Sweep it forward, pull it back towards centerline and out of the water, or rotate paddle and slice it out of water?
I do all my braces with a sweep or sculling motion. I have learned others, but what I find actually works best if big waves, breakers and chop is a sweep, either forward o rearward. Also the one thing that makes it the most effective is torso rotation instead of using arms. But when I brace I am rotating the torso for the paddle strokes anyway, so I simply move my paddle in what ever way it’s going and turn it into a brace. Once you learn the movement it’s not like a deferent stroke as much as is simply a different angle of the paddle.
Oh… I use mostly a Greenland or Aleut paddle. Used correctly every stroke is bracing to some extent with them. Once I learned how to use these bracing strokes I find it fairly easy to use a Euro type too, but it’s much better for me if I extend my paddle so I have one hand on the base of a blade. Because I do not feather my blades I know exactly what angle the blade is under the water… because it’s the same as the one over the water.
upright, because I don’t have gills.
For me, largely in a surfing context, the size of the wave and what it is doing dictate whether I am using a high brace or low brace. A brace combined with a sweep forward or back – at the right moment – is used to re-establish directional control. The brace and sweep forward finish usually serves to turn the bow predictably seaward (the direction from which I came) and allow me to get back over the dissipating foam pile. The brace and (quick and short) sweep back is used to turn more quickly and reestablish forward control usually on the beginning and or middle stage of the foam pile. As the the brace turns into a (short) sweep back, this has to be quickly followed by a forward stoke or sweep stroke on the other side to finish turning the bow around quickly. Can be tricky and high risk for a capsize because edge switching is involved - one is initially edging and leaning into the wave, followed by a subtle shift to no edge. If the shift is overdone, one ends up edging into the down wave side, tripping on that edge and going quickly into a maytag.
In dynamic water, high and low braces, stern rudders and sweep strokes will morph and blend to respond as needed to what the wave is doing.
Monkeyhead I’m pretty sure I’ve finshed all of the above ways in the whitewater realm in both a kayak or c1. How you finish has a lot to do with how you end up (body position) and the feature itself. Robin Pope (ACA instructor trainer) once told me I braced a lot more than I really needed. I was okay with that because the down side (losing forward momentum) is far out weighed by the literal upside (staying upright). I am literally a float and brace kind of guy.
The folks, that paddle with me on ww, know that I struggle to roll but the brace is pretty good. For me, a good brace is all about getting your weight into the feature with your paddle stabbing out (waves) or down (when the boat is leaning off kilter in the base of drops). I will tell you, I find it pretty much the same for a high (power side) or low brace (back side of the blade). Getting your weight into the feature, stabbing into the feature with rotation is the key element for me. How it ends, depends upon if I get spun (back sweep), if the paddle buries (feather up), or if I just want to keep it moving to keep it dynamic. A c1 roll, ends with a low brace pushing down, while getting the head forward again as you finish. You use the same technique in a quick “almost flip” situation to stay upright. Different braces in different features. Keep everything in tight (paddlers box) and rotate torso. Get your weight into the feature! The actual paddle blade is a secondary skill! Anticipate, get your weight up on the nearest edge to the feature, and use the feature for support.
The answer to this is “It depends.” I’ve done all of those. I don’t remember thinking about How Do I End It.
Whatever looks and feels like it will best set up the paddle for what’s coming next is the wordier but always true answer.
Depends how close I am to going over. If I’m close its a flap, a hip snap and a prayer
Prefer - With the shiny side remaining up.
Why so my tobacco stays dry of course.
First off I’m a GP user. Low and high braces are both usually ‘sweep forward and I’m up’. If that doesn’t do it then it’s ‘sweep back, also’.
I know you didn’t ask for my advice… but hey. This is the advice category.
I don’t know about euro paddles but with a GP you get way, way more lift / purchase / bite if you have your blade down in the water and push it forward or backward as you push down. I think they call it sculling. No flapping or slapping straight down. Try it.
(The same motion can also make rolling ‘stupid easy’).
I think for me it’s about blade angle control and transition into the next stroke. With a true off-balance functioning low brace, you need support until you don’t - until your body positioning is back where it needs to be. In my experience, that can be less than perfectly predictable. The next stroke coupled with the next destabilizing moment can make the transition and timing pretty important. Transitions can make everything happen more quickly and more smoothly. As we work to get better with blade angle control, our stroke transitions become more rapid and fluid, and our overall transitions come along with it. We transition into a brace more quickly and effectively. As a result, our out-of-balance is less extreme. We transition out more quickly and effectively.
So for example, you may want to end the skull coming back towards you near the surface so that you can power into a reverse stroke or sweep. Or you might end your skull forward at a bit of a downward slice so that you can arc up and reverse direction into a forward stroke or sweep. The paddle never leaves the water. You maintain paddle support through the transition. So. I guess the answer to whether I gradually slice upward or go for a more abrupt arc is it depends. Well-developed blade angle control is where I believe the answer lies.