Saturday, February 25, 2012

Practice, practice, practice...

In the old joke, that's how the cab driver answer's the musician's question, "How do I get to Carnegie Hall?" It's pretty much the same with paddling. New comers, anxious to have the perfect forward stroke and bomb-proof roll, often ask how to achieve these worthy goals. We all know the answers.

First: BIB: Butt in the boat. You have to spend time paddling, even if in circles or out and back to the same place over and over. With repetition comes muscle memory as we travel the path from a, not knowing and not knowing we don't know to b, knowing we don't know to c, consciously capable to d, unconsciously capable at a skill. Even then, it is easy to slip back a level when there are long periods between paddles. The idea here is to be able to unconsciously and quickly execute that brace, edge or roll in conditions when it really matters.

So good paddlers (at least the ones I know) often start their time on the water just going through the strokes and basics; and they do it in conditions when ever the opportunity is there. The question now is, what can you do on a moments notice? Are you sure? Do you know what you don't know?

Paddle safe...

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