Jan 1 #28316
Question for the OCers -
Denise and I went for a DW from Wildcat Wednesday afternoon after the wind had dropped a bit - but it was still on the higher end windwise in terms of our experience. Denise did better than I did, but I seemed to have particular trouble making what seemed like a lot of fairly sharp required turns in the technical section after Governors. I either was waiting too long in anticipating needed turns and/or didn't have enough turning power. A couple of times I did seem to manage hard turns by adding more rudder with my paddle than just a brace - like I assume V1s have to turn. Is that something that you do? Are any of you using much paddle rudder for turns in bigger technical water or is this still probably more a matter of earlier anticipation and not waiting too long to make turns?
Jan 1 #28317
I actually started paddling in a V1 before I ever got into OC1.
So, what you’re saying is correct; if you need that extra boost of directional power, say you’re needing to go right, I definitely always do a quick switch and get a few powerful strokes in on the left side to help assist the turn.
If it gets really out of control, (rudder comes out) you can poke your blade next to the canoe hull to retain some control. (Poke right, go right. Poke left, go left.)
Jan 1 #28319
Paul, not sure this will be helpful, but I haven't used my surf rudder since the Gorge in July, including every big day on the bay. It's done a few things for me; It has taught me to be much more subtle in my turns, allowing me to carry more speed without the almost inevitable dump of speed an aggressive turn can create. It has taught me to read the water farther ahead so that I don't have to do any 'reactive' hard turns. It also forces me to not fight the canoe, again this lets the canoe 'run' and maintains more consistent speed; getting fewer of those big up & down spikes on the GPS graph. My average MPH on downwind runs has gone up significantly this year (for me, relatively speaking) It's also taught me to poke on those occasions I'm going to spin out because of the smaller rudder. Now, when I have gone back to the big surf rudder, I feel like I'm dragging an anchor.
I'm not suggesting you lose your surf rudder, but I guess you gotta ask yourself why you are having to make hard turns. Kinda reverse engineer the question I guess.
Super fun out there today.
Happy New Year!
Jan 1 #28323
Thanks Tyler and Beau.
What you have both said makes sense to me. I do not currently reflexively try to use a poke when I know I am about to broach, but I imagine I can learn to do this.
Watching videos of faster downwinding tends to confirm to me what Beau seems to be talking about on carrying speed and avoiding radical turns. I have tended to think that the greater speed carries folks over a lot of stuff that I could not get over and makes a straighter course easier. Although I still suspect that my (in)ability to carry speed does enforce some limits, practicing with my weed rudder might be a worthwhile experiment.
Looks like we are going to get plenty of wind to play with in the next week or so.
Happy New Year