LS Surfski paddle recommendation

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5 months 2 weeks ago #39841 by gstewartjr
My large wing RPC3 paddle snapped mid stroke while trying to catch a wave on a Fenn LS. Is there a paddle out there which is designed to be more rugged for may surf zone shenanigans? My bad technique is most likely part of the problem.
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5 months 2 weeks ago #39842 by [email protected]
Great question. There's often a debate, including naming and shaming of paddle brands but the bottom line is that paddle manufacturers (like ski manufacturers) go for light weight and have to balance weight v strength. I've heard stories of every manufacturer's blades/shafts breaking.

But a paddle specially built to be strong (and perhaps slightly heavier)... I don't know. I'll ask around. Anyone?

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...
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5 months 2 weeks ago #39843 by [email protected]
I asked my buddies over at Orka Paddles here in Cape Town, and they say that they do make heavier lay-up paddles for river paddlers, but it's very much on request - they don't have a stock "river paddle" product as such.

www.orkapaddles.com/

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...
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5 months 2 weeks ago #39844 by gstewartjr
I did see river layup mentioned somewhere, but was unable to find any for sale. thanks for the tip. I can contact them for more info. I didn't want to bash on RPC as I suspect light weight was the focus of most paddles. I'd definitely pay for an extra layer on there.

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5 months 2 weeks ago #39849 by SpaceSputnik
I think Nelo has or had a version of their wing that has plastic blades. It looked pretty heavy though and I am not sure how it solves the issue of blades snapping off. Maybe the intended use is more for shallow rivers where you stab your blade into rocks a lot.

There are many flat sea kayaks paddles that are build stronger than your typical wing paddles. Something like Aquabound Stingray and such. But not sure how adequate a replacement for a wing these would be.
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5 months 1 week ago #39852 by Ranga
There are two issues here, 1. blade snapping and 2. shaft snapping! They are two very different things.

Blade snapping is in control of the manufacturer and they have the ability to increase strength.

Shaft snapping is essentially not made by the blade manufacturer, unless they have their own shaft production which some do have but not many, I can think of one.

99% of the time no one is strong enough to snap a shaft just paddling, there is just not enough purchase in the water, almost always it is from impact on a solid object, ie side of the ski. Also it is usually does not snap at the time of the initial incident, it just gets fractured and then snaps sometime later, carbon is very stiff and hates impact, it will fracture without you being able to see it, hence Xray being the best way to see any issues.

A common practice to cause damage is throwing your paddle into the back of your kayak when portaging like on the Duzi Canoe marathon, the shaft striking the cockpit rim is enough to fracture the shaft, likewise hitting the rail of a ski will be enough as well.

Obviously shafts can be made stronger, just like blades and skis or kayaks, however sales will not get stronger as we always want the lightest things?
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5 months 1 week ago #39855 by gstewartjr
Thanks - I was sure it was my fault in some sense as I did throw it around some and get pummeled in the surf. But does leave me a bit uneasy going offshore very far. I watch those LS races and if they are not breaking shafts, then I should not be able to. Still, I read about guys getting lost at sea due to leash snapping, and now I'm wondering about paddle breakage. Maybe I'll pack another paddle or practice OC style which is how I made it back to shore in this case. If everybody is snapping paddles...then sounds like a business opportunity for sure. Next paddle, I'm going to wrap with something. I still have to research that.

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5 months 1 week ago #39885 by annieJ
Bennet all the way, good luck

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5 months 1 week ago #39887 by zachhandler

Thanks - I was sure it was my fault in some sense as I did throw it around some and get pummeled in the surf. But does leave me a bit uneasy going offshore very far. I watch those LS races and if they are not breaking shafts, then I should not be able to. Still, I read about guys getting lost at sea due to leash snapping, and now I'm wondering about paddle breakage. Maybe I'll pack another paddle or practice OC style which is how I made it back to shore in this case. If everybody is snapping paddles...then sounds like a business opportunity for sure. Next paddle, I'm going to wrap with something. I still have to research that.

A broken paddle still moves the boat ok. There is some story, not sure of video, of Carter Johnson rocking a downwind with a half of a paddle after one broke.

But a lost paddle is a much much worse situation. Hand paddling does not move the boat very well. I think there is a very compelling argument to always have a paddle leash on. But i think this has been debated before and unto each their own.

Current Skis: Epic v10 g3, NK 670 double, NK exrcize, Kai Wa’a Vega, Carbonology Feather, Think Jet, Knysna Sonic X
Former Skis: Epic V12 g2, Epic V12 g1, Epic v10 double, Nelo 550 g2, Fenn Elite S, Custom Kayaks Synergy

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5 months 1 week ago #39888 by Arcturus
Related question:

Assume someone has lost a paddle. NOW what? IF he or she is sitting on or holding onto the ski, would it be better to try to swim the ski?

I’ve hand-paddled sea kayaks (from a sitting position and while lying prone on top) to see how slow it is. Alternate single hand as well as “double-poling” style. There are WWK hand-paddles that could be worn, but somehow I think any hand paddling from a ski would be even slower due to awkward position, worse than in a sit-inside kayak.

When in the water and practicing swimming a sea kayak to shore, sidestroke worked OK. Still very slow! I have not yet tried doing so with a ski. What would you recommend holding onto? The foot strap? But then the ski would be tipped onto its side. The thin bungies on the aft deck seem too stretchy and flimsy for this use. Clip a carabiner and line to the carry handle at bow or stern, if it has one, and hope a wave doesn’t send the ski smacking into you?

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5 months 1 week ago #39889 by zachhandler
I think I could hand paddle a ski while sitting in the bucket faster than I can swim but not sure about that. But if you are not within swimming distance from shore than best to stay with the ski as it can keep you afloat and makes it easier for rescuers to identify you.

Current Skis: Epic v10 g3, NK 670 double, NK exrcize, Kai Wa’a Vega, Carbonology Feather, Think Jet, Knysna Sonic X
Former Skis: Epic V12 g2, Epic V12 g1, Epic v10 double, Nelo 550 g2, Fenn Elite S, Custom Kayaks Synergy

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5 months 6 days ago #39895 by SpaceSputnik

Related question:
Assume someone has lost a paddle. NOW what? IF he or she is sitting on or holding onto the ski, would it be better to try to swim the ski?
I’ve hand-paddled sea kayaks (from a sitting position and while lying prone on top) to see how slow it is. Alternate single hand as well as “double-poling” style. There are WWK hand-paddles that could be worn, but somehow I think any hand paddling from a ski would be even slower due to awkward position, worse than in a sit-inside kayak.
When in the water and practicing swimming a sea kayak to shore, sidestroke worked OK. Still very slow! I have not yet tried doing so with a ski. What would you recommend holding onto? The foot strap? But then the ski would be tipped onto its side. The thin bungies on the aft deck seem too stretchy and flimsy for this use. Clip a carabiner and line to the carry handle at bow or stern, if it has one, and hope a wave doesn’t send the ski smacking into you?

I still think that carrying a spare is a good idea. My hands are relatively small so grabbing a side of the boat while holding a paddle (side saddle remount) always carries a risk of dropping the paddle. It has happened.
Any sort if boat swimming is inefficient, especially so in active conditions. Hand paddling, one side paddling, you are still impaired balance-wise and propulsion-wise.

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5 months 6 days ago #39896 by [email protected]

Related question:
Assume someone has lost a paddle. NOW what? IF he or she is sitting on or holding onto the ski, would it be better to try to swim the ski?
I’ve hand-paddled sea kayaks (from a sitting position and while lying prone on top) to see how slow it is. Alternate single hand as well as “double-poling” style. There are WWK hand-paddles that could be worn, but somehow I think any hand paddling from a ski would be even slower due to awkward position, worse than in a sit-inside kayak.
When in the water and practicing swimming a sea kayak to shore, sidestroke worked OK. Still very slow! I have not yet tried doing so with a ski. What would you recommend holding onto? The foot strap? But then the ski would be tipped onto its side. The thin bungies on the aft deck seem too stretchy and flimsy for this use. Clip a carabiner and line to the carry handle at bow or stern, if it has one, and hope a wave doesn’t send the ski smacking into you?

It's always good to think about potential scenarios, but in all my years of paddling I have never heard of anyone losing their paddle - although I'm sure it could happen. You'd have to be radically unlucky.

But... working the scenario - there's simply no way that I could stay upright without a paddle in the kinds of conditions (ie big seas/strong wind) where I'd be likely to lose it. So, hand-paddling just wouldn't be a thing.

Swimming with the ski? Also, never tried it. I know of folks who have climbed onto the back of the ski and paddled it along like a board - but again, not in rough conditions.

I always paddle with a paddle leash so hopefully I'm even less likely to lose my paddle! (Why do I use a paddle leash? Mostly in order to be able to drop the paddle to assist other people. Not primarily as a measure against losing boat - or paddle).

I know of folks who have managed to complete downwind paddles with one blade broken off... but I'm not sure I'd be capable of doing that. I'd try, but if I wasn't making it, plan A would be the radio, plan B: SafeTrx, plan C: flares, etc.

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...

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5 months 5 days ago #39899 by Arcturus
The problem with hand paddling is that it just doesn’t give much purchase on the water. Would be interesting to try a pair of the WW hand-paddling aids, because if they help a little, they’re compact enough to stash on the ski.

Next time it’s a really hot day, I’m going to try lying prone on the back of the ski to hand paddle. I once tried to do it but with my body too far forward, and sagging into the cockpit was not comfortable, to say the least.

Swimming with the ski is undesirable due to both slowness and likelihood of getting hypothermic faster than staying in or on the ski.

Even if these actions only can be used in flat water, they’re still a potential tool. A few minutes of my time experimenting will tell me if they’re completely useless or not.

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5 months 1 day ago #39912 by gstewartjr
Thanks for the replies. I looked into the paddles mentioned, but a bit pricy getting to California. I was close to getting a braca, but I know that I'm not good enough yet to order a custom paddle, so going with cheap amazon wing paddle for $200. Another year or so and I'll know what I want.

For the offshore stuff, I'm still too chicken to go more than a mile out. But I do have a radio for my Hobie 16 adventures, although I don't really know how to use it, other than is has a red distress button which I assume I would push in emergency. I'll carry that , and maybe look around for what I need to know to operate. I'm guessing I should not "test" the distress call button :)
Standard Horizon HX890 Black Handheld VHF - Floating 6 Watt Class H DSC Two Way Radio

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5 months 3 hours ago #39921 by SpaceSputnik

Thanks for the replies. I looked into the paddles mentioned, but a bit pricy getting to California. I was close to getting a braca, but I know that I'm not good enough yet to order a custom paddle, so going with cheap amazon wing paddle for $200. Another year or so and I'll know what I want.
For the offshore stuff, I'm still too chicken to go more than a mile out. But I do have a radio for my Hobie 16 adventures, although I don't really know how to use it, other than is has a red distress button which I assume I would push in emergency. I'll carry that , and maybe look around for what I need to know to operate. I'm guessing I should not "test" the distress call button :)
Standard Horizon HX890 Black Handheld VHF - Floating 6 Watt Class H DSC Two Way Radio

A word of advice on amazon paddles. Do check that the blades are glued properly. I have a ZJ mid-wing that at some point had a blade come off due to insufficient adhesive. It happened at home, not on water. I epoxied it back and had no issues since. Other than that its a decent paddle, basically an equivalent of an older burgundy shaft epics.

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4 months 3 weeks ago #39932 by mrcharly
'buy cheap, buy twice'

A friend, good paddler, has 3 wing paddles. All cheap from china.

I have one. It is considerably lighter than any of his. Nicer finish. Adjustments are clearer.

Mine cost twice what he paid for any one of his three paddles.

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