If some one can’t learn/use “proper” technique in calm/easy conditions, suggesting that they do so in more-challenging conditions makes no sense.
It takes some time and focus to practice/ingrain the proper technique.
Very True on Cadence Differences
You are absolutely right. You can move the exact same amount of water mass using either strategy. I think a smaller framed person with a less catchy blade may be served better by your suggestion. It’s all based on the mass of water you can throw back with your paddle per unit time.
However, a larger paddler having more mass and using a high catch blade is more efficient at using his greater mass and the higher catch blade to transfer his natural momentum to the water so he can paddle more slowly and achieve the same results. As he is moving a larger volume of water with each stroke he will have a greater forward propulsion force therefore greater speed.
Either strategy is totally valid once you take your personal physique and paddling style into consideration. For the record, I am a high angle paddler who uses higher catch blades. This is a very personal sport and what is better for me may be bad for someone else.
You are the engine and your paddle is your drive train. There are 4 cylinder paddlers that run at higher cadence and V8 paddlers that run a lower cadence. We all do X knots at the exact same speed as we are limited by our native hull speed among other things.
It’s just the V8 paddler with proper blade choice will run at the same speed at a slower cadence as he has more momentum by nature of his larger size. You have to pick a style that best matches you and your physique.
Seriously, it was like he was a totally different paddler yesterday after he quit his arm paddling. Quite successfully I might add.
No matter what any of you say, I will go on record as saying strict “arm paddling” is not the best way to go. I really do not care if person X can pull it off. He would be that much of a better paddler by learning not to arm paddle.
I would find a paddle that you can take him on a long trip where you can put the hurt on him while still being safe. Take him on a long group trip that has a place to land and use his huge arms to carry his boat to the road awaiting for you to return in the car when he gets too fatigued.
Hopefully he will see the limitations of his technique and want to improve or at least understand when you don’t take him on “those” type of trips.
I might resort to that, but he is beginning to see the light now. We had a conversation about it on the way home that went quite well as he was quite pleased with himself and I he.
We were on a group trip yesterday, and I think a little peer pressure in front of some very highly skilled folks may have had a little something to do with it.
Seriously, he was like a totally different kayaker once he stopped the arm paddling. I'd look behind me and there he was right on my tail just like it should be.
Thanks to everyone for helping. You all helped me think about things properly as it was a delicate situation.
Also, to all defenders of arm paddling. My only words are you cannot win in a battle against Physics.
This has been an interesting thread
Glad to hear it worked out for the best all around. You two are both luck to have such good paddle partners.
Said like a true friend