Inside circle, Is a Sweep a Correction?

In Glen’s Circle thread I beat him up a little on using corrections when paddling an inside circle.

Then I mentioned to Megan that letting your forward stroke move away from the hull (aka a sweep stroke) is an effective way to keep the circle from getting too small.

I always thought of that as a forward stroke. The distance from the hull is often slight but there certainly are times when I’m using a full blown sweep all the way out and back till my paddle kisses the stern.

So, J’s pry’s and bowdraw’s all slow the boat. The sweep has some forward component to it so it does not slow the boat.

But the sweep is often considered a correction stroke.

So is there a term to distinguish corrections that kill momentum from corrections that add momentum?


Whew, I may not understand
what you are getting at. First I think of Sweeps as slowing a solo canoe. Second, I’ve never reffered to them as correction strokes. Maybe I’ve been travelling in different circles ( forgive the “inside” pun). I don’t see where in “paddling inside the circle” one would use a full Sweep.

Regarding Sweeps, in FS, I teach the Wedge and Cross Forward maneuvers using an initiation consisting of an uncorrected forward following close along the gunwale. This allows a bit more speed and power vs. the Sweep which results in a bit more turning but slows the hull.

In whitewater situations, when a strong
turn is needed, usually we don’t care about slowing the boat. In fact, slowing the boat may be good.

I use a wedge occasionally to move the boat sideways, but only when I am sure there is nothing down there to trip the paddle. Otherwise I’ll cross draw. I most often use a half sweep when I want to change the angle of the boat on approach to an eddy or some other feature. Having to use a full sweep sometimes shows a lack of planning.

to avoid confusion…
the term Wedge comes out of the FS lexicon and refers to an offside turn heeled to the onside and does not move the hull sideways.

The Wedge- Man’s Simplest Tool.

The wedge ( as I understand it) is a move that involves a jam or inverted jam… and a heel to the same side as the paddle placement: CEW’s “Freestyle Canoeing” talks of deflecting the forward stem inside a carved turn, but in the 2nd and 4th quadrant (i.e. when travelling astern), that’s actually the aft stem!

Corrections are what happens after the power phase of the stroke to correct for it’s flaws.

Controls preceed the power phase, as in a little bow draw to keep the boat from torquing when starting from a dead stop.

So adding a sweeping component to a forward stroke would be a controlling nuance.

On another note, those damn reverse wedges are really quite easy. get the boat headed aft, initiate with a reverse sweep or cross reverse sweep and stick the inverted jam. ride it out while trying to appear calm, than conclude with a full, 180 dg reverse or cross reverse sweep. The hull should skid 270 dg every time, once you’re past 90 on the wedge itself the reverse sweep will pick up the rest of the rotation. Please note this is different from a reverse wedgie!

exactly as I stated…
I could give you a long, boring treatise on the Wedge but chose not to do so. Point was that it does not involve moving the hull sideways a mis-stated. The Wedge is a turning, not a slipping maneuver. In FS a jam to a slipping maneuver would be an Offside Sideslip. That is an inverted jam on the Onside ( the side being paddled on) with a heel to the Onside which moves the hull diagonally toward the Offside.

If you’d like a technical explanation of each I’ll be glad to do so in a private e-mail or you could schedule a lesson.


different use of terms

– Last Updated: Aug-03-10 4:33 AM EST –

in FreeStyle the Wedge is the name for a move, but outside it is also used as the name for a paddle stroke in itself (also called a stationery pry?) with which you can sideslip your canoe too.
Just like the Post is the name for a move in FreeStyle, but it is also used as a name for just a paddle stroke (also known as stationery draw, or Duffek by kayakers) with which you can sideslip your canoe too.

Ooh Ooh it’s a Nuance!
I feel so sophisticated!

But I think that describes the stroke best.

The pure forward stroke gets nuanced out away from the hull to increase the radius of the circle. Often it’s so slight that it’s hard to see.

Occasionally the nuance turns into a full blown sweep. But where does nuance end and sweep take over?

I dunno. Don’t think I really care so long as the boat goes where I want.

Early on some folks mistakely used the term Wedge to refer to the Offside Sideslip using the stationary pry. It lead to a lot of confusion, so we would rather correctly keep it as a turning maneuver to the offside heel and placement to the onside. I cannot speak to kayacking terms but before I ever saw a kayack on a river WW canoeists were using the term Duffeck for an onside turn heeled to the onside with a draw to the bow. It never had any sideslip component. The FS lexicon for this turn is the Axle, which includes a high brace stationary placement with draw to the bow conclusion.

“Early on…” Your problem is, some of
us discovered some of these strokes in the early 70s and started using logical names for them. “Wedge” made more sense to me than “stationary pry” given that I was not prying at all. I often force the wedge forward along the side of the boat to amplify the effect.

Have you been hanging around at ACA instructor school, or a similar source of Newspeak?

Careful Gary
You Jam that Wedge too hard you’ll split your boat in two! 8-o

Can’t say as I’ve ever heard of a sideslip called a wedge. But it might be the same but for the fore to aft placement.

It can take the vinyl off Royalex.
I rarely use the stroke, and mostly restrict it to low rocker boats. But it works to throw the boat over and to slow it, which can be handy for back ferries or just to give the photographer more time to focus.

wedge, jam, stationary pry
Who cares what you call it. You put the paddle in vertically amidships with a slightly closed angle of attack and the boat moves to the offside.

I prefer to cross over and use a stationary draw or “hanging draw” to sideslip to the offside since I am somewhat less inclined to lever myself out of the canoe if the paddle snubs on a rock, but the effect is the same.

I couldn’t agree more…
There’s all kinds of terminology, some from across the centuries and it gets very confusing. That is why my remarks to Dirk ( not you) are placed within the context of FS lexicon. I do not suggest that you adopt any term about which I speak, unless you want to learn about FS Open Canoe. My posts are most often clarifying for FS paddlers. My opinions are in no way dogmatic, but come from being around many FS events, many FS paddlers and instructors, and a continuing dialogue within the FS community of paddlers. It comes from observation and real time experience.

Your comment seems to imply that we all comform to some sort of g2d dictionary. BTW I know a lot of folks who have been paddling since the 70’s and are still ignorant. Longevity does not insure good chops.


It’s a waste of time to try to impose
uniform terminology, unless everyone is going to live and work in the same uniform.

The term Freestyle Canoe and all other
terms under that umbrella were promulgated by the Nat. FS Committee , including all the terms in the FS curriculum. This is one of the disciplines in paddling to take this approach and I’m proud to be part of such an effort. In our symposiums a common language is spoken and it’s refreshing. All I’m trying to do is remain consistent with terms in this particular discipline to avoid the type of confusion regularly seen in places such as this forum. My message is to the FS students who wish to intelligently speak about that subject. Those who wish to learn rather than just offer lipservice, are in this way provided a standard nomenclature, by which intelligent discussion can proceed.

I eschew psuedo intellectuals who attempt to agrandize themselves by incorrectly using termiology in fields about which they are untutored. If you insist on using FS terms incorrectly, then get ready because I will correct you each and every time. It’s confusing enough without your misuse. You almost seem to revel in that confusion. Is it because you’d rather try to dazzle with bullshit rather than actually study the subject?

BTW, Dirk I’ve noticed you are someone who attempts to actually educate yourself and my responce to you is only as a member of the FS curriculuum comm. You are correct the term Wedge means several things, so hopefully in FS we chose one and stick to it. I look forward to our next discussion.

Terminlogy can be confusing

– Last Updated: Aug-04-10 4:33 AM EST –

and I sure didn't invent all these different names that all started with Babel (, so I am told by the same people who also told me that New York used to be called Nieuw Urk ( even before it was called Nieuw Amsterdam :-)
Also I have done my share of dissecting and translating FreeStyle moves and terminology to Dutch audiences consisting of paddlers with a touring paddling background mostly, while trying to relate these FreeStyle moves as much as possible to what they are familiar with.
One of the things I have discovered to be important, is to make a clear distinction between a maneuver or move and a paddling stroke. For example a turn is a maneuver and a sweep is a paddle stroke. Now with a sweep you can make a turn, but that doesn't mean a sweep is a turn. In paddling though we often see that an important stroke in a maneuver gets the same name as the maneuver, which can be confusing. Good example is the Duffek and the Duffek stroke. Also a FreeStyle move like a Post is done with a stroke (stationary draw) that is also called a Post by many (touring) paddlers. Of course this stationary draw or post can be used in other maneuvers too, which may cause confusion when talking about it. The same applies to the FreeStyle move called a Wedge which is done with a stroke (stationary pry/push or inverted jam) that many paddlers call a wedge. This wedge (stroke) can be used in other maneuvers too, like sideslipping.
Now this can be very confusing and complicated stuff, I sure agree, but I think it is important for people who try to explain FreeStyle, to be aware of and relate to these possible different use of terms as much as possible, especially when discussing paddling technique with touring and whitewater paddlers.