Low brace turns, pointless?

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Seanie
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Re: Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by Seanie » Mon May 05, 2008 12:45 pm

KevEgan wrote:Does anyone else think that using a low brace turn is a great way to introduce the concepts of looking where you want to go and that your boat can be controlled and turned by using your edge to beginners?
I agree that teaching "the concepts of looking where you want to go and that your boat can be controlled and turned by using your edge to beginners".

However, I don't think the low brace turn teaches this, components that make up the low brace turn, like edging and looking where you are going do. But the low brace during or as part of this move plays no part in teaching these skills. I think there are much better ways to introduce beginners to edge control and boat control.

KevEgan
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Re: Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by KevEgan » Mon May 05, 2008 2:50 pm

Seanie wrote:I think there are much better ways to introduce beginners to edge control and boat control.
Why not give us a few examples Seanie?

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Seanie
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Re: Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by Seanie » Mon May 05, 2008 5:21 pm

I think loads of examples have been given in this thread.
My example would be just simple tasks, getting into or out of an eddy using a forward stroke for momentum and edging to turning the kayak.

IMO the low brace in the low brace turn just confuses people and serves no purpose when used by someone paddling a modern boat. And its mainly a relic of long boat paddling.

stealT
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Re: Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by stealT » Mon May 05, 2008 7:08 pm

Is this exciting, dynamic, progressive and wonderful turning technique new? Really all that new?

I thought that when you learned the LBT in a multi-layered, sequential fashion you came away with all the right things – speed/drive, angle of attack, spin momentum and positive edge control through the movement. No?

Oh dear – we better add some forward strokes on the inside of that turn to make it dynamic - we wouldn’t want to look like attendees of the old school.

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Seanie
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Re: Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by Seanie » Mon May 05, 2008 7:45 pm

Can we add a paddle twirl to the end of the Eskimo roll on the syllabus? ... because, if thought in a multi-layered, sequential fashion you would come away with all the right things, including learning how to paddle spin....and paddle spins look class!! ;)

Sarcasm aside, going on what a lot of experts have said here, lots of people use this stroke inappropriately. It can then be inferred from this, that the fringe benefits of teaching the low brace turn (learning speed/drive, angle of attack, spin momentum and positive edge control through the movement) have not been taken on their own merits, or understood as separate entities from the LBT. There is then definite confusions when it comes to when to use a low brace turn. I see this as been exacerbated by the fact that L3 and L4 proficiency paddlers will undoubtedly be paddling on rivers where the Low brace turn is useless.

We should identify why the LBT should be on the L3 and L4, on its own merits?

KevEgan
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Re: Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by KevEgan » Mon May 05, 2008 9:07 pm

Seanie wrote:L3 and L4 proficiency paddlers will undoubtedly be paddling on rivers where the Low brace turn is useless.

We should identify why the LBT should be on the L3 and L4, on its own merits?
totaly agree with you there...but I still think the low brace turn is a usefull teaching tool on flat water (the syllabus doesn't say anything in particular about having to use it for breaking in or out of the flow).

It can be used as a stepping stone... once someone has grasped the concept of the low brace turn, move them on to paddling in a circle just paddling on the inside... then get them to do a figure of eight just paddling on the inside (probably a bit much for level 3!)

As a stroke to use on grade 2 or 3 water or higher, I agree that there isn't much use for the low brace turn... but as an assessment tool it could be quite usefull:
Take any level 2 paddler, a level 3 paddler and a level 4 paddler. Ask them all to do a low brace turn..
The level 3 paddler will demonstrate better technique than the level 2 paddler. They will show more confidence, better edge control through the turn and more pronounced body rotation.
The level 4 paddler will be a step up again.
This probably isnt from hours of practicing the low brace turn. The boat control that can be demonstrated by the low brace turn can be developed through other techniques.
I'm not saying that it is a necessity that someone can do a low brace turn for an assessment it is just a convenient way of demonstrating, in a controled environment, how much boat control a level 3 paddler has.

KevEgan
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Re: Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by KevEgan » Mon May 05, 2008 9:12 pm

Here is another school of thought on the issue:
The low brace turn is one of the best ways to turn the kayak while in motion.

One of the things you may find difficult when you're first learning how to kayak is turning the kayak. There are basically two things that you can always try when you're first learning how to kayak. First, some kayaks come with rudders built in, though this is not recommended, as you will not have as much control over where your kayak is going as you might. Next, there are the sweep strokes, but these are not always useful.

The low brace turn is a good stroke to learn if you are looking for something that is especially useful while your kayak is still in motion. This is also the type of turn that you will want to learn if you are planning on going kayaking in whitewater. One thing to keep in mind while you are doing the low brace turn is that you'll need to keep your elbow at an almost 90 degree angle with the paddle shaft. That way, you'll be able to keep yourself from getting any injuries when you're performing the low brace turn.

The first thing you need to do in order to work on learning this turn is to start kayaking forward. (Unlike most other kayaking strokes, the low brace turn has to be learned while you are in motion). Next, put the paddle blade flat on the water on the side of the kayak that you are trying to turn toward. This will both support your kayak, and it will also drag that side of the kayak around, turning you.

Something to keep in mind when you're performing the low brace turn is that it is very easy to slow your kayak down too far if you do not pick up the kayak paddle right after you have made the turn.
Down with that sort of thing!

Rob Coffey
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Re: Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by Rob Coffey » Tue May 06, 2008 12:22 am

Some interesting points all round. In response to a few, because I'm knackered after an awesome weekend paddling at the Bitches in Wales:
StealT wrote: Is this exciting, dynamic, progressive and wonderful turning technique new? Really all that new?
No. That's my point. The best paddlers in the world have been using it for ten years now, maybe more. From exposure to Gene 17 and others like Olli Grau we have been coaching it actively for maybe 5 years now. But in so far as is dynamic style a pretty radical departure from the old system of prescribed strokes, well yes, there is no doubt it is. Five minutes on a powerful eddyline would prove this.

Make no mistake, dynamic style is not yet on the ICU syllabus, and is therefore not really being actively coached in Ireland. It is definately not on the European Paddle Pass, as their Level 2 and 3 syllabi are based on concepts that are ten years out of date. I have emailed the ICU Training and Development Unit and offered to work with them to incorporate it into their syllabus. In this way, this information can be passed on to the wider instructorship body. I think that the old system, in its time, did a very fine job. However it is now very out of date and needs to be updated to reflect recent developments in short boat design and technique.

Surely our national whitewater training syllabus should endevour to incorporate the most recent developments in whitewater technique, especially when those developments are a pretty radical departure from what came before?
Jimmy H wrote: Does anyone know a book or something that teaches this dynamic style?
Not really. The best bet is Whitewater Kayaking by Olli Grau. But things have maybe moved on from there even.

This is why I feel such techniques need to be incorporated into the syllabus, so everyone can have access to them.
KevEgan wrote: Next, put the paddle blade flat on the water on the side of the kayak that you are trying to turn toward. This will both support your kayak, and it will also drag that side of the kayak around, turning you
Not sure what your source for this is Kev, but I suspect some very old BCU handbook. This quote sums up for me exactly why in a whitewater context the low brace turn needs to be firmly consigned to the dustbin of poor whitewater technique, along with such horrors as the high telemark, the high duffek, eskimo rolling while leaning back, and my personal favorite, the colorado hook.

Brian
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Re: Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by Brian » Tue May 06, 2008 10:44 am

Ive never had much time for the low brace turn, it always felt a bit pointless, having an active blade on your inside feels far more beneficial and it wont leave you stuck on the eddy line.

The bow rudder is a stroke that im finding very difficult to stop using though. It can be very handy at times in ireland but when the water becomes pushier its fricken useless. Its a tough habit to break.
I blame my time playing polo for it :D

Dave Crerar
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Re: Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by Dave Crerar » Tue May 06, 2008 1:42 pm

hypercritical I know, but I was teaching freestyle this weekend just gone and I was teaching some of lads to use a low brace while surfing clifden, pretty sure it's the best way to stay stable and controlled in a hole . So maybe its not so useless after all, but for sure it's not so good on pussy rivers, imagine trying to accomplish Zambezi's first rapid, a massive ferry, with a low brace turn, good luck.

Kav
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Re: Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by Kav » Tue May 06, 2008 2:04 pm

I don't think anyone is saying that the Low Brace itself is useless, far from it. Its way better than people I see surfing in a hole high bracing for support or worse sculling lying back on their backdeck. The low brace keeps your body up in a much more active position and should always be encouraged as the first thing to do when you get unstable.
Completely different to a Low Brace Turn where you are more or less sitting passively in position waiting for something bad to happen.

Kim
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Re: Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by Kim » Tue May 06, 2008 5:27 pm

Kev, we really need a good long auld chat...
Just think about way people learn things. When you teach something in the flat, people will take that technique onto whitewater with them. As soon as they feel comfortable using that way of turning (dragging the paddle, for god's sake!), it will be a habit really hard to get rid of.

Anyway, we'll discuss it over a beer in the Alps... (and remember that cheque as well...)

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rlynch
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Re: Low brace turns, pointless?

Post by rlynch » Wed May 07, 2008 11:12 am

Good point. In moments of panic (argh, I'm going upside-down) people revert to what their most automatic reaction is.

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!

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