck , load placement, inner ear problems , a cold or flu , clear glassy water and polarized sunglasses,hull design, attitude etc etc etc.
I have experienced all of these except upper body size :oops:
What i do to help is before and at the end of every paddle i do some edging practice. A sweep stroke 360 in both directions may be enough. If you can turn it on the spot by laying it right over in say 8 strokes then try beating that. See what others can do and try to out do them. Then just paddle a figure 8 on edge as tight as you can.. takes 2 min and is a bit of fun. try during a paddle to not use a rudder if you have one or corrective strokes. Just edge as much as you can.

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Tor
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Re: Newbie with a couple of questions

Postby Tor » Sat Dec 21, 2013 12:16 pm

TIMAX wrote:Regarding the rolling with a float, im not into that at all. I think it would teach some bad habits. Are you getting tuition or trying to teach yourself? Nothing beats a good teacher and good paddling partners so a club environment is good.
Now to Balance. I also struggle if i havnt been in the boat for a while. It takes time to be comfortable and depends on many things. eg , water bladder on pfd , upper body size, how tall you are ,seat height, what you have on your deck , load placement, inner ear problems , a cold or flu , clear glassy water and polarized sunglasses,hull design, attitude etc etc etc.
I have experienced all of these except upper body size :oops:
What i do to help is before and at the end of every paddle i do some edging practice. A sweep stroke 360 in both directions may be enough. If you can turn it on the spot by laying it right over in say 8 strokes then try beating that. See what others can do and try to out do them. Then just paddle a figure 8 on edge as tight as you can.. takes 2 min and is a bit of fun. try during a paddle to not use a rudder if you have one or corrective strokes. Just edge as much as you can.


Thanks for the insight and some very good suggestions. As far as rolling with a float...this is just a start to practice rolling. What you'd do is just use a paddle float on one side of the paddle for support, then lay down in the water on same side, then snap the boat back upright. It is basically just a means of getting used to hip snapping the boat before proceeding to attempt a full roll.

As another poster mentioned, it helps to have decent boat speed when attempting to edge the boat and keeping it there.
'12 WS Zephyr 160 Glass
"Adventure Is Just Bad Planning" - Roald Amundsen

Grumpy
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Re: Newbie with a couple of questions

Postby Grumpy » Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:38 pm

As Timax mentioned there are many factors affecting balance and therefore edging. I struggle with similar issues as you. I found that I had two problems, both techniques related:
1. I was not engaging my core which resulted in stiffness in the hip. I was not even aware of this but once corrected my balance and edging improved exponentially.
2. I raised my knee to engage and hold the edge but was unsuccessful in achieving or holding a solid edge. The problem was that while doing this I had both my butt cheeks firmly planted in the seat. Then a different instructor suggested that I engage the edge by shifting my weight to the side on which I want the edge. I was very pleasantly surprised how well this worked. If I wanted an edge on the right, I shifted weight to the right butt cheek and my left knee automatically came up. Keeping my weight shifted took less effort and was easier to maintain.

This worked for me. Hope it works for you.

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Tor
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Re: Newbie with a couple of questions

Postby Tor » Thu Dec 26, 2013 12:17 am

Grumpy wrote:As Timax mentioned there are many factors affecting balance and therefore edging. I struggle with similar issues as you. I found that I had two problems, both techniques related:
1. I was not engaging my core which resulted in stiffness in the hip. I was not even aware of this but once corrected my balance and edging improved exponentially.
2. I raised my knee to engage and hold the edge but was unsuccessful in achieving or holding a solid edge. The problem was that while doing this I had both my butt cheeks firmly planted in the seat. Then a different instructor suggested that I engage the edge by shifting my weight to the side on which I want the edge. I was very pleasantly surprised how well this worked. If I wanted an edge on the right, I shifted weight to the right butt cheek and my left knee automatically came up. Keeping my weight shifted took less effort and was easier to maintain.

This worked for me. Hope it works for you.


Yep...I can't seem to get the cheek off the seat on the high side. Thanks for all the advice. Really appreciate it, guys.
'12 WS Zephyr 160 Glass
"Adventure Is Just Bad Planning" - Roald Amundsen

colimcf
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Re: Newbie with a couple of questions

Postby colimcf » Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:01 am

Grumpy - really like the 'butt cheek' weight shift advise - makes a lot of sense!

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sarena82
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Re: Newbie with a couple of questions

Postby sarena82 » Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:15 pm

Agree with Timax, Nothing beats a good teacher and good paddling partners so a club environment is good.
Now to Balance. I also struggle if i havnt been in the boat for a while. It takes time to be comfortable. Good advices has been given by timax.


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