I got a chance to watch the new Danny Ching 404 video a few times this past week and it’s definitely worth buying. It packs some really great information into the 32 minutes. Here are descriptions of some major sections and what I think you’ll find very interesting.
Danny starts with the single most important concept that people consistently don’t get:
“In order to move forward the paddle plants and stays put in the water and as you pull you’re going to move the board past that point. This concept is going to apply to everything from the paddle design, to stroke theory, to balance and even your turns.” Everything begins here. And it’s a constant battle to remember this concept, but it’s crucial.
Choosing a paddle
This section is good for beginners through advanced paddlers. Everyone wants to know which paddle is right for them. Danny breaks down all of the design elements that go into designing and producing a paddle and the tradeoffs that companies make for speed and comfort. He starts with the handle, goes through the shaft and blade designs (size and shape). Paddle are designed to stick in the water and at the end of the stroke, are designed to release at the end. Some paddles are larger with design elements that make it stick better, or smaller that are less stressful. Square vs round paddle shapes. Curve or scoop in the tip. It’s really interesting. I watched this section a few times.
Body positioning drills in relation to the paddle, where to start
The Set Drill helps you find your body position when you take your stroke. It helps you identify the most efficient place for you to put your paddle in the water. Great description and demonstration.
There is a detailed section on the A-Frame or Triangle positioning to load all the pressure of the blade to transfer to the larger muscle groups and helps avoid injury by removing places where there are bends in the body or joints, which then take on more stress in those areas. There are some great tips on achieving and maintaining that A-Frame positioning. from here, he moves on to setting the body, involving pivoting at the hips and different options for helping you get that good paddle set. He even talks about small changes in foot position to help you get more natural balance.
Commit your bodyweight to the paddle
The goal is to set all of your body weight on the paddle instead of into your feet and the board. When you walk, to set your weight onto one foot then shift to the other. It’s the same as paddling. His illustration is great.
Maintaining Speed vs Acceleration
The benefits of staying low come at a cost of expenditure of energy. Longer distances require different techniques.
Body positioning on the board
Being in the right position on the board not only puts you in a position to maximize your reach and power, but also optimizes the board’s ability to run through the water. He also reviews the benefits of being back of center and forward of center. Again, super interesting info.
Bonus tips and review:
Balance tips, benefits of bending knees and leaning forward
Benefits of stepping back in your surf stance and the problems with paddling on your back side.
1-footed paddle drill: expect to get wet, but it’ll help you set your paddle and build balance.
Front side vs back side buoy turns, who to approach the buoy, cross bow turn to front side short stroke
Front side turn with small strokes