Wednesday June 25th 2014
Draw strokes help steer the boat from the front and the back. A draw stroke will bring your end of the boat toward your paddle. The person in the bow may need to make micro adjustments when wash-riding in order to keep a line, and they need to take initiative on this since the stern person can’t always see. These little draws are like a forward stroke, but with a much wider catch, like a 30-degree angle stroke. These keep the boat moving forward and add speed, but also correct the direction a little bit. A ‘post’ is a draw stroke that doesn’t move. You place the paddle in the water and hold it there. In both cases the water force should always be on the power face (pulling side) of the blade, not the backside. You can adjust the angle with your top hand to grab more or less water. A strong draw stroke has the shaft almost vertical; this means your top hand needs to be far out over the water.
Wednesday June 18th 2014
Marathon races are not usually won or lost in the first 100m, but it can be important to get in with the right pack for wash riding. Here are some tips:
Wednesday June 11th 2014
Now that the water levels have dropped, there are more shallow spots and sandbars to navigate on the river. When going downstream, you aim for the deepest, fastest water and avoid the slow sandbars. However, when going up stream, the shallows near the bank is the best place to be. Shallow water adds more friction to the boat and can suck the boat down. In order to ‘pop’ the boat up, a different stroke is required: further up front, positive angle, and very quick. This feels like doing just the first half of the stroke, but the stroke rate comes up a lot. The up-front, positive angle helps make the boat lighter, and the quick strokes keep the boat moving along so it doesn’t have a chance to sink down between boats.
As you move up along the shoreline, think about responding to shallow, sucky water with quicker, up-front strokes to pop the boat.
Watch out for rocks!
You can steer a marathon canoe 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. Leaning the canoe allows you to maintain speed while turning.
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.The person in the back decides when to lean and how much, the person in the front stays loose to accommodate it.