Tandem communication
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Author:  FullGnarlzOC [ Fri Aug 18, 2017 2:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Tandem communication

From my experience - communication in a tandem is among the most important aspects of what you do. Direct, clear and concise. It doesn't matter how good each of you are if you aren't effectively working as a team to accomplish the same goal. Marie and I recently made a tandem video trying to highlight tandem communication and figured we'd share it here. Enjoy


Author:  milkman [ Fri Aug 18, 2017 3:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tandem communication

Excellent video on tandem communication showing lots of communication and positive reinforcement. One of the most important pieces of advice I ever received on tandem paddling was to always realize that no matter what happens, your partner is literally in the same boat as you and therefore is trying their best just like your are. So if a wrong line is chosen, a move not made, or a flip happens, it's not a matter of telling your partner what he or she could have done better, but instead to ask what the two of you as a team could have done better. And when a good move is made by the team, praise on both sides is in order.

There can also be a lot of good wordless communication too, particularly if your bow partner is comfortable choosing the most immediate lines. Typically, I'm in the stern and my wife is in the bow. We discuss or point with paddles the overall line we want to take, and then as we execute, I have focus both on what she is doing and the overall rapid, following and supporting her draws and cross draws as we work our way down a rapid.

Author:  billhay4 [ Fri Aug 18, 2017 4:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tandem communication

In tandem paddling, I think the bow paddler is the boss and the stern paddler is obligated to interpret his or her strokes and act accordingly. The job of the stern is to power the canoe and keep it on course; the job of the bow is to read water and initiate moves.

Author:  Pierre LaPaddelle [ Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tandem communication

milkman wrote:
Excellent video . . .

I agree -- thanks for sharing this!

Good points, on the partnership of tandem boaters, Mark and Bill. It's an issue that I'm sure all tandem teams, even ad-hoc 'today-only' teams have to deal with.

I've thought of it this way -- The broad goals are defined in discussion; the stern paddler then sets the overall course, and the bow partner fine-tunes it as they go along.

(Something like that!)


Author:  craig [ Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Tandem communication

One important point is the stern paddler cannot always hear what the bow paddler says leaving the stern paddler to guess/ interpret what's coming from the bow. A good team will know what the other partner wants/ expects out of a given manouver and can correct for it. Practice practice practice

Author:  milkman [ Sat Aug 19, 2017 3:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tandem communication

My wife and I also practice something we call the stern's right of veto. This is based on the fact that the stern can see what the entire boat is doing. This is especially important when you're talking a 16' or 17' loaded tandem. How this works is if the bow paddler begins to make a maneuver and from the stern's perspective a different maneuver is better or easier, the stern paddler calls this maneuver out to the bow and begins to initiate it. The bow paddler then follows with the appropriate strokes.

I thought the fullgnarlz video was a good example of how tandem paddling is handled when the stern paddler is more experienced, reads water better, or simply knows the river better.

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