Paddles...hard and soft catch???

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14 years 9 months ago #1780 by Janita K
I am researching ahead of forking out approx $500 for a new blade. I used the paddle wizard thingy on the Epic website (which was very helpful), but in all the reading I have done on this forum (which is where 95% of my research is being done...thank you all :-*), I have read a few times of a blade face with a hard v. soft catch? Can someone explain what this means?
I have paddled someone elses blade recently, and found the catch to be completely different, to the point where if I dont get the entry and exit angle right, it has the effect of almost pulling me off my ski!!! Grrrr!! >:(
Obviously I am doing something wrong!
When I finally put in my order, I am getting close to understanding what I need.
e.g. Shaft = med flex
Length = approx 208cm
Blade type = mid wing
But this soft and hard catch???? whats that?
Over to you forum, and thanks in advance :)
Janita K
Qld
Australia

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  • nell
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14 years 9 months ago #1781 by nell
Replied by nell on topic Re: Paddles...hard and soft catch???
Janita,

You'd understand the hard catch / soft catch very easily if you had both types of blades in front of you and you were able to go for a training paddle with each. You feel the quality of the catch when about the first half or so of the blade is sunk in the water and your pull initiates. What you're feeling is the size of the wetted blade area along with other factors that are probably more complicated.

A blade that has a "hard catch" 'grabs' lots of water at the very first part of the stroke and the resistance at the catch is high. These paddles are widest closer to the blade tip and then their width tapers down slowly towards the shaft / blade junction. An example would be a Brasca 1 and 2, Quickblade Tiger Claw, Patasi Turbo. these are also sometimes referred to as teardrop shaped blades.

A blade with a "soft catch" feels easier at the catch because it 'grabs' less water right at the catch and then the resistance of the blade in the water slowly increases during the early part of the stroke. The widest point of these blades is closer to the blade / shaft junction than the above. A popular example is the Lettmann 1, Fenn 1, Bracsa 3 shapes. These blades usually have a pointier tip. If you were to cut off part of the tip of the blade you are now using, making the tip pointier, then the catch should be softer (but don't do it).

Also, total blade size (area) is not the same thing as having a hard catch or soft catch. You can have a combo of a big blade with a softer catch and a small blade with a harder catch.

The Epic blades are very nice and very user friendly, meaning, they work well and are quiet and efficient even when you don't place the blade in the water very well. I think the Epic blades are kind of a medium catch blade. Their newer small-mid is likely the best choice for most ski paddlers - particularly for distance events - and for smaller paddlers and those with less upper body strength.

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14 years 9 months ago #1782 by MFB
What about the brasca IV min? Is this soft or hard catch?

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14 years 6 months ago #1783 by PeteCress
Can somebody place Bracha's "VII" in the context of hard/soft catch?

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  • nell
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14 years 6 months ago #1784 by nell
Replied by nell on topic Re: Paddles...hard and soft catch???
The Bracsa 7 min is kind of a medium catch paddle. It's catch and size seems a bit less than the Epic mid. It wants to travel out away from the boat a bit more than average, and also will dive in towards the boat a bit more easily if you're not careful. The blade feels a bit "sticky" at the exit in rough water - feels that way anyway. I like it alot on flatwater, but prefer the smooth maneuverability and foolproof feel of the Epics on rough water. But, I'm kind of fussy with paddles.

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