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Old 05-20-2011   #1
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 15
High brace tips?

Tips for high braces?

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Old 05-20-2011   #2
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
Depends on what you are calling a high brace.

"Yesterday I was clever and tried to change the world. Today I am wise and try to change myself." -Rumi
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Old 05-20-2011   #3
Gunnison, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 73
Keep shoulders in! Pretend you have to keep a tennis ball tucked in your armpit the whole time...good just for kayaking in general...especially with braces though.
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Old 05-20-2011   #4
ACC's Avatar
dropzone, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 845
Don't do them.

But, if you must, keep your body's suspension system working. Like the tip about the tennis ball, that mean's keeping your elbow bent and your hand at the bracing side no higher than your head. That is, keep it "in the box." The brace should come mostly from your body/head on the water, not your paddle blade. Develop an impeccable hipsnap/roll and your brace will follow.

Wavesport's website has some videos by Chris Wing that are mostly playboat instructional tips, but the way he holds his paddle and braces is what I am describing above.
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Old 05-20-2011   #5
glenn's Avatar
BZN, Montana
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,489
Elbows and hands in front of your shoulders always. Your paddle should box opposite your shoulders keep that box open. Rotate at the hips to open up better flexibility and reach without compromising the box. The elbows should always be below your shoulders. Think about a pull up position, just be sure to keep the box open. Head down. High braces work best in a single movement like a forward sweep, start at the knees end, just past the hips. Find the point where you can get the lowest while still right side up. This will be just behind your hips and out. That's the place you should be ending your rolls and braces. It's also the best place to be sculling. Here's some extras from EJ:

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Old 05-20-2011   #6
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
Works for EJ and I wont question his technique but I would never do what he is doing. Ever.
"Yesterday I was clever and tried to change the world. Today I am wise and try to change myself." -Rumi
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Old 05-20-2011   #7
Flying_Spaghetti_Monster's Avatar
Farmington, Utah
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 707
Don't high brace. Read William Nelly's book Kayak, and find out why.
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Old 05-20-2011   #8
Land of Lovin, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,449
Originally Posted by Flying_Spaghetti_Monster View Post
Don't high brace. Read William Nelly's book Kayak, and find out why.
I have to agree, I like the low brace much better

Kayak - William Nealy
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Old 05-20-2011   #9
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 6
I'm going to go against the trend here and suggest that there are a number of situations where a high brace is a much better and more flexible tool than a low brace. I will agree that there are places one definitely doesn't want to use it. It's generally not a good idea to use one playboating, in particular when side surfing a hole. That's where most people have tweaked a shoulder using a high brace.

The places where a high brace is the most appropriate tool is where one has to cut through a bunch of currents that are rapidly changing direction. Examples include turbulent eddy lines, in steeply dropping slots which change direction, crossing boils and seams, cutting through breaking lateral waves and puching through the apex of a two converging laterals.

In this type of situation, what often happens is someone goes in with a low brace. When the current flow changes direction, the paddle blade which was providing support turns into a liability and pulls them under.

To be used properly as a support in the type of situation I just described, the paddle blade should be placed well forward of the body, several inches away from the side of the boat with the shaft of the paddle close to vertical. From this position, the brace can be converted to a draw stroke, a forward stroke or a pry stroke.

A good practice technique for this is to practice moving your boat sideways using sculled draw strokes to go one way or sculled pry strokes to push the boat the other way.

To see high braces used properly, watch either good slalom or C1 paddlers in heavy water.
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Old 05-20-2011   #10
Mike Harvey's Avatar
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 805
Don't high brace. Ever. Just roll if you need to or use the low brace. High bracing will hold back your playboating as well.

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