How to paddle in Following Seas?

For the first time I was travelling directly with the wind chop and my boat was getting a little bit of speed from the swells passing under my boat. Just a little bit of giddy-up as the boat would momentarily slip down the front of the swell.

I changed from normal paddling to timing the swells. I would plant my paddle near the crest of each wave and pull against the wave. More like bracing than full strokes. My question to you all is, how do you paddle in following seas? Is bracing like this an efficient means of propulsion or just splashing in the water? Would I be better off just keeping my normal stroke in those conditions?

Thanks - Tom.

If you’re going to be out for a while, it’s less tiring to just maintain a normal stroke. Since I’m usually out to play when there are good waves, I try to accelerate as I feel the boat lift to try to stay on the face of the wave as long as possible.

Wave height, length, steepness, spacing are all variables to consider.

You almost have it.
You discovered an energy saving technique. You can find out more on this with a little research.

Timing the stroke is the key to conserving energy in waves. I THINK I read to paddle the face and coast/brace down the backside for best effect. I urge you to look it up. I might have found it here.

Just goes to show you what you can learn by paying attention and experimenting. Some folks would paddle years without learning this skill. And others you could try and try but just don’t get it.

If you don’t find the articles, just keep practicing and changing up what you are doing, you will get the rythem. It will FEEL right.

I think the article I read said to NOT paddle steady as suggested above. But in lieu if specific skills in waves, continuous paddling is preferred to coasting with no bracing. I wish I had the link but try a “paddling technique for waves” search and I bet you find it.