× Tips and techniques for getting the most out of surfskiing.

Epic Small/Mid Wing verses Mid Wing Blades

More
13 years 7 months ago #5559 by Tom_D
I have a small/mid and a mid wing. Both are 205-215 full carbon with the burgundy shaft. I have tried again and again to use the small/mid wing and I just cannot seem to get the paddle not to flutter and dive when I am trying hard and start to get tired or if the water is confused and bumpy . The Mid is always solid no matter how bumpy or hard I try. The feel of the mid is so smooth compared to the smaller blade. It feels like I can really lean on the Mid.

I am a smaller paddler and use a 207-208 cm length depending on the boat, and I thought that the small/mid wing might be nice for longer sessions or for early and late season. I like the cadence that the smaller blade allows but it seems harder to control than the mid wing when I dig in. BTW I use a 75 degree feather on both paddles.

I assume that this is due to some technique fault I have and I have worked on all phases and my stroke with the small blade but still It just feels like I can't dig in with the same confidence that I can with the Mid.

Has anyone else experienced this difference? Advice? I keep thinking that if I just keep at it paddling the small wing might be really good for my stroke. I am a little spooked now that it is winter and don't like to take the small wing out in bumpy conditions.

Thanks
Tom

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
13 years 7 months ago #5560 by Stew
Any wing paddle, no matter what size, or brand, should feel solid in the water once you start the catch. If you are fluttering the blade, it sounds like you are pulling through with your arms, and keeping the blade too close to the boat. Any wing paddle should move outwards through the stroke, allowing for proper trunk rotation.

Here's a good video of Tony Schumacher. You can see in the first part, how his paddle moves away from the boat. He's got a really solid catch, the the blade is locked in the water from the very start of the stroke, and it is all power being transferred from his torso and legs, through the paddle. The arms are there as a link, not the main means of propulsion.




A good idea would be to get someone to take a quick video of you using both paddles, pop it on youtube and have some of the guys here have a look at it for you.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
13 years 7 months ago #5561 by cdo
Hi,
I have both a mid wing and a mid wing large paddle I can't detect the effect you are describing. Both feel the same, although the larger wing offers greater stability simply because of the larger area. By the way I have proven to myself time and time again that I am faster with the larger blade up to any distance below 15km, above this then the smaller blade becomes viable. I am a reasonably strong male but I believe there is too much "hype" out on the net about mid wing is as big as you should go. I know I am not alone in that the larger blades are definately faster for some.....not for everyone but not to the blanket extent of the marketing hype on the internet either?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
13 years 7 months ago #5562 by Rightarmbad
I'm a larger type and I suffer the same problem with a mid-wing.
The mid-large solved that for me.

I have another brand that is a similar size to the epic mid and it won't flutter under big load, but if you look at the exit point is has certainly slipped backwards in the water. It is also only 210 long and I generally run much longer.

When I use the mid-large, it just goes outwards and never flutters, no matter how hard I pull.
It pretty much comes out of the water the same place it went in, just 45cm or so further out.

The small mid is obviously too small for you and your current stroke.

The force that the paddle can transmit will also vary with paddle speed in the water.
If you move it out faster, it will have more lift, just like an aeroplane.

So at the current paddle speed, the paddle cannot supply enough lift and it is being overloaded.

Try an experiment.
Does a shorter shaft and higher cadence improve it?

I mean, I'm not elite and I feel silly using a bigger paddle because the quick guys often use smaller.
But they also crank over much faster, so less force per stroke, but more strokes equals more power.

In any type of sport I do, I tend to be a slow revver, on the bike, I spin slow, running I spin slow, even though I was capable of a sub 30min 10k when I was younger.

It may be that your stroke sucks and the hint here would be that you say it is worse when you are fatigued.
I notice no such difference.

My question is; if the midwing works for you, why not just use it?
Does it feel like it is just too big to pull for a long distance? If so, maybe trying a shorter length may be a better cure.

Please note: I may know no more than you, but it is something that I have experienced and thought about because of that.

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

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
13 years 7 months ago #5608 by owenfromwales
I hear you Tom! I`ve paddled spec skis for about 30 years and had my first set of wings in `92. From about ten years ago I was switching between a Knysna Bratcha II (a big blade) and the smaller Bratcha I without any worries.
Four years ago I got my first modern ocean ski, about 44cm across. Only then did I start to pick up on the difference between the blades. On that ski the bigger blade felt solid, rock solid, whereas all of a sudden, whenever I was in bumpy water with my smaller blade I felt like a total beginner again. Like you, winter was coming and I was crapping myself about falling in and not being able to get back on! (in Wales in winter the water drops to about 5C, often with minus air temps, so you don`t get that many attempts to climb back on before you`re shagged out!). As the water warmed up I persevered and the smaller blade became a lot more stable.
Therefore, I think the answers to your problem are either: paddle a lot more with your smaller blade in the flat/summer to get more used to it; stick to your bigger paddle; or use a less tippy boat in choppy water if you want to use the little one!
Like some of the other guys have said, I`m no expert, but if this helps at all, great.

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

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
13 years 7 months ago #5613 by Rightarmbad
So I had a quiver of paddles to play with over the weekend.
Good fun.
It soon became obvious that you can get used to any paddle, as when I returned to my own paddle at the end, it felt totally foreign.
A small bracca min was sweet to paddle and almost felt like I wasn't doing any work at all at around 10.5kmh, but try to go faster and my body just couldn't rate enough.
Maybe in a longer length?
A bracca 1 min, had a similar action to my Epic but less blade area and I certainly noticed my stability dropped in a cross wave.
But like I said, wen I returned to my own Epic it felt almost the same stabity wise as I was used to the others.
Both bracca had cleaner entry and exits, but I think that was because they were smaller, not the shape.

Another unbranded paddle I had felt similar to a epic midwing, but held the water a bit better as it stroked much faster due to a very short length.

So after a bit of a play, I have decided that all paddles have a sweet spot for amount of force and speed of the blade in the water.
If you can match those to your own body preferences, then that paddle is going to feel great.
But if you are too slow or too fast rating, too small or too big a pulling torque, then they don't feel good.

So I predict that as your speed fitness/increases or your body weight/boat weight increase or decrease, all of these variables change, and maybe what paddle feels right for you along with it.

So as far as I can see it comes down to a combination of these factors:

1 How fast you can contract your muscles and spin the paddle.

2 How hard you pull on each stroke, which is influenced by your own body weight as well as boat weight and combined drag of the boat, as well as your strength.

3 How wide you need to hold your grip to get optimum power for your physique and keep paddle at a good operating angle.

4 How bloody long you are.

5 How much you rely on the paddle for stability.

6 How high you like your top hand, with a high top hand compromising stroke length with a short paddle.

So I think any formulas can simply be thrown out the window.
You need to find the optimum length, size, shape to suit your individual body nuances at any given time.
This will change as you change.

For me I am slowly learning to spin faster and I am gradually shortening my paddle. I think that soon I will probably want a smaller blade. Despite getting slowly faster.

Confusing as all hell, but very illuminating to do, I highly recommend always taking every chance to try any paddle you can lay your eyes on and see where it takes you.

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

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
13 years 7 months ago #5614 by [email protected]
Another factor is the length of the race. If you're doing a 30km race, it's probably going to make sense to use a smaller blade - a bigger blade will probably kill you.

As an aside, I usually paddle 2.13 but in our crazy conditions on Sunday I shortened to 2.10.

It felt good - but on the other hand we lost the race to our arch-rivals so...!

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
13 years 7 months ago #5615 by Tom_D
Thanks for all the input and good advice. Nice video of Tony S by the way. I experimented with video this summer and found it very helpful in detecting flaws in technique. I like the shot from the following boat, I am going to try that next summer.

It seems that paddles are like boats, each has a different personality. I am paddling a SES Stellar now (paddled a V10 Sport all summer) and it does tend to be a little less forgiving than the Sport so I like my solid mid. This may change as I get more time in the boat and can really relax and spin the little blade.

I have been playing with paddle length too but that is another can of worms...

All the experimenting and tweaking is part of the fun of paddling surf skis.

Cheers,
Tom

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Latest Forum Topics