Agreed.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
Compound strokes of forward strokes into a bow draw or stern draw can be incredibly useful.
However, the traditional bow rudder hanging out in front of the boat is completely and utterly useless. It was designed for when boats where 4 m long and therefore needed a pivot point to turn on. Unfortunately this has led to a generation of Irish paddlers who do what Dave Carroll calls the 'space anchor'- an aimlessly planted bow rudder which achieves absolutely nothing. We have so much experience dealing with this bad technique that we can almost invariably recognise Irish paddlers abroad by their overuse of the 'space anchor' ie bow rudder turn. In fact, level 4 proficiency paddlers who have been trained to do bow rudders will be way less proficient on harder whitewater than paddlers who have been thought dynamic paddling ie forward strokes on the inside of the turn. In fact, the level 4 bow rudder turn actively inhibits a paddlers ability. I have so much experience of dealing with this in practise, including, for example, last week in high water Slovenia where I had to help paddlers unlearn bad habits picked up at a level 4 assessment.
I also thinks it's time that sculling wasn't taught as a method of remaining upright in a small stopper
I think it is time to have a chat with the ICU Training and Development Unit and see if we can incorporate some of these new ideas in the ICU syllabus.