Low brace turns, pointless?

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Rob Coffey
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Re: Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by Rob Coffey » Wed Apr 30, 2008 2:37 pm

Interesting points there.
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
Agreed.
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 agree.

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.

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rlynch
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Location: New Zealand

Re: Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by rlynch » Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:08 pm

Whoa! So much sense in one thread!

Please do have that chat with the ICU. I've seen so many beginners taught the ridiculous sweep-edge-brace combo that leaves them utterly unprepared for anything other than the gentlest white water. Surely edge control and dynamic, active paddle strokes are the way to go…

I also see many beginners capsizing on eddy lines because they have no idea when they should execute the turn. Why not take the turn out of it initially? Have them ferry into the flow and then turn – an altogether easier thing to grasp, and it encourages consistent edge control, rather than panicking about spinning the boat around to point downstream.

Ross
We would leave home in the morning and could play all day, as long as we were back before it got dark. No one was able to reach us and no one minded!

tiernan
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Re: Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by tiernan » Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:08 pm

in responce to kill...

driving with ur two hands on the wheel and feeding while driving makes u look like a granny and only improves your control if you'd be out of control otherwise.

its the best way to teach it as its impossible to know who have a natural talent for driving and who dont (i.e. who need advanced driving classes)

ipso facto my analogy was perfect. and you drive like a granny!

good topic tho lads

t

annie
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Location: Galway

Re: Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by annie » Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:13 pm

kill wrote:as far as I know the L3 is being revamped
I think it's being brought in line with EPP, right? And the low-brace turn is still on that.
Rob Coffey wrote:I had to help paddlers unlearn bad habits picked up at a level 4 assessment... 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.
Sounds like a plan.

kill
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Re: Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by kill » Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm

tiernan wrote:driving with ur two hands on the wheel and feeding
Surely I'd need three hands for that?

You're probably right Annie. I haven't researched any of what I said.

Rob Coffey
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Re: Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by Rob Coffey » Wed Apr 30, 2008 6:47 pm

I've just had a cursory glace at the European Paddle Pass and while the concept is good and there is some progress, some of the key concepts are simply wrong. This is probably due to the fact that no active coach who is involved in modern delivery on class 4-5 whitewater has been involved with the EPP ie Ollie Grau, Simon Westgarth, Dave Carroll etc.
EPP KAYAK - LEVEL 2 - GREEN PADDLE
Low brace turn
1. The kayak should be turned while on the move first using a series of sweep strokes, secondly a low brace turn.
2. The low brace turn is to be induced by a short effective sweep on the opposite side followed by a good edge into the turn; the paddle should be in the low brace position, level or just in front of hip, shaft as parallel to surface of water as kayak should allow, back of the blade on the water. The kayak carves a slow, stable turn.
EPP KAYAK - LEVEL 3 – BLUE PADDLE
Low brace turn
1. The turn is to be induced by applying a sweep stroke on the opposite side to the turn, followed by a confident edge into the turn. The back of paddle blade is to be trailing on surface, ready for support. To be performed both left and right.
Bow rudder
1. The intention is to indicate that the kayak can be pivoted around the paddle. The turn is to be induced by applying a sweep stroke on the opposite side to the turn. The blade should then be planted in the water at a comfortable distance from the gunwale, about level with the knees, with the drive face towards the boat but the leading edge angled away from the bow. Trunk rotation should be in evidence, the top arm across the top of the forehead. The boat is driven around the paddle by use of the opposite knee
This is nonsense.

What the EPP seems to be doing is using the ICU syllabus as a template for the rest of Europe, which is unfortunate as we have already shown it to be out of date. I realise that it is a work in progress but as long as it remains in its present format and does not take into account new school dynamic developments then the EPP will not be recognised among high end paddlers and coaches.
Last edited by Rob Coffey on Wed Apr 30, 2008 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Rob Coffey
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Re: Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by Rob Coffey » Wed Apr 30, 2008 6:54 pm

From Ali Donald:
Fair play for getting the ball rolling with this- its overdue as far as I can see. Since being away for a while and coming back to instruction here, its really obvious to me how the current ww syllabii have been left behind by developments in current paddling. I have watched "traditional coaching" being done in several places here and found myself thinking, that if I found myself bringing the same people on up to a more advanced level, I would have to "unteach" so many elements of what they'd previously been shown. In coaching on whitewater myself recently, I have ended up having to ask the question- " do you want to be coached to pass certification, or do you want the best coaching to make you a dynamic more effective paddler?"
Feel free to quote me on this if it would help, and also I would be keen to contribue towards the work neccessary to update the current system.

tiernan
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Re: Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by tiernan » Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:03 pm

With heads like Rob and Ali up for change it begs the question what has the ICU so against it, like they're never known for being stuck in their ways....

But the part about the EPP using ICU for a template is shocking, least of all since paddling here and in the rest of europe is fairly different! Most of all coz kayaking and kayaks have evolved past old ways.
Last edited by tiernan on Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

annie
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Location: Galway

Re: Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by annie » Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:16 pm

From asking people involved: the revamp is a case of getting the ICU Award Scheme approved by the EPP group. Since March this has been approved up to Level 3. Work is ongoing on the Levels 4 and 5.

The other EPP partners are - France, Slovenia, Germany, Britain, Denmark and Sweden.

It sounds like some people, like those Rob mentioned, could contribute a lot to that. If they were interested maybe they could volunteer to get involved - and see if the relevant people (EPP, ICU folk?) are willing to discuss their input. I have far less paddling experience than some of those posting on this thread though so I am sure you know better if that is feasible.

Ali remind me not to book you in for Level 4 training next year, but rather the other kind! :mrgreen:

Dave Crerar
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Re: Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by Dave Crerar » Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:38 pm

I'm 100% with coffey on this one, however if you want to become a certified instructor you gotta jump through ICU rules right.... If you want to make any sort of living of kayaking here in Ireland, you have to make your students jump through these hoops also.

Ive spent countess days helping out with various people, and because they have to follow an ICU syllabus in order to make their course sound viable to others/ new kayakers, they must teach these out dated techniques in order for their student to "advance". Surely there can be another way of becoming a competent and recognized coach/guide/instructor without having to pay out a serious lump to the ICU only to be assessed on your ability to teach techniques you don't even use yourself. Bring on an independent skills assessment unit, run by those who are out there teaching on bigger water.

tiernan
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Re: Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by tiernan » Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:24 pm

on a shocking point of order, the EPP and ICU seem to be using the same mentally expensive and confusing website. There's a doings a transpiring... i'm sure of it!

Polo Eoin
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Re: Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by Polo Eoin » Thu May 01, 2008 10:56 am

Ha. I was pondering this issue lately. I've been teaching people for a while but did my level 3 skills recently....cring. (I had refused to do any ICU certification up to now for my own, quite petty reasons)

Just spent last Sunday teaching this method.
With a group of level 3 skills trainees it was copped straight away. "Why would we need this?"
Now I have to explain to them how a stroke combitation that I never use is useful. It bugs me.
I use the low brace as an excuse to really get them edging as they break in/out, it seems to me to be the only useful trait of the combination, basically ignoring the sweep as much as possible, the boat is coming around fast enough already.

I get asked quite often why we teach it and as Dave pointed out above we have to if we want our students to advance in the ICU's eyes.

A bow draw to forward stroke rather than a simple bow rudder (again a pointless stroke, ever see a slalom paddler use a bow rudder, nope) would be my preferred method on most Irish rivers with, as Rob calls it, dynamic paddling turn when the goin gets tough. (i'm open to correction from real paddlers here)

Now I was never really taught these methods but I was taught the sweep to low brace and the hanging draw methods back in the day, althought the transiton was the latest inovation back then and I owned a hurricane so the instructor probably had a point.
Last edited by Polo Eoin on Thu May 01, 2008 2:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

dave f
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Re: Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by dave f » Thu May 01, 2008 12:30 pm

Folks,

Great thread you have going here, really well thought out comments by all. I am a trainee level 2 instructor and have been helping with Level 2 & 3 training for 3 years now. I have the same thoughts as Polo Eoin, I struggle to explain the need for this stroke and watch new paddlers and even L3 candidates get this wrong. For the record, I don't really use the stroke myself, although I'm guilty of using a bow rudder in the turn :oops:

The only thing I wanted to add to this thread was actually a defense of the low brace turn. I started out in a flat water racing club before seeing the light and moving (evolving is a more accurate term) towards white water. The low brace turn is still very relevant to the bigger boats, k-boats, gola sprints etc. you will see many racers using this stroke.

If you take the view that L2 ICU profficiency is a general paddling qualification used by all kayaking disciplines, then sweep stroke still makes sense. I think the question should be looked at from another perspective...white water has moved so far from traditional kayaking techniques that maybe it needs its own syllabus? This break from tradition becomes even more important if you start thinking about freestyle paddling too.

I'm very conscious of the limitations in the current syllabus as I get more into white water...I've gone swimming often enough to prove that point ;) I'm not familiar with the dynamic paddling techniques advocated by Rob C, but he makes a very persuasive argumant and I for one would be happy to learn more about it.


Sorry for the essay, thanks for reading....


Dave F 8-) :P

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