Feathering the stroke
Feathering the stroke is the angle between the paddle blade and the centre line of the kayak. The feathering of the stroke can be changed by bending your right wrist up towards your right ear; or by raising, or lowering the upper hand during the stroke.
It is illustrated here in the sections “Correct feathering”, “Under-feathering” and “Over-feathering”.
Attaching a rubber band around the blade, make it is easier to see the relevant line on the paddle-blade.
The illustration shows the cross section of the paddle-blade and the movement of the paddle blade as perceived from the paddlers point of view.
Correct feathering – The paddle-blade is at right angles to the boat-center line.
- The feathering of the paddle suits the style (please refer to "Feathering the paddle" )
- The blade achieve the greatest possible area against the water in a backwards direction.
This ideal angle is maintained during the entire stroke
- The paddle moves itself further away from the boat during the stroke – It is “The wing-principle”, which gives us the possibility of using the large muscles in our back.
- The width – and thereby the paddlers side-support increase through the stroke.
Under-feathering – The angle between the paddle-blade and the boat is to small.
- The feathering of the paddle is to big in relation to the style (please refer to "Feathering the paddle" )
- The area of the paddle-blades surface, in the backward direction is reduced.
- The paddle moves towards the boat – perhaps even under the boat. The style becomes unstable because the paddle doesn't move away from the boat and doesn´t provide the side-support that is expected.
- The large muscles in the back can't be used when the paddle is that close to the boat. The arms are being used instead.
- Under-feathering can arise in the left side, even if the feathering of the stroke, is correct in the right hand side (by right-hand controlled paddles). The rower will feel unstable in the left side – and cannot pull hard here.
Over-feathering – The angle between the paddle-blade and the boat is to big.
- The feathering of the paddle is to small in relation to the style (please refer to "Feathering the paddle" )
- The area of the paddle-blade surface, in the backward direction is reduced; the paddle slides side wards without a proper grip in the water.
- The side support is reduced because the paddle doesn't get a proper grip in the water.
- The stroke gets shorter - in the longitudinal direction of the boat.
• Feathering the stroke