Blade Angle 65 degrees and tendonitis

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10 years 3 months ago #11919 by JonathanC
I have a Bracsa IV one piece paddle that was set to 65 degrees - well the guy that put it together for me said that was what is was set to and he is an experienced boat manufacturer and paddle retailer.

Love the paddle except that lately I have been developing tendonitis just below my right elbow on the top of my forearm, in my wrist flexors. Paddling my ski brings it on without fault.

I use my right arm to control the paddle and had noticed even before the problem developed that when my right arm is up and I am paddling on the left side I have quite a bit of flex in my right wrist. When paddling on the right side my left wrist is straight.

Really tried on the last paddle to get as much body rotation / leg drive happening and trying to get the paddle more vertical and sweep the paddle out at 45 degrees, move my top hand horizontally across my face at about forehead height.

The operative word here is 'try', I've been ski paddling for less than a year. Very conscious of not clenching my hands too tightly and trying to relax as much as possible. Mucked around with grips and tape but have gone back to clean shaft and prefer it.

It feels as if there is too much angle between the blades so that I have to flex my right wrist to get the correct entry angle for the entry and stroke on the LHS.

I can have the angle reset...but what angle should I go for and is that actually the problem.

Been thinking I may buy an Epic small mid wing 2 piece so I can much around with length and angle. I'm 68kg 5'8

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Jonathan

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10 years 3 months ago #11920 by STEWART
I would definately buy an adjustable paddle.
When i started out i also had a set blade position. Not knowing any difference i paddled like that for months. My stroke was never comfortable and was probably negatively affected. The lenght of the paddle was also far too long for my long arms..
The day i bought my epic midwing lenght lock was a revolutionary day for me! As i played with lenght and angles i could actually feel my stroke faults and adjust to what was comfortable.

I did set my angle to 65 and also had forearms and wrist issues. But it is so simple to adjust and find what is good for you.
After that purchase it took me a few months to figure out what i needed and found it easier to understand the theory of getting my stroke corrected and putting it into practice. Aside form the angle the lenght adjustments is what really got me enjoying the paddling more.

If you do go that route try to make an adjustment and stick with it for a couple of long paddles.. So that you get over previous issues and get a feel for what is wrong and what feels right.. Worked for me.

Paddle Hard!

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10 years 3 months ago #11921 by owenfromwales
Hi Jonathan,
Yep, moving to a splitty that you can muck around with is well worth it. If you can though, it might benefit you to check the angle of the paddle you`ve got, just in case it has changed. This happened to me (I presume after leaving my paddle in the car on a very hot day). The hot-glue that was holding it together must have melted and allowed the blade to swivel and reset after it cooled again. It was only when I was paddling again that I realised something wasn`t right. Took me ages work out what I`d done!
Happy paddling,
Owen

189cm 90~100kg
Present skis:
2017 Stellar SEI 2G
1993 Gaisford Spec Ski
1980s Pratt Spec Ski
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor
Previous
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor X 3
1987 Kevlar Chalupsky (Hummel) (Welsh copy!)
1988 Kevlar Double Chalupsky
1992 Hammerhead spec
2000 Fenn copy

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10 years 3 months ago #11922 by owenfromwales
ps that muscle can also get sore if a paddler has a tendency to `lock-out` with a straight arm during the stroke.
apmsurgery.com/images/_pronator_teres.bmp

189cm 90~100kg
Present skis:
2017 Stellar SEI 2G
1993 Gaisford Spec Ski
1980s Pratt Spec Ski
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor
Previous
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor X 3
1987 Kevlar Chalupsky (Hummel) (Welsh copy!)
1988 Kevlar Double Chalupsky
1992 Hammerhead spec
2000 Fenn copy

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10 years 3 months ago #11923 by owenfromwales
Forget that last post of mine, I was talking through my arse/not reading closely enough Jonathan`s post and got the wrong side of the arm.

189cm 90~100kg
Present skis:
2017 Stellar SEI 2G
1993 Gaisford Spec Ski
1980s Pratt Spec Ski
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor
Previous
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor X 3
1987 Kevlar Chalupsky (Hummel) (Welsh copy!)
1988 Kevlar Double Chalupsky
1992 Hammerhead spec
2000 Fenn copy

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10 years 3 months ago #11924 by Physio
I would check the angle

What has changed, it sounded like yr you had been paddling with that paddle without the pain. So what's changed.

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10 years 3 months ago #11928 by JonathanC
Thanks for the feedback guys, looks like a split paddle is on the cards.

Physio, only thing that changed was renting a Carbonology Vault for a week and doing some pretty full on downwinders and struggling, think I might have hurt it then with all my flapping around and since then it's just 'settled in' as tendonitis tends to.

Been watching that wrist flex since I got the paddle thinking it couldn't be good long term...couldn't work out what I was doing wrong.

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10 years 3 months ago #11929 by Kocho
Try to control the paddle not through wrist bending but via the forearm and good body rotation. Your wrist should not really be bending much in order to control the paddle.

Also, try to release the grip on your right hand as soon as your left hand has got it in the air and is preparing for the catch. Just before the catch phase your pulling hand could become the one holding the paddle shaft more than the pushingone. That would allow you to alternate the shaft holding responsibility b/w both hands. Because of the feather you still need a "control hand" but at least it has less work to do if you do this "transfer" from it to the pulling hand when the paddle is in the air.

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10 years 3 months ago - 10 years 3 months ago #11930 by Kocho
Oh, and about the angle. Less than about 60 degree simply does not make sense for ski paddling. The only purpose of the feather is to allow the upper blade to slice through the air for less resistance moving forward. If you decrease the angle much below about 60 degree I think you are minimizing that benefit enough that you may simply consider switching to 0 degree feather at that point.

I personally paddle 0 feather because of various reasons but if I was paddling a ski primarily (or anything else, where the primary objective is speed) I'd keep my feather at around 60 give or take a few degrees. Try to work on minimizing your wrist bend. With your currnent angle or decrease the angle just a few degrees. Work on technique. If that does not help, try a 0 degree feather. A 0 degree feather allows you to not have a single control hand: your "rear" hand is the control hand that orients the paddle and that switches at every stroke. So both your forearms work about the same amount...
Last edit: 10 years 3 months ago by Kocho.

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10 years 3 months ago #11936 by Physio

JonathanC wrote: Physio, only thing that changed was renting a Carbonology Vault for a week and doing some pretty full on downwinders and struggling, think I might have hurt it then with all my flapping around and since then it's just 'settled in' as tendinitis tends to.


firstly just some clarification
The tendon that hurts is around the outermost bony part of your elbow; or further away from yr elbow on the top of your forearm?

By flex your wrist you mean it is moved away from the palm of your hand. (If so this is actually extension, or extended wrist.)

you dont get any pins and needles, or numbness

how long after you stop paddling does the pain go away, or is it OK while paddling and gets worse just after?



Initial thoughts, I regularly see and get myself forearm or wrist pain if I go out in new or testing conditions, I am convinced that even if trying to relax the overall effect is an increase in grip force. the common extensor tendon inflammation is always a result of either jarring or wrist movement combined with a strong grip force ( hence tennis elbow or more commonly builders from hammering)once stirred up this can take 4-6 weeks to settle down.
Other more obscure conditions: you can get a compartment issue in the forearm where the muscle pump expands the muscles which then impinge in either the blood supply to the muscles causing a painful whole forearm which goes away almost immediately when you stop, or a radial tunnel issue when the radial nerve is impinged causing more nervy type pains.
My recommendations would be to ;
1.try and get your technique addressed before messing with the feather,
2.i would try strapping your wrist or wearing brace to limit the extension ( just while the tendon is healing), as my guess is with less feather you would still extend your wrist.
3.Then try wiggling your fingers during the push phase, or try paddling without your thumb around the paddle forcing you to concentrate on where your paddle tracks. and note which things make a differences.
4. a tennis elbow strap may be worth trying also.


just some thoughts.

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10 years 3 months ago - 10 years 3 months ago #11937 by JonathanC
The tendons that hurt are on the top of my forearm, close to the elbow but not the ones wrapping laterally around the elbow. Right in that extensor muscle close to the forearm.



The direction I'm moving my wrist is lifting my knuckles higher, towards my shoulder (always have trouble with extension and flexion!)

Don't get any pins and needles.

Pain doesn't go away after paddling, actually don't notice it so much when I'm paddling, more when I stop and even disturbs my sleep if I lie on that side.

Thinking that I'll let it recover before I paddle again, I do stand-up paddle as well, in fact started surf ski as a cross training tool for overuse problems with stand-up!
So I'll just do stand-up until it recovers, I've had chronic elbow issues before from windsurfing/manual labour and know how long they can take to recover.

Have a fantastic myotherapist I'm seeing about it, she was the one that fixed the tennis elbow years ago (other arm). Also do yoga and specific stretches which help.

Pretty sure I did some damage first time out in the Vault, didn't have padding in the seat so I was floating around, it was cold (winter in southern Oz), 20 to 30 knots and I fell out heaps of times and was bracing and fighting for 8 miles of downwind.

Thanks for your help!
Last edit: 10 years 3 months ago by JonathanC.

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10 years 3 months ago - 10 years 3 months ago #11943 by arminius
You should also consider adding a QuickLoc or similar to your paddle to turn it into a adjustable 2 part paddle. Most of the manufacturers have a 28mm and 29mm version so just check which one would fit best in the shaft and then follow the instructions.

I have done this with several paddles over the years and have never had any issues. I turned a Legend Marathon into a 2 piece paddle and the part cost NZ$30 from Fergs Kayaks in Auckland so the price should be about AU$22 elsewhere

Another perfect day in paradise. A bit of sun, a bit of rain and it's not even lunch time.
Last edit: 10 years 3 months ago by arminius. Reason: currency change

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10 years 3 months ago #11953 by AR_convert
Jonathon, apart from what had already been said I grabbed some cork bike handle bar tape from the bike shop and used it just on the right side of my paddle, now my grip is more relaxed and even if I do squeeze the paddle in fear ;) the spongy tape helps. I suffered with this condition for a couple of years on and off until doing this. I reckon the tape also reminds me to relax my grip.

Always looking for the next boat :)

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10 years 3 months ago #11956 by Bill L
You said you tried grip tape and did not like it, but, you may want to give it another go. I was having some wrist/forearm fatigue/pain as I also preferred a clean shaft. As soon as I wrapped with a good tape - I use silicone tape which has a natural stickiness to it - I found that I did not have to use nearly as much clench for my control hand - any pain went away and has not returned, at all, even when I paddle 3 hours with a 60 deg angle. It especially helps in really rough seas when I naturally would tend to grip a bit harder.

Bill L

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10 years 3 months ago #11957 by JonathanC
Initially I had the 'bump' hand locator thingy under some super slippery heat shrink. Because it was so slippery I took that off then went for the leukoplast style bandage, kept getting blisters so off that came as well, I'm used to the smooth shaft of the SUP paddles so figured that was the way to go.
But after the advice I'll get some grip onto the paddle, starting with the RHS.
Thanks again for the advice everyone.

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10 years 3 months ago #11958 by Hiro
I've seen people using surfboard wax.

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