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Single blade versus double (Read 7739 times)
04/10/11 at 15:59:16

Manitou Paddler   Offline
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Very windy today on mo river (45 mph gusts and a strong cross wind in sections)

Side note----Did learn I need a bit more rudder for that kind of cross wind...fabrication in progress

Wind showed me about the single blade in boat stopping head winds....single blade can be feathered without much additional effort and because blade is kept low to near surface....could keep on truck'n better with single blade much better than if i had been slogging a wing paddle...the top hand kayak blade coming up and acting like a sail every stroke is not only frustrating...but a speed killer....even heavily feathered...still catches wind and can fry your wrist over distance with too much feather

I also really like the way a single let's you get in a grinding pace and just stay there...forever seems like compared to the bigger hit a double blade makes to Your effort over longer runs...don't get me wrong, the Double is faster still for shorter stuff.....and trust me ...i am a long time kayaker here and still love my sUrfski for zoom,zoom,zoom

But I may be becoming a single blade convert for distance......can get in a groove and just keep it there....also like being able to switch out paddles fast to....to gear down or up for a bit.....not a practical option with a long kayak paddle

Last thing is hard to explain- its what happens with a single blade when all the strokes get a good catch and water feels syrupy is a zen kinda meditation that allows me to disconnect from my breathing and effort...i feel the boats glide and become more one with the boat...I know kinda flaky....but for me it is very real.....I like it Smiley

Bryan
 

river is as river does
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Reply #1 - 04/10/11 at 17:33:26
Osprey   Ex Member

 
Yo Bruddah,
I know exactly what you're talking about ... regarding the Zen thing when finding that right stroke rate and boat speed and blade load.  It's beautiful, quiet, almost joyous.

I love the single blade.  Yes, I love my ski too and it's fun and different.  But, strokin' with my ZRE or the Kialoa I'm using is a beautiful thing.  And, I never feel like paddling is beating me up.  If I stay in good technique for my recovery, then wind is never a problem.

Now, paddle length is critical.  When I get fatigued, my paddle tip will hit the water in the recovery and spray a bit of water forward ... as Ryan knows oh so well as I kept him wet last Thursday when we paddled the Kaw together on the Huki.  But, that was my poor technique.  When I switched to a slightly shorter paddle, I splashed much less water.  Sorry Ryan!!!

I love the single blade, but I'm using more of an outrigger stroke than a USCA stroke.  At this stage in my development, I have to concentrate a lot more to employ the USCA stroke than I do the outrigger stroke.

I love using the single blade ... no doubt.

 
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Reply #2 - 04/10/11 at 21:23:39

West Hansen   Offline
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He who hesitates is lunch.
--Chuck Darwin
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I've never been able to maintain a USCA (a la Walter y Nicholas) for very long, though it does get the boat planing quite nicely. I'm more of a long and strong type of paddler, but I can hump on it like that forever. My experience with a single vs double varies depending upon the type of boat and partner(s). The more paddlers in the boat, the more the single has an advantage over the double. It seems the inverse may be true for me also. It takes a lot of effort to double a tandem, like the ICF C-2, than to single it for just a slight reduction in speed.
I'm okay going forever with a double in a slippery surf ski or K-1, since the glide is effortless. Meaning, that it takes less energy for me to shove the boat forward therefore the effort expended on a double blade in those specific boats is much less than the effort to maintain the same speed in those specific boats using a single blade. It's akin to "spinning" with a well tuned fast road bike. Once a certain speed is attained, then the effort to maintain that speed isn't near as much as getting to that speed. Getting in the rhythm with a double is similar to the single, but with a bit more water flinging. Shouldn't be too much water flinging if done correctly, though.
I agree, that doubles have no place in OC boats. Just the wrong tool for those boats. --West
 

Cognitive Dissonance: when being wrong just isn't an option.
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Reply #3 - 04/10/11 at 21:42:50

Manitou Paddler   Offline
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I agree....my v1-x oc-1 and my v-10 ski both are so much easier to keep in glide....can keep from loading either a wing or single too hard and be good for long grind.....but the strong headwind today took away the "road bike" effect and the single shined compared to a wing...Was not subtle

Botb are great boats ...like em both Smiley

Will load both boats for south Dakota....if head winds like last year...it's the oc-1 no question

Do not want to throw up a sail to break my glide with every stroke like a wing pretty much forces you to do......both boats have fantastic glide....mmmmmmmm boats Tongue

Bryan
 

river is as river does
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Reply #4 - 04/11/11 at 08:33:40

Dark Horse Paddler   Offline
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I love threads like this.

I was a kayaker first, and I have developed my muscles that way - simply more time spent double blading.  When I first started single blading, I hated it. But since I am single blading in both the tws and the MR340 this year, I have been spending a lot more time in the canoe, and yes, I am catching that zen thing a little more often now.

That being said, I still love zipping through the San Marcos in a fast skinny boat, bouncing off logs, and spinning through eddies with my double blade.

I had the pleasure of paddling with West and Jeff Wueste yesterday for 27.4 miles. It was a great run, and the water was low low low. Tons of gnarly debris scattered all over the river just trying to grab you as you sneak by.

Like Bryan said, mmmmmmm boats... Smiley
 

-Joe Mann, Dark Horse Paddler
www.MidwestPaddleRacing.com
Your #1 Site for Canoe and Kayak Racing In the Midwest!!
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Reply #5 - 04/11/11 at 09:15:20

West Hansen   Offline
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For the record, my last name is Hansen. I kept my last name when Jeff and I got married. --West
 

Cognitive Dissonance: when being wrong just isn't an option.
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Reply #6 - 04/11/11 at 15:32:29
Osprey   Ex Member

 
But, you two make such a fetching couple ... notwithstanding the philosophy on names.

Mmmmmmmmm paddling.
 
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Reply #7 - 04/11/11 at 16:28:16

yankeeclipper   Offline
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Dan-Your paddle you used in the Gutbuster is 1.5-2" too long. See how high you upper hand is and how you are choking the blade with your lower hand. Get the saw out.
 
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Reply #8 - 04/11/11 at 20:17:36
Osprey   Ex Member

 
Yeah, the outrigger paddlers all seem to paddle with paddles longer than most USCA folks would use.  It's clear sitting on an OC is higher off the water and that accounts for some of the extra length.  If you're referring to the photo of us coming into the finish, I was intentionnally coming in over my head with my top hand to use a different shoulder motion.  But, my next adventure on the Huki will be with my ZRE that is shorter.  I'll see what happens then and make a decision.

Cheers, Charlie.

 
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Reply #9 - 04/12/11 at 09:53:35

Los Humungos   Offline
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Smiley  Muy Bueno.

Bwwwooooooo ha ha ha!!!!

Hut,
Mastodontico
Los Humungos Paddleos
 

Sometimes when you are man, you wear stretchy pants...its for fun... -Nacho   
You do not get guns like these from riding a bike. -Matt Strieb
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Reply #10 - 04/12/11 at 14:45:06

Manitou Paddler   Offline
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Dan

I actually sit far lower in my solomoutrigger than any usca (ground seat down a bit and Jude lowered cockpit on newly redesigned v1-x)

When you have your paddle planted fully and almost vertical (full power phase of stroke)....your top hand should be below your nose and more like neck height ....any higher and you will fry your shoulder ....better a bit short than too tall....you can cut top of shaft and remount handle pretty easily

You are correct....that outrigger stoke is a bit different....I tend to bury blade a bit more, sit lower and due to larger blade...a bit slower and less pop, pop, pop high cadence of smaller blade and usca style

At first was not sure of using bigger blade for distance ....but like the slower grind if it....suits my slow twitch muscle style

Bryan
 

river is as river does
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Reply #11 - 04/12/11 at 15:15:09
Osprey   Ex Member

 
Thanks for the notes, Bryan.  Not only does the slower cadence fit my slow-twitch muscles better too, it's much better for my slow-twitch brain.  I'm doing good not to soak my racing partner.  But, as Joe said, both paddles are fun and fun to continue to work on getting better at.  I just haven't found that Zen thing with a wing paddle yet ... yet.

Regarding single-blade technique, Danny Ching coaches that the single-blade stroke isn't finished until the recovery is over and just before the catch.  He said he does this so people put just as much effort at proper technique into the recovery and pre-catch position as they do the other phases of the stroke.  Ching teaches that to get the whole thing put together well we should be using a waltz-like stroke rhythm.  You know, the old 1-2-3, 1-2-3.  This is where 1 is pulling the boat forward from catch to exit and 2-3 is recovery with good feathering and pre-catch position.  I have a great video of him teaching this and it has helped me learn better technique than I had.  Stephen is helping me stay in this rhythm because it really suits the ultra-long distance for an OC.  In addition to allowing the paddler to concentrate on good technique, it allows an OC to "release" from the power phase of the stroke and let it use its glide for that one extra count when other paddlers are already applying power and wasting the forward momentum of the boat.

The rhythm also helps me to do what Ching calls "loading" the blade.  That's the momentary top-hand pressure and leaning onto the paddle with the body weight just before the start of de-rotation.  It's subtle, but loading the blade allows for the better use of the physics of what's going on with your applied power.

Finally, another thing Ching teaches is a more advanced thing, but something I look forward to learning.  Anway, the fact that there is pressure on the power face of the blade from the water at the back end of the stroke is useful for the exit.  He said that OC paddlers should use that forward pressure on the paddle face to let the blade 'pop' out of the water and begin that recovery.  I haven't felt it yet, but I'm hopeful to work on other stroke elements and when (if) they become more natural for me, I might be able to feel that pop and use it to my advantage.

mmmmmmmmmmm paddling
 
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Reply #12 - 04/12/11 at 15:24:55

yankeeclipper   Offline
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When comparing USCA style bladeing with oc bladeing keep in mind the water conditions. USCA is flat water and there are no swells or whitecaps in the rivers where it was developed, hence smaller blade, rounder handle, shorter shaft. Also remember this type of stroke is not new it was developed by the French voyagers to move goods (furs) over long distances w/o knocking themselves out. We'll talk about the portages later. It seems to me that the oc stroke is slower (so a wider blade) and a longer shaft to catch in the troughs. Most of those paddles have a "t" grip for more control like whitewater paddles. Might be wrong, just my observation. Time for a hybrid flat water oc paddle maybe?
 
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Reply #13 - 04/12/11 at 15:28:08

Manitou Paddler   Offline
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Sounds right on...i would like to see that video

The hard part is to disconnect the timing of the in water phase from the above water phase....when tired can tend to have both at same speed and just round house...never ending journey seeking sticky water Smiley

Bryan
 

river is as river does
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Reply #14 - 04/13/11 at 09:31:49

davea   Offline
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Dan,
One way to help with the exit is to loosen up your hands right at the completion of the power phase, just as you begin the exit.  The natural path of the blade out of the water will let the pressure on the face of the blade "pop" it out of the water without impacting the glide at all.  This will also help with the circular recovery which many people (me included) favor for long distance paddling.  The straighter recovery will give you a slightly faster stroke but you have to lift the blade higher and I don't think it's worth it.  The circular recovery also helps the entry and catch - you can apply power while slightly sliding the blade in at an angle without any "plop".  All part of looking for the perfect stroke - that zen thing you guys are talking about.  It's a strangely satisfying feeling to have it all come together and hard to explain, you just know it when you feel it!
Dave
 
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Reply #15 - 04/13/11 at 09:48:22

WAIMANU   Offline
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Dave, Bryan  ...you fellas ARE talking about paddling - aren't you!!??? Undecided  ...maybe it's an age thing, but I could have sworn that .....couldn't be, not on this forum!  Embarrassed Wink Wink ...just finished a workout and must be a little light-headed  ...time for a cold shower  ...carry on!

Bill / Waimanu

...I remeber that zen feeling! Roll Eyes
 
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Reply #16 - 04/13/11 at 11:01:05
Osprey   Ex Member

 
Dave - awesome insight.  Thanks much!

Bill - I thought you were going to break into a Righteous Brother's song there for a moment ... "You lost that Zen feeling, wooha that Zen feeling.  You lost that Zen feeling now it's gone, gone, gone, wooha whooha woo."

Bryan - If you're up KC way sometime, I can slide a copy of that video to you on a flash drive or something.  Have fun with the clinic this weekend.
 
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Reply #17 - 04/13/11 at 18:29:33

Manitou Paddler   Offline
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Here is a drill I have been doing that is both good for interval training on a single and maintaining good form and catch at higher outputs.....I start out a set of 10 strokes on one side..first one soft with good form and count 1-2-3.....etc with each stroke harder than the last...make sure I do not extend the stroke and maintain form...just more pull and foot pressure with each stroke...get to 10 and switch sides and start again 1-soft 2 harder 3 harder again.....until 10....do this for a mile or two (preferable while gioing up river against a 5-6 mph current and I promise an elevated heart rate.....and will emphasize a solid plant...cause cavitation is obvious at higher outputs

Oc-1.......mmmmmmmm good Smiley

Bryan
 

river is as river does
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Reply #18 - 04/14/11 at 01:45:29

ORF   Offline
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I got that double blade zen thing one time but a doctor gave me a pill and cleared it right up.

 

"Everyone must believe in something. I believe I'll go canoeing."  Henry David Thoreau
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