Steering and correction strokes.

The first thing we will look at is the basic correction strokes available when doing your power stroke.

STERN STEERING STROKE


This is very simple as you just roll your wrists back at the end of the stroke to make the blade vertical and then put a little bit of pressure away from the board. Then you roll the wrists forwards and bring the blade out of the water. This stroke is Ok when there is no wind or you are traveling down wind. The problem is that when you are going against the wind it takes to long to get the correction and the board slows down.

BOW CORRECTION STROKE


This is a better stroke for going up wind, it does not interrupt the rhythm of the stroke.

Place the blade away from the board as in 1).

and pull the blade into the board. then continue the normal stroke.

It is very successful when taking fast short strokes.

You can find that just by placing the blade in the water by the board in the angle of 1).

Then rotating it to the normal as you draw the stroke back is enough when you are up to speed.

STERN PUSH STROKE


Once your stroke goes past your feet as in 2). you pull the blade away from the back of the board. This will push the tail correcting the stroke. So if this is combined with the bow correction,it is very efficient.

Now we will look at some steering  positions.

This is where we are putting the blade in the water and changing it’s angle and resisting the pressure. It is very important to place the blade into the water smoothly, so there is no pressure. The pressure comes on once you change the angle.

TAIL STEERING


This can be done after a stroke or by placing the blade into the water at the back. The blade angle must be vertical and close to the board.

There are 2 ways to change the angle.

a). you keep your top hand where it is and push the blade away from the board with the bottom hand.

b). keep the bottom hand still and pull the top hand across the board.

BOW STEERING


This is a delicate form of changing the direction of the board. It is very difficult to do at high speed. Where it is fun to do is when you are paddling around rocks and inlets.

Once again the blade must go in smoothly and when you are ready you slowly change the angle of the blade. The blade wants to go away from the board so you resist this and the board is pulled towards the paddle.

The angle of the blade is controlled by the top hand and the resistance is given by the bottom hand.

SWITCH BOW STEERING

In this diagram I am paddling on the left hand side, so my right foot is slightly forwards. So the first step is to step forwards with the left foot, then place the blade in smoothly with no steering angle, as in 1).

Start to move the blade forwards and begin to angle the blade in 2).

The board will begin to be pulled towards the blade.

In 3) you move the blade further forwards and open the blade more. This will increase the turning moment.

In 4) I am placing as much pressure on my front foot and toes to lift the tail out of the water and angle the board towards the paddle. This makes the nose dig in and lets the tail slide.

The further forwards you step the faster the turn. Make sure you increase the pressure slowly as it is very easy to be pulled off the board.

Draw strokes can be used to change the direction of the board and to make the board drift sideways. These are strokes used in rivers but are very useful in surf as well. The idea is to not make a sharp turn but more to let the board slide around.

BOW DRAW


This is very similar to the bow steering but the blade is not so far forward.

Once again the blade goes into the water in neutral and you only change the angle when you are ready, as in 1).

If you place your weight on your right foot on this example, you are lifting the rail closest to the paddle, so the board will turn and slide towards the paddle in 2).

If you have the board flat, the board will still slide but the tail will move as well in 3).

The same will happen in the

SWITCH BOW DRAW

CENTRAL DRAW


This is where you can make the board drift sideways. If the draw is done at the tail, you make the tail slide towards the paddle.

Now this leads us into the final section for now.

THE SCULLING STROKE


By moving the blade in a figure of 8 you can draw the board towards the paddle. So if you do this in the center it will just go sideways. When you do this forwards you are pulling the front and near the back the tail. So you can also use this to turn the board around.

 


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