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THE BIG SWEEP

Posted Apr 13 2005 12:00am
As darkness falls, The waves roll by, The seasons change, The wind is wry. – David Gilmore


I’ve finally put the weights away and opted for early morning paddles. It’s much more fun to get up at 5am and be on the water at 6, than to just sit in the living room hefting steel. Especially at my age!!

I have to be on the water all the time otherwise I feel like I forget everything. No, it’s not like I go out on the water after a week and just fall over, but on the other hand I can feel myself out of sync with the water. I’ve noticed lately that my sweeps were getting sloppy and shallow. Not only was it harder to turn in waves but I was using much more effort in the process. So that meant taking some time the last couple mornings and going back to basics. Being sure to plant the blade up near the bow and sweeping the blade out away from the boat in a clock-like motion. Remembering to use torso rotation and not just arm movement, I reached out again to each number on the clock 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and then completed the sweep with my thick middle twisted like a pretzel and my paddle coming to the back of the boat before exiting the water. Much better. Sweeps are one of those things it’s easy to get lazy with. Most often you need not go through that kind of Herculean effort to turn the boat. Especially if you put it on edge. Then of course as you add more moves to your arsenal you begin to use more draws and rudders especially when in motion. But there are occasions when don’t have any speed up or you are in a confined area, that you may still need to get around quickly and efficiently. All of a sudden you’re back in kayaking 101 and going through the motions of the classic “BIG SWEEP”.

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