Hi there, welcome to my blog.

What's this all about? Well, that's a question I'm probably not even qualified to answer. I guess it started off because I had nothing better to do, but turns out that I kind of like it. So when I'm not working for The Man I like to take pictures, make videos and write about whatever else might seem like a good idea at the time.

From dragon boating to mountain biking, to road trips and travels overseas - this is me trying to enjoy life. Clock out at 5, eat, drink and don't forget to smile a lot.


This is a personal blog, all opinions expressed are meant to be in good fun - if you are offended by heavy sarcasm and jokes that are in poor taste then this is not for you. If you have any copyright related issues please contact us via messenger pigeon.


Tuesday, August 30

Dragon boat paddling leg position blues...

Since Swordfish is officially done with their season (and we even had our end of season party already) I ended up extending my own by subbing in for another team who's short for Stratford. I was out on the (gross) Credit River with them last night and decided to try out a few different things...

Leg position is one of those bits where a lot of people have different styles/techniques - both legs forward, inside leg tucked under the seat, outside leg back - all sorts of nonsense that may or may not work. The most important thing is that you can use your legs to help you push off and pull that water. I find that it's one of those things where a lot of coaches don't mention it too often or tell you to do what's comfortable, so kind of a grey area.

Since the begging of my illustrious dragon boat career I've been one of those both legs forward guys, since that's the way I was taught then. I mean initially I used to put my inside leg back because it was easier, but I quickly switched to that double leg and have stuck with it since. The hardest part about settling into that was getting through those weird ass quad/groin pains from driving your legs while twisting and pushing off in that position. It felt awkward, but it's all gravy now (I guess).

Anyhow, I had a pretty intense practice on Sunday with BB, and since I've been out of practice for a few weeks my leg muscles were just straight hurting. So during yesterday's practice I decided to try out some different positions to give my groin a rest change it up. Here's what I made of it...

I can tell you what doesn't work: gunnel leg back, inside leg forward. There's no push-a-bility with that kind of position. I think it's pretty much counter productive to the whole A-frame, twist and open your chest so you can reach forward...basically your entire stroke. By facing outwards you're already decreasing your reach by a ton and pulling water inward towards the boat instead of parallel to it. Sure you can get outside the boat easier but not in the way you want to.

With both legs forward you get really get that leg drive, but you have to work really hard with that twist. Leaning outside the boat is also tougher (if you got pathetic lats like me), but it's easier to get that top hand over the side too for a nice perpendicular stroke. Your legs are huge muscles that you should put to work, so losing one or the other is something I would have to get used to.

With the inside leg back, gunnel leg forward you can really lean out of the boat and reach forward, but you only have that one leg to drive with. My arms got way more tired this way and it was tougher to get that top hand outside and perpendicular to the boat, although the stroke felt much longer. I've gone to this position a couple of times when the boat was really light or we were opposite side heavy, since it's easier to reach down.

What completely doesn't work is both legs back, so don't even try it. I dunno, just boring dragon boat stuff to think about for next year. Choose your weapon...or not.

On a different note, I haven't really thought about it but I'd say that Photosynth is just a mobile version of Microsoft ICE, which works very well and is also conveniently free.

Turns out Photosynth works even better after the latest update.

Microsoft on your iPhone? Blasphemy!

GWN and Stratford to go. I want at least one more medal...


Anonymous said...

Nice tips, and agreed. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Good explanation. Very helpful. Thanks!
---- Sofya

Anonymous said...

The 'gunnel leg back, inside leg forward' can work but it is not applied in the pull phase of the stroke. It can applied into the recovery/setup phases of the stroke, allowing you to initialize the upper body rotation at the hips. You just have to make sure to lean your weight on the gunnel side of your butt and use it as a pivot point.