By Jim on Sunday, June 23, 2013
The catch, the front of the stroke, the most important part of paddling.
The catch is the area of the stroke that offers everything, boat run, stability, speed and enjoyable paddling. There are many areas of the catch that are missed.
One of the main areas is the use of the trunk; the wing paddle was designed so that more power could be put on each stroke. The way that is going to be possible was by using bigger muscles to evenly distribute the power, THE TRUNK. That is why you hear the word rotate when you paddle, this means twist your trunk so that as the paddle enters the water your biggest muscles can handle the amount of force generated by the paddle, this helps move your boat forward.
When you get a strong catch your boat glides on the hull, giving you boat run, this then gives you stability and a nice even feel on the water.
Common mistakes when paddling and trying to get the catch are:
The top hand moves faster then the hand that is guiding the stroke through the water, making your body square on at the catch, which will lead you to pull back with the arm. [Check video below].
Another common mistake is that paddlers’ cross the top arm over their bodies believing that they are rotating, it is the illusion that if my hand crosses past my eyes then I must be twisting. This has two problems, one you are not using your whole trunk when the blade enters the water, the other and is the biggest for new paddlers, it makes the paddler lean to the opposite side of their craft to give them balance, so their body is on one side and hands on the other, this leads to fighting the rocking in the boat. [ video below]
So when your blade enters the water you need to try and hold the top hand back for a quick second and let it come around with your body so that the top hand guides it forward at the same pace as the blade is in the water. When you do this you find that you are rotated around on the following stroke.
When you get good power on the catch you will find that you go faster easier as the power is now getting transferred through to bigger muscles, the trouble is then you want to go faster and faster.
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