My longest Sunday afternoon trip to date

SZihn

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Well, I just finished my longest afternoon kayak trip to date. I try to go every Sunday after church.

I left at the Jarvis beach (small waterfront piece of land Beau Jarvis let's me use to kayak from) at 1:00 and paddled to the marina up by the dam on the north end of Boysen Reservoir I got out out of the water at 6:48. I measured it with calipers on my 7.5 minute series map. It was 13.75 miles and the total time was almost 6 hours. I did make 3 stops for about 10 minutes each time, so the actual time spent padding was close to 5.5 hours. That made the average about 2.5 MPH. Not great but not too bad I guess,
The wind was about 8-12 MPH for about 1/2 of the trip and directly to my 12:00, so I am sure the wind and waves slowed me down to some extent. I was lucky because about the time I was 1/3 mile north of Tough Creek Camp Ground the wind slacked off to about 2-3 MPH. My friend Jeff from Church was fishing up there so he picked me up and drove me back to my truck.

I read some people post speeds of around 3.5 MPH but I am not going that fast for that long, that's for sure.

I can and I have done 3.2 MPH for 1 hour, but I doubt I can do that for much longer than 1 hour How some folks go 3+ MPH over a full day's paddling is amazing to me. Maybe I'll get faster some day if I live long enough.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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:thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Paddling into wind makes a big difference.
As your technique improves, your speed will improve too.
My recommendation (I'm no expert, at all..) would be to focus on technique and not worry about your average speed too much.
Also, try not to get 'locked in' to a single cadence, vary it and throw in some 'interval training' sort of games with yourself.
Check out those Oscar Chalupsky videos online... :)
 

Mac50L

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I reckon on 5 kph / 3.11 mph for a day of paddling. OK, I should say, used to, as I haven't put in the amount of paddling I used to do for sometime. However as soon as you have a head wind, things start to go slower, a lot slower. Back in the days when it would be on the water every weekend, all day, that starts to up fitness.
 

sofstu

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You didn't say what boat you were using.
You should find your new kayak a fair amount faster than the old one, and others will have even faster boats.
Like stated above, technique and I would think even the paddle itself make a difference.

To be honest I don't care how fast I am, or anyone else around me is.
As long as everyone is enjoying themselves and stays safe.
 

SZihn

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sofstu, my only concern in my speed is not slowing down any group I'd go out with in the future. My sister goes to Alaska and paddles with some highly experienced paddlers and she has invited me. I really don't know what to expect as far as their speed goes, so I have only the posts I see on line to make my comparison to.
I was using the Necky Chatham 17 poly kayak. It's not a fighter jet, but it's faster then my rec-boats. The folks in Alaska told me that the plastic boats are fine and 2 of the prefer them over composite boats because of their ruggedness. So I may end up with other kayakers in light slimmer boats, but the 2 I am speaking of go all the time and no one says they are slow-pokes.

I have to learn by asking, becasue as of now I am the ONLY one I know paddling an ocean/touring kayak in this area. Maybe there is someone else in Wyoming doing ti, but thus far I have not met of heard of that person.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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SZihn- It's tough not having other sea kayakers (or racing K1 paddlers) around, or coaches nearby.
What resources are you using for learning forward stroke technique?

I agree with @sofstu that the paddle makes a difference, too. One step at a time (and one expenditure at a time!) :)
 

Mac50L

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sofstu, my only concern in my speed is not slowing down any group I'd go out with in the future.
Technique, don't paddle by bending your elbows, it is your body that should do the work, body rotation.

I do have a problem at times, using a Greenland paddle, and having to wait for others to catch up... Wait for the reaction to that!!! :)
The Greenland paddle and the Wing paddle are made for body rotation to get the best from.
 

drahcir

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Technique, don't paddle by bending your elbows, it is your body that should do the work, body rotation.
I would expand on this slightly so there is no confusion, don't paddle by bending your elbows during the power phase of the stroke. On the recovery phase of the stroke, bending the elbows will be more efficient/graceful as needed. Note that the power phase of the euro stroke rotates the torso and the stroke ends with the blade at the hips. The recovery phase brings the paddle blade out of the water and twists the torso a bit more, to reach forward for the power phase on the other side.

I'm not sure I made that clear or instead more confusing, but others may fix my statement if useful.
In fact, I keep fixing it. Hmmm ... better to watch some good videos, preferably in slow motion.
 
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drahcir

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That made the average about 2.5 MPH. Not great but not too bad I guess,
For another chunk of calibration data:
I am 80 years of age (as best I remember). In flat water, my speed is around 2.8 or 2.9 knots without pushing. I am relatively puny despite my massive 141 pound frame ... and definitely not a racer. My guess is that, with proper technique and further conditioning, you will cover a similar flat water course at about 3.2 knots (~3.7 mph) without pushing. Wind and current, of course, change everything.
 

cougarmeat

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SZihn, living in the middle of the high desert here in Oregon, I feel your pain. But know that the ONLY time continuous speed mattered was on one outing where we had to be in a certain area to catch a north flowing flood current. If we weren’t in the right spot, that same current would branch off can carry us east. Usually a group outing is not a race. Even if paddlers could maintain a fast pace, by nature of “the group”, people may be prone to chat/visit along the way.

If I want to go from A to B fast, I time it so the current will do the work. But again, my experience is we are all happy to be on the water. We want to stay close enough to keep an eye on each other, but a tight cluster isn’t necessary (unless you are rafting up for more visibility with big ships). Okay - that’s another time when you don’t want to dilly-dally - crossing a shipping lane.

Though I applaud and understand your desire for paddling speed - that comes with stroke efficiency - the real benefit of “proper technique” is the less stress it puts on your body. That leaves you with more energy when you reach camp and better recovery the next day.

There is plenty to learn from a Forward Stroke focused DVD and you can practice technique in any lake.

Also - there are several other areas of “practice” that may make a larger contribution when you are going out with a group. It’s sort of like in my rock climbing days, when a girl would want to come with us but was concerned she wasn’t strong enough, we’d let her know that her rope handling technique - her ability to quickly deploy and gather up a rope, and responsibly belay another climber was way more important than the difficulties of her climbs. We all started somewhere and we were happy to just be outdoors. So I think with a group outing - your ability to have everything in dry bags (that belongs in dry bags) ready and ability to pack it quickly, to secure your boat at the destination, unload and set up your sleeping arrangement, hang your food, etc. and see what assistance you can provide to others will have a much bigger impact that your average on the water speed.

Frankly, I’ve found that when paddling with a “more mature” age group, there is often someone who is just looking for an excuse to ease up a bit and would be happy to drop back with you if there was really that difference. In my own experience, before my thyroid condition was diagnosed, I was putting on a lot of weight. When summit hiking, I’d go slow. One of the older guys said he’d hang back to keep me company. But I knew he just didn’t want to match the pace of the young whippersnappers in the group. I doubt that you will be paddling alone at the tail end of a group.

One note … for me, at first the "proper technique” felt weird. Perhaps it’s because one doesn’t get a lot of paddling practice in the desert, but it took a seaon or two before pulling with the core muscles and rotation felt more “natural” than just using my arms. That’s the benefit of watching an expert on a DVD. Sometimes what initially feels right is not what will serve you best in the long run. Another aspect is in addition to learning what muscles to use, you want to learn to relax them when not specifically engaged. Practicing falling over and getting back in, or rolling up, goes a long way towards allowing relaxation. When I started out, everything was as tight as a guitar string. Now if I go over, especially on a hot day, it’s a feature, not a bug. I do try to channel that guide I watched who did a roll on each side before she started out - just to get getting wet out of the way. But I still haven’t developed the strength of character to do that yet.
 

sofstu

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I just remembered something else,
It's just been a month since I started paddling in Salt Water. So I still have a lot to learn.

However the first difference I discovered is my kayak sticks out probably 2 inches higher in the water when empty and well over an inch higher when loaded.

This translates to less drag and a slightly faster speed in the ocean.

Plus when most people post their speeds its calculated through a GPS these days.
Since you are using old school methods there would be some variance.

For the most part I doubt you will have any problems keeping up with most groups.
And if you do I don't think I would want to paddle with them anyways.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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One note … for me, at first the "proper technique” felt weird. Perhaps it’s because one doesn’t get a lot of paddling practice in the desert, but it took a seaon or two before pulling with the core muscles and rotation felt more “natural” than just using my arms. That’s the benefit of watching an expert on a DVD. Sometimes what initially feels right is not what will serve you best in the long run. Another aspect is in addition to learning what muscles to use, you want to learn to relax them when not specifically engaged.
^^^^This^^^^
:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
 

SZihn

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My torso rotation is pretty good, but I wonder about my hip rotation (Butt-rotation??) When I make a stroke I am about 40 degrees out of square with my shoulders and I get the blades into the water well forward, about 8" in front of my feet. I then rotate to the other side. But watching videos I am told that I should be feeling my butt cheeks move back and forth also and to me honest, unless I sit on a folded garbage bag or some other type of slick doubled surface I can't feel any sliding of my butt at all.

My arms don't get very tired over time because I am not pulling on the paddle but for the lifting to get the blades out of the water. There is some feeling of holding, to be sure, so I can pull with my rotation, but not like doing a pull-up. I do feel some flexing in my triceps as I push forward with the off-hand but the most push is from my torso on that too.
I made a Greenland paddle and I KNOW I am not doing something right with it because all my movements are easy and effective, especially sculling and bracing, but my forward stroke is a lot less effective with the GL paddle then they are with my spoon-blade paddle. I know there are people that do about 3.5 to 4 knots with GL paddles but I think I do about 1.3. It's a wonderful feel and very smooth, but VERY slow as compared to my spoon bladed paddle.I watch others on video making good time, so it's got to be something I am failing to do correctly
 

Mac50L

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The Olympics are on and our girl Lisa is winning Golds as usual. Watch the stroke. Yes, it is racing and cruising is less stressful but the basics. Careful watching will see the paddle go into the water close to the hull and come out about 2 blade widths out due to body rotation. This is why the Wing paddle was developed. That outward part of the stroke is used as "lift" in the direction of the kayak's movement. The Greenland paddle works the same except setting up the angle of the blade in the water isn't automatic as it is with the Wing. In other words, you have to set the angle to get the "grip" on the water.

And as above, bend your elbows (a bit) to get the paddle out of the water.

drahcir and I are about the same age and the same speed by the sound of it. 141 lb is really skinny if 6' tall. I'm a pound or two heavier.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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My torso rotation is pretty good, but I wonder about my hip rotation (Butt-rotation??) When I make a stroke I am about 40 degrees out of square with my shoulders and I get the blades into the water well forward, about 8" in front of my feet. I then rotate to the other side. But watching videos I am told that I should be feeling my butt cheeks move back and forth also and to me honest, unless I sit on a folded garbage bag or some other type of slick doubled surface I can't feel any sliding of my butt at all.

My arms don't get very tired over time because I am not pulling on the paddle but for the lifting to get the blades out of the water. There is some feeling of holding, to be sure, so I can pull with my rotation, but not like doing a pull-up.
That sounds good. :thumbsup:
I do feel some flexing in my triceps as I push forward with the off-hand but the most push is from my torso on that too.
Don't 'punch forward' with your top hand. You don't want the paddle shaft to go past vertical and cause the blade to start lifting water, and pushing forward with the top hand will do that. Your top hand should sweep across your face (or torso if your stroke is lower in rougher conditions), but not push forward.

my forward stroke is a lot less effective with the GL paddle then they are with my spoon-blade paddle.
That is normal. A Euro or wing paddle is more effective than a Greenland paddle. Doubters need only check the Kayak Marathon World Championships competitors' paddle choices. :)
 

JohnAbercrombie

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The Olympics are on and our girl Lisa is winning Golds as usual. Watch the stroke. Yes, it is racing and cruising is less stressful but the basics. Careful watching will see the paddle go into the water close to the hull and come out about 2 blade widths out due to body rotation. This is why the Wing paddle was developed. That outward part of the stroke is used as "lift" in the direction of the kayak's movement. The Greenland paddle works the same except setting up the angle of the blade in the water isn't automatic as it is with the Wing. In other words, you have to set the angle to get the "grip" on the water.
It would be excellent if you could post a link to a video showing a Greenland paddle user with the same stroke mechanics as Lisa Carrington, the woman who is a great K1 paddler from New Zealand.
Most of the videos I can find show Greenland paddlers 'arm paddling', pulling their elbows back during the power phase of the forward stroke.
 
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SZihn

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wow......that girl is impressive. Somehow reminds me of a panther.
See how here butt seems to shift in a rotation? I can't do that well ----and when I do I need something very slick to sit on. My "twist" is about 95% from my pelvis up instead of starting at the kayak seat as hers does. I will consentrate on bringing the paddle blade back and out in the next trip. I saw some videos of kayaking instructors saying to push forward on the paddle, but that gal isn't doing that. So I'll try what you say John. "Nothing succeeds like success" and if the gold medal winner is going it I think she can't be far wrong.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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wow......that girl is impressive. Somehow reminds me of a panther.
See how here butt seems to shift in a rotation? I can't do that well ----and when I do I need something very slick to sit on.
I think some K1 boats have swivelling seats, so that helps.
Nothing wrong with putting something like polastic under your butt. I think the Necky has a 'comfy' foam seat? It's easier to move my butt on a hard seat.
One thing that took me a while to understand: Your leg drive shouldn't be pushing you back against the back of the seat or backband. If you are getting sore spots on your back from leg drive your timing is off. The idea is to pull yourself forward with the paddle, and transfer that force to the footpeg to "push" the boat. I found that I had to pay attention to the timing and not push with my leg so much until I felt the paddle pulling me forward off the seat back. These movements are all quite small and a bit subtle.
It does give me something to think about when paddling. :)

Imitating (as best we can) Lisa Carrington is a noble goal! :thumbsup:

Hre's another video to watch: Knut Holmann. the slow-motion starts at about 1'10"
 
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AM

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The idea is to pull yourself forward with the paddle, and transfer that force to the footpeg to "push" the boat.
Yeah, I feel that when I’m trying to catch a wave: I focus all my energy into pushing my feet into the footplate and propelling the boat forward. Olympians train to do that constantly and consistently.
 
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