I'm finally back in the boat! After getting some good expert coaching while down in San Diego for Jason's wedding, I forgot to bring my wing blade back with me on the plane. Bummer. I was able to fix the rudder on my boat which snapped last fall, but only received the paddle in the mail about a week ago (thanks Daniel!).
Eager to try to capitalize on the technique i'd learned in California, i took the boat to the in-laws lake over the fourth of July weekend. I had good sessions in the water on friday, saturday and sunday, and another on tuesday back in Grand Forks on the Red River. I think things are starting to gel - not sure if its the paddle weight (way lighter than my last wing blade) or correct execution of the paddle stroke for the first time in my life, buy i'm able to hold the same speed or slightly faster than i was last fall with an effort that feels sustainable for hours and without any shoulder fatigue to speak of. Cool.
Interestingly though, its been tough to figure out how to go hard - i find that when i try to push the pace i fall back into the bad habits of using my shoulders rather than my core to do the work, and the pace probably doesn't improve much as the technique falters. So be it - i'm really gunning for long distance ability anyway, and so good technique will probably pay the biggest dividends. Feels good to be back on the water.