Surfing (Taking pace) - Diamond
When 4 paddlers go together they can achieve a special effect for one of them when forming a Diamond shaped formation. The one at the back can place him self in the cosy little corner. He can achieve the effect from the kayaks on the sides and from the stern wave from the leading kayak as well.
The cosy little corner provides a very good effect, but the water at his position is very troubled and demands a constant being aware of the steering.
If you are in a situation where everybody agrees to help one and other in the best possible way, the effect of the cosy little corner can be increased. The paddlers on the sides can move a bit further out from the leading kayak, like what they normally do when they only think of their own well being.
Changing about in the diamond
In a race it can be difficult to evenly distribute the work among the participants. When the leading padler wants to be released he typically just stops paddling, apparently to drink or to adjust his equipment. The situation will be insecure for a while until the participators have found their new places in a new formation. The fight for a new placement seems quite accidental but one thing is for sure, the best places are taken by the best paddlers.
It is a completely different situation when the group know one and other and seeks the conditions at their optimum.
If the exchanging of places has been practised it can be completed fast and precise, hardly without loss of speed. Everyone has to know where to move to and in which order. Therefore it is necessary to shout “Go” or what ever, when one has left the place where the next paddler shall move to.
As shown in the animation above it is the kayak in the cosy little corner that has to move first. He has to move through troubled water, and as the only one he has to pass over the wave from one of the others. The leading paddler might have to reduce the speed to help him into position, but still has to lead until the rest are in position. Just then he can reduce the speed and let the others slide forward to supply him with a well-earned wave to surf on.
Practicing changing about in the Diamond is good fun and excellent training to practise condition, surfing, balance or at least good fellowship. If you place the weakest paddler in the coasy little corner when the strongest paddler is leading, you get the most homogeneous group. Set the clock to 5 minutes between every rotation.
It is fun to increase speed, but if the formation brakes up the fun is lost. When one paddler can´t keep up, he has to shout ”Slow down” to maintain the formation, the leader doesn´t have a chance to see what is going on behind him.
Have fun !!