The way I paddle uses my lats more that just my arms and shoulders. As I throw each arm out to the side, it naturally turns my upper body and board slightly in the opposite direction, thus the "wriggle" (it's not a fast wriggle, but a slower, arcing/flowing wriggle...hard to explain). Most fish propel in a similar manner. When you do it right, you're not putting in any extra effort, but just using what's already happening to your advantage...in fact, I feel like it uses less effort. It feels right and I know it's working.
I started paddling this way after I blew out my rotator cuff paddling the standard way (was out of the water for an entire year).
Now that I think of it, kicking would probably interfere with the way I paddle.
My local spot, on the other hand, is a beach break that's usually weak, onshore and/or closed out - you have to have your paddling act together to get any of the few makeable waves in these conditions. Who knows, I might be a better paddler...but we'll never find out. All I know is my paddling technique is developed and as functional as any. Kelly will probably be doing it my way when he gets to my age .
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Thread: To kick or not to kick
Last edited by waterbaby; May 24, 2013 at 04:10 AM.
May 24, 2013, 03:47 AM #23
The kicking thing is really only covered in the first part of the video. Maybe that other random guy on the internet can explain better than I can.
May 24, 2013, 04:19 AM #25
i don't mean to come across as a contrarian, i'm just not convinced that there's a big enough advantage for most surfers to justify the effort involved. not when most surfers could benefit far more by cleaning up & smoothing out their paddling technique.
(for the record, yes, i kick.)
May 24, 2013, 06:27 AM #26
This is really good stuff with everyone's anecdotal data. What matters to us most is the applied science, not just the book smarts that are still important with us understanding all surfing entails.
njsurfer42, you aren't sounding like a skeptic at all, just being scientific for a useful conclusion. A handful of people broke balls on me a couple other times I tried to bring science in, though it's good to see others are thinking in a progressive way, especially those of you with a ton of knowledge to pass on and compare.
My question now is whether or not the type of wave and its properties that day and time has implication on whether kicking will help or not. Because there are clearly those waves that lift us in an effortless way to a good ride where we barely have to paddle to take off, let alone kick. In a week's time, I can find myself in nearly every type of wave being out there each day around here. That is, aside from 23ft waves. Not enough Hindus here to celebrate that properly and ball so hard with buoyant, jolly rotund women.
May 24, 2013, 10:16 AM #27
ok I didn't read any of your crap so here is my take.
Kicking is only effective if your hips are submerged. Otherwise, you are just slapping the surface of the water. You don't have any scoop and pull effect with your feet, only up/down.
Kicking causes you to contract your abdomen and arch your back. Not sure how i feel about that.
Kicking will cause side to side motion (heal / yaw), even front to back motion (trim). That ain't good.
Kicking when you don't have to will use up your energy, energy that could otherwise be used to ride 23 footers and bench fat stacks.
I don't kick. No reason. Don't try to justify a silly habit. Beginners.... don't even read this thread.
Last edited by leethestud; May 24, 2013 at 10:20 AM.
^so you're saying that kicking has it's time and place...which is not very often. Only doing it when your tail is already submerged in the waves bump/face sounds about right. Worked for Nat.
I disagree that side to side motion is always a bad thing. It can help, especially with fishy shortboards...but, if done wrong/out of sync, it would be sap energy. Surfing is not swimming...surfing involves a specific type of board which changes things
there are a lot of factors that go into what technique one uses to catch a wave...and those factors change throughout the day (tides/waxing or waning swell, etc).
Last edited by waterbaby; May 24, 2013 at 04:33 PM.
May 25, 2013, 02:21 PM #29
emass...people broke your balls b/c you were over-representing your ability & trying to back it up w/ science. many people on here, including myself, have hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of water time built up over decades & our observations are gathered from that. it is, as you noted, purely anecdotal in a "what's worked for us over the years" kind of way. you don't have the accumulated knowledge base to couch your experiences in pseudo-scientific terms.
now, to answer your question. yes, the wave type & it's characteristics absolutely has an effect. this is why surfers can ride boards w/ lower volume in good waves & higher volume in crappier waves. this is especially true in groundswell conditions, b/c you don't have to work as hard to get into them & once up, the wave does the work of generating speed for you. in smaller, weaker waves, you have to work harder to get up to speed & keep that speed up, so a board w/ flatter rocker & more volume will make that a bit easier.
this is all, of course, a generalization.
May 25, 2013, 03:13 PM #30
Njsurfer42, your second paragraph was quite coherent and added more value to a good thread that you began. The first paragraph, really don't see where any conflict could arise from mr basically agreeing with just about all of what you're saying AND reiterating on my own that yes, you and several others here have lots of valuable experience and should be listened to when offering up your thoughts and experiences.
But...being a competitor, I'll have no problem accepting your invitation to make this a "you vs. me" pudding match. In that case, let's discuss how you were just critiquing a poster's use of prologue when it should've been epilogue. Good find on that one, but a guy who told me something was scarey should lay fairly low when it comes to the grammar police. I do hope your talk in that thread of the "English teacher" in you was figurative and not indicative of your true occupation.
So we can get back to productive, thought-provoking discussions that make everyone a better surfer or we can go a few more rounds. Your call.