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 Post subject: Choosing an onside
PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 3:38 pm 
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Coming from the outside I wonder what the culture is regarding choosing an Onside (being selectively ambidextrous). My off the cuff assumption is that a skilled canoeist prides them self on a good crow bow skill. I hear some even add the Cross bow J :o :roll: :lol: (best shot to the ribs is by a friend)
I do remember my canoeist on my grand canyon trip switched back
and forth but mostly for balanced day long boating 15 miles/day (80% flat).

While I've been ramping up the creeking with canoeist you get into the realm of class 4-5 or even 5+ and you say, " that drop is just made for a right/left onside." Usually its because the consequences are just ridiculous for an Off Side flip.....strainer......sieve......wrecked shoulder/face/arm/body.

While I don't like the idea of switching tee grip hands for river running and I support skilled cross bow strokes I'm just wondering if the canoeist would dog each other if they switched tee grip hands. I sort of look at this as a kayaker with a onside and offside roll. You work to learn the skill to pull off the move that best fits the position you are confronted with. Do Canoeist work at rolling on both sides ever. The offside cross bow roll thing sounds dangerous for a shoulder too.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 3:53 pm 
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You don't mess with a fine ratio of strength and precision...

I know for me personally, I will go to my grave trying to turn the whole "onside/offside move thing" into a non issue. On rivers, I dont ever think about an 'on-side ferry' vs an 'off-side ferry'....or onside/offside eddying.... It's all good to go, regardless of consequence.

However, what you speak is switching hands and dropping vertically, and bracing on the side you switched to... That could work and all, but there is two things that would hold me back. 1) f'n with genetics... I was born left handed to the bone; 2)possible injury - my left shoulder is bomber, my right shoulder is not... I keep the strain off my right shoulder because of that.

As for the offside roll, or switching hands and rolling... I think that falls under the category of "make it work'. And you know as well as i know... you can't practice 'make it work'.


Anyone practicing offside rolls n such... is either looking for parlor tricks to show their friends, or they are a top secret cyborg canoeist from the future, whos made of metal, and fears no injury or screw up.

My opinion.... stay with one hand until you can't get any better with paddling on just one side. Otherwise, you spreading out your skill sets...and the funny thing about canoeing, when the sht hits the fan, and the speed/intensity picks up.... You will only be paddling on one side.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 4:09 pm 
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and for the record... phil aka fur trader might just be a cyborg canoiest from the future.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 4:18 pm 
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I was fully ambidextrous when I only used a canoe (Coleman Ram-X 15) to catch small mouth. Once I heard of a cross stroke, my left side definitely went downhill in a hurry. As far as I can tell, cross paddling too enthusiastically above meaty drops is a good way to flip when you don't want to. I've gotten more in the habit of opening the paddle face on the strong side (sort of a reversed J) to pull the bow around towards the onside while still delivering power. The cross stroke seems best for a snappy and powerful eddy catches-I think I can definitely jam the boat into a smaller and tighter eddy to the offside because I can strongly anchor the paddle at a favorable angle to pivot and then pull with my whole back and torso. The more I paddle, though, the more I stay on the strong side for downriver. I think, or I'd like to think, that I put more emphasis on exploiting water features to send me where I need to go. As far as rolling offside, I limit this to youtube video production as my shoulders just quit hurting.

As an interesting side note, Milt Aitken appears fully ambidextrous when navigating his 14 ft Caption down all sorts of stuff, old school style. He switches hands no problem in the Paddlesnake movies, and photo sequences of him on the Gauley show him switching sides through Pillow. Everyone should own "Deliver me from the Paddlesnake" to see him run some falls on Stekoa Creek in that monster Caption.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 4:36 pm 
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I would never dog any canoeist who could paddle class 4/5 both lefty or righty with equal skill. THAT is impressive.

....well, now that I think of it, probably I would have give them some sort of grief. just because... :wink:
...the cross strokes are what makes it soooo fun! there's nothing nailing a cross boof.

and I don't think we choose an on side. I think it chooses us.

and AND, I like to think of it as left or right, as opposed to on or off.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 4:54 pm 
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There are advantages to being able having a real onside but still being able to switch hands. I am a righty.. and like Larry said, it found me. But some rivers are just more fun for lefties like the Ottawa, where almost every surf feature is a river left eddy peel-out, which is a lefty onside move (babyface, garb, push button). For freestyle, I will happily switch hands if it means I can catch the wave/feature versus not catching it. Peeling out offside just brings less power... see slalom racing, where cross bows are kept to a minimum because of diminished power. See RodeoClown's 2009 OC1 World Champ winning ride: http://vimeo.com/6500374

One key thing that McGnarlz added, I find very true.. when the business means business I am usually onside and strong and find myself using even less cross-bows.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 6:19 pm 
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I am also right handed and my onside found me. But what does that mean for each person? I know some right handers that hold the T-grip in their right hand. I am right handed and hold the T-grip in my left hand...which one of us is paddling backwards?

I will swap hands to play a certain feature if I need to, but cross bow strokes are fun!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 7:12 pm 
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Wayne:

Being able to switch sides is useful for tandem open canoe tripping where the ability to rest certain muscles in the midst of multiple days of day-long paddling provides welcome relief.

A few WW OC-1 paddlers are still switch hitters, choosing a side in any given situation depending upon particular moves (e.g. tough ferries, fast eddy turns or peel outs, or side surfing across a hole). Off-the-cuff I can recall only one OC-1 slalom paddler (Chuck Wendler) who still switches.

The vast majority of WW OC-1 paddlers appear to chose a side and stick with it (and with cross strokes) rather than switch grips. The trend is probably even more pronounced with decked C-1s, which tend to be even less forgiving of errors in edging (typically the hardest thing to master when switching from one side to the other).

That being said, there have been times when executing a particularly tough ferry or perched above a nasty hole looming on my offside when I've wished that I actually did paddle on the opposite side. However, for most of us, that's part of the challenge of WW canoeing - becoming good enough at controlling the boat from your chosen side (with cross strokes as needed).

If you decide to commit to only one side and are looking for which to choose, I would agree with Larry's observation that your side chooses you and not the other way around. Sometimes its avoiding a weak shoulder; for others it's one side feeling more natural. I find many paddlers think of their grip hand as being similar to the "control" hand in a kayak and thus will paddle left if they are right-handed, but some have the opposite view - the hand on the throat is the "strong" hand and it feels more natural with that as the dominant hand.

Regardless of whether you choose a single side or try to remain ambidextrous, you'll find that, like any other physical activity, repeated practice along your chosen path will define your skill level. I have paddled cruising open canoes on flatwater since I was eight and can still do so competently on either side. However, in decked canoes on whitewater, I've paddled on the left since 1981. When teaching C-1 to my "righty" daughters a couple of years ago, I found that demonstrating moves on the right was almost like learning to paddle all over again. I could do the strokes, but body control of my edges - so necessary to decked boat performance, particularly in a slalom boat - was completely absent on the right.

Whichever path you choose, I'm sure that you'll enjoy the journey!

John


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 8:09 pm 
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I switched to lefty in '74 because of a shoulder problem.

As a psychologist who worked with motor behavior at one time, and who had to absorb a certain amount of neuropsychology, I suspect that humans tend to be asymmetrical in using their upper bodies (sorry, buttboaters) and when both skill and power are needed, may naturally tend to assign one role for one arm and another for the other. But that needn't concern anyone excessively here.

If one could study really large populations of right handed and left handed whitewater canoeists, it would be interesting to see if there is a side preference. In using tools, right handers tend to assign the "doing" role to the right hand, and the "positioning" or assisting role to the left hand. But how does that relate to paddle use? I think it might suggest preference for left sided paddling, but does that show up on the slalom courses? And, what about Naomi?

What do they call a first offender in Iran?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 8:57 pm 
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What do they call a first offender in Iran?



"Lefty".


I don't get it........pls explain





Big Al


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 9:37 pm 
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I'm right-handed. I paddle the left side of the boat, because that's where the guy who introduced me to the sport paddled. I learned my strokes by following him and copying what he did. Most really good paddlers pick a side a stay on it. Some still switch. No canoeists are going to give you any serious grief about switching.


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 Post subject: Lefty
PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 9:43 pm 
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Lefty.....


Ok I get it. But I don't believe they do that in Iran. Saudi, more likely.


Big Al


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 9:44 pm 
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I am decidedly one sided (right side) when paddling whitewater and have strong cross strokes - in fact I *like* cross strokes and have enough reach that they are not uncomfortable. I am pretty weak paddling on the left despite some effort at mixing it up over the last year or so.

If I could do it all over again, I would consciously and methodically work on being ambidextrous from the very start - I would work on effective on-side and cross strokes as well as a roll on both sides. Master something on one side, master it on the other, regularly switch. That's going to be the plan with my kids.

But, remembering the words of Kent Ford - don't switch sides because you *have* to - switching hands mid-rapid is an opportunity to drop the paddle...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:20 pm 
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FullGnarlzOC wrote:
and for the record... phil aka fur trader might just be a cyborg canoiest from the future.


You're wondering who I am, (secret secret, I've got a secret)
Machine or mannequin, (secret secret, I've got a secret)...


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 Post subject: switch
PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:04 pm 
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Chuck w. amongst others in the State College scene are switch boaters, along with a tite core of yough locals who remain
proponents of the switch.

in fact crazy joel is in the tohickon vids wid chuck


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