Posted by: RubricOfRuin on Feb-02-13 9:47 PM (EST) Category: Kayaking Technique
What is the "best" way to perfect the balance brace? When trying it I do manage most of the time, but the boat constantly wants to "slide" off the side it's balanced on and flip me over. Of course I immediately pop back up, but is balance brace supposed to be pretty effortless, or are you supposed to really work on keeping balanced? I've always assumed the former - and I'm not going to blame the boat this time!
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Posted by: gjf12 on Feb-03-13 12:00 AM (EST)
I cannot come remotely close to balancing. I cannot get my shoulders flat on the water at all, nor can I get my back anywhere the rear deck. I deduce that the balance brace is a mathematical impossibility for stiff person, even after years of yoga.
Some Time Back|
Posted by: Kudzu on Feb-03-13 6:10 AM (EST)
I asked the question, "What is a balance brace for?" The answers I got were something like it's a learning tool to help you roll and it's a relaxation technique. Since I can roll well and I can stretch and relax well without it I don't see the value of it.
Posted by: radskierman on Feb-03-13 7:27 AM (EST)
What he said
Posted by: svenkalmar on Feb-03-13 7:44 AM (EST)
I don't think of them as a trick, but |
Posted by: thirstyturtle on Feb-03-13 8:02 PM (EST)
Everybody Can't do it|
Posted by: Jaybabina on Feb-03-13 9:12 AM (EST)
Generally women do it easily because of the lower upper body weight and usually shorter plus the ratio of buoyancy to their PFD is way greater than a large male. If you're a big type of body guy it's tougher. You can try this: twist your hips in the boat before you enter into the water so you are going over on your back and not your side. You will have more flexibility that way. Ease yourself into the water so you don't sink right away. Keep the head leaning back so the water is right across your face. The tendency is to lift the head a bit and that curves the spine causing you to sink. Stretch the arm out using the paddle buoyancy for flotation. - good luck.
Agree with Jay|
Posted by: Celia on Feb-03-13 9:39 AM (EST)
Posted by: acadia on Feb-03-13 2:59 PM (EST)
Balance brace is definitely boat dependent. Blame your boat ;>)
I was just the opposite, learned to roll|
Posted by: thirstyturtle on Feb-03-13 7:52 PM (EST)
then the balance brace. Once i got a kayak that fit me well , then i was able to get the balance brace 1st time out. So for me the roll came 1st then the balance brace. But then again i never liked to be the same as anyone else. :o)
Posted by: acadia on Feb-03-13 11:26 PM (EST)
I also learned to roll first, as did my son, who learned a C2C roll this fall). But when he mentioned that he felt some strain in his shoulder, I felt that trying some Greenland technique would help him avoid muscling his roll. The balance brace showed him that the core and the "water knee" are what drives the action, not the arms. He then performed his first layback rolls with a GP and was amazed at how relaxed his entire body felt.
The balance brace works a bit different|
Posted by: dong on Feb-03-13 3:04 PM (EST)
for each person and kayak. The balance brace is a good technique for rolling. Without the ability to balance brace you are either upside down or right side up. It gives you full control of your roll and greatly improves the dependability of a roll. Most kayaks aren't designed to balance brace and limits the rolling techniques you can use. The ability to balance brace gives the paddler the feeling of being a duck in the water. Your not either right side up or up side down, your one with the water and the kayak. Finding a kayak that balance braces takes time. Jays Outer Island design is great. If I can't balance brace in a kayak then I feel like I'm paddling a barge. The middle area of a roll is the sweetest part. Keep searching, you'll get it.
Never was able to do this|
Posted by: rjd9999 on Feb-03-13 4:33 PM (EST)
with my sea lion. The boat just really doesn't seem to mind being completely upside down. Either I'm really top-heavy or the hull just wasn't designed for this. Rolling up was something I learned pretty quickly, so it hasn't been much of a concern.
Posted by: RubricOfRuin on Feb-03-13 4:28 PM (EST)
I have North Shore Atlantic LV - it's the smallest boat (volume-wise) I could find for sale locally - at 150 pounds and 5'8'' I'm too small for full-sized unloaded boat. It rolls OK, and apart from annoying tendency to surf any wave taller than 10'' I like it.
Those who find it impossible to do tend |
Posted by: wilsoj2 on Feb-03-13 5:19 PM (EST)
ARCH, get that arch in your back|
Posted by: thirstyturtle on Feb-03-13 8:36 PM (EST)
1st , be sure you have the best fit in your kayak as possible, snug in the thigh braces is what helped me most. If the fit is there, then try the following. Start by laying on the back deck as flat as possible, relax and then slide off to the side, stay relaxed and flat , core strength comes in here. Open up your ribs and push them toward the sky as if they have a string attached pulling them upward. Head back, chin pointing up as with the ribs, shoulders should be as flat on water as possible. if you have 1 shoulder that continues to be higher up out of the water think about sinking it as you are raising the opposite shoulder up. sometimes it is just the slightest change that can make a world of difference. If you can have someone video you and then review it and you might see what is holding you back. Study the ones that can do this skill and then study your own video footage. It can be a great tool to use. Keep us posted
Posted by: haresfur on Feb-04-13 2:22 AM (EST)
A helper is really useful. They can stand on the opposite side of the kayak and hold the coaming so the boat doesn't collapse over on you as you find the sweet spot. Less and less pressure from the helper until you are doing it.
Posted by: jerrysmith on Feb-04-13 11:58 AM (EST)
When you twist your hips, don't bother to keep your feet on the foot-pegs. Push down on your top leg and up with the lower one. You will have to hold the kayak in the tilted position to prevent it from tipping over.
Posted by: ppine on Feb-04-13 12:34 PM (EST)
Practice. A high and low brace takes paddling to the next level.
Posted by: Celia on Feb-04-13 3:08 PM (EST)
Balance brace is a somewhat different animal than these - except the balance brace can complement learning other braces because it can leave a paddler feeling more comfortable about coming up from a deep recovery. But I don't see anyone suggesting it replaces a solid basic brace.
best way to fine-tune|
Posted by: NateHanson on Feb-04-13 1:43 PM (EST)
I've found that the best way to help someone find this, or fine-tune it, is to stand in the water at their head, and give them tips.
Blame the boat |
Posted by: Kocho on Feb-04-13 6:21 PM (EST)
Posted by: RubricOfRuin on Feb-04-13 8:46 PM (EST)
For the advice, much appreciated. Once the sea out here thaws I'll keep trying!
Can Jay clarify?|
Posted by: manitou14 on Feb-09-13 11:24 AM (EST)
Jay said "twist your hips in the boat before you enter into the water"
Posted by: gstamer on Feb-09-13 12:57 PM (EST)
Here's an old post of mine from the Qajaq USA forum that discusses the fine points of the balance brace:
Posted by: manitou14 on Feb-10-13 5:28 PM (EST)
turning the hips|
Posted by: NateHanson on Feb-11-13 8:40 AM (EST)
I can't speak for Jay, but for my part, I definitely recommend having the space in your boat to rotate your hips, not just your torso. This is useful for everything from forward paddling, to draw strokes, to balance braces. I don't know many people who can turn their shoulders 90 degrees to their hips! Yet there are lots of times when we want to be able to get our shoulders in line with the length of the boat - so rotating your butt in the seat can make that easier.