Author Topic: Good steering Tips  (Read 4492 times)

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Good steering Tips
« on: July 08, 2008, 01:22PM »
Thank you guys for coming out to the women's practice last night. 

Your steering instructions and help throughout the practice was extremely valuable to all.  We really appreciate you taking time out of your own training to support the women and their steering development.


Laurie and Naka


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(not so) quick debrief:

if i had to compile  info so that they can remember it easier   these
are not hard and fast rules, since conditions always change..


1)always try to get strokes in during changeovers (typical for all

2)paddling is good but don't sacrifice the canoes line just to get the
extra strokes

3)pay attention to what the water is doing- water is always moving, find
where it's moving to help you (or where it is least likely to work
against you)

4) get on one man to understand what water conditions will affect boat

5) better paddler will make better steersperson- learn how to paddle
correctly in all  the seats
(long term goal).. this is also important to
understand how to coach each seat

6) place canoe is position to prevent abrupt changes in speed- which
will require crew to have to paddle canoe back up to speed- troughs,
straight on into waves

7) know the tides and it's affects on current, esp in harbors..

8 ) water time is the only real way to learn how to steer in open water

1) set line which takes into account of water conditions- if conditions
will pull you left, line up on the right

2) we paddle canoes, not sailboats, so we're not affected by wind
directly, but indirectly in what the wind causes- i.e. waves.  take into
account the waves primarily, don't assume wind will blow the boat (in
SCORA races).. obviously in a 30 knot day, we'll be affected directly by

3) try not to get caught completely parrallel in troughs, try to angle
slightly if possible to slide over waves

4) pay attention to lines of water which connect the waves-these can be
ridden, skipping over the peaks of the bumps

1. don't go completely straight into swells (if possible), quarter the
waves, even a little bit

2. try to find the saddles in the peaks of waves which is easier to go over.

3. again, look for the lines of water which connect the waves-these can
be ridden, skipping over the peaks of the bumps... pay attention to the
water, learn where there's running water.  when there's clean water
between sets, take advantage and power up.

4. again, try to avoid situations which will bring the canoe to a stop-
going straight up and slammed into trough, etc


1. don't overcorrect.. learn to judge lag time between poke and
reaction.. better to pull the poke out a little early and repoke, then
to overcorrect and poke to correct another poke

2. drawing strokes only work for small course corrections, going
downswell- not much effect, sometimes better to poke.

3. let the boat run- sometimes the ama may feel light before the boat
releases.. just have to learn what is ok and what is sketchy.

4. don't just scream wave wave wave all the way downswell for waves that
your crew cannot catch because you WILL NOT catch all the waves, so
don't burn your crew out by calling for waves they won't catch because
they won't trust your callouts and won't put out the extra power
necessary when you DO need to catch waves.  learn when to let the wave
go, and let the crew know so they won't waste energy.  be focused on the
waves.  find a wave and then GO.

5.  judge the speed of moving water with speed of boat.  if boat speed
is not near water speed, most likely won't catch the wave.. let those
go.  build up speed with smaller waves to get the faster waves. 
sometimes smaller waves are better to keep continuous speed.

6. again, watch situations where boats comes to halt, ex) after you miss
a wave and the canoe comes to a slow crawl in the backside... don't
scream at crew to paddle paddle paddle in this situation because the
canoe is going nowhere, so relax, hold your position, and then explode
when the water releases the canoe to get the one behind.

7. pay attention to whats happening to the water behind you.. a wave
coming up behind the wave that you just missed.. certain waves are
precursors.  how do you know?  time on water.  but pay attention to
start learning

8. stroke rate will go up when getting on  waves.. crews should learn to
shorten the back end of stroke to make sure there's not drag- make sure
not to sacrifice catch.  this is not continuous all the way downswell..
just a short burst of speed to get on the wave and then nice and relaxed
when on the wave to recover.  again, be focused.  don't just be random about calling for waves.  again, the crew will stop trusting callouts, which
will lead to NO waves.  but then again, the crew should have water
experience to know the feel of waves also, so that the steersman
optimally doesn't need to say a word, everyone will know automatically.

1.  reality trumps your preferred line- if there are canoes in the way
(esp. our club's canoes), adjust your line

2. stop banging our canoes

3. during practice give each other space

4. stop banging our canoes.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2008, 08:51PM by cho »
A ship in harbor is safe - but that is not what ships are for.

Angie C.

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Although I am really rusty in my steering and don't get back there too often these days, I have a question.

We've all experienced a crew line-up that throws the canoe off significantly to one side or the other on the change over.  I've been taught that this is usually a result of the power distribution of the crew being "heavy" on one side OR perhaps the iakos being a little tweaked to the front or back.  Is this true and how does one steer effectively in this situation without poking hard on the change over?  Other than trying to switch your 3 and 4, what should one do?