'more stupid crap', or 'my paddle discoveries'

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12 years 3 days ago #10151 by Rightarmbad
Mr Brussel sprouts, you better click away and go for a paddle, as the following discussion may contain math, useless conjecture and unashamedly biased opinions of the writer.
In other words, crap, so run away and paddle now before you get upset.



So I did as I said I would, and put a camera on my paddle shaft.
Much more illuminating than I ever imagined. (excuse the pun)


I tried an Epic mid wing and my mid-large wing at different lengths.

Because the camera had such a close look at the blade, it was quite easy to see when power was being applied and when it wasn’t. It was also easy to see how far away from the side of the boat it moved during the stroke and most importantly, because the frame rate is known, very easy to get accurate measurements of time spent during various phases of the stroke.

So here is a quick non-technical rundown of what I found.

Understand that this is what occurred with this paddler, you may be different and I encourage you to experiment, if nothing else it makes for a great recovery session that is interesting.

The smaller midwing moved outwards more during the stroke, ie at a faster rate.
I presume it is because it had to move faster to maintain the same rate of lift as the larger wing.

The smaller wing also had a slower catch and encouraged a deeper catch/stroke.

A greater part of the time spent in the water was further away from the hull than the larger paddle.

The total time for a complete stroke,(the power phase and the recovery) was for all practical purposes identical for both blade sizes, only the length of the shaft changed things.

A shorter shaft simply meant a quicker recovery, less time required for the catch and less time on the exit.
The actual time spent in the major power phase, was longest for the larger paddle due to quicker catch.
Less time was wasted in recovery for the shorter lengths.

The setup with the largest relative time spent in the major power phase and the least spent in other areas, ie it’s duty cycle, was the shortest largest setup.
This is a relative measurement over time, so a shorter paddle took less time during the stroke, but more strokes overall in the same time.

The smallest power phase vs versus other time, was the smaller longer paddle, due to a longer amount of time spent for the catch, more time spent exiting the water and more time taken to swing the bloody thing around to start all over again.

So a large wing set up short, gave me more percentage time on task than a smaller wing setup long.

I would reason that this is why I personally can get a higher oxygen consumption (higher heart rate as HR is controlled by oxygen demand) and therefore more power with a shorter paddle than a longer one.

The smaller wing encouraged more time spent in the catch phase and worked best if a bit of vertical movement was also involved, ie, it moved down during the catch and first part of the stroke and therefore felt to linger closer to the boat, for a longer time, at the start of the stroke.
It did however make up for this with a faster blade movement during the mid part of the stroke and quickly overtook the larger wing on its way to a wider finish.

The wider stroke for the smaller wing I found quite a surprise, as the opinion you form whilst actually paddling is the opposite, probably because of the way it seems to hang closer to the hull at the start.
The larger wing simply hits the water and goes out immediately as the catch happens so fast and you feel that it is overall wider because of this.
This faster catch also means that the larger blade takes no more time for a full stroke than the smaller one, and was actually a bit quicker, but really the difference is down in the noise somewhere, so I would be happy saying they are the same.

So a couple of surprising things for me and certainly worth the couple of hours to find out.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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12 years 3 days ago #10152 by Moll
That is interesting crap, never thought of doing that. may get a little dizzy whatching the footage but a good way to test efficiencies.

Current Quiver:
- Think Evo
- XT Double
- Popes Big Foot Assegai K1
- Wilderness systems Tarpon 160

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12 years 3 days ago #10153 by Rightarmbad
For a little more fun I set up a paddle with one side mid-wing and the other side mid-large.
It quite effectively demonstrated the differences in real time.

But felt very weird, especially as you first get going as the small blade has nowhere near the bite of the larger one, at speed the differences are far less.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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12 years 3 days ago #10154 by latman
And I thought i would never get a chance to use this anywhere !
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12 years 2 days ago #10161 by mckengmsurfski
RAB, interesting 'crap'.
I take it in the end there is no 'winner' per say, just an evaluation of how the stroke varies due to blade sizes as well as at various lengths?
Your experiment reminded me of the powermeter equipped paddles from New Zealand (I think?). Would be interesting to be able to clamp the camera to those with various blade sizes and compare power data to real-time footage of the stroke. Talk about thinking too much... Still, would be interesting to see the actual difference in power compared to phases of the stroke if that was possible.

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12 years 2 days ago #10162 by Rightarmbad
The two paddle setups were neither what I normally use.
I had my own mid large paddle which is a 205-215cm and a mid wing that is 210-220cm.
I normally run my paddle fully short at 205cm, sometimes I may go out 2cm if I can see that a run will be very quick.

So the two lengths I chose were 210 and 215, being the largest difference I could get between setups that was supported by both paddles.

I have a mid sized paddle at home that is more a parallel sided blade and I will have a look at that one too when I get the time.
I hope to be able to get a hold of a true teardrop paddle like a Gamma at that time too.

This was really just a dry run to see what the best camera setup was and to find out if there was any direction I should head in for future tests.

I thought I would post up what I found as there were surprises for me, so I expect most might find something useful.

I really didn't expect a quite large difference in the time it took for a catch, being almost 75% longer for the smaller blade and tending to be longer for the longer paddle lengths.

I also didn't expect the smaller blade to have a wider overall pattern.

I really thought that a bigger blade would slow the cadence, but again it surprised me.

Almost everything that I have been told about paddles was shown wrong with one very simply test.

I think technique is as much influenced by the paddle as much as the persons peculiarities.

Obviously it would be nice to be able predict what paddle suits who the best.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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12 years 4 hours ago #10199 by bussellt

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12 years 3 hours ago #10200 by Rightarmbad
Thanks for that input Trevor, I'm sure you have impressed many.






So I took the midwing for an extended paddle today.
Hmmmm, amazing what a small size change can make to a paddle.

For me, the smaller paddle also paddles much shorter, as in I had to go out to 217cm for it to feel any good.
Mainly to make up for the slower catch, by the time the catch was over the paddle then came back much too far for my stroke to be efficient.
Going to a longer setting kept the catch out in front and made things much more efficient.

Sadly though, swapping with a Bennet BV IV at times during the paddle, only served to show up that this midwing is just not for me.

It still amazes me that such a small change in the area of the paddle can turn a design I like and use, into something that just doesn't wok for me.

Hmmmmmmm.........

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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