A change is as good as a rest

on Feb 19 in Equipment, Paddles, Rudders, Skis, Think, Uno Max by

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They say a change is as good as a rest. Sometimes we just need a small adjustment to see a big difference. And this applies to paddling, as much as any other walk of life. Those who know me know I love a paddling gadget. From different type of seat pads, to rotating seats and foot straps and pull bars, I’ve tried the lot. Some ideas have worked really well, and some not so, but in taking some time to thinker with equipment, you can find the setting that works well for you. It may allow you to be a little more comfortable in your boat, or make a huge performance gain, but change is often good.

I recently had a guy demo an Uno Max. Similar height and build to me, so I assumed my leg length on the demo ski would fit the guy well. He jumped in and it felt too short. So I moved it forward a centimeter and he immediately felt good. Off he went for a paddle, loved the ski, bought one. The next morning I jumped on the same ski for training, without adjusting, and the ski felt too long. So I adjusted it back a few mms. The ski felt awesome with a 5mm change, rather than the full change back 1cm to my normal length. I straight away felt like I could rotate a little better and my stroke felt better. I’d paddled the previous setting for about 6 months. One small 5mm change and I was immediately feeling better on the ski. I’ve now settled on the new longer length as my preferred setting. The moral of the story? If I didn’t make that change, I may not be as comfortable paddling as I am at the moment. The change was a positive. Do bear in mind that not all changes will work as you intend, but the good thing is that you can easily swap back to original settings in most cases. This not only applies to leg length, but also paddle length, paddle angles, even paddles. Want to try a new rudder, pop it on. If it doesn’t feel right, simply swap back. But don’t be afraid of change, it can be good.

The one thing to consider is that if you do make a change, make it for a reason. What are you trying to achieve? Is it better leg drive, more catch, help a sore arm or shoulder? Don’t make change for the sake of it, have a reason to explore different options, and then assess if they have worked as intended.

We are lucky to enjoy a sport with lots of different toys, options and features. Enjoying working out the best combination of your equipment which helps make you a better paddler, and to ultimately enjoy your paddling more.

See you out there,

Stew.