3 Techniques to keep in mind when paddling the SurfinShape Board so that you can lower your chances of injury when using it.
In this video on SurfinShape Paddling Technique, I discuss three key techniques to keep in mind when paddling the SurfinShape Board so that we can lower our chance of injury when using it.
1: Enter 8-12 inches (or 20-30 cm) in front of your face. A slight bend in the elbow is a good visual cue that you are entering around this zone. Entering here allows us to use our rotator cuff muscles the way they are meant to be used. A test to see if you are entering in the right location is to see if you can raise your elbow prior to entering the water. If you can’t raise it to at least 30 degrees, you’ve reached too far. Enter sooner.
2: Avoid pushing down upon entry. Pushing down sends us up, not forward. Pushing down also places undue stress on the elbow and rotator cuff. The hand and forearm need to reach the Front Propulsive Phase before any force is applied. Either send the hand and forearm straight to the Front Propulsive Phase immediately upon entering, OR let the hand and forearm drop naturally into this position. This will depend on whether you are practicing your efficiency stroke, or your power stroke as well as whether you are practicing your shortboard technique, or your longboard and shortboard sprint technique. Here’s an outline in case you’re not sure: Shortboard efficiency stroke = low entry angle, glide forward underwater, let the hand and forearm drop naturally. Shortboard power stroke, Longboard efficiency and Longboard power stroke = medium entry angle, no glide underwater, straight to the Front Propulsive Phase.
3: Progressively Apply Force Backward. Applying force backwards sends us forward. However, avoid pushing as hard as you can in the beginning of the stroke. A progressively applied force curve will yield the best results in the correct direction. In other words, you’ll move fast in the forward direction with the highest efficiency and effectiveness. Just like how a car has different gears, you too should shift from low gears to high given the speed you are moving. You can practice gears 1 through 3 with no bucket attached. Practice gears 4 through 6 with the bucket attached. Remember, do not apply all of your force immediately. Progressively apply force as you move through the underwater armstroke.
With these three key techniques, you will avoid most of the damage that can be caused due to improper paddling technique. If you’re interested in more techniques or are having shoulder or paddling issues that these do not correct, feel free to contact me.
See you in the water!
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