Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Is it Style
or Form?

Rick has himself what appears to be a reliable scull, as shown above. When I watch him, however, I am uncomfortable with the position of his left arm and hand. That's because when I scull on the right my left hand is up against my chest and I am more on my back (see photo atop this page).


After watching him awhile, I came to realize that my way of sculling is highly influenced by my traditional paddling, use of a skin on frame boat at times and--of course--use of a Greenland stick. Still, I wonder if this is simply a difference in style or good v. bad form.

Paddle safe...
DS

13 comments:

Brian Day said...

Arm position is pretty open and thus not as efficient, compact and safe as it could be. But the two things that stand out to me are the raised head and capsizing hull. What Rick is doing looks strenuous.

The sculling action would probably be easier if Rick 1. lifted his right knee to flatten the hull and 2. dropped his head toward the water. That would likely reduce the effort he needs to keep the boat upright with the paddle and allow him to bring his top hand closer to his chest.

Hope you don't mind the armchair quarterbackin' Happy paddling everybody.

Alex said...

I'm less concerned about the position of his left hand than the orientation of his shoulders. Having your shoulders flat on the water (whether facing into the water or on your back) opens up your hips so that you can keep your boat upright which is the whole point of sculling for support. I also keep my left had closer to my left shoulder or my stomach but that's probably more personal preference. In the picture the angle of his blade (dictated by his body orientation) is too deep in the water to give optimal support. It should ideally be flatter on the water surface.

I'm a big proponent of taking high braces (which a side scull is) on the back of your shoulders versus on your arms to prevent injury especially in whitewater. Yes, it's how we teach it in greenland paddling but I'd argue that it's good form for any style.

Christopher Crowhurst said...

Its not clear to me from the picture if the shoulder is in danger or not. My technique is to have my left hand as close to my chest and as static as possible, I simply use that hand as a pivot point and use it to do the blade rotation, the right hand performs the back and forth sweep motion. One thing did I notice was the body rotation, I try and rotate at the hips and waist further so my shoulders are flat on the water. and I try and keep my head back also, the head is out of the water in these pictures and this causes a lot of additional support needed.
I too have to admit that I am heavily influenced by Inuit technique.

Wanderlust said...

some time back i was told by a coach that leaning back ala inuit style is poor technique.
recently heard from a friend that he was told the same.

having seen greenland vids, i just assumed they were stubborn, but could they have a valid reason?

avital said...

His body language is telling-too much effort. Not like your position.

avital said...

His body language is saying:" too much effort". Not like yours.

Silbs said...

J-Dominique Sellier
to me

show details 7:19 AM (7 hours ago)

Hello Dick,

Saw your post on the sculling brace. I am not an instructor by far, but when I've been helping people do that I've always emphasized a back as flat on the water as possible, and a hull tilted away as much as possible. Of course that's straight from Greenland paddling but it has worked fine. And it makes it easy afterward for them to understand how to slide back onto the back by e mail

Your guy is really only in his normal untwisted paddling position, which means his only support is from the blade, which must make it pretty tiring and hard to keep up...

For what it's worth...

Dominique

Silbs said...

Those are all great comments and observations, and I appreciate them. Now to convince Rick.

RoyM said...

beyond any doubt....his method is way too much work to be even close to fun.....must be a forced smile through gritted teeth.

Don't change Your style to match Ricks....

Susan said...

He certainly is doing it "the hard way" - having to work so hard to keep from falling over even when the water's flat makes one wonder how effective this particular version would be in conditions.

John f - U.S.A. said...

Actually, if he is reasonably flexible, he could capsize the boat a little more, which removes a bit of the capsizing moment. You can reach he hands more above the boat, to avoid too much shoulder extension. It is a very comfortable, active position that allows you to keep an eye on other people, objects, etc. until you roll back up.

Silbs said...

Thanks for those comments, John.

Silbs said...

Wanderlust: did he say why he thought it was a problem?