Re: Rule of Thumb?

Posted by LeeG on Jun 3, 2004

Mac, what Don says is exactly right on. Manufactures often bounce around with various attributes to meet the customers needs,er or perceived needs,,fashion,,who knows, water and bodies haven't changed so it's profit pursuing a mystery. If you paddled a Cape Charles you'd have a similar impression compared to paddling a Chesapeake that the Cape Charles wanders. Here's a gross generalization that sometimes applies,?,,kayaks that are designed by skilled paddlers attempt to accomodate competing attibutes that Don mentions,,speed, wind/wave handling, maneuverability, and who knows what else,,,beginning paddlers tend to feel that those kayaks "don't go straight". That's because the beginning paddler hasn't really distinguished between putting effort into the blade in the forward portion of the stroke to go forward and using an arcing stroke in the aft quarter to turn. Most folks handed a paddle will think that you paddle on the left to go right and on the right to go left,,and if you keep the paddling going left/right/left/right you should go forward. Most beginning paddlers swing their hands up and down with an immobile torso attempting a kind of canoe stroke where the maximum effort is applied when the blade is amidship with a bending elbow/contracting bicep. With effort applied midship with a deep blade imitating a canoe stroke the blade is in a position where less than half the effort will actually propel the kayak forward and the rest of the effort is beginning a turning effort,,,heck another half is doing nothing,,it could be mixing a margarita in the water for the stress on small ligaments in your hands/forearm. Without understanding WHERE the blade goes and HOW power is applied there's a NATURAL tendency for walking talking homo sapiens to keep swinging the paddle and increase overcompensation causing gross zig/zag movements. There are a lot of decent videos out there,,check them out. From what I've seen it takes at least a year of paddling for most folks to be able to paddle a straight line on a parallel course with another paddler.

In Response to: Rule of Thumb? by Mac on Jun 2, 2004