Ever wonder how paddlers make their strokes look so effortless?
How do paddlers know when to use a brace to prevent a capsize? Muscle memory and seat time are part of what make the strokes look so graceful and it can prevent a capsize.
Muscle memory and seat time are two common phrases used in the paddling community. Muscle memory is also known as motor learning. This is teaching your muscles how to repeat certain movements or techniques over and over again. In a recent event Terri Arbuckle was able to use muscle memory for the forward stroke to propel her 6 miles downriver for a first place win at the Sundial Splash. The forward stroke makes use of the core muscles by rotating the body to move the boat forward after the paddle is planted in the water. When used correctly this will not put strain on your shoulders and prevent injury. Muscle memory can also prevent a capsize. I found this out when I took a rapid too fast and had to brace to prevent a capsize. Because I had trained my muscles to make this move it was automatic and I did not capsize in the river on Saturday.
One way of training the muscles is to practice, practice, and practice the strokes. We also call this seat time. One can not become proficient in any kind of paddling if they do not put in seat time or practice. Shasta Paddlers offers many ways a new paddler can acrue seat time. We have our social paddles on Friday nights at Whiskeytown Lake, the monthly Eddyline clinics and the weekly river sections are another good way to practice strokes and learn the dynamics of moving water.
Also we now have certified instructors who are excited and happy to teach new paddlers the proper stroke techniques and rescues needed to build up the paddler's confidence on the water. Look for our new instruction programs here in the very near future!
This Friday July 4th and next Friday July 11th we will not have the Friday night social paddle.
July 11th is the first day of our annual Camp Arbuckle event. We will paddle Whiskeytown lake on the 11th. After the paddle we will meet at the shop for a BBQ and then travel to the Arbuckle's home for camping. Saturday we will paddle on Balm lake at 10:30 and then head to Burney Theatre for the Reel Paddle film festival which will also feature a film by a local paddler.
Afterwards we will head back to the Arbuckle property for some wonderful food prepared by Jake Arbuckle. Sunday there will be a Dutch Oven Paddlers breakfast then we will break into two groups. One group will explore Manzanita Lake and the other group will kayak the river.
There is a $15.00 fee per person and this includes meals and entry into the film festival. If you are interested in participating please contact Headwaters Adventure Company at 223-2411 by July 8th.
Looking forward to seeing you on the water!