Larry Cain has recently wrote an article on clearing up some of the myths of the proper Forward Stroke. Being a past Olympic Canoe Racer, Larry has been working with the Canadian Canoe/Kayak Team since last June, which in hand has given him the ability to work with some pretty awesome technology that translates into stand up paddling.
In his article he shows how everyone has a different stroke and the optimal changes between different individuals. Larry talks about some of the theories that have been discussed in the past, in which he has even taught, and how some of these theories may be dispelled.
Here is an excerpt from his post on pulling the paddle through too far (past your feet).
“There are a couple of SUP forums on the Internet and if you ever check them out you’ll inevitably find a thread discussing whether or not it is okay to pull your paddle past your feet. And there is usually a “senior member” of the forum, with thousands of posts, who will tell you in no uncertain terms that pulling the blade past your feet is bad. He’ll insist that pulling with a negative blade angle causes the back of the board to be pulled down, ruining the boards trim and depriving it of forward speed, thus slowing you down. In theory, he is absolutely correct. The problem is, in practice he is very likely wrong. “
We love his spread sheet check list at the end of his blog post that breaks down the elements of the forward paddle stroke!