Me, blabbering about paddles/paddling if text on this blog is too much for you to read and would rather see it in action.
Now that I am feeling a bit better, let me try to write about paddles or paddling. Paddles or paddling is a Hoop Path technique. If you love watching Baxter on YouTube, you often see him do this technique and he combines it with breaks. For the longest time I have tried to learn his paddles and breaks combination on my own but it took a tutorial by Audrey Scherer for me to figure it out.
The lovely Audrey Scherer's Bax paddles and breaks tutorials, the one that helped me learn this move. Be patient! She really broke it down for us who want to learn this move so much.
Paddles, the way I see it is when you let your arm/forearm/wrist push your hoop to the current where it is naturally going. I suppose this can be done while your arm/forearm/wrist is either outside or inside the hoop. Your paddling helps the hoop become guided in moving towards that current. It's the push that you give your hoop. In contrast, breaking stops the hoop from its movement.
Paddles can be helpful in learning how to move the hoop up to your chest level. In Ann Humphreys' shoulder hooping lesson, she describes the motion as paddling up the hoop when you're coming up from waist hooping. (I am trying to learn how to shoulder hoop in my non-dominant current. Her method is helping me learn it!)
When it comes to paddling on the chest level, I started it by placing one arm/forearm across my chest and doing the shoulder hooping as usual. I let the hoop come into contact with my forearm. Once I got used to it, I started sweeping it in the same direction as the current of my hoop.
Paddles can help you control the hoop. Now that I am trying to learn how to shoulder hoop in the opposite current, I really have trouble with keeping the hoop up. But paddling helps me push the hoop and keep it going. It is quite encouraging for me to keep going because of this technique.
What else can you do with paddles?
Aside from using this to bring up your hoop higher from the waist to the chest, you could combine these paddles with different kinds of breaks so that you could make your hoopdance have some variety.