Wed June 3rd 2015
Steering by Leaning
You can steer by changing sides, or with draw strokes and cross bow strokes. However, the most efficient way to steer the boat is to lean it and let it carve to one side or the other. This is especially useful when the water is shallow and you need to keep short fast strokes in order to keep moving - leaning will keep your forward momentum but still let you steer.
In order to do this well, both paddlers need to keep the boat loose so that it can lean gently and effectively. The leans work the opposite of a bike, so lean away from where you want to go. (i.e. to go right, lean left)
Wednesday May 27th 2015
Keep the stroke in front of you and paddle with a positive angle. This pushes down on the water and that pops the boat up (especially in the shallow conditions we have had lately!) Paddling behind you with a negative angle means you lift up water with your paddle. This is tiring, but also sucks the boat down and makes it heavier. Try these things to keep your boat lighter:
Sunday group paddles will be officially starting again this Sunday May 10th.
The group will meet at 1:30pm for the paddles during the month May to make use of the warmer afternoon weather. Arrive a little early to help organize canoes and paddling partners.
For more details about Sunday Paddles, check our 'About' page on the Marathon Website.
Wednesday May 6th 2015
We will kick-off the official start to the Marathon paddling season this Wednesday with our Mentor Led Wednesday night paddles. For all those interested, this is a structured paddling session intended for those who have some experience paddling canoes and are looking to improve their skills and perhaps get involved with racing. Newer paddlers will be paired with experienced paddlers who will provided feedback and guidance throughout the session. These session will also be led by a mentor paddler who will lead the group through some specific skill practice and paddling. These group paddles start at 6:30pm and usually last for about 1.5 hours. Meet at the boathouse a few minutes early if you can to help the mentors group everyone for the session.
This weeks' focus will introduce and review the mechanics of a good "catch" or blade entry into the water for an efficient marathon paddling stroke. Smashing down into the catch can make your boat bouncy and it limits your stroke rate. Slicing or ‘sneaking’ the blade in sideways keeps the boat running smoother and also allows for higher turnover. Try the side entry catch drill when you are sitting still. Keep your bottom hand in the same spot and move your top hand in and out. Think also about angling the blade forward so the catch gives you more reach (angling it back gives you less).
With colder temperatures setting in, Sunday group paddle will be moved to 1:00 PM to make use of the warmer part of the day.
Now that fall is upon us, we will be shifting our Wednesday group paddle session to start at 6:00pm to take advantage of what daylight we can as our days become shorter and shorter.
We will continue to meet at the boathouse and organize into canoes together, but rather than mentor-led workouts, the focus for the Wednesday evening paddle will be to continue to work on all of the various paddling and boat skills, to practice paddling in a group, and to paddle as much as we can until it either becomes too cold (ie. ice ice on the river) or too dark.
As the fall progresses you may want to bring a head-lamp for paddling as it gets dark, not really for your own vision, but to ensure that you are visible to other boats/ river users.
Wednesday August 26th 2014
This week, we are going to encourage the novice and rookie bow paddlers to paddle in the stern. Mentors will sit in the front today, help steer and give (encouraging!) feedback. Since the water is low and slow and the weather is still warm, this is a good time to give it a try.
Steering in marathon canoes is still all about speed: we switch sides to steer instead of using j-strokes and we lean the boat gently to make small corrections. Here are a few tips:
Wednesday August 20th 2014
All paddling is good paddling, but different kinds of boats need to be paddled in different ways. Recreational paddling often involves some j-strokes and steering strokes behind a paddler's hip. However, in marathon where the main goal is going fast and the boats are lighter, it pays to keep your strokes up front and minimize the drag of paddling behind you. Lighter, up-front strokes keep a light marathon boat moving, without being as muscular or tiring as deep strokes that pull way back.
Many of the marathon tips are similar to those we covered when we talked about keeping the boat light a few weeks back:
Wednesday August 13th 2014
Good changes are synchronized, quick, and maintain the glide of the boat. When things aren’t going well, they take too long and can disrupt the boatrun. Here are some tips for good changes:
Wednesday August 6th 2014
Special Guest presenter Graham Smith will share with use some of the finer details of how to successfully complete a portage section during a race.
Portages can be critical moments in a marathon race. There is no wash to ride when you are running so teams will often use the portage to try to break up a pack or otherwise gain an advantage on their competitors. While being able to run fast is never a bad thing, there are many other aspects of a good portage that can enhance your running advantage or make up for lack of running speed.
Tips for a good portage:
Photos by Audry Blais from the Classique internationale de canots de la Mauricie facebook page.
Group Paddle Focus
Details for our weekly group paddle training sessions. All sessions start at 6:30pm at the Victoria Boat House.
May 10: Welcome
May 17: Marathon Stroke
*May 24: Steering POSTPONED
May 31: TBA..
June 7: Intro to riding wash
June 14: Reading Rivers
June 21: Shallows
June 28: Buoy Turns
July 5: TBA..
July 12: Race Starts
July 19: Portaging
July 26: Race Nutrition
Aug 2: Group Paddle
Aug 9: Side & Side Wash
Aug 16: Group Paddle
Aug 23: Equipment
Aug 30: Group Paddle