In-water paddle recovery?

I am about to finish an ottertail paddle in cherry.I have more stock to remove,but compared to a Zav,this thing weighs a ton.

I have seen in-water recovery mentioned here,by which I gather you eliminate the swing weight of the paddle,but am having a hard time envisioning it.

References or explanations are appreciated.

Couple of reeferfences…

– Last Updated: Jul-31-10 2:54 PM EST –

Bill Mason's Path Of The Paddle

De Canadian (partial underwadda recovery) at minute 6 an' de Indian stroke (full underwadda recovery) at minute 8 but watch de whole thang cuz later it'll show dem strokes used in actual conditoons.


Becky Mason's "Classic Solo Canoeing"

Fat Elmo

At the end of your stroke
turn your paddle so that the blade is parallel to the direction the boat is moving and slice it forward.

I don’t expect it will do much to ease the pain of a heavy stick though.

Once I’m in the water, the first thing I
recover is my paddle, and then I get a hand on my boat.

yes but
you forgot the palm roll. Thats not fruit. Its switching from thumb down to thumb up on your grip hand WITOUT MOVING THE PADDLE (I am not mad just for emphasis) That allows you to naturally slice the paddle forward with the edges parallel to the keel line witout making yourself in to a Snyders Pretzel

Another way…
is to slice forward in the thumb down position and bring the paddle tip out briefly at the very beginning of the next forward stroke. I first observed this extremely elegant technique used by Mark Molina, tried it for myself on an eight mile river trip, and fro me it resulted in a six week severe case of elbow tendonitis. I now incorporate a palm roll before the slice forward, and that technique , as Kim described, works much better for me.

Palm roll or indian stroke

every stroke you rotate the paddle 180 degrees in your palm. I was doing it all morning. You’ll never feel the weight of the paddle. But you’ll never go 6 mph either. But that’s not the idea. It’s a great stroke. It’s easy to build the correction right in, stern pry, bow draw or a little of each.

It will alleviate the weight problem
And an ottertail should in-water return nicely.

The stroke is more practical and useful to me on twisty moving water than a lake. You can maneuver from forward strokes into axles, posts, wedges, sideslips, draws and braces–and vice versa–without ever removing your paddle from the water.

Thanks everyone.I may soon have
lots of time to practice.

You can do that and then …
… do a palm roll when the blade has sliced all the way forward. That way, you can keep the blade in the water rather than flipping it out for the next catch.

I showed this to Tom MacKenzie last summer.

But I prefer doing the palm roll behind me, before the slice forward.

Shouldn’t be a weight problem once
you get it trimmed.

I have a 60" ash Nashwaak and its weight is quite reasonable. Of course you’ll have to take the grain of the cherry into account in planning what you plane off.

Cherry varies a good bit in weight. The cherry I have bought from Constantine has usually been lighter than ash. Cherry in furniture kits has perhaps been a little heavier. But I cut down a cherry tree in the back yard, dried some, and had it planed, and it was the heaviest, hardest cherry I’ve seen, surpassing any walnut or mahogany I have around.

Another Benefit - continuous correction!
I find that I go to an in-water recovery in wind or weird current situations, because it allows me to reduce my “J” correction and correct continuously during the recovery. I get so comfortable doing it, I have to make a conscious effort to go back to the more efficient standard stroke.

Notice in the video …
On the Indian stroke, Mason doesn’t do his in-water return as a neutral vertical slice, as it’s taught in stylized freestyle classes. He does the slice return with an angled paddle in an arc.

He sort of explains two different benefits to this over the neutral vertical slice return. By loading the upward face during the angled slice return you get an anti-yaw correction effect, which may be what Wenonahrider is describing below. By loading the downward face during the angled slice return you get a bracing effect, which is useful in maintaining stability in turbulence.

What kind of grip are you doing?

If you’re going to palm roll, you may want a different grip style than you were maybe considering. Here is a shape to consider:

I have never paddled a paddle like
this but I have modeled my grip after my Zav.

My paddle looks like ‘D’ in the photo.