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Balance Brace / Side Scull

QAJAQ  | Published on 4/23/2019

QAJAQ USA Technique Forum Archive Messages 1 - 9,999

Balance Brace / Side Scull*Pic*

Posted By:Greg Stamer<gstamer@magicnet.net>
Date: Sunday, 2 December 2001, at 9:19 a.m.

In Response To:Re: Balance Brace(Don Beale)

: That's an invalid assumption. Herein lies the problem. I expect that the
: sculling brace and the static brace are similar?

Yes, they use very similar techniques, especially with regards to body rotation, using the body for flotation, and learning to push the kayak away -- to keep the deck angle from getting too steep. I consider a good immersed side scull to be a "keystone" technique, that opens the door for a variety of new Greenland techniques. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have a student perfect the immersed side scull before moving on to a balance brace.

If you have an excellent immersed side scull, you can also find a balance point, where no paddle movement is necessary. Most folks don't rotate enough for the side scull and therefore place their inboard hand holding the end of the paddle below their PFD near their navel (the highest point on their immersed body), with the outboard tip at 90 degrees to the keel. Rather, rotate fully (also try to shuffle so that you are sitting somewhat on the side of the seat), bring the inboard paddle tip under your chin (the lowest point), and the outboard paddle tip will be toward the bow, rather than at 90 degrees to the keel.

In the photo below of a "side scull", I have my inboard hand (left hand in this case) higher than normal, since I am not sculling, just putting some pressure on the water to demonstrate a balance point with no motion (normally I would scull to obtain lift). Not the similarities between this body/kayak position and that required for the balance brace. They are almost identical. Note the angle of the kayak deck to the water, this is done by arching the back or other isometrics (it takes some effort). Many folks compain that placing the paddle near their chin leaves their inboard hand cramped, but note that with sufficient body rotation, and keeping your inboard elbow down, you can rest the paddle comfortably on the flat palm of your inboard hand (all control of the sculling is done with the outboard hand).

Greg Stamer