Hoot & Blat for the Coming Solstice

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Start Your Summer – Come Paddle With Us Around Franklin June 24
On June 24, a happy gang of us – (and we range from 8 to 80!)  are gathering down at Snug Harbour for the second Franklin Challenge.   It’s a fundraiser to support cleanup of local islands, through the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve.  After coffee and a rousing cheer – we’ll set off to go round the prettiest island on the planet – an 18 km romp with a shorter 8km loop if that tickles your fancy.  Canoe, Kayak, Sup – makes no matter, we just hope you can join in!  To sign up, please go to:https://www.whitesquall.com/franklin-challenge/
Tim & Charly Need Encouragement and Sponsors
Yup, our trusty visitor services specialist Charly the dog – and me – are going in the Franklin Challenge.  I’m asking if any of you out there can spare some $ to help a man and his trusty dog raise as much money as possible.  The cause is important, the crew is keen and all we need is your support.  For more info go to:  https://www.whitesquall.com/franklin-challenge/   You can simply e-mail me at:  [email protected] and tell me you wanna help.  We’ll take dog bones, toonies or hundred dollar bills, makes no matter.   I’ll sort out the best way for you and it will be fun fun fun.  Thanks so much for even thinking for one second of helping….
It’s Time to Head North and Paddle!
If you can give us the next couple of lines in this song WITHOUT RUNNING TO A COMPUTER then we will put your name in the hat for 5 pairs of darn tough wool socks to keep your toes warm for next winter.  
Hot Times, Summer in the City 
Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty
Been down, isn’t it a pity
Doesn’t seem to be a shadow in the city
You can find shadows, cool breezes and hot rocks to lie on after a sparkling swim in sun speckled waters.  Ok, so my alliteration is pathetic, but really –  paddling on the Bay in summer is pretty fine. Give us a call or get in touch ([email protected]) and we can give you ideas of how to get going on that most Canadian of past-times, paddling…  
Join us for some Paddle Canada Course
We offer Paddle Canada courses throughout the summer- we hope you can join us. Give us a call if you have any questions! Check out our Paddle Canada courses below.
Tim’s Tip
Before I start, please sign off if you really don’t care about the fine detail of a sweep stroke.  I had a bunch of people ask and I obliged by going way out in left field.  So thanks for listening – have a good life, and if you want to keep on this newsletter, you don’t have to do a flipping thing.  But if you want to be swept off, just hit reply and put “sweep me away off this hot city sidewalk ”  and we’ll do the deed.
OK – please, really – ignore this unless you are intensely curious…


The FWD Kayak Power Sweep Stroke
Key for turning is full contact of butt, knees, thighs & feet, in order to effectively transfer power from your paddle to the boat and maintain an edge.  An edged hull will turn efficiently simply due to less wetted surface end to end and less friction from water moving against the boat.  More edge, the easier the turn – so spending quality time with your body to bring your boat on edge will help when the time comes.

Imagine we want to edge a turn to the right using a sweep stroke.  In the old days we focused on knee drive, a continuous push up with the knee opposite the edge (in this case your right knee) into the top of the cockpit deck using your thigh/knee brace.  That’s good, but it’s even more important to zero in on your butt cheeks because this creates more flexibility in the hip girdle and therefore more control!  So don’t dismiss pushing up with your right knee, but relax your hips and arse – and intentionally push down into the seat with your left butt cheek.  Or some might say, imagine a good fart where you lift your right cheek to let the fragrance out!  If you are pushing with your right knee and driving down into the seat with your left cheek, you’ve succeeded in a controlled edge for your boat that you can dial in further as you gain confidence.  The other knee and the other cheek should be loose and relaxed.

Ok, on to your upper body.  In order to keep afloat, we want to keep the upper unit comfortably erect and overtop the mid-line of the kayak.  If you lean your upper body to the left – unless you have a decent brace – you’ll be visiting the dark side.  With me so far?    Now your arms – neither should be fully extended, rather they should have some flex in them, and while you’re at it – raise your elbows!  We often let our elbows sink down beside our body, and this just isn’t a very powerful stance.

Rightyo –  we’re ready to turn your boat to the right.  back to basics – look to the right with a relaxed neck and head.  It’s very important to look like you know what you are doing – in fact that may be the most important thing you’ll ever do!  Edge your boat’s left side, then plant your blade close to your toes on the left side and push away from the hull.  You are maintaining some flex to the arms and getting your power from your torso.  It’s the big core muscles that should be doing the work and if they are not engaged – your arms are going to fall off after a while cause they’re not meant for doing all that work by themselves.

Experiment with a bit of a climbing blade angle so that as you sweep back, you’ll feel a nice supportive element to the stroke.  Sweep the paddle away from the boat and back after the pushaway, always looking where you are going – exiting the blade around your hips.  Recover quickly and get ready for another stroke.

Notice I called it the FWD stroke?  It’s not only a fwd sweep but it’s also Front Wheel Drive!  Use the water in the front quarter of your kayak and concentrate on quicker, powerful strokes and don’t dink around with a full 180 degree arc, it takes too much time – time better spent on putting in another 90 degree sweep.  Besides, here’s a challenge – do the old fashioned 180 degree sweep and pause as your paddle gets to the stern of the boat.  Take a look at your head, torso position.  Are you really ready to do a second stroke and can you really see where you are going?  Not so much me thinks.

Finally – and this is weird but important – you want to lead the turn with your legs.  This is a kind of hooey tooey thing, but you have to intentionally direct your lower unit to pivot to the right as you are doing the stroke. By using your leg muscles first, the rest of your body gets the idea and kicks into gear.  I try to imagine a gymnast working on the rings or parallel bars.  Quite often they pivot their legs/hips into the next move before the rest of their body follows.  You may have no clue as to what I’m talking about, but there ya go.
Want some help with some strokes? Join us for paddling lessons or a Paddle Canada course.
Happy “front wheel drive, power sweeping”  may your paddle always pull water…tim