20 December 2010

Stick use spreading

Another “victim” of the “Stick Cult” Stevatron finds the Greenland paddle to his liking.

It appears that the stick is stirring emotions among some paddlers.
Initially ridiculed as not much good other than to show off with when rolling, a couple of sprint challenges with big Euro bladed local paddlers and a few surfing sessions have really put a damper on the laughter.
On the other side of the world the use of the traditional paddles has better acceptance.
Local interest in the stick is growing and after short trials followed up by persistence in learning the technique, more kayakers are now using the stick for most of their paddling.
But, as I've said before: it’s not for everybody and not ideally suited for racing. Just like different kayaks are best suited for a given purpose, the stick excels in recreational paddling.
Learning how to properly use a traditional paddle takes time. Initially I felt inadequate with a paddle that offered so little resistance in the water. I feared that it would not give me enough support for my high braces in the surf. Steve sculling Nordlow_2 (c)
Stevatron with the Euro paddle
I also thought that I would lag behind when paddling in a group of kayakers with Euro paddles.
Those reservations seem to be common among the paddlers that borrow our traditional paddles for the first time.
Proficient rollers that have been using the explosive power of a CtoC roll suddenly find themselves failing and swimming when using the stick for the first time.
Just like paddling, rolling with the stick is “low impact” and requires a better technique.
Last Saturday two proficient kayakers new to the stick learned the finesse of sculling and rolling with a GP.
Greg Schwarz was again happy to coach the fine points for using the stick.
Summer is looking very busy sharing knowledge with people interested in trying the stick.


  1. just an fyi - you can do a cTOc with a greenland paddle just fine.

  2. SDP, good point.
    My "combat" rolls (in the surf) are mainly CtoC even with the stick. The difference is that I use more thigh pressure to rotate the kayak and less paddle support to bring myself back up.
    A GP will teach a paddler to learn proper rolling technique where there is little emphasis on the paddle and more on the body.

    PS. You crack me up with your "profile" link :-)

  3. Great video, even dare I say it inspiring!

  4. Isn't the Greenland "Storm Roll" pretty much a CtoC? It certainly looks like one.

    Another nice video Gnarly. Viva la Stick!

  5. FP, you are right: the Storm Roll resembles a bit the CtoC roll but I never see that much forward lean of the body as in a Storm Roll.
    A properly executed Storm Roll should have the kayaker finish with their body close to the forward deck, not upright or even leaning back.
    It also seems that the roller is not looking "down the barrel" of the paddle.
    Best explained if viewing Helen Wilson's short video: http://www.flickr.com/photos/helenwilson/3164132283/in/set-72157611508446106/

  6. I'm catching up with Helen in January, she has promised to teach me a proper Storm Roll. Not that I think I have enough flexibility to lean that far forward!! ;)


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