By Jim on Wednesday, July 27, 2011
The catch I believe is the single most important part of the stroke, wheather you paddle in theocean, flat or the lake.
The catch is the front part of the stroke, the part where the blade enters the water, it needs to be the most powerful part of the stroke as it get the boat to lift and let boat run happen.The most common mistake made in paddling is that the paddle just gets placed in the water, with no power from the trunk, they just do as shown by a coach,video or just watching themselves. When you just place the paddle in the water with no power the boat front doesn't lift, so you don't get them most out of your boat for boat run. A way to know you haven't got boat run is when you feel your paddle get stuck at the back part of the stroke, it should feel like it just guides out of the water, not you pulling it out of the water.
The catch is no different where you paddle, if in the surf you need a strong catch but not as long stroke when paddling with the swells. The reason is the boat is already moving, so the blade left in the water will slow down your boat run. Your boat goes the fastest when there is no paddle in the water, when in flat water you have a longer stroke because you need more boat run as the boat is not already moving from moving water like the ocean.
So picture this you rotate your shoulders around with your hips place the blade into the water and the unwind, by using your trunk on the catch you will generate more power which will help lift the nose of your boat, helping it accelerate through the water.
Have a look at this video, although not the best quality you will see the paddler get power at the start of the the stroke [ the catch ], this making it eaiser for him to move the blade through the water.
You can see in this video how the power is coming through the trunk this helps lift the front of the boat. The video shows the front of the boat lift with the power.
If you now look at this video in the ocean and from a standing start you can see how the stroke is not as long when going from a standing start and also when paddling on to swells.
In both videos it is important to notice that the blade is in deep very early, something that is oftened forgotten. People forget to get the blade in deep, remember more so in the ocean your little pinky finger should be getting wet lots and in the river everynow and then, this means you are getting the blade all the way into the water.
More important have a read of the blog about are you using the right paddle, if your not then all of this is to hard to acheive.