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 Post subject: Peddling technique
PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 12:42 am 
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Location: Escondido
Granted, good paddling takes a lot more technique than good peddling, but still, there are a few considerations that may enhance your peddling performance.

We all have a tendancy to push alternately one leg at a time. With a little fatigue and lack of attention, the pushing leg sometimes finds itself overcoming the dead-weight of the idle leg as well as driving the fins!

So by consciously making an effort to lift the alternate leg, things will start to get better. Taking it one step further, your legs have another set of muscles designed for pulling. That's what those little straps on the pedals are for. Most of us can push at least 4 times more than you can pull, but you can gain about a 25%+/- improvement by learning to use those hamstrings! If nothing else, you'll give your quadraceps a little relief!

Most of your leg power develops when the leg is almost extended. It's very important to make sure your pedals are adjusted to accomodate a full leg extension without too little or too much length (you don't want to hyper-extend your leg). Correctly done, this should give you a full sweep with the fins without slamming the drive pedals into their stops.

This brings up stroke. Full strokes are more efficient for the fins as well as the legs because there is less dead time switching direction. Think of it as coming about in a sailboat; each time you do it, you lose your momentum.

Finally, seating position would be different for peddling than paddling. The seat adjusts quickly with a little practice fo a more upright position for paddling and a more prone position for peddling. If you're going against the wind, this also lowers your profile. Experiment a little and you'll find the position that's most comfortable.

A couple of small tips: 1) Adjust the pedal strap to fit your foot, shoe or boot snugly. You can "lock" your foot in by twisting it after inserting it. This makes it easier to pull without having to lift your retracting leg. For me, aqua shoes do a good job of sticking to those pedal pads. 2) Aim for an easy, relaxed steady pace if you're traveling any distance. You'll have less chance of wearing yourself out or cramping, yet still have a little reserve for a quick sprint if necessary.

Please feel free to add some of your own "tricks of the trade" that we can try out next season!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 5:34 am 
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Thanks Roadrunner...you brought up some points that I never considered.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2005 12:32 pm 
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Location: L.I. NY
Roadrunner, some good points on peddling and keeping the legs going. After my first trip in the new Adventure the first thing to go where the foot straps, now I will have to re-think that choice.

I found the legs don't last as long as the upperbody YET. :lol:

Paul


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2005 2:30 pm 
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" found the legs don't last as long as the upperbody YET"

I've found the same. Must be the different muscle groups I guess.
Since moving to a wing paddle, I can go as far as I like, with no detriment. We still use the Mirage Tandem, but only for maybe joy rides, over relatively deep water. The rest of the time, we are in shallows, and the fins get caught up.

I am wondering why Hobie adopted the to and fro action, instead of the classic bicycle type of action. The bike action seems to be a little more fluid, as far as continuity of action is concerned.

If they do change, at a later date, to the bike action, I wouldn't mind making a wind rotor, which sits horizontally, and connects to the drive. The wind spins the rotor, which drives the boat, in ANY direction... upwind... downwind...

Wolfie


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2005 5:31 pm 
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Location: Sandy Eggo
Consider a locomotive engine in reverse. Simply convert rotary motion to linear motion :!:


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 Post subject: Cycle pedal action?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2005 5:52 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 27, 2003 12:44 pm
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Location: Oceanside, California
Cycle pedal action?

Greg (Ketterman, designer of the Mirage system) chose the existing system after lots and lots of study and testing. He says the major considerations in pedaling style were ergonomic and mechanical.

The Mirage Pedal system allows the pedals to be lower and more comfortable than possible with cycle type pedaling. The mechanical advantages to the Mirage system are simplicity of converting those forces to the fins.

The advantages of the oscillating fins over a prop circular motion are many as well. It is more efficient. It allows very shallow pedaling. It is mechanically simpler and therefore possible to be more compact and lighter.

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Matt Miller
Director of Parts and Accessory Sales
Hobie Cat USA


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2005 8:48 pm 
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To elaborate on Matt's answer just a wee bit....

Consider the typical pedal crank driven by the typical rider: virtually all the thrust from each leg occurs when the crank is in the forward 1/3 of its rotation. The top and bottom of the cycle are essentially dead zones. So, with each leg contributing to 1/3 of the cycle, thrust is applied to approxomately 2/3 of the revolution.

With the Ketterman design, each leg applies thrust to a full 1/2 of the "cycle". For that reason alone, you have a 50% improvement in available thrust.

But that's not all. The leg can apply its greatest thrust when it's almost fully extended. Where does that place you on a rotary crank? In the dead zone! With the Mirage drive, however, you're applying your maximum power.

So how do the two systems compare on the water? I happen to own a Waterbike by Seacycle (one of several convential pedal boats on the market). It's a pretty fast bicycle type drive attached to a propeller. The biggest difference in feel is that those dead zones are harder to cycle through with a prop than a bicycle, so your prop is always changing speed. It's not nearly as comfortable to pedal as the Mirage. The result? It hasn't left my garage in three years. Anyone want to buy it?

There are other issues concerning propellers vs. fins. We could compare the systems in terms of weight, simplicity, maintenance, compactness, antifouling qualities and versatility of use, but those aren't topics for today. Suffice it to say that the Mirage drive competes very successfully against other pedal designs.

Matt modestly neglected to mention that Greg Ketterman's Mirage drive has won several design awards. It's probably not too much of an exageration to describe it as a breakthrough comparable to Nikolaus Otto's internal combustion cycle and several of Thomas Edison's inventions. I'll bet most Mirage users have no idea they're driving such an innovative machine! No doubt, when the patents expire, we'll be seeing Ketterman drives applied to all sorts of contraptions! By the way, the Mirage drive is not his only innovation.... :idea: :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Peddling technique
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2005 2:03 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2005 4:37 pm
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Location: San Francisco
"Finally, seating position would be different for peddling than paddling. The seat adjusts quickly with a little practice fo a more upright position for paddling and a more prone position for peddling. If you're going against the wind, this also lowers your profile. Experiment a little and you'll find the position that's most comfortable."

I have only used a mirage drive a few times on a few rentals. I felt uncomforatble with the more prone position for peddling. I notice that most fo the photos on the Hobie Site show peddelers leasning way back as well. My question is, Why? don't you all feel uncomfortable leaning back so much? I felt a strain on my neck.
-Jonathan


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 Post subject: Re: Peddling technique
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2005 4:06 pm 
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Location: Escondido
Havoc wrote:
I have only used a mirage drive a few times on a few rentals. I felt uncomforatble with the more prone position for peddling. I notice that most fo the photos on the Hobie Site show peddelers leasning way back as well. My question is, Why? don't you all feel uncomfortable leaning back so much? I felt a strain on my neck.
-Jonathan


The first rule is to make yourself comfortable. We're all built differently. As you get used to the boat, you develop a comfort zone. For paddling, I need to be upright and on top of the paddle to get a good torso pivot. But for peddling, it's much easier to draw my legs back from a less bent position (could be the pot belly). Being somewhat round shouldered, it doesn't bother my neck at all. On the Tandem though, it's less comfortable in the seat if I lean too far back.

It also happens to lower your wind resistance when you lean back going up wind. Every little bit helps! :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 1:27 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 10:01 pm
Posts: 66
Location: Waco, Texas
As someone without a Hobie yet, this is an enjoyable thread. Anything that helps me learn more about kayaks, since I am a novice, is great to find. There is another discussion begun by AlohaDan on Peddling and/or Paddling that linked to the wedsite:

http://www.usawildwater.com/training/fwdstroke.htm, and the article:

The Five Immutable Rules of the Kayak Forward Stroke

Focusing on Wildwater's most often-used stroke translates to seconds saved on the race course

I am trying to learn to improve my efficiency. It will take time and practice along with good information.

Given time, could be a week or two, or months, or more, I think I will evenually get an Adventure and a smaller model, a Quest if Hobie adds the Mirage Drive or a Sport, for tighter areas and my grandchildren. I will be mostly on Central Texas rivers and the Flats of the Texas Gulf Coast and had worried about the function of the Mirage in shallow situations or areas where obstacles loom, but after asking that question on different sites and getting plenty of answers, that worry seems unfounded.

I like the three modes of travel, the look, the quality, and what I have heard of the company and customer service.

Thanks,

Ray

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419 Lake Air Drive
Waco, Texas 78710

Phone: 254-772-3520


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