Kayaker dislocated shoulder moving to oc1

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Kayaker dislocated shoulder moving to oc1

Post by wildeboater » Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:09 am

Any formal kayakers?  I need advice.  Okay, i have been kayaking for 20+ years and I am extremely comfortable on class IV and will run some class V depending on the rapid and my comfort level.  I have now dislocated my shoulder three times this year, two times in the same day once on the river got it back in and then in the car after i got off the river and had to go to the ER. I had surgery but have done it again with another trip to the ER.  I would prefer not to have another operation but that may mean no more kayaking.  I am considering a move to an oc1. I really love to creek and i am not a play boater.  Any comments, advice or suggestion would be great.
Also I live in WNC and would be interested in borrowing a beater boat to try out for a few trips down the Tuck or Nanny to help me decide.
thanks
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Re: Kayaker dislocated shoulder moving to oc1

Post by FullGnarlzOC » Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:02 am

#1 - My shoulder hurts from just watching you yakers do your braces/extreme braces.

#2 - OC1 for sure safer...all around IMO.

#3 - once you overcome the factors that make open boating harder than kayaking, you'll be happier than ever; I would imagine.

#4 - you'll most likely enjoy the challenge of learning OC1

#5 - you won't have to paddle class IV/V for a long time to get the same kicks you did in a kayak - thus alleviating the physical strain that class IV/V can put on the body.

#6 - You get to keep paddling!
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Re: Kayaker dislocated shoulder moving to oc1

Post by driftwood » Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:22 am

I have been there and have been dislocatio free for 4 years.
First get a good rehab and strengthening program ( I can recomend a good therapist who boats)
Second the switch can help, keeps it challenging but not scary by limiting the rapids you run

Send me a private message, I am in Wnc and I am a aca instructor
We can go boatin

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Re: Kayaker dislocated shoulder moving to oc1

Post by lung » Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:41 am

Do you have a kayaking background FullGnarlzOC? Curious what you are basing #2 on. This is my first season running WW in an OC1/C1, so I don't have an opinion on the matter.

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Re: Kayaker dislocated shoulder moving to oc1

Post by TheKrikkitWars » Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:42 am

If memory serves, Gnarls doesnt have a kayaking background... He was OC1 from the word 'go' or certainly pertained to be at the time.

FWIW I started out paddling slalom K1, took up OC1 playboating, and finally settled down as a predominantly C1 paddler who can still handle an open if the fancy takes. My experience suggests that if your're switching to change/reduce shoulder stress only, then open boating has no practical utility; converting a nice stable boat to C1 will almost certainly be easier for you to transfer over and to continue paddling preominantly with kayakers...

As a corrolary, if you can get an experienced c-boater to help you convert a boat (should you choose that route) it will save you time and money, as well as allowing you to concentrate on getting back up to speed on the water quickly...

Finally, and this may be a bit dissapointing to hear, but whichever C-boat type you choose, you're much better off ramping down the difficulty until you're getting your technical skills back to where they were in a kayak; I went for the just get stuck in option, resulting in many grazes, the odd bruise, plenty of frustration at being able to see a line but not make it and a final painful realisation that my pig-headed desire to get back on class 4 & 5 immediately after seitching to canoe ultimately held back myprogression and damaged my confidence
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Re: Kayaker dislocated shoulder moving to oc1

Post by bkebs » Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:22 pm

My experience,

I was just getting to class 3 paddling in a kayak when I dislocated my shoulder. It was my first summer in a kayak having grown up canoeing. After the dislocation, I could not get comfortable in a yak. I got an open boat and started paddling again in class 1 just surfing waves and ferries... practice stuff. Eventually I stepped it up and ran a solid class 3 on a small creek near me. I dislocated the same shoulder on my second run when I dumped before dropping into the hole.

I am now back up to paddling 2 and 3 stuff. I guess what I am saying is that it has been easier on my shoulder in a canoe, but you are still at risk.

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Re: Kayaker dislocated shoulder moving to oc1

Post by wildeboater » Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:26 pm

Thanks all for the advice, I want to try out both C1 and OC1, but I am intrigued by the kayak conversion idea. This next part will show how sticking to what i like or like cars i paddle/drive them until they are no longer serviceable. I have a Phat and a sleek when the sleek was new in the mid 90s it was all i paddled, i cracked 2 but the third is still going at the time i paddled with a c1 guy who had converted a sleek and we ran the green, west prong etc. I really like this idea. Isn't the learning curve steeper?

plus I am very willing to dial it down for a while i want to be an old white water paddler not a former one.
Devlin
Last edited by wildeboater on Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kayaker dislocated shoulder moving to oc1

Post by pblanc » Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:28 pm

I started out paddling whitewater in an open boat (OC-1). When I got to the point I was paddling the Ocoee frequently I got tired of dumping water out of the boat (this was when very few people had bilge pumps). I also wanted to be able to paddle in the winter and early spring wearing only a dry top, not a dry suit, so I decided to make the move to a decked boat. I thought a C-1 would be the logical choice and borrowed an old 'glass Noah boat.

Personally, I found the low kneeling posture intolerable in that boat and decided to try a kayak. Bought a blem kayak at a canoe club auction (Dagger Crossfire). I have continued to paddle both open boats and kayaks (and occasionally even a Dagger Cascade and Atom C-1) since.

My perspectives:

I would definitely try to borrow a boat and paddle it before buying a C-1. There is a reason that relatively few people paddle C-1s: they can be pretty uncomfortable. Things do get better when you customize the outfitting and spend some time in the boat, but some folks just can't stand the position.

Paddling with a single blade obviously makes some differences. You will have to learn some new strokes, especially a couple or a few ergonomically difficult cross strokes. C-1s with their low decks make crossing over easier than in an open boat, however.

You will not have a strong brace on one side of the boat. To my mind, this is perhaps the biggest difference. You will definitely notice the difference between your relatively strong on-side, and your much weaker off-side, although again the off-side maneuvers do become easier with time.

I think you can get more power on a single stroke with the single bladed paddle from a kneeling position than with a double bladed paddle from a sitting position, but your stroke cadence will probably be a bit less, at least initially. Even the small open boats now available are typically heavier than a K-1 play boat so you might find the boat slower to accelerate (if you go the OC-1 route).

You will have to work on making the boat go straight or keeping it pointed in the right direction while driving it forward or surfing. In a kayak it is pretty easy since a forward stroke on one side will tend the make the boat turn to the off-side, but it is immediately followed by a stroke on the opposite side. In a C-1 or canoe you don't want to be changing sides or crossing over every stroke so you need to learn to carve circles and use correction strokes. Surfing will require you to learn good form stern pry and stern draw strokes to point the boat without pulling yourself off the wave. Kayakers can be sloppy because they can just keep taking forward strokes on opposite sides of the boat as needed and don't really need to utilize good stern pries and draws.

Paddling in an open boat presents some additional challenges. Your boat can very quickly become one hundred pounds heavier paddling through wave trains, and maneuvering a very heavy boat with water sloshing around in it is sort of like trying to make a large, drunken, uncooperative horse go where you want it to. On the other hand, larger boats bridge holes more easily, and you are not as vulnerable upside down in a shallow rapid as you are in a decked boat. With an OC-1 a bit more thought is involved in making moves and selecting routes. I think that most single bladed paddlers are attracted to the challenge of mastering the wider variety of strokes. It makes things less boring.

Some folks on this forum have stated that they find it much easier to roll a C-1 than a kayak. I do not. I find the kayak roll relatively easy and the single bladed paddle roll more challenging by far. But then my canoe roll was self-taught and was never that good.
Last edited by pblanc on Thu Jul 26, 2012 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Kayaker dislocated shoulder moving to oc1

Post by cheajack » Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:50 pm

Switching to single blade may reduce the chance for shoulder dislocation but it will not eliminate the risk. Bob Harvey (Alex's Dad) always paddled single blade and had multiple shoulder dislocations which ultimately forced him to retire from paddling. Willy Young (youngwilly on this forum) has always (to my knowledge) been a single blade paddler and has had multiple shoulder dislocations and surgeries. I would focus on a long, slow, boring shoulder rehab/strengthening program incorporating Davey Hearn's shoulder routine (found in the links on this forum) and whatever craft you ultimately choose to paddle become anal about correct and safe paddling posture.

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Re: Kayaker dislocated shoulder moving to oc1

Post by bambam » Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:00 pm

I'm about 50% yakker, 50% canoeist. (I paddle the yak when I'm scared.) I dislocated my right shoulder in a yak on July 4, 2000 (not that I'm bitter or anything) at age 40 doing a high brace way out of position while playing in a hole. I took advice, bit the bullet, and completely immobilized my shoulder for three full weeks. The loss of muscle tone was astonishing. At that point my ligaments had healed up too tightly (and that's what you want). I followed this with some physical therapy to gently stretch the ligaments back to where they should be along with exercises to get strength back. Within about two months I was back on easy whitewater swearing to not even attempt a roll should I flip.

Since that time I have enjoyed twelve years of (knock on wood) trouble free service from that shoulder paddling almost a hundred times per year.

Point of my sermon? Sorry to sound preachy but I hear way too many stories of folks who get moving within a week or less of a dislocation, often at the advice of a sports physician (whose primary motivation seems to be to get a professional player back on the field as soon as possible), and eventually end up under the knife with less than ideal results.

I have no idea what your particular story is but it sounds like you have a very unstable shoulder. Shoulder-specific exercises can help, some.

Switching to C-1 or OC-1 can help, I should think, but it won't be a miracle cure. Kneeling low braces versus sitting high braces is a huge advantage. Ponder, ponder, ... , I suppose putting the t-grip in the hand attached to the compromised shoulder might help? That might make you feel off-sided but I should think you'd get used to it.

One side benefit of your switch is you get to feel vaguely superior to those still sitting on their butts in their boats, that is if you still bother to associate with them.

I've heard it said that if you want to enjoy forty years of canoeing then you should paddle on one side for twenty years and then switch to the other side for twenty years. Maybe you can stretch that to sixty years having saved twenty years of wear and tear on your knees by butt boating so far!

Best of luck,

Ken Dubel

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Re: Kayaker dislocated shoulder moving to oc1

Post by Craig Smerda » Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:57 pm

If you would happen to re-dislocate your shoulder... it's a helluva' lot easier to escape an OC1 than it is a C1... especially if the C1 has deathtrap outfitting.

Maybe start out in the OC and then move to the C1 afterwards if you want.

Jus' sayin'... :wink:
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Re: Kayaker dislocated shoulder moving to oc1

Post by John Coraor » Thu Jul 26, 2012 3:28 pm

wildeboater wrote:Thanks all for the advice, I want to try out both C1 and OC1, but I am intrigued by the kayak conversion idea. This next part will show how sticking to what i like or like cars i paddle/drive them until they are no longer serviceable. I have a Phat and a sleek when the sleek was new in the mid 90s it was all i paddled, i cracked 2 but the third is still going at the time i paddled with a c1 guy who had converted a sleek and we ran the green, west prong etc. I really like this idea. Isn't the learning curve steeper?

plus I am very willing to dial it down for a while i want to be an old white water paddler not a former one.
Devlin
Devlin:

I starting paddling open canoes on flatwater wilderness expeditions many years ago, switched to kayak on WW, then to C-2 WW & slalom racing, then C-1 WW & slalom racing, and most recently have returned to open canoe on WW. When paddling kayak I experienced several shoulder subluxations (a subluxation is a brief partial dislocation that immediately pops back in by itself) and purposely chose my C-boat paddling side to protect the affected shoulder. As others have said, paddling a canoe (either decked or open) will still put your shoulder at risk, but does reduce some dislocation risks inherent in kayak (e.g. canoe rolls are primarily built on a low brace which protects the shoulder more when compared to the primarily high brace kayak roll). However, to take advantage of this lower risk requires a change in paddling style that reduces use of high bracing in favor of low bracing relative to standard kayak technique.

As many posts have commented, you'll probably find challenge in easier WW while you develop your skills in whatever new craft you choose. Historically, an open canoe would have further limited the difficulty of water you paddled due to the need to avoid taking on water, but the advent of shorter OC designs made of ABS and PE, sometimes coupled with the use of waterproof pump systems, has allowed canoeists to break into the gnarly runs that were formerly the exclusive domain of expert decked boaters.

Although there are a wide range of designs in both types of craft, typically most C-1 designs tend to be somewhat edgier and less forgiving of errors than most OC-1s, but this is balanced to a degree by the challenge of running dry in an OC-1. Put another way, with everthing else being equal you'll be more likely to flip in a C-1, but - when they happen - mistakes in an OC-1 tend to yield more dramatically negative results. Several people have commented that C-1s are typically more painful on your knees and ankles as they usually require a lower seat than OC-1s. This is one reason why I now paddle OC-1 on most WW trips and reserve C-1 for slalom races. Physical discomfort aside, some paddlers find that they like not having to bail a C-1, while others prefer the challenge of running dry in an OC-1 and/or feel that the "openness" of an OC-1 gives them the ability to quickly exit the boat in case of a pin on a steep creek. I would encourage you to borrow or demo different boats in order to give both types of craft a chance; undoubtedly you'll discover your own preferences soon enough.

John

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Re: Kayaker dislocated shoulder moving to oc1

Post by Sir Adam » Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:01 pm

Many excellent comments above, the only thing I have to add is that many of the newer C1's are far more comfortable knee-wise than CBoats of old. Wider knee separate and higher saddles (due to a wider boat and more stability) have made a tremendous difference. If you want to see what I mean, hop in a Shaggy Sith....

Boats that typically feel comfortable at first, but wind up being rather uncomfortable on long trips if not tweaked include the Dagger Atom and Cascade, and most slalom boats out there too.
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Re: Kayaker dislocated shoulder moving to oc1

Post by PAC » Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:58 pm

What they said above.... for my $.01!

I'd agree that the newer C1s are much more comfortable these days... often I find that I have to wait on Ks to get out and stretch.... talk about going full circle! Love that darn Sith!

In terms of rolling the C1 I find it to be the easiest then the kayak then the OC. However, C1s also seem to flip over easier as well :o ... so its a trade off. :wink:

As for your shoulder... if done right you can protect the shoulder in a C / OC verses a K. But like in Ks if you're hang it all out you have the risk and exposure. But you might want to get at least one elbow pad for your off side to add in learning and keeping that from being injured.

Also I often hear folks talking about keep you shoulders and elbows as close as possible inside of the "box" of the upper torso to reduce this risk (low braces verses high) for both C and K. Finding good technique a win everytime! Do others agree / disagree?
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Re: Kayaker dislocated shoulder moving to oc1

Post by TheKrikkitWars » Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:27 pm

Sir Adam wrote:Many excellent comments above, the only thing I have to add is that many of the newer C1's are far more comfortable knee-wise than CBoats of old. Wider knee separate and higher saddles (due to a wider boat and more stability) have made a tremendous difference. If you want to see what I mean, hop in a Shaggy Sith....
I fully agree, as I predominantly paddle converted kayaks I'm used to having plenty of room for a nice high saddle and to spread my knees out; Equally my 1980's Extrabat slalom boat is murderously painful, but a modern 3.5m boat like a Nerus or Supremo is actually fairly comfy.
John Coraor wrote:Although there are a wide range of designs in both types of craft, typically most C-1 designs tend to be somewhat edgier and less forgiving of errors than most OC-1s... Several people have commented that C-1s are typically more painful on your knees and ankles as they usually require a lower seat than OC-1s.
Now, I wouldn'd agree here... For racing, that seems to hold true, with the exception of the Martikan series of boats, C1 design has stuck with a fairly boxy mid section; but in the river paddling relm, you're held back only by the amount of glue fumes you're willing to inhale and convertions from the Jefe (pretty round) to the Burn (pretty edgy) are all well liked and delivering excellent results for people... It all depends on their personal preferences and paddling style (rounder boats only really work if you're willing to be quite agressive with them; edgier boats suit a wider variety of styles, at the expense of the ablity to hit/boof/grind rocks at just about any angle/edge combo and make it work).

Equally C1's are much more individual on stability (and thus saddle height), the Fluid Solo will accept an 8" saddle with good stability, which is the same as many OC's; whereas the normal Jefe can only give 4-5" and the Jefe-Grande 6-7".
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