Changing Sides

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chuck naill
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Changing Sides

Post by chuck naill »

In our family I need to change sides when I paddle with my daughter and grand daughters. My wife and son paddle opposite. While I am not as confident, it is a good thing to be able to do.
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Re: Changing Sides

Post by ezwater »

8) Deep Thoughts...by Jack Handy.

Most of my skill is on the left side. I can just get by on the right side in whitewater. But I switch sides when paddling tandem to make it easier for the bow paddler.
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PAC
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Re: Changing Sides

Post by PAC »

Trained kids as they grew up to be lefts. Works great and are solid in Canoe and Shredder with me, others and by themselves!
Win for Dad!
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chuck naill
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Re: Changing Sides

Post by chuck naill »

PAC wrote:Trained kids as they grew up to be lefts. Works great and are solid in Canoe and Shredder with me, others and by themselves!
Win for Dad!
:lol: :oops:
chuck naill
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Re: Changing Sides

Post by chuck naill »

ezwater wrote:8) Deep Thoughts...by Jack Handy.

Most of my skill is on the left side. I can just get by on the right side in whitewater. But I switch sides when paddling tandem to make it easier for the bow paddler.
Me to. :wink:
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Re: Changing Sides

Post by JimW »

I can only paddle right - when I see people criticise slalom paddlers who switch mid-run, I just think their skills must be way ahead of mine because I couldn't switch if I wanted to!
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Re: Changing Sides

Post by JFC »

I'm not a side switcher, I'm ambidextrous! :D

Kidding aside, I try to be decent on both sides. I'd rather have to remember to practice my offsides than have to rely on a weak offside all of the time.
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Re: Changing Sides

Post by ohioboater »

Switching for tandem is not a huge deal if you're in the stern, since you're only doing onside strokes (unless of course you have to throw a big cross draw to fix a bad line :). For me, it's mainly the cross forward that is the issue when I try to paddle lefty.
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Re: Changing Sides

Post by Paddle Power »

Paddling tandem, you are doing the right thing, switching sides to please your various paddling partners.
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Changing Sides

Post by Einar »

Wish I had learned both sides, it would not have been an effort if started early enough.

Being able to switch hit helps even out the muscle budget on long ww days or multi day trips.

Both sides with confidence is a cheap insurance policy to cover onside muscle pulls, making it easier to get out.

In an Octane 92 I drew the offside straw and the owner got his onside (his boat). In the bow I was surprised at how minimal my rotation was; I could barely get it over to do a crossbow anything and realized that years of defaulting to my onside when things got technical had left me "undeveloped".

And paddling on both sides is just adding on another skill development, part of the fun factor of improving.

By the way I am right handed but paddle left side.
e
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Kelly-Rand
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Re: Changing Sides

Post by Kelly-Rand »

So my rule of thumb is if the other paddler is of equal or better skill than I then they get to paddle on their side of choice, otherwise I paddle on my on side and for offside moves we are limited by the skill of the other paddler. I usually paddle stern in our close cockpit C2. You should pick the river degree of difficulty by the skill of your partner, you both will have a better day.
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Re: Changing Sides

Post by icyone »

I am right handed and paddle "left" -- I believe it is the natural default because blade angle is controlled by the upper hand, and hence for the right-hand dominant "lefty" paddler the "fine control" is coming from the dominant-side hand.

Just my (dominant) opinion...
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sbroam
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Re: Changing Sides

Post by sbroam »

I was paddling an Explorer on the lake with my younger son last night and noticed something odd. When paddling on my "normal" side (right) and him on the left - we ran straight with no problem. When we switched (me to the left) and we kept going right (away from my side) - i figured I was overpowering him and backed off. Same. I stopped paddling altogether and we ran straight. I had him switch back - just him paddling, we ran straight. He has been paddling C-1 a lot lately (Dancer XS) and he paddles both sides with a natural looking cross stroke on both sides. So... I figure I'm just bad at paddling lefty (solo or tandem) and he's good at going straight.
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Re: Changing Sides

Post by icyone »

As a lefty C-1 (and bow-person opportunity permitting I would say that one of the most useful practices of my career was many hours spent paddling flatwater miles on stretches of the local (narrow!) flat canal, trying to keep a straight line with minimal correction. It can be totally frustrating. On a flat, narrow canal you cannot cheat yourself: I was amazed at first to find how my boat inexorably slid toward the edge of the canal as I applied bow draw to keep the boat straight!!. You need to be able to develop the paddle technique to keep moving forward with absolute minimal correctiion (ie: (rudder, draw, whatever): learn to use a slight weight shift to adjust the underwater profile of your boat to keep the bow moving forward without turning or sliding sideways, while adkjusting the slightest tweak of the paddle with the weight shift, so that the absolute maximum of paddle effort goes into forward propuslion, not correction.

Many rec boaters seem to think that developing paddle skills on flatwater is a waste of time, but it is always advantageous to utilize the power you apply to the paddle to the max instead of wasting energy on corrections. That's a lot of why very few of us manage to excel on both sides -- it just takes so much more practice.
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