Low brace turns, pointless?

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Seanie
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Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by Seanie » Tue Apr 29, 2008 1:42 am

It's on the Level 3 Kayak Proficiency Award (link)
Low Brace Turn
The kayak should be moved at an acceptable speed and a turn induced by applying a sweep on the opposite side, followed by edging into the turn, the back of the blade on the surface of the water for support on the turning side and at a suitable angle/feather.
Am I missing something here? When I break down the low brace turn I totally can't understand why anyone would take their active paddle out of the water just in case they get unstable. Would it not be better and more stable to continue a bow rudder into some sort of forward draw? and low brace only if you need it.

Kav
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Re: Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by Kav » Tue Apr 29, 2008 10:00 am

I presume its a learning stroke (similar to the "simple" draw stroke), as in just for beginners who haven't really got their balance up to scratch and would maybe lean too far downstream with a Bow Rudder. I don't know anyone who actually uses it once they learn a bow rudder.

Daithí
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I don't agree

Post by Daithí » Tue Apr 29, 2008 10:57 am

Well, the next time ye go surfing, see how long ye can surf a wave without using a low brace turn!

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Seanie
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Re: I don't agree

Post by Seanie » Tue Apr 29, 2008 11:58 am

Daithí wrote:Well, the next time ye go surfing, see how long ye can surf a wave without using a low brace turn!
Stern rudder and carving? :) ...only joking, I totally see it being used in surf or sea kayaking, and yeah I agree it might be a learning thing, but why is it been taught on the white water level 3 syllabus? Surely the bow rudder technique is far more beneficial to teach.

annie
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Re: Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by annie » Tue Apr 29, 2008 1:01 pm

Here's a school of thought (for beginners mind) that I encountered last September:

Beginners rarely lift their upstream edge enough, so the water catches them and flips them. Asking them to put a sweepstroke in upstream seems to make maintaining their edge more difficult cos they've to lift their edge, then somehow execute a sweepstroke without dropping their edge. This is at a point where they have yet to develop good control of their boat.

Leave the sweepstroke out of the turn completely. Teach them to edge sufficiently so that the water turns them without the need for a sweepstroke.

Paddle aggressively towards and across the eddy line, taking one final strong stroke on the downstream side, lift the upstream edge so that the current turns the kayak downstream, and have the low brace ready on the downstream side. Turn the brace into another aggressive forward stroke.

Then for more advanced paddlers - I never see anyone using the low-brace turn on whitewater. I can't comment on surf.

Adrians
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Re: Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by Adrians » Tue Apr 29, 2008 5:19 pm

seanie wrote: but why is it been taught on the white water level 3 syllabus?
Not wanting to get too into this, and not being a qualified ICU instructor / accesor my place to comment or question there syllabus is limited enough. but here is my two cents....

I don't think seanie is question how the low brace turn is a very valid tool/teaching step in teching some one how to break in/out. I would agree that it can help "break down" the the manover and help teach the use of "combined strokes".

When I would question and I think seanie is in agreement, why is this being thaugh as part of level 3 syllabus as its not a pro active white water skill?
annie wrote: This is at a point where they have yet to develop good control of their boat.
Annie just in question to your above quote surely when some one is aiming at level 3 standard they have or are well on there way to developing good boat control?


I would like to state for the record that I in no way would like to see my views as ICU bashing or anything of the sort. I think Connor, Benny, Ainta and all the other folks involved do a fantastic job and get little thanks for it. I would simpily see this thread as food for thought... :D

tiernan
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Re: Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by tiernan » Tue Apr 29, 2008 5:27 pm

while i dont use it all that much i believe they're talking about large eddies with relatively slow moving water where an edge and a LB will do nicely, also its about school of thought training, for example they teach us to use two hands feeding the wheel through while driving but who actually does that except grannies, the idea is in theory its probably the best for safety/control/stability or whatever. whether the afore mentioned certified person chooses to do it by this standard in their level 3 standard career is up to them and thats why the bow rudder is on the level 4 exam...

adrian u told me u were an instructor :P

t

Adrians
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Re: Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by Adrians » Tue Apr 29, 2008 5:30 pm

Adrians wrote: not being a qualified ICU instructor /
:lol:

Cheeky monkey, but thats a whole other conversation.... :oops:

But Tin's point re the "steering wheel" is a valid one.

annie
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Re: Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by annie » Tue Apr 29, 2008 8:40 pm

Adrians wrote:Annie just in question to your above quote surely when some one is aiming at Level 3 standard they have or are well on there way to developing good boat control?
I was actually just going off-topic somewhat and offering an alternative breaking-in technique...

It'd be interesting to ask what assessors think. I'm pretty sure I was advised to break in and out using the bow rudder for my Level 3 a few months back.

I see it's on the EPP scheme for Level 3 so the steering wheel analogy of Tiernan's could be the reasoning behind it.

So now... why is it on the Level 4 syllabus? :mrgreen:

Maybe when the Level 4 is updated it'll be gone. Hopefully along with cable ties and curl rescues (unless you're being assessed in a Dancer).

Rob Coffey
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Re: Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by Rob Coffey » Tue Apr 29, 2008 10:31 pm

Low brace turns, pointless?
Good question. Yes, the low brace turn is completely and utterly pointless, and should not be thought to beginners as it leads to bad technique.

Likewise the traditional bow rudder as on the ICU level 4 syllabus is completely pointless. It works ok on low water on the Annamoe, but the minute you put a ICU level 4 proficiency trained kayaker on powerful whitewater they will get hammered. The traditional bow rudder will not work on powerful whitewater. By powerful whitewater I mean Zambezi, Norway, high water Slovenia.

I have spent the past few years in Slovenia/ Norway helping Irish paddlers unlearn poor technique (ie ICU style low brace/ bow rudder) in favour of a more dynamic style ie forward paddling on the inside of the turn.

The key issue is this: on powerful eddylines using a low brace or bow rudder results in loss of speed, therefore instability. Dynamic technique understands that in powerful whitewater, the main problem is not making the boat turn, but rather in preventing it from turning. This is done by converting rotational speed into forward speed by means of a forward stroke.


These new dynamic techniques are overwhelmingly accepted by the world's top kayakers, but unfortunately not yet the ICU. The problem, as I see it, is that too few people paddle and coach at the higher levels abroad on the kind of whitewater that will expose poor technique. Paddlers can generally get away with it in Ireland or the French Alps, but put them on powerful whitewater and the limitations of the old technique become very , very clear, very, very quickly. My first season on the Zambezi as an ICU trained paddler was a disaster until Steve Fisher showed me how to paddle dynamically.

If anyone is interested in having dynamic technique shown to them, I'd be more than happy to demonstrate in Norway this summer. It is pretty simple and will revolutionise your paddling, as anyone who has adapted will agree. I would hope the ICU will soon take on board recent progressions in our sport, and move forward on this issue.It is certainly not in the ICUs interest to have their training program actively undermine a paddlers ability to kayak harder whitewater, which is unfortunately currently the case. But as more and more feedback comes from above and more and more Irish paddlers spend time in places like Norway and learn how to actually paddle, they will have to move on this issue or be left behind.
Last edited by Rob Coffey on Tue Apr 29, 2008 10:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

tiernan
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Re: Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by tiernan » Tue Apr 29, 2008 10:41 pm

rob by "dynamic style ie forward paddling on the inside of the turn" do you mean forward paddling while carving the direction you want, if so how does this effect big ass rocker hulls which i can only imagine to be the origin of the LB turn (thinking breaking out here for this example).

Rob Coffey
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Re: Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by Rob Coffey » Tue Apr 29, 2008 10:52 pm

by "dynamic style ie forward paddling on the inside of the turn" do you mean forward paddling while carving the direction you want
Yes. I mean instead of putting in redundant turning strokes ie low brace/ bow rudder, put in powerful forward stokes. This will retain your speed through the turn, hence spending less time on the eddyline where the boat is most unstable. Basically dynamic paddling recognises that techniques which were designed to turn boats that were 4 metres long are completely redundant in the super manouverable short boat era.

kill
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Re: Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by kill » Wed Apr 30, 2008 2:02 pm

Actually the steering wheel analogy is a poor one. I'm doing my advanced driving test tomorrow and both hands on the wheel is an important part of it. You're right, though, in the case of changing down through the gears as you're slowing down. That is actually only taught to beginners to improve car control.

On the point of low-brace turns,
As far as I know they were developed as a method of getting the older longer boats with rounded hulls in to eddies. The sweep was used to get the boats (that were bad at turning but good at going in a straight line) to turn into the eddy. This worked because the boats turned more like a ship instead of spinning. The low-brace part was developed because of the instability caused by the boats being so narrow relative to their length.

These days, much less of a boat's hull rests in the water. Many boats are flat-hulled. All of this contributes to a turning action that is more like spinning. A sweep near the eddy line in a modern kayak results in getting spun around on that eddy line without making it into the flow/eddy. A better method in these boats is the dynamic one described by Rob. A forward stroke on the inside of the turn, while edging into the turn pushes the kayak over the eddy line where the stroke is then turned into something like a stern rudder. In tight eddies it is possible to bring the stroke back up to a bow-rudder.

The bow-rudder is a useful stroke in white water that isn't too powerful or when you're dropping into an eddy after flaring off a rock. It's not great as a method of getting into an eddy but rather as a method of positioning yourself correctly in that eddy quickly. In my opinion, you shouldn't be using a bow rudder unless you'd make the eddy anyway without it.

Hopefully this has been interesting and I hope as well that no-one who knows more than me comes along and says I've been talking through my hole.

In conclusion, yes, the low-brace turn is useless. I also thinks it's time that sculling wasn't taught as a method of remaining upright in a small stopper. Even in a massive stopper I'd be digging deep or pushing forward. Sculling is only really useful for
1) when you're pushed up against a wall and can only use your paddle on one side
2) showing off.
By the way, as far as I know the L3 is being revamped and it sounds like there's a great job being done on it.
Anywho, back to work...

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