Monday June 21, 2010
Even though there wasn't much in the way of waves to surf, I paddled out dawn patrol to practice surfing the SIMSUP, but mostly really, to practice paddling with the shorter SUP. I picked up an excellent set of paddling tips from Dave Kalama's blog.
I zeroed in on three "how to" lessons made by Dave: The Catch; Applying Power; and Recover. The first two lessons are useful no matter how well or poorly you paddle, but if learned well they will lead into the third lesson which is designed to teach you the "Tahitian" stroke. This paddling technique is supposed to be faster and more efficient making for energy savings that translate into winning race times. But what I found is that the technique helps a lot in keeping the short SUP going in a straight line. This is exactly what I need to learn when paddling the 8-0 SIMSUP quad.
You CAN teach and old dog new tricks, it just takes a lot longer. Woof! I think I understand, and am working on the first lesson, The Catch. I think I understood about half the second one, and I didn't understand much of the third teaching at all. But...first things first, 'cuz I've still got a lot of practicing to do on lesson one.
I will say that I had success utilizing the lessons learned (or learning) from The Catch. I still default to my old way of paddling for waves, which causes me to veer off to the side instead of holding a straighter line when digging hard to pick up the bump, but old habits die hard. The idea is to keep working, get better and never give up!