Bob and Karen Online | Bob Foote Online | Karen Knight Online | Who is Bob | Instruction | Tips | Trips | Kayak Building | Contact Us

Tips and Techniques - Don't Lose Control

Don't Lose Control!

How many times have you been surfing a wave and started to fall off? Or gone for an eddy and lost the line? What did you do? Frantically throw in some forward strokes, reach out for a draw, or reach back for a pry?Most paddlers are aware that you shouldn’t let go of the paddle and grab the gunnels when things start going bad. Relate this to driving: letting go of the paddle means you have effectively lost control of the gas pedal, the brakes, and the steering wheel. Or, another way to look at it--grab the gunnels and you are going to crash!Unfortunately, even advanced paddlers do basically the same thing because their paddle is out of the water far too often. Start focusing your attention on how much time the paddle blade is out of the water. Is it 50/50 (half strokes and corrections with the other half going to recovery)? When you are falling off that wave, do you frantically try to get in a correction stroke? What’s the result? You’re not in control of the boat when the paddle is out of the water. Effectively, you have no gas pedal, brake, or steering wheel and the current is in control.Concentrate on your paddle awareness and try to leave the blade in the water 80% or 90% of the time. To do this, you will need to speed up your recovery and lengthen your correction. If you feel like you are losing boat control at the end of a forward stroke, let the blade linger in the water and play with the angle and pressure. Use some finesse and correct the boat right up to the last possible millisecond before you take the blade out for the next stroke. Or, when it’s practical, don’t take the blade out of the water at all. At the end of your stroke, use an underwater recovery to slide the blade forward to the mid-point of the boat. Then you can play with opening or closing the blade angle to affect the boat angle. Try experimenting with the position, moving slightly forward or aft of the mid-point.

Remember that anytime the blade is out of the water, the current is in control, not you! It turns into a perpetual game of catch-up. You’re in control, the river’s in control, on and on... So, practice maximizing each of your strokes by using every last bit of it. Hold on to those corrections and when you go for the next stroke, make that recovery lightening fast! Or in other words, keep your foot on the gas and your hands on the wheel.

Bob and Karen trust to create and maintain this site
To find out how to help your business succeed contact their Web Designer
© Web Design By Jason