Wing Paddle questions

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10 years 2 months ago #12095 by DougMar
Replied by DougMar on topic Re: Wing Paddle questions
Jeese, Dicko... so sorry I offended you, mate. Socialist Party?! Maybe I'll go hunting socialists, and have a beer party! Well, happy that you had a good stoush. Perhaps I was a little too hard on ol' Wesley. Thin skin indeed.

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10 years 2 months ago #12096 by Dicko
Replied by Dicko on topic Re: Wing Paddle questions
Doug, you haven't offended me .....yet. I think you're being harsh on Wesley. He may be tougher than you think. Any bloke who can convince his missus to leave his $50000 car outside his garage so he can keep his $3000 ski inside the garage must know something.
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10 years 2 months ago #12142 by DvanB
Replied by DvanB on topic Re: Wing Paddle questions
I purchased an Epic Mid Wing full carbon Burgundy shaft paddle recently, in a 205 – 215 cm length. I used it for the first time on Tuesday, and immediately noticed some differences from my previous paddle, a fixed length (215cm) glass shaft carbon blade paddle that I believe is based on the Braca IV, although I could be mistaken. Please bear in mind that I am by no means an expert paddler, these are just my personal, non-scientific opinions. I’ve bulleted the differences below:

1. The catch on the Epic is cleaner, smoother and more solid. The paddle feels locked in from the moment it enters the water.

2. Power from the catch through the stroke is very consistent, and also very smooth.

3. My previous paddle was unforgiving of a sloppy exit, and had a tendency to dive under the ski if I rolled my wrist even slightly on the exit. I know I shouldn’t do this, but this is a non-issue with the Epic.

4. At 215 cm, my previous paddle was a bit long for me, I’ve been using the Epic at 207-210 cm, and I’m much more comfortable with that length. I’m 1.81m (5ft 11in) tall.

5. Obviously with the lighter swing weight and shorter length, my cadence can be faster than previously, and I’ve found it easier to jump onto a wave now.

6. My balance, which wasn’t a problem before, seems even better with the Epic, and I think this is due to its consistent and smooth feel through the stroke.

7. I really like the oval shaft of the Epic, and also its extremely smooth finish. From reading I know some guys put some non-slip stuff on their paddles, so this is entirely a personal thing.

I started paddling just over a year ago, from scratch, and I bought my ski and paddle at the same time. At the time I thought a paddle was a paddle, and I shouldn’t have been, but was surprised to find out that there were different length options, right hand and left hand set, different shapes, areas, etc. As a beginner I thought it was going to be hard enough to maintain balance, never mind worrying about adjusting paddle length, angle, etc. so I opted for a fixed paddle. I think with the benefit of hindsight that having at least the option of adjustable length would have been a better option, even for me as a beginner.

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10 years 2 months ago #12145 by kayakchampeen
Notwithstanding the fact that your new epic is undoubtedly a better paddle than an old glass brasca copy, I believe most of the difference you are experiencing owes to the fact that your old paddle was way too long! Unless you sit VERY high in the ski like a K-1, I can't Imagine anyone needing 215cm for a Brasca style canted blade. These paddles are known for some idiosyncratic behavior, and, yes the Epic is indeed smoother, but most of this would resolve itself if you were to shorten your old paddle down to 208-210. Teardrop blades require a fairly vertical entry to work well and for this reason people seem to settle on a paddle length a few cm shorter than a parallel style for maximum effect. But wow! 215cm thats basically what many sprint guys use in the k-1 now...Slightly off topic, and agreeing with an earlier forum post,I think it's a shame that anyone would sell a 210-220 adjustable to someone who intends to use it in a ski, Many people settle on about 206,7,8 as the optimum and you'll never know how well this works unless you try. Congratulations on the new stick though, can't really go wrong w/epic, especially in conditions. BTW, wildwater racers sit about as low in the water as skis and they have gravitated down to wings in the 200-205 range with a cadence that constantly accelerates the boat.
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10 years 2 months ago - 10 years 2 months ago #12146 by Kocho
Replied by Kocho on topic Re: Wing Paddle questions
Well,

I seem to have settled on 210-212 for my ski, so having a 210-220 cm paddle makes a lot of sense for me. I'd rather have the paddle on the short setting rather than extended fully (for more shaft strength).

I was paddling with a 215-219 a year ago and at the time did not realize it was too long for me. And in a way, for short high-intensity K1-style paddling, it actually feels OK at that length but is very tiring to use that way for longer distances.

I'm tall with long arm span, so going shorter than the 201-212 I have now places my hands too close to the blades and I can't reach out properly for the catch.

Might change my thinking again in the future, who knows ;) But it seems most folks under 5'10" or so would be happier with a 205-215 adjustable while the 210-220 still is a good length for taller folks with long arms.
Last edit: 10 years 2 months ago by Kocho.

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10 years 2 months ago #12148 by AR_convert
I guess you can paddle with almost any length, just as you can ride a bike in almost any gear, the difference being how fast for how long you can go.

A mate of mine was sold a set length 215 with his ski by a kayak shop and he was intially adamant that the kayak shop fella had taken the time to set him up right...maybe in the eyes of the a sea kayaker who just cruises about this was fine ;)

He ended up having rotator cuff issues and is now using a much shorter adjustable paddle.

I am now a pretty much 212 paddler at 6ft2in tall and in the really choppy downwinds will wind it in a cm or two.

I guess the question being is what power can you put into your stroke at a certain length. I'm racing river marathons up to 30km in length at or just over 12km/hr with my 212 paddle length. A little while ago I trained with the paddle length at 213 to see if that improved performance, and while it did I fatigued quicker and was sore in the shoulders more than usual afterwards.

If you are a social paddler who is happy under 10km/hr you may not ever realise what changing your paddle length can acheive.

Always looking for the next boat :)

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10 years 2 months ago #12149 by Kayaker Greg
For reference I have been told that Stephen Ferguson who is 6'5" and arms longer than his height and is an Olympic K2 paddler and a top ski paddler in NZ paddles with an Epic Large at 210cm. Personally I use video to determine what paddle length works best for me and I'm only 5'8" and use either a Epic small mid or a mid 209cm depending on time of the season in a ski, another kayak I paddle most weeks I use small mid at 206cm unless surfing or doing a lot of stop start in a group where I will reduce it to 205cm.

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10 years 2 months ago - 10 years 2 months ago #12151 by Zephyrus
Replied by Zephyrus on topic Re: Wing Paddle questions
Well,

I tried the paddle out for the first time yesterday. To my surprise, it never felt close to "knifing under the boat". When I did a clean stroke it really locked in. I felt I could use the paddle stroke as a brace to prevent tipping on the paddle side (as usual) but also to prevent tipping toward the non paddle side (using the paddle to pivot around)

The only trouble I had was on the exit when I got tired. Occasionally, it didn't want to come out of the water. It happened so fast my pulling arm subconsciously released tension (kind of like what happens when you accidentally step on something sharp with bare feet). The water smelled bad and I had no interest in capsizing.

Any tips on pulling the paddle out of the water?

Due to my collar bone problem mentioned in the other thread, I was pulling the paddle from the water earlier and more vertically than I usually do (between the hips and knees rather than at the hips)


P.S. The paddle is beautiful (Jantex Gamma Mid)

The leading edge starts the cant directly, but is concave, so the cant angle decreases while going down the blade. The initial cant of the trailing edge is more gradual, but convex. Therefore, after a few inches the cant angle is greater than that of the leading edge. At this point the trailing edge straightens out and maintains this cant angle to the tip.

I'll do some more precise measurements if I can find my protractor.

When looking at the face of the paddle (with the leading edge up) , there is much more area above the shaft axis than below it (despite the teardrop curve of the leading edge). I assume this is partly because the Mid size paddle is cut down from the trailing edge. (and cut more towards the end of the paddle)
Last edit: 10 years 2 months ago by Zephyrus.

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10 years 2 months ago #12152 by Zephyrus
Replied by Zephyrus on topic Re: Wing Paddle questions
With respect to paddle length. I am transitioning from a 228 cm touring paddle. I got the wing in 210-220cm because I plan on using it for a wider double (27 inches) and because I figured it would be a lot easier to cut down than to make longer.

One thing I noticed is at 210cm my hands are only about 2 inches from where the shaft of the paddle is glued to the blade (5 inches total from the throat of the blade.

It feels a little odd to have my hands that close to the water when paddling. And I am having trouble imaging using it at 205cm.

Are my hands too far apart? (When I put the paddle shaft on my head my arms are at slightly less than 90 degrees)

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10 years 2 months ago #12153 by Rightarmbad
There is no 'proper' width for your arms.
Your body will find it's own width where it works best.

But, the more vertical the paddle, the closer together your arms will want to be.

I think that maybe if you find the paddle difficult to remove from the water that you are paddling far too far back and starting to move the blade back towards the boat.

Once the hips have rotated back on the paddling side, the efficient part of the power phase is pretty much over, the blade now begins to face the bottom and applying power will only try to submerge the boat.

Get the blade out of the water early and into a new stroke so you can use more of the paddle effort going forwards not up and down.

End your stroke early by thinking about extending/reaching for the new stroke with your top hand, as soon as the top hand goes forward, unless you drop your top hand down (bad, bad, bad), the blade will exit the water.

When paddling with a teardrop, keep your top arm bent and back towards your face during the stroke and let it rotate with your body towards the paddle.

As soon as your elbow approaches close to midline, (maximum rotation) straighten out your top hand whilst still keeping it chin height to begin your next stroke and the blade will lift from the water straight away.

Keeping the paddle in the water any longer than this is simply wasting power and giving you an artificially long stroke that prevents you from doing more better strokes in the same time.

Stroke length should come from a good reach and body rotation, not from extended paddling in the latter part of the stroke.

Do this and the paddle will lift cleanly without throwing water, as the blade is moved out of the water forward and the water simply runs off the blade.

My hands are quite close to the blade, I do this because it gives me a better leverage on the water to aid my aging muscles as well as the there not being a lot of room on a short paddle.
I also believe that it is better to have a good lock on the water and change the gearing with technique, not by going to a smaller blade that slips a bit if the blade is too hard to pull.
My stroke is longer than anybody else I have paddled with, despite running a 205cm length.

The only limits I place on what I do paddling is;

Does the blade face the best way for efficiently going forward?
Can I reach the water?
Have I the strength to pull the bloody thing in this configuration?
Am I engaging as much musculature as possible, because my heart rates are still lower paddling, than other disciplines. Although getting closer and closer.

I don't care what it looks like, I'm an engineer, form follows function, it is what it is.
Physics cannot be beaten.
If you feel like it might work, don't just wonder, give it a go, there are surprises to be had for those willing to explore.




Disclaimer:

I know jackshit.(actually, he's a nice bloke)
I haven't been taught to paddle 'properly'.
I have a bad habit of not listening to silly old wives tales and established folk lore and go seeking the truth for myself.
I'm not scared to try new things and get lots of flac for doing so.
But in the end, I will find the best way for my own body, not just copy somebody else's stroke.

So don't do as I do, have a listen to what I say, see what rings true for yourself and then go find your own stroke.
And if you ever see a paddle you have never paddled, ask if you can borrow it, I've never been refused yet.
Somewhere out there is the magical 'one' paddle that was built exactly for you.




Ahh, back to the number plates now........

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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10 years 2 months ago #12154 by Rightarmbad
Just a quick little thought.

When we sit in boats that has our bum a couple of inches under the water, why would you need anything with any great length?

It's not like you cannot reach the water, if you sit in your boat and put your arms straight down from your shoulders, the water will cover most of your forearms.........


Almost every other sport requiring motivation with alternating limbs, the best cadence is always been in the 90 to 110 revs area.
(Apart from swimming which has the restraint that a streamlined body position is the single biggest requirement)

Everybody I see paddling a surf ski is far under this, everybody.
(unless assisted by the ocean)

I think the real question should be;

How short can we go?

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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10 years 2 months ago #12155 by Zephyrus
Replied by Zephyrus on topic Re: Wing Paddle questions

Rightarmbad wrote:
I think that maybe if you find the paddle difficult to remove from the water that you are paddling far too far back and starting to move the blade back towards the boat.


Due to my collar bone problem, I was experimenting taking the paddle out before it reached the hip area. However, with an unfamiliar paddle in stinky water (capsize at your own peril!), I may not have been rotating as much as usual which would affect the blade angle even if I take it out before it crosses the hips.


I'll experiment with using the straightening of the top arm to lift the paddle out.

Also, what it the optimal angle for the paddle to exit the water?
Should the blade remain perpendicular to the water as it exits? or should it exit more horizontally. Should it continue to push water as it exits? or should the pressure be released?

Rightarmbad wrote:
I also believe that it is better to have a good lock on the water and change the gearing with technique, not by going to a smaller blade that slips a bit if the blade is too hard to pull.


Do you use a medium or large paddle?

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10 years 2 months ago #12156 by red_pepper
It's interesting to me that nearly everyone seems to favor a shorter paddle, but I've found I need a longer paddle. I use an Epic Mid-Wing 215 - 225, set at 224.5. I sit quite "tall in the saddle" (I can't sit fully upright in most cars with sunroofs), and even using a fairly vertical stroke, the blades seem to be properly submerged during the stroke - fully, but not much more. I tried using shorter lengths, but I seem to perform best with the longer paddle so far.

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10 years 2 months ago #12160 by Rightarmbad
Red, I was just like you and going down to even 213cm just felt stupid. Not so now.

Zep, throwing water backwards achieves nothing, once the propulsion is over, hurling water at the guy behind you is just for laughs, not for propulsion.
If you lift the paddle forward out of the water by moving your top hand forward to start the next stroke, the blade will slip out no matter what angle it is at.
It merely slides forward through the water with no purchase.

If you are throwing water or cannot lift the blade, you are fighting a war that doesn't need to exist, make it a recovery instead. Relax and simply push the paddle forward in preparation for the next catch.
That's all you need to think about and it will all happen automatically.


I don't think that everybody is using a short paddle Red, not long ago I posted up about short paddles and took heaps of flac for doing it.
But, heaps more people tried it and a few who were already using them posted up.
The general consensus 12 months ago was for a generally longer paddle, some are now experimenting with shorter ones.
Many because of reading on here.

It may not be for you, but, it wasn't for me either until I actually tried it, and I mean try it properly, not just for a paddle, but let your body get used to it and optimise it.

Give it a month and see what you think.

I just kept getting shorter and shorter a cm or so at a time.
My intention was to find the lower limits of length and to find out what marks the beginning of using a too small length.

I ran out of paddle adjustment before anything negative has shown up and as a bonus, I found I was faster.

Does anybody sell a 200 to 210cm paddle?

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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10 years 2 months ago - 10 years 2 months ago #12161 by Kocho
Replied by Kocho on topic Re: Wing Paddle questions
That's how I am too - keeping my head dow in cars with sunroofs, tall... And my 210-220 paddle (Epic mid) wa always at 219 or so. I bought a 215-225 for my next paddle and was near the middle of it happily. Then started to shorten it more and more and with improved technique found that I could go faster for longer. I'm at 210-212 right now and that seems fine to me. Any shorter, and I feel my arm spread becomes too narrow as my hands get too close to each other and to the blades.

At 210cm the outside of my hands are just a hair less than a fist away from the blade and my elbows form a right angle if I hold the paddle on top of my head. Can someone else share where they got their hands and their elbow angle? This position I use for hard paddling. If I go at a more relaxed pace I bring my hands a bit more to the inside and lower my paddle angle (not as vertical as when I want max speed/power and is thus less tiring)....
Last edit: 10 years 2 months ago by Kocho.

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10 years 2 months ago - 10 years 2 months ago #12162 by FalllGuy
Replied by FalllGuy on topic Re: Wing Paddle questions
Since I have been paddling the past few years from a fitness perspective, I have found out that as my cores spare-tire has reduced in size and strengthened, my paddle length, as well as my blade size preference, has continually changed.
Last edit: 10 years 2 months ago by FalllGuy.

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10 years 2 months ago #12163 by Zephyrus
Replied by Zephyrus on topic Re: Wing Paddle questions

Rightarmbad wrote: Zep, throwing water backwards achieves nothing, once the propulsion is over, hurling water at the guy behind you is just for laughs, not for propulsion.
If you lift the paddle forward out of the water by moving your top hand forward to start the next stroke, the blade will slip out no matter what angle it is at.
It merely slides forward through the water with no purchase.

If you are throwing water or cannot lift the blade, you are fighting a war that doesn't need to exist, make it a recovery instead. Relax and simply push the paddle forward in preparation for the next catch.
That's all you need to think about and it will all happen automatically.


I am not sure I understand what "forward" means in this case.

If the top arm moves forward while the pulling arm stays fixed, the paddle I think would move up and back (I am assuming "up" is the sky, "back" is towards the rudder and "forward" is towards the bow)

To get the paddle to move "forward" out of the water, the pulling arm would need to move forward, and/or the top arm would need to start moving backward. I don't think the latter is the case. Watching k1 paddlers on youtube, the top arm doesn't start going back until long after the pulling blade has exited the water.

They look like they continue they're rotation through the exit, in preparation for the next stroke. Just before the next stroke, they are rotated fully and both blades are out of the water.

Therefore, to get the paddle to move forwards out of the water, the bottom hand would need to counter act the movement of the top hand and the rotation of the body. (Which it shouldn't have much trouble doing because it can move the exiting blade a lot more than the top hand)
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10 years 2 months ago #12165 by Rightarmbad
I didn't say to leave your pulling arm fixed, I said, concentrate on the action of the top arm and the rest will follow.

Even if you simply stop moving, the paddle will move forward through the water courtesy of the forward movement of the boat.
Add in the added motivation of extending your top arm and it cannot do anything but exit the water going forward.

Unless that is, you consciously pull backward faster than the boat is going forward, but if you concentrate on extending your top hand and keeping it high whilst you do so, it's going to do the right thing as the two blades are connected.

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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10 years 2 months ago #12167 by Wally
Replied by Wally on topic Re: Wing Paddle questions
Hi Guys,

Do youselves a favor, stop guessing and get the DVD from Epic done by Greg Barton on the forward stroke. Here is the link to buy one: www.epickayaks.com/products/accessories/...k-forward-stroke-dvd

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10 years 2 months ago #12168 by gstamer
Replied by gstamer on topic Re: Wing Paddle questions
I agree that the Barton / Chalupsky forward stroke video is very good for technique work.

The following two videos on Sprint Kayaking technique are also very good (if you can tolerate the digital voice :) )

The first one below, that deals with "setup" answers many of the questions that have been kicking around in this thread.




I'm hoping to see more videos in this series. Some outstanding footage.

Greg Stamer

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