Ocean Module: Balance in Rough Conditions (Rating)
It takes time to get used to the bumpier conditions of the ocean. Using the same long and strong stroke you use in flat conditions won't necessarily work all the time in the ocean. A long and what we deem an efficient stroke in bumpy conditions can not always work in bumpy conditions for the following reasons.
1) The way your board sits in the chop from the beginning to the end of your stroke changes.
2) You will find need to make slight adjustments throughout your stroke
3) With the board being subject to moving chop and the need for slight adjustments throughout the stroke a long stroke can be more difficult to get power in especially in messy conditions.
In light of these problems in short period, bumpy chop shortening your stroke up, increasing your rating and putting less power in can equal a more balanced stroke. By having the paddle in the water out in front of you more often you will find you have better balance, likened to a walking stick on land. If you move it often over short sections you are regaining balance more often, whereas if you move it less frequently it will mean a longer time off the ground (recovery phase) and a longer time you have nothing to lean on.
With a shorter, increased rating with slightly less power on the blade it means your balance will improve. Improved balance means less wobbles and less falls which in turn translates to more speed. The more you practice out in bumpy conditions the more you will understand when to shorten your stroke up and increase your rating and when to lengthen back out with a slower rating. Basically though the messiest sections are when you want to shorten your stroke up and the cleaner sections are when you want to lengthen out.
1) Shorten your stroke from the front. So pinpoint your normal reach and continue to hit that same spot. Do your normal first half of your stroke but get your paddle out of the water before your feet. Do 30 strokes of this shorter stroke
2) Increased Rating. Set a metronome on your watch or look at your paddling data to figure out your normal stroke rate. Increase this rating by 10 strokes per minute by using the metronome feature on your watch for 50 strokes.
3) Less Power. Focus on putting power down at the catch but easing it off as soon as the paddle is vertical. Do 30 of these power in the catch only strokes.
REPEAT X 3