Seems to me that we have two conversations mixed together: how to do
effective bracing, and how to protect your shoulder.
There are much better paddlers than I am in this discussion, but it
seems to me that the reasons to use the back face in a low brace have
nothing to do with shoulders. One reason is that with a feathered
paddle, it is nearly impossible to use the power face because to do so,
you would have to bend your control wrist to an extraordinary angle.
In a high brace, you can do some of this rotation with your control arm.
The second reason is that it is hard to scull with the concave paddle
face facing down. The blade bites and submerges.
The answer to the second question is much simpler: the more your arm is
extended, the more leverage there is on your shoulder, and the more
likely you are to screw it up. Rotating your paddle is not going to
help much. And trust those of us who have made this mistake--you don't
want to. You may be lucky, but if you end up being unlucky, the price
Steve Cramer wrote the following on 8/20/2006 9:53 AM:
As Humpty Dumpty said, "When I use a word, it means just what I choose
it to mean--neither more nor less." Then again, HD is now an omelet.
Paddles have two faces, the power face, that pushes against the water
and makes the boat go forwards, and is often concave; and the back face,
which is the other one. There is no front face.
Ok, maybe I'm wrong to think of the front side to be the "back" side.
Bracing with the back face is part of the definition of a low brace. I
can't see how you would do it otherwise.
It is encouraged that a low brace is used by keeping the elbow down
using the back side of the paddle blade to skull.
Does the ACA actually suggest using the back side of the paddle?