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Paddle cadence, power or both?

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Created by DaveSandan 2 months ago, 19 May 2020
DaveSandan
VIC, 970 posts
29 Jun 2020 6:47PM
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Hi JB,
It's interesting how power seems to get better results than cadence although you still have Avery high rate compared to mine, you must be a lot younger
i don't think you or I are over thinking this as you see results straight away when you try different styles of paddling instead of just doing one thing. A good catch with the paddle is critical, how far do you bury it when you go for power?

burchas
58 posts
30 Jun 2020 7:25AM
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DaveSandan said..
...no matter how hard I push, my heart rate stays around this level.


I don't find it odd. some people are like that. I used to do triathlon training with my father and he was always between 110-120 after a bike and run session.

As for JB revelation, I'm surprised he was posting such good results without the Puakea technic, but that's a good resource.
The one thing I don't remember he was stressing enough was the core engagement during the stroke. Once I brought my core strength up to speed, Heart rate dropped (though a non issue for you)

JB
NSW, 2114 posts
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30 Jun 2020 12:48PM
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burchas said..

DaveSandan said..
...no matter how hard I push, my heart rate stays around this level.



I don't find it odd. some people are like that. I used to do triathlon training with my father and he was always between 110-120 after a bike and run session.

As for JB revelation, I'm surprised he was posting such good results without the Puakea technic, but that's a good resource.
The one thing I don't remember he was stressing enough was the core engagement during the stroke. Once I brought my core strength up to speed, Heart rate dropped (though a non issue for you)


Yes, I think I aways had a part of what Puakea advises in my stroke, but never really based enough emphasis on it. I always thought my catch was good - WRONG! Also his talk of more time in the water and less in the air, makes a huge difference. These are all just the basic first steps at the whole paddle tech. In just being patient and getting a proper catch and going longer in the water and shorter in the air I went quicker. And now I just tried the same tech at MAF (75%) and blew near a minute off my 5km.







This was pretty incredible. So just working on catch and water vs air made this much of a difference. Next is to get Lat tension and more core drive, but I am not rushing it, as I need to imbed the first things first. Adding too much is not good. As Johnny says, over 90% of people who say they have a good catch, don't! I was one of them. Also interesting listening to the Tahitian OC6 coach talking about muscle tension, pull ups and their relation to strokes. I will likely bring these into my technique sooner.

Tick list.
- Be patient and get 100% solid catch every time (pretty good now).
- Match the paddle speed in the water to the hull speed. Increase water time 2:1 with air time. (I'm about 65% there I think)
- Don't over reach forward. (Think Im about 60%) Need to run the drills he shows, apparently very helpful.
- Top hand does not go forward!. (about 50% on this) tough one to break, most of us don't realise we're doing it.
- Top hand pressure is only down. (pretty good on this one) I thought I was doing this, but now I am (I think)
- Bottom arm pulls until elbow in inline with torso before beginning exit (50/50)
- Get equal load on both Lats. (Yet to start looking into this one)
- Relax all muscles on recovery. (trying this a little, but need to perfect the stroke first)

And there is still plenty more to take on board. Planning to do some self video coaching soon. As I need to get the first things solid first before I go complicating things. But so far, very impressed.

regards,

JB

tarquin1
416 posts
30 Jun 2020 1:20PM
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As you said JB I think you need a video to really see what's going on. I know what I think I am doing and what I am actually doing are 2 different things.

Windgenuity
NSW, 354 posts
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1 Jul 2020 9:34AM
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tarquin1 said..
As you said JB I think you need a video to really see what's going on. I know what I think I am doing and what I am actually doing are 2 different things.


Yes, it is too funny. I don't think I had a bad technique, but when I really nailed down to individual parts I could find something to improve on in each part. I guess the real tell tale is going faster

burchas
58 posts
2 Jul 2020 1:26AM
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Windgenuity said..
I guess the real tell tale is going faster


I think the best tell tale is the speed per cadence as you posted.

I ran a cadence test on 12.6x27 on one of my frequent training courses just over 12km
See if I can match my PB with the 12.6 only with much lower cadence. I chose my larger Trifecta 86 for this course
since I knew I could keep focus and good form over this shorter distance and the Trifecta can be very rewarding in lower cadence if you employ
the Puakea technic and a 2:1 stroke ratio. The result was clear, I broke my PB with 4spm lower average at 48spm still maintaining 9.3km/h average moving speed. The DPS metric also followed suit and increased to a 3.2 meter per stroke.


JB
NSW, 2114 posts
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2 Jul 2020 11:03AM
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burchas said..

Windgenuity said..
I guess the real tell tale is going faster



I think the best tell tale is the speed per cadence as you posted.

I ran a cadence test on 12.6x27 on one of my frequent training courses just over 12km
See if I can match my PB with the 12.6 only with much lower cadence. I chose my larger Trifecta 86 for this course
since I knew I could keep focus and good form over this shorter distance and the Trifecta can be very rewarding in lower cadence if you employ
the Puakea technic and a 2:1 stroke ratio. The result was clear, I broke my PB with 4spm lower average at 48spm still maintaining 9.3km/h average moving speed. The DPS metric also followed suit and increased to a 3.2 meter per stroke.




Nice, Wow that really supports the theory. All technique. Look at that HR too, nice! Everything makes sense when you get it. Listening to Puakea again and also Danny Ching and about how you can feel it because it's hard (as in the catch), and then doing it, it all just ties in together. Then the more you do it and train with it, the stronger you will get and faster. It's all big muscle groups. Training at MAF allows you to lock in your technique.

Well done!!

I am still taking it slow until I really get it dialled. But tried something new last night based on the Outrigger stance, and it was a flop. Still ran a good time, 34min 5km at 74% effort (137bpm av. max 149 at the 180 buoy turn). Also played with a different fin which I fear was slow (lol). But managed to get some good distance per stroke at 3.52m with a cadence of 41.5 av. (52 max cadence). Av pace 6'50"/km (8.77km/h).

Great to hear your findings.

Plan to do a 10km slow lap this weekend. Maybe another 5km before then if I can get on the lake before the sun goes down.

A total side note, what fin are you using?

Ride safe,

JB

DaveSandan
VIC, 970 posts
2 Jul 2020 2:55PM
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Fins would be interesting! I use the VMG Maliko 35 at the moment which is very light but maybe Ishould use my Danny Ching for these time trials?

tarquin1
416 posts
2 Jul 2020 3:09PM
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Oh dont start on fins as well!
Paddle length,blade size,cadence.
I am sure burchas will chip in, he is a wealth of knowledge. There were some good posts about fins on standupzone he was involved in.
I dont know but I think the Danny Ching fin is huge. I nearly bought one. Then I saw one! I think you want the smallest fin possible for flatwater/time trials. I imagine the VMG fin is a faster fin in the flat as long as you are ok with the stability and tracking.
I could be completely wrong and cant afford to buy 200 euro fins to experiment! Which is why info from burchas and others is great. Thanks. Not the guy in the shop saying its awsome buy it.

burchas
58 posts
2 Jul 2020 11:28PM
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tarquin1 said..
Oh dont start on fins as well!



I really didn't want to go there, it's a deep dark rabbit hole but since both Dave and JB are mixing it in...


This is the setup I use for the 12.6 FX:

It's the Larry Allison 4Drive setup. 6" Stinger center fin with 2x(4" by 10") ellipticals and a small ventral fin. If I was doing any racing, that would be my go to setup (the 4Drive, not these specific fins) on whichever board I race. There are several advantages this setup offers. I have 3 boards with this setup and I'm thinking about adding it to my 2020 Maliko as well. Probably an overkill for most, but if you're a serious racer, it might worth your while imo. Yes, I'm looking at you JB

LucBenac
362 posts
3 Jul 2020 1:40AM
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9 km/h average on a 12 km course is not given to everybody by a long shot :-) I would need a strong tide at my back to get there so definitely Burchas is doing everything right.
I do believe that when you have an acceptable technique then the intensity of the effort you can provide on each stroke and maintain over a long time is the most significant difference. I whimp out and can't sustain that is for sure but I can see the difference on the screen of the GPS....

tarquin1
416 posts
3 Jul 2020 4:25AM
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Ok. Burchas you could take a door and whip most people. What is that board and how old is it?
9km /h avg on a 12'6!
I warned you! Now you have to buy 4 fins!

LucBenac
362 posts
3 Jul 2020 6:22AM
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You guys made me think and take another look at DPS, SPM and other fun stuff that I had not looked at since long forums discussion with Bryce Dyer and others at StandUp Zone.
I just ran Average Speed / Average Stroke Per Minute as a kind of "efficiency" measurement for all my paddles and boards in different conditions. i.e. it makes a lot let sense during a downwind that on flat water....
In most cases, it came out the highest ratio matching the highest average speed but there were a few exceptions.

Windgenuity
NSW, 354 posts
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3 Jul 2020 10:20AM
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Fins fins fins LOL .

OK did a 5km last night and another one this morning. Not ideal conditions and the tide/water is getting really shallow on the lake, so aside from getting taxed with bottom effects, I am actually hitting the bottom to the point I nearly lost my paddling when it stuck into the mud.

But, With serious concentration on 2:1 Water to air and less on Cadence I think I have found the cross roads. Times were 33:34 and 33:51. Lots of tide and wind (so aided one way and taxed the other). I am of the thinking that I need to get my cadence up around 50SPM av. I have been playing down around 40 - 45 and think I have slipped into another performance void. It is funny trying to work it all out. And most annoying that the conditions almost always differ too. I think cadence must equal board speed, but power needed to get board speed up is taxing. But more water to air with a gradual build up and maintaining rhythm should work, its just knowing the right rhythm to go for. It is full cycle with components of a good stroke.

This mornings efforts.
Abvious to see the tide going east and north. Wind was SW also, made for a hard return against tide and wind.


Stride length is very good, maybe a little too good. 3.4m is long, and maybe why I am bleeding a little too much speed.


Heart rate was up higher than I try for in training. But the wind and tide was killing me on the way back. Usually try for 138 Average, so 140 aint that bad considering. 148 was likely cross chop/wind/tide and buoy turns.


So much to take in.

Always learning. Maybe I need some more fins. BTW, loving the VMG TT fin. I have gone back to it and it feels fast. Just need a good day to wind it out.

JB

burchas
58 posts
4 Jul 2020 12:22AM
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It seems that when you go down to 40-45 and posting 3.4m per stroke there is some idling in effect. If the tidal force is strong, you could be at 3.8 even 4 which is not unheard of. Slower cadence and longer than 2:1 with the tide. Fast cadence and 1:1 against if tidal effect is substantial, otherwise, you maybe loosing ground as it's unlikely you'll maintain board speed since you're always fighting to bring the board up to speed.

JB
NSW, 2114 posts
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7 Jul 2020 6:17AM
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ok, here's the first of many paddle analysis I plan to do. I made up a noodle floating gauge, each colour is 30cm long. The idea was to approach the noodles from about 20 meters aways to get up good speed and set into what I would call my 80% stroke.
This is the same pass twice, the second one has the shaft angles market up. My DPS is roughly 3m. Catch was good with no slip and coming out equal or in front of entry.



I am thinking a little more torso twist and a tiny bit more hinge at the hip prior to power. But this was my first pass and know I addressed this a little once I saw a few of the passes half way through the exercise.

Hope to get a few more marked up looking for different things each time. angles of entry, exit. need to do more body stuff.





All very interesting.

tech on,

JB

DarrylG
WA, 283 posts
7 Jul 2020 10:46AM
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So if paddle entry and exit is the same with no slip, does that mean blade size is irrelevant??

burchas
58 posts
7 Jul 2020 11:57AM
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Man, now that's what I call commitment JB. Bravo. I can't get motivated enough to bring myself to that effort level.
Looking at your video analysis, I have few ideas for improvements. The torso twist and hinge at the hip before power sounds good.

Maybe you can post again once you included these 2 additions. also add-in the passes in real speed rather than just slo-mo so one can get the feel of the motion. Awesome stuff!

DaveSandan
VIC, 970 posts
7 Jul 2020 4:33PM
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Great video and that feels like what I am trying to do but would have to do the same to see, with lock down coming I may be back on the water more often sooner than planned so I can try it out.

JB
NSW, 2114 posts
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8 Jul 2020 6:18AM
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DarrylG said..
So if paddle entry and exit is the same with no slip, does that mean blade size is irrelevant??


Correct to a degree. Yes.

Ideally if you're exiting at or ahead of the catch then extra paddle blade size is extra weight to carry, more air drag and extra load on your shoulders when you do decide to go nuts and sprint (everything does out the window when you go into super sprint mode, big blades win if you can move them).

I have gone from a 75", to 85", then all the way up to 96" and now back down to 80" (in this video). I am 90kg and 6'2".

Regards,

JB

JB
NSW, 2114 posts
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8 Jul 2020 6:20AM
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burchas said..
Man, now that's what I call commitment JB. Bravo. I can't get motivated enough to bring myself to that effort level.
Looking at your video analysis, I have few ideas for improvements. The torso twist and hinge at the hip before power sounds good.

Maybe you can post again once you included these 2 additions. also add-in the passes in real speed rather than just slo-mo so one can get the feel of the motion. Awesome stuff!


This was pass number 1. I did about 10 passes. I will find another good sample and mark up too.

1. Hinge more at the hips
2. bury the blade deeper (will happen from above)
3. A little more torso twist (not much, just a little as I carry back issues).

Thanks, a great tool.

Regards,

JB

JB
NSW, 2114 posts
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8 Jul 2020 6:24AM
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DaveSandan said..
Great video and that feels like what I am trying to do but would have to do the same to see, with lock down coming I may be back on the water more often sooner than planned so I can try it out.


It is so good to actually see it with the Noodles. Helps put everything into perspective.

Using a bit of what I have learned I managed to post up a 10km 1:07:55 yesterday afternoon at MAF (average HR 136bpm, no higher than 146bpm at buoy turns). Stoked I am getting far more effificent.









All going the right way :)

Next up is a 15km.

Ride safe,

JB

JB
NSW, 2114 posts
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8 Jul 2020 11:34AM
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Noodle-tech video #2. Stroke on the starboard side. A little more torso twist which is interesting, also maybe a little more hip hinge. Good DPS at probably just over 3m.



Always very interesting breaking it down. This was all before my 10km yesterday. I think I want to do another noodle run now.

Ride safe,

JB

burchas
58 posts
8 Jul 2020 11:17PM
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JB said..
Noodle-tech video #2. Stroke on the starboard side. A little more torso twist which is interesting, also maybe a little more hip hinge. Good DPS at probably just over 3m.



Yeah, that's a better clip for analysis. Obviously it's a work in progress still so the inconsistency between the 3 strokes makes it harder to tell what are your tendencies but 2 things stood up which I think could make a difference.

1) The hinging and lowering the paddle into the water are not in sync, you are hinging first and then lowering the paddle. The split second there is where you are losing good amount of core engagement which carries over to the rest of the stroke.

See below a comparison with Travis Grant showing where you at paddle angle wise at the same body position more or less







2) the next thing that stood out was board pitch created by extending the end of the stroke for what seem like a compensation created by the lack of positive angle at the beginning of it which is the carry over I mentioned. That make your tail end sink much lower than it should which introduces a lot of unnecessary drag and affecting your efficiency of retaining speed.




There are some other improvements I can see happening, but once you deal with those 2 I think it will be easier to introduce other minor improvements. That's my 2 cents. see inspiration in the video below, showing Travis Grant implementing Jonny's technic.

JB
NSW, 2114 posts
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9 Jul 2020 9:32AM
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Thanks Burchas,

Yes, timing the Hinge and catch are something to definitely work on. But also more important for me is not to power on too early and slip. Just a tight balance. From what I could gather, not powering too early is more important.

I have always been conscious of the tail sink. It is one of the main reasons I went with the 24" wide over the 22" to try get some more lift. I also nearly thing I am standing too far back still. I have a little more nose clearance than I think I need. But definitely coming on late with the hinge and body weight will bring everything back.

Thanks heaps for the insights. Gives me more and more to work on.

Back to the noodle this weekend I think.

Regards,

JB

JB
NSW, 2114 posts
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9 Jul 2020 12:58PM
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BTW, I like that I am being modelled off Travis LOL .

I think more knee bend may help too? I seem pretty straight in the knee?? This would help engage earlier and get more reach without over reaching.

So much to dial in

burchas
58 posts
10 Jul 2020 4:19AM
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JB said..
BTW, I like that I am being modelled off Travis LOL .

I think more knee bend may help too? I seem pretty straight in the knee?? This would help engage earlier and get more reach without over reaching.

So much to dial in


Yes, you're in good company Travis is a master technician. No wasted movement. He's about the same built/height as I am and therefor my
go to model.

I understand your comment about powering-on too early, definitely important point. That's where the setup leading to the catch coming into play. There's over-reaching and then there is reaching. Check out the picture below. You are 6'2" Travis is 5'9"


He has about a foot over you at the entry, almost identical bend at the knee. That's where your deficit starts. With this angle of attack I reckon you're giving-up 20% at the catch and the best core connection, all before you even start pushing down on the paddle.

There are more things involved here than meets the eye. It's not just that he is more hunched. Look at the angle of the shaft.
This is key. Analyze what he does leading to this angle. That movement creates more reach, but more important, it's how you time your hinging with the entry.

burchas
58 posts
10 Jul 2020 4:33AM
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In regards to board pitch, it looks like you're on the sweet spot of the board, toes slightly forward center. You might be pushing water if you're going to move forward but that's something you can easily test and address with a GPS. If you can trim it better for flat water that's going to be
very helpful.

Beyond that I can see an immediate culprit you can address. Take a look at the picture below.


At this point you're still pulling the paddle, you can even see slight bent in the shaft, meaning you're pulling the blade upward which contributes to the tail sink. At the point where the blade is past your feet you should only be pushing down. ( see Travis )

Other than that, The Javelin does seem to have unbalanced Nose to tail volume ratio. My guess would be 10+ Liter difference . I think it's by
design, I like it when going in upwind chop, bottom turn and catching bumps, but downside is that extra pitch when trying to maintain top speed paddling flat water.

JB
NSW, 2114 posts
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13 Jul 2020 1:04PM
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burchas said..
In regards to board pitch, it looks like you're on the sweet spot of the board, toes slightly forward center. You might be pushing water if you're going to move forward but that's something you can easily test and address with a GPS. If you can trim it better for flat water that's going to be
very helpful.

Beyond that I can see an immediate culprit you can address. Take a look at the picture below.


At this point you're still pulling the paddle, you can even see slight bent in the shaft, meaning you're pulling the blade upward which contributes to the tail sink. At the point where the blade is past your feet you should only be pushing down. ( see Travis )

Other than that, The Javelin does seem to have unbalanced Nose to tail volume ratio. My guess would be 10+ Liter difference . I think it's by
design, I like it when going in upwind chop, bottom turn and catching bumps, but downside is that extra pitch when trying to maintain top speed paddling flat water.


good catch . I was doing this a while ago too, and thought I had eliminated it. I guess while working on pother things I have fallen back into some bad habits. I heavily sink the tail when I do this.

Did a good 16.43km paddle on the weekend. Super bumpy with boat wake side on regularly and a 5kn North wind. 50/50 with and against.
Time: 1:58:42.
Speed: 8.3kmh average.
HR: 138bpm average (MAF). (150bpm Max)
7'13"/km pace.
Cadence 40.5spm average / 56spm max.
DPS = 3.44m average.

I really worked hard on hinging early to combine with my catch and relaxing on the recovery to keep HR down. Nearly went in a bout 6 times I reckon with boat wakes hitting me from the side - real annoying and costly to energy. But I am super happy with the result.

Here's my route,


Obviously the 5kn helped a bit on he way south, but punished me at the beginning and on my way home (green meaning faster, red being slow).

Could have gone the extra 3.6km too which in hind sight I am kicking myself for not doing. Net time I'll to the 20km.

Ride safe,

JB

DaveL1963
NSW, 17 posts
14 Jul 2020 8:16AM
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Great information in this thread. I have had a hip replacement and am currently holding off on a knee replacement, both on the left hand side. These issues affect my ability to incorporate hinging, bending the knees and twisting. Despite this, I am keen to improve my paddle technique. What recommendations are there for determining paddle length to develop my technique, whilst taking into account these mobility issues? I am sure that my current paddle length is probably too long, and therefore requires a higher lift to clear the board when transferring the paddle from one side to the other.
I should add that I am on a 14' x 28" Evo one. I generally paddle around a 10-12km distance and due to knees and hinging restrictions, my paddle technique would not be described as aggressive.



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"Paddle cadence, power or both?" started by DaveSandan