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Paddle grip

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13 years 7 months ago #5781 by Marieski
Paddle grip was created by Marieski
I've been having increasing trouble with something like a compartment syndrome in my R forearm, which develops after paddling at anything more than moderate effort. :angry:

It may have to do with trying to maintain my grip on the shaft. What do you folks do to improve this? The shafts on my two paddles are already oval in cross section. Should I incease the "ovalness"? Put on grip tape, and if so what sort? Sand the shaft to make it rough?

Past skis: Spirit PRS, EpicV10Sport Performance, Epic V10 Elite, Stellar SES Advantage. Current skis: Fenn Elite Spark, Fenn Swordfish vacuum. Custom Horizon, Epic V7

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13 years 7 months ago #5782 by Dicko
Replied by Dicko on topic Re:Paddle grip
I would loosen your grip slightly, make sure your wrist is neutral, not extended back to far and probably most importantly make sure you are using enough rotation from your torso. Your arms really shouldn't be doing enough work to cause compartment syndrome.
Is there associated numbness in your fingers or just forearm pain?

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13 years 7 months ago #5783 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re: Paddle grip
Have you had compartment syndrome in some part of your body before to know what it feels like?
Are you quite tight across your shoulders or have any previous shoulder injury?
Are you paddling with a right hand control paddle?
Wing or conventional?

I am finding lately that my paddle is getting a bit slippery, I brushed it with a wire brush to roughen it up, seem to help it a bit.

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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13 years 7 months ago #5784 by AndrewN
Replied by AndrewN on topic Re: Paddle grip
I would suggest losing the oval grips personally - I don't know any of the better paddlers who use them (apart from the Epic Oval shaft I suppose - but that's only the Chalupskys).

Just have one layer of insulation tape with either a raised section to go between your index and middle finger or raised sections either side of your hand to ensure you hold the paddle in the right place.

Again, I think the oval grips are dodgy...

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13 years 7 months ago #5785 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re:Paddle grip
Hmmmm, interesting.
Do you know of anybody that has had problems with oval shafts and then cured it by switching to a round one?

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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13 years 7 months ago #5786 by Paddle2Fitness
Replied by Paddle2Fitness on topic Re:Paddle grip
Marieski, Forearm blow up will come from a couple of things;

1. your gripping the shaft too tightly through the pull part of the stroke
2. your not relaxing your grip through the push part of the stroke
3. your off-set angle (or the oval shaft) is not suited to your paddling style / grip and as a result your wrist is bent back or forward at the catch.

I would have to agree with AndrewN on the oval shafts. These shafts presume that every paddler grips the shaft the same way. They suit same paddlers like Mr Rightarmbad it would seem but not others. I would see if you can borrow a friends paddle with a round shaft but with the same blades. If you like the feel of the oval then purchase a plastic hand grip locator. I use this and it will enable you to customize your paddle grip. I like the locator at the tips of my fingers where my paddling mate likes it behind the bottom of the fingers towards this palm.

Forearm blow up will also be a lactic acid this if you are not conditioned but i would look at the above first.

Have a look at the attached link to learn more about paddle grip.

www.youtube.com/user/Paddle2Fitness#p/u/5/a1gXJhMdIQc

I hope this helps. If you would like to send me a video of yourself paddling i would be able to assit you better.

Good Luck.

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13 years 7 months ago #5789 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re:Paddle grip

They suit same paddlers like Mr Rightarmbad it would seem but not others.


I'm interested in this because I am having some trouble with my right hand going numb and a bit of pain in my upper arm.
This only happens if I am paddling hard and continuous for more than 4km or so.
I was blaming my bad right shoulder, a subluxed AC joint for impinging a nerve.
But if there is something to this oval shaft business, then I gotta look into it.
My other paddle is a round shaft and I never had any problems with it, just that it was way short.
But I never did much paddling with it to show up anything either.

I am also having trouble with my longest finger, but I think that I hurt that rock climbing, so it may or may not be related.

Anybody else out there with anecdotal evidence of ovals causing problems?

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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13 years 7 months ago #5790 by Marieski
Replied by Marieski on topic Re:Paddle grip
RAB, you might have carpal tunnel syndrome (as might I). Bend the R wrist back (like Spidey shooting a web) and tap the middle of the upturned wrist with your other middle finger. You should reproduce the symptoms. Also confirmed if the numbness is in the index finger, middle finger, and middle side of the ring finger.
I'm not sure about me because in my case the flexor side of the forearm goes hard as a rock (though not painful) and the hand goes really weak, not tingly.

Thanks for the advice folks. I have been trying to avoid the death grip with the right hand. I note your website, Mr Paddle2fitness advises against too loose a grip too.

Past skis: Spirit PRS, EpicV10Sport Performance, Epic V10 Elite, Stellar SES Advantage. Current skis: Fenn Elite Spark, Fenn Swordfish vacuum. Custom Horizon, Epic V7

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13 years 7 months ago #5792 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re:Paddle grip
Just sitting here, Spidey action does nothing for me.
I will try it next time I experience it out paddling though.


From what you describe, it really does sound like there is also a touch of compartment syndrome.
I'd try some good old proper massage.

Usually compartment syndrome follows a reasonably quick development of the musculature.
As in the muscles grew quicker than everything else.
If that's the case simply back off and let the rest of your body catch up.

Funnily enough, many more women succumb to this than men.
My theory is that many women simply have a generally less developed musculature than men, so when they do take up an activity, the muscles respond very quickly.

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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13 years 6 months ago #5794 by Paddle2Fitness
Replied by Paddle2Fitness on topic Re:Paddle grip
If your grip is not correct other body parts will have to compensate. If you have been paddling this way for a whole chronic injury will have set in and you will have to pay for massage / physio etc to get it fixed.

In another article Mr Right said coaching was too expensive but this proves that a little money invested in one's self would have fixed this problem long ago.

Get it looked at ASAP, make sure you recover fully and then have a look and see what you are doing incorrectly so it does not happen again.

Good luck.
:)

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13 years 6 months ago #5797 by Robmobius
Replied by Robmobius on topic Re:Paddle grip
I fixed this exact problem quite easily although it was a combination of simultaneous changes that got results.

The biggest and most important change was altering the offset of my paddle. Currently std offset is 60 degrees fro most paddlers. I experimented and found that at 40 degrees my symptoms started easing. It too quite a few sessions to get used to 40 degrees but now my pain is completely gone.

At the same time focused on lifting 3 fingers off the paddle shaft on the push stroke. This forced me to relax my right wrist and elbow on every stroke.

I also stayed away from rough water for a while. Rough water causes you to do strange bracing strokes and grip the paddle too tightly. Once symptoms have eased you can move back to the choppy stuff.

I also shortened my overall paddle length. This mean't a shorter lever arm which translates to lower forces thru the wrist and elbow. Paddle length is a much debated topic but all I know is I am pain free and paddling faster than before. At 6ft tall I use a 2m08 length with a 40 degree offset.

Another recommendation, although untested would be to use a more easily driven blade shape like a lehtman 1 as opposed to the other end of the spectrum, a bratcha 4. This would also reduce loading forces in the wrist and elbow.

Worked for me, at one stage I was contemplating giving up paddling my pain was so bad. Now if I can just stop my legs from going numb!

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13 years 6 months ago #5798 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re:Paddle grip
I increased my offset to about 68deg.
My other paddle was 60.
Some experimenting to do I see.

Do you have any injury to the shoulder that could be contributing?
Or do you just think that it was mostly the feather angle?

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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13 years 6 months ago #5799 by latman
Replied by latman on topic Re:Paddle grip
Paddle angle was originally 90 degrees which then went down to 84 degrees still back in timber paddles era (Struer /liminat etc), then high 60s in the Swedish wing (1985-89), and Nordic Wing 1989 till now(called propellor in Australia).
The only reason for that angle is less wind resistance whilst pushing, and you can use less angle for easier ergonomics but eventually the windage is too high, and unless you have a biomechanical problem then the high 60s angle is a better option.

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13 years 6 months ago #5800 by Marieski
Replied by Marieski on topic Re:Paddle grip
Paddle2Fitness wrote:

If your grip is not correct other body parts will have to compensate. If you have been paddling this way for a whole chronic injury will have set in and you will have to pay for massage / physio etc to get it fixed.

In another article Mr Right said coaching was too expensive but this proves that a little money invested in one's self would have fixed this problem long ago.

Get it looked at ASAP, make sure you recover fully and then have a look and see what you are doing incorrectly so it does not happen again.

Good luck.
:)


The problem ummmmm developed after I ummmm had some coaching.

I think the coaching may have put too much power into my stroke, more than my grip strength can handle. So for the moment I'm backing right off and trying to come at it more slowly.

Past skis: Spirit PRS, EpicV10Sport Performance, Epic V10 Elite, Stellar SES Advantage. Current skis: Fenn Elite Spark, Fenn Swordfish vacuum. Custom Horizon, Epic V7

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  • SS@Bermuda7
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13 years 6 months ago #5801 by SS@Bermuda7
Replied by SS@Bermuda7 on topic Re:Paddle grip
Symptoms:
Rock hard (right - dominant) forearm, hand goes numb, finger tips tingle (sometimes), it doesn't hurt but you simply cannot hold/control the paddle at all? When its rough conditions I tensed up and used the 'death' grip in my dominant hand. When trying to go faster I pulled harder which also resulted in using the 'death' grip (sometimes both hands).

Solution:
1. Relax the grip (not as easy as one would think - in rough water I had to constantly remind myself to ease up).
2. Shortened my paddle (and distance between hands on the shaft).
3. Concentrate on proper stroke (and rotation).
4. Painstakingly reminding myself not to pull harder in an attempt to go faster, but to stick to technique. The moment I pulled harder I'd go faster for 1 or 2 kms and then loose all feeling in the hands.

(quite interested in the oval shaft argument. Will the diameter of the shaft have an impact? Any comments from 'human mechanics' (aka Drs/fisio's))

Cheers

SS

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13 years 6 months ago #5802 by Marieski
Replied by Marieski on topic Re:Paddle grip
That's it exactly SS.

Except I don't get the problem as much in rough water, more when I'm trying to put in a solid effort on the flat. Maybe because my cadence and power goes down when it's bumpy.

I've already only got trivial offset, small blade and 206cm length. I've got a Powerwing and an Epic Small Midwing.

Having controlled other factors, hence my original question of maximising the grippiness of the shaft. Given that more muscle power is required to grip something that is slippery vs something that is not. Also whether ovalness makes a difference, though I always thought the purpose of ovalness was to make the paddle angle always fall immediately to hand.

Thanks everyone for the discussions.

Past skis: Spirit PRS, EpicV10Sport Performance, Epic V10 Elite, Stellar SES Advantage. Current skis: Fenn Elite Spark, Fenn Swordfish vacuum. Custom Horizon, Epic V7

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13 years 6 months ago #5807 by LaPerouser
Replied by LaPerouser on topic Re:Paddle grip
Hi all,

I also used to get numb/tingling fingers and sometimes sore wrist with my old round shaft paddle, brought on by harder sessions. At the time I got some relief by opening my hand on the forward stroke. I'm sure I was gripping too hard, especially when the shaft was wet and slippery.

Since I switched to an oval shaft paddle, I haven't had the problem at all, although that may be partly attributable to the fact that my new paddle is 3cm shorter.

I still think have a problem with grip though, ie gripping too hard, esp when it gets slippery from either water or suntan lotion.

I often use board wax on the shaft, which is great while it lasts, but comes off quickly during a session and needs re-application. In fact, sometimes it melts and gets slippery as well. Does anyone else use/recommend wax?

I've also been wondering about (tennis?) grip tape: does anyone succesfully use this? My reservation about using it is that it will significantly increase the diameter of the shaft.

The new (?) Think Powerwing paddle comes with grip tape on a thinner diameter shaft. Has anyone out there tried it, and how does it compare to a conventional shaft?

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13 years 6 months ago #5810 by Paddle2Fitness
Replied by Paddle2Fitness on topic Re:Paddle grip
LaPerouser, Shaft thickness is very important and any change made will affect your forearms especially going fast. So the tennis grip idea is good to get a nice grip but it will take a while to get use to so give it time.

As for greasy shafts, use Solvol soap (photo attached). It’s the best stuff. Get's sunscreen off your hands in seconds and cleans your shaft. Just lather up a bit with water, wash your hands first and then rub up and down the shaft.
You will never us anything else.

Happy Paddling
Attachments:

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13 years 6 months ago #5813 by AndrewN
Replied by AndrewN on topic Re:Paddle grip
Guys...honestly.

Coming from someone who paddles with (ok on the same piece of water at the same time) SA's elite flatwater and ski paddlers, keep it simple.

These athletes all have the experience to know what works best and without fail they either have a small wrap of insulation tape between the index and middle finger just to place the hand, or 2 wraps of insulation tape on either side of the hand to situate it.

Some have one layer of insulation tape under this to provide a bit of grip but in terms of wax, tennis grips, oval inserts etc etc...I don't see anyone at a decent level using these things.

After your first stroke on the dominant (control) hand, the paddle is aligned with the correct angle it needs to go into the water - an oval insert (and oval shaft in my opinion) is completely redundant and unnecessary.

Personally, I wrap insulation tape on either side of may hand to ensure it stays in the right place on the shaft, avoid getting suncream on my hands at all costs (use the back of your hands to apply) and just paddle. I also use a different feather of about 50 degrees but this is just personal preference.

Keep It Simple...

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13 years 6 months ago #5815 by Robmobius
Replied by Robmobius on topic Re:Paddle grip
simple candle (parrafin) wax works the best. It does not soften or go sticky. Tip I got from one of the top paddlers, tried and tested wisdom.

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