Time for a new Paddle

1 year 4 months ago #40300 by DrA5
Time for a new Paddle was created by DrA5
I am looking at getting a new wing paddle. I currently have an older Jantex Gamma Mid wing. No complaints about it, but the parallel blade style versus the tear-drop shape has me interested. Based only on a handful of recommendations, I was considering the Meek G-series, in a Medium Minus size. I would like to get a lighter paddle than the Jantex.

Most of my paddling is flat water. Inland lakes that are 300-900 acres. There are some Great Lakes paddles in smaller, but tighter, conditions. Under 3-4' waves, but close wave period. I intend on racing more in the coming seasons, and most races are river-based, with only a few open-water races.

Unfortunately, where I live, there is no availability to test paddle various paddles, blade shapes, or sizes. It's buy and then try, and if you don't like it, you hope someone in the small high-end paddling community here wants to buy it from you.

I know paddles are as subjective as bicycle seats, but I would be interested in any recommendations, referrals, tips, etc.

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1 year 4 months ago #40301 by Slowpop
Replied by Slowpop on topic Time for a new Paddle
I may be able to provide a little feedback as I used both the Gamma Rio and Meek G series for some time.
For the sake of context I’m 67 years old and weigh 160 pounds, I’m a fitness paddler on both our local river and along our coastline.
I used the Gamma small plus and medium minus for 4-5 years before changing to parallel blades.
The r principal reason for the change was the softer catch the G series offers as the Jantex paddles were tough on my shoulders on distances over 10 miles.
In doing some initial reading on this forum the feedback seemed to be the parallel blade gave better feel if a slower stroke rate is being used. This is definitely the case.
The major difference for me is you just can’t make a bad stroke with this paddle, it won’t tip you out if you miss the catch or if you pull it too far back. As I spend a lot of time paddling across the breeze and upwind against strong river tides the paddle works nicely at the slower stroke rate. It provide great feel and feedback to the user, my Gamma felt like I was sticking it into wet concrete at the catch and then in thin air before the exit.
I don’t think I can sprint as quickly with it as I could with my Gammas but at my age it’s inconsequential anyway.
The speed it gives you is very dependant on technique, the Gamma still rewards you with speed in flat water as long as you keep the up the power even long after your technique has fallen away . With the G series vertical entry is a must for speed.
On another post someone made reference to the Gamma having no third wheel which at the time I didn’t understand, now I do. It’s like having a ski with no secondary stability, the G series has loads of secondary stability, it doesn’t let go of the water until you take it out of the water. In rough confused conditions this is really reassuring and confidence boosting.
As an aside I get a kick out of using a hand made product produced by a family who are proud to put their name on every paddle they make and really nice people as well.

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1 year 4 months ago #40302 by mrcharly
Replied by mrcharly on topic Time for a new Paddle
Slowpop's response tallies with my experience of different paddles (I test-paddled quite few at my old club before getting a Gamma medium minus).

the 'stuck in concrete' feeling is definitely true. If you want a very strong, reliable catch, the gamma rio is really difficult to beat.

One other paddle that was interesting was a Braca (I think a IV). Very smooth, even stroke. Felt like I could paddle forever at a medium effort level with that paddle. It was more of a parallel with pronounced cant backwards.

Really didn't like it for braces though.

One thing; you said you wanted a lighter paddle. When I got my jantex, lots of people tried it, all exclaimed about the weight. Lightest paddle in the club.

The shaft type might be a factor - I bought a semi-soft shaft. Suspect that hard shafts are heavier (more material).

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