Saturday, May 09, 2009

Utterly useless paddling strokes

Picture: A hole in the water? A little mystery captured in a fraction of a second: what does the blade with the water?

Bernhard is the German master in fancy kayak techniques. Inspired by the "Fun with Nigel"- classes of Nigel Foster, Bernhard gave a clinic in manoeuvring skills at Spiekeroog last week. We experimented with all sorts of crazy strokes, rudders and other "utterly useless paddling techniques". What about paddling with the paddle shaft behind your back, or moving sideways with a reversed cross bow sculling stroke? Very confusing, and fun to do. But why all this mad stuff? It contributes to a better understanding of the interaction of body, boat and blade. The weird experiments help to focus on balance and confidence and lead to greater levels of boat control. And it's fun - the most important drive to learn!

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