I really did not nag him too hard over the years. He has just decided to unlearn it which makes me very proud.
Now, the arms and hands are an integral and very important part of the paddling experience as they do come into play in so many other ways. So as Ryan eloquently points out, we are all arm paddlers.
They just are not the most efficient way to generate power. I refer back to my earlier point of being able to drive my car in first gear w/o ever shifting.
I love starting this thread. There’s a lot of passion to it on both sides.
The most important thing is to always arrive alive IMHO.
i once saw an interview with Tommy yonley about a good paddle stroke. I don’t remember exactly what he said, but it started with plant the blade and then pull really hard. Of course it is way more complex, but I think his point was made.
No one is really just arm paddling. Unless they are sitting perfectly straight forward and only using the stroke side arm in a scraping back motion. Just keeping the stroke side arm locked for the first half of the pull engages the whole upperbody.
I like when I see people over rotating themselves leaving the blade in the water well past their hips.
Paddle strokes are personal and evolving. Of course there is a best way, but that’s for Olympians. Real students of the game have people whose stroke they most admire, it doesn’t make the others bad at it.
“No one is really just arm paddling. Unless they are sitting perfectly straight forward and only using the stroke side arm in a scraping back motion. Just keeping the stroke side arm locked for the first half of the pull engages the whole upperbody.”
Actually quite a few beginners do exactly this. Their arms are never straight because they don’t reach forward. With a brand new paddler I only briefly mention torso rotation and instead just suggest they reach for their toes as the best first step to easier paddling.
grab a cold one…
“Actually quite a few beginners do exactly this. Their arms are never straight because they don’t reach forward. With a brand new paddler I only briefly mention torso rotation and instead just suggest they reach for their toes as the best first step to easier paddling”.
Another mental image (that works for a surprisingly large amount of the population) is to have a student imagine that the last beer is all the way at the back of the fridge, just out of reach of their arm, and they have to turn their body to reach it…
In a scenario where someone was over rotating and bringing the blade well past their hips, it seems like it could be better described as rotating and pulling their arms back too far. This seems to describe someone starting to use torso rotation, but still wanting to feel that pull in their arms. I think I was there for a while. Once they convince themself that the arm pull is weaker and no longer necessary, the blade will no longer go past the hip. So over-arming, not over-rotating, I would think would be a better description?
fun reading this
Sounds like you are good friends, and best of luck paddling together.
Over the years in commercial beekeeping and working construction in the south at times in 100+ heat and high humidity one has to be aware of the body. Situational awareness is much more important than many people often realize.
get him a copy of Brent Reitz’s
forward paddling stroke DVD
Give it to him as a birthday present and let him sort it out with the DVD
arm paddling can be a safety issue
If he becomes listless half way across a channel because he’s run out of steam, it can become a safety issue fast.
I like the idea of getting him a DVD
If he wants to do it (and now it sounds like he does), he can get the instruction step by step at his own pace. I used the Brent Reitz DVD and highly recommend it, although there are others out there too. Then get him Nigel Foster’s DVD #3 on directional control as a treat!
I know people who paddle now the same way they did the first week they bought their first kayak. It’s voluntary ignorance, and they are happy at that level.
It sounds like your partner is happy with his position on the learning curve. You probably won’t change his mind.
I understand why this bugs you
You and your friend don’t seem compatible as paddling companions. You have different paddling and personality styles and values. Some will say it shouldn’t matter and you should get over it. Personally, I find that certain things about a paddling companion really bug me, like people who talk too loud. I really value my time on the water and don’t want it to be ruined by the wrong partner. So I can understand that this guy’s paddling style and his attitude about it bother you.
I think you should give him an ultimatum. If he really wants to paddle with you he will work on his style. If he’s not willing to do that, he will have to find a partner who is equally uninterested in paddling skills.
some people just know everything
and make certain they tell you what you are doing wrong. The companion paddler is a liability in more ways than just the arm paddling. O gifted one that knows better, why must you try to train him? Neither one of you are enjoying the experience…“Don’t try to teach a pig to sing… and it annoys the pig…” Some folks just have given up listening and putting up with know-it-alls, even if the know-it-all has their best interest at heart. Its too bad we can’t all get along, but then there are different strokes for different folk…get a new paddling partner or better yet, paddle solo.
We’re Both Stubborn That’s Why.
Actually, we're both stubborn goats who have known each other almost 30 years.
I will always paddle with him and paddle solo whenever I feel it too. He rags me hard whenever I paddle solo, but I do not mind. My work schedule is amenable to it.
Also, I'm not nearly in the gifted department. I'm just someone who always seeks to continuously improve myself no matter what the endeavor. Self-improvement that is self-motivated is the one major area where we are polar opposites though.
I also helped him to break his excessive consumption of sugar too which caused him major health problems, so I know he can change. He's broken me of bad things I used to do like excessive drinking. We both rag each other since the day we met whenever one feels the other is doing something wrong. Personally, I think it is healthy. Neither one of us can ever keep our mouths shut. Sometimes it can be quite comical.
Friends are supposed to tell you things others are too chicken to tell you. FYI: He's also recently committed to unlearning arm paddling. I also had very little to do with it. I will be there to lend a helping hand though as I am his friend.
I like paddling with him because he has a spirit of adventure that a lot of folks lack, even with his arm paddling which soon he will not be.
I do thank everyone for their input. You're keeping me on track in this ongoing work.
It sounds like
two stubborn paddlers. I’m sure there are things you do wrong too. Let it go.
A simple trick
Here are a few tricks to helping him get used to new technique. Get them used to one thing/step at a time. start with the first part then move to next step. A easy way to get someone used to torso rotation is the eyes. if they follow the paddle with there eye.often the body will turn were you look. It doesn’t take much time getting used to rotation like this. Not commenting on what you should do. But maybe this way of learning could open him up to using a different paddling style.
Can’t change anyone’s behavior
but your own. One of the best life lessons I ever learned.
Glad to hear he sees the light. You sound like you are a good friend to him. Count your blessings.
He began to break the habit today, and he told me that he sees the benefit. I could tell a huge difference too as even his confidence was vastly improved.
For those of you that keep throwing back in my face that I’m not perfect. You are so right that I am not perfect in so many ways, including paddling. I even accept it, but I really do try to fix whatever is my most important imperfection. However, there is always the next imperfection to overcome. I have too many imperfections to even bother counting. Imperfection is a condition of life in general.
Guess what, none of us are perfect paddlers or perfect in anything in life which is why we should keep on learning and never give up on anything.
Never stop learning!! Accept nothing less.
It sounds like a good friendship to me
"I pointed out to him on our last trip while we were in identical boats with identical paddles that I was doing 1 stroke to his 2 while running abreast with him. He replied to me that he was doing 2 and 1/2 to my one as if he had no care."
The 1-to-2 stroke stuff might not be relevant. Some people use a higher stroke rate (cadence) with shorter strokes. This isn’t wrong.