Dynamic edge control for a dynamic paddling environment

As we paddle in a dynamic environment it is vital that we maintain speed when entering and exiting the flow whilst also maintaining stability. When developing instrinsic feedback we can clearly establish the correlation between hull speed and stability when correctly applied.

 A stable and dynamic edge can be established as we break into the flow from an eddy as follows:

  1. Drive the boat forward, setting the appropriate boat angle, with the last upstream paddle stroke inside the eddy.
  2. Reach across the eddyline and again drive the boat forward with a downstream paddle stroke, rotating your body downstream to initiate your boat's edge.
  3. Stabilise this edge with pressure on the downstream foot, and as the paddle passes the hip, change the paddle orientation into a stern draw, feeling the pressure of the water on the power face of the paddle blade.
  4. Vary your turn as necessary by increasing pressure on the power face of the paddle blade for a wider turn, or by trimming forward slightly whilst maintaining active blade pressure for a sharper turn during the glide phase.

We can also apply this technique as we break out from the flow:

  1. Drive the boat forward, setting the appropriate boat angle, with the last downstream paddle stroke outside the eddy.
  2. Reach across the eddyline and again drive the boat forward with an upstream paddle stroke, rotating your body upstream to initiate your boat's edge.
  3. Stabilise this edge with pressure on the upstream foot, and as the paddle passes the hip, change the paddle orientation into a stern draw, feeling the pressure of the water on the power face of the paddle blade.
  4. Vary your turn as necessary by increasing pressure on the power face of the paddle blade for a wider turn, or by trimming forward slightly whilst maintaining active blade pressure for a sharper turn during the glide phase.

The extra support received from the active blade really does make a huge difference as we carry our boat speed into and out of the eddy.

This techique has been difficult to put into words so here's a short video to assist with this technique...

 

Happy paddling!