Whenever I happen upon a group of obviously new paddlers (kayakers) it’s very common for about half of them paddling with their paddles upside down. I don’t like to be too dogmatic about it, but I can’t help myself and I almost always ask them if they know their paddle is upside down. About half the time the answer is, yes, that’s the way I like it. The others might say, really, how can you tell? Most often, that will be the female paddlers. Of course, that generally leads to an explanation of the paddle design, for which the ladies are grateful, but not the guys. As they paddle away, the guys stubbornly stick with “the way they like it.”
The other thing I just can’t help myself with is giving a quick demo of paddling with torso rotation instead of the arm thing. Again, the ladies seem to appreciate the advice, but most often the men go off more determined than ever to prove how strong their arms are.
There are so many things that I learned for myself by reading, watching videos, live demonstrations and experimenting, but never had anyone volunteer advice. I remember asking for advice a couple of times, but I was told by a very wise and great paddler, “you’ll learn.” I often wonder how I would have reacted to unsolicited advice in the early times.