A Question about Bracing - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 07-01-2005   #1
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A Question about Bracing

I've been soaking up knowledge from EJ's rolling and bracing video.
It's certainly improved my weak side brace a ton.

But there's one aspect of bracing that I am not sure how I'm going to deal with when next I'm out. Incidentally I'm a new boater with a roll, a good left and right side brace, and I've only been on moving water 4 times.

When bracing using EJ's technique, you commit your shoulder and head to the water then paddle-slap, and you come up as you would from a roll, with your body over the rear deck of your boat (more or less).

What's puzzling me is that when I go through a rapid, I want to be forward in my cockpit and paddling hard.

If I start to roll over and I brace, then I'm going to put my body in the place where it has less control - which is over the back of the boat.

I'm having trouble picturing in my mind how I will maintain control as I try to come up from the water and try to get back into the forward-lean position to paddle.

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Old 07-01-2005   #2
 
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As soon as you are up you lean in to a forward stroke. It is almost a continuos motion. Brace - balance - forward stroke.
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Old 07-01-2005   #3
 
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Never seen the video, but I am assuming he is saying you should come up on the back of your boat for extra power when you are learning. This is the same concept as the sweep roll which ends with you leaning on the back of the boat. I was never a big fan of this roll because it exposes your face should you not make the roll and flip over again. I would only teach this roll/brace if the student could absolutely not come up on the C-to-C roll (mostly fatties or weaklings), but tell them they need to switch to a C-to-C ASAP.

I like to brace and roll coming up on the front of my boat for added face protection and balance. You are right to want to spend as little time as possible on the back deck of your boat (unless your doing some silly freestyle rodeo move where anything goes).

Most of the bracing you do in practice will be very different than real life white water bracing because you should play off of the water currents and pillows for bracing as well as strokes. Go to Golden or some other safe easy area when you are ready and practice falling into small holes sideways and at different angles. This will help you build valuable instincts for bracing.
good luck.
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Old 07-01-2005   #4
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finish forward

I am not a big fan of bracing or rolling up to a back deck position. I prefer to finish the brace or roll by sculling the paddle all the way forward to the bow, which leaves you in an aggressive forward position and ready for a strong forward stroke to re-accelerate.

Try playing around with sculling braces on flatwater (the paddle blade should always be inclined in the direction you are moving it so that it is seeking the surface). Once you get the feel of this, then you can add it on to a normal brace to help stablize yourself back into aggressive, forward-leaning posture at the end of your roll or brace.
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Old 07-01-2005   #5
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I've really never heard that sharp a criticism of the "sweep" roll before, and I'm rather stunned by it.
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Old 07-01-2005   #6
 
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Low vs High Brace

What you're describing is a high brace. With a high brace you end up on the back deck. With a low brace you end up leaning towards your bow (using the back of your paddle to brace off the water). You'll need to learn both, as they both have there time and places. As a beginner I relied a lot on high braces, they seemed to give a bit more power. Now, I use a lot more low braces unless I'm forced into a high. When you do a high brace you just have to get your body position back in place asap. That's what those abs are for. Also it helps to have a good fit in your boat (hip pads) so you're not slopping around after a high brace or roll attempt.

What biggie said about braces (applies to rolling as well) being dynamic to the water currents is completely true. This will become instinctual over time and experience. However, when you're learning you will more or less be forced to do it mechanically. I personally believe the sweep roll (similar to high brace) is superior for beginners. The likelihood of failure is far less as it is much easier to set up (get your hands out of the water before you initiate). Problem with a C to C is that even beginners who have mastered it in flatwater have a really hard time setting it up in moving water because your blade is in the water and can get funky on you. People are definitely of differing opinions on this issue though and it is true that knowing both down the road will be helpful for different situations.

It is definitely a valid point in saying that if you miss a sweep roll you will be more exposed to underwater hazards, but there is also something to be said for having a higher likelihood of hitting your roll on the first attempt. Also, the fact is that the consequences for missing a roll on the runs you are currently doing at your skill level are relatively low, and now is the time to master it (before you get to harder stuff).
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Old 07-01-2005   #7
 
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Sorry guy, I didn't mean to shock you too much. I don't think the sweep is C-to-C's evil brother or anything. I've been boating for 15 years and I will still pull it out on occasion when I'm on a funky eddy line or in extremely aerated water. I just think that it a better habit to come up on the front of your boat. Quixote is correct in saying that it is best to do what gets you upright ASAP for now, but as you get more comfortable with your roll, try coming up on the front. I would actually call my roll more of a front sweep roll than a C-to-C

Quote:
What you're describing is a high brace. With a high brace you end up on the back deck. With a low brace you end up leaning towards your bow (using the back of your paddle to brace off the water). You'll need to learn both, as they both have there time and places.
I would like to add one minor technicality at the risk of confusing good old heliodorus. High brace is defined as elbow down using power face of blade. Low brace is elbow up using the back of blade. Neither one is unique to a certain position on your boat. i.e. a high brace can also be done in the forward position.

I point this out because a high brace placed near the front of the boat can be feathered into a forward stoke making a nice fluid motion, conserving momentum. Just one more mutation of the very dynamic forward stroke. Every stoke should have a purpose and should set your up for the next stroke. Think about the future as well as the now. Wasted strokes are wasted energy and time. Everything should be one fluid motion. This is all probably way to much theory for now but keep this stuff in the back of your mind for down the road when you want to fine tune your technique. If this confuses you, forget I said anything and just go have fun.
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Old 07-01-2005   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigboater
a high brace placed near the front of the boat can be feathered into a forward stoke making a nice fluid motion, conserving momentum.
well said, that's what I was trying to describe.

High braces aren't a bad thing until your arm is extended, causing force to be applied to your arm and shoulder rather than using your torso motion to power the brace.
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Old 07-01-2005   #9
 
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Still suffering from a high brace made a couple of weeks ago
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Old 07-01-2005   #10
 
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The fattie remark was uncalled for... I for one am not fat and just couldn't get the C-C nor could I roll on flat water but with the sweep my first roll anywhere was a combat in the first hole at Union at 450ish.
Yea I know BFD....

It is easyer to do a sweep roll in some boats than others....
Think Dagger Outlaw vs RPM.
The longer or more volume the boat is the easyer it is to C-C.

Watch how EJ pulls himself forward against the paddle he is bracing on while reaching for the next stroke.
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