Paddle length - what's your choice?

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Moderator: JCOOLEY

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What's your preferred paddle length?

210cms
1
7%
220cms
1
7%
230cms
5
36%
240cms
7
50%
 
Total votes: 14

ssmith2624
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 11:41 am
Location: UK

Paddle length - what's your choice?

Post by ssmith2624 » Thu Aug 20, 2009 3:57 pm

Hello all

I'm a recent convert to kayaking (from open boats) having just bought a Convertible from those excellent people at Vortex (that's in Welsh Wales over here in the UK for the benefit of our N. American cousins).

I'm interested to know what paddle length Advanced Elements people prefer. I know this depends a bit on your paddling style (i.e high angle vs low angle) and on your height. I'm 5ft 11" and reckon a paddle length between 210 and 240 should work OK. What's your view?

Ryker
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2008 10:30 pm
Location: Benicia, CA

Post by Ryker » Thu Aug 20, 2009 8:26 pm

I'm 6'3" (just under 190 actually), high angle paddler, have an AE 230 and couple of aluminum Carlisle Magic's, 230 and 240. Prefer the 240 hands down even though it weighs 43+ onces. I'm looking for a somewhat lighter fiberglass or carbon, four piece 240, or even longer -- somewhat difficult to find on sale in my price range.

<Ryker>

diemonde
Posts: 119
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 12:46 am
Location: The Netherlands, Europe

Post by diemonde » Fri Aug 21, 2009 12:41 am

I use the Clear Blue Hawaii Makaha paddle (240cm) it's from fibreglass so doesn't weigh much.

With the Frame being wider then regular kayaks you just need it, you don't want your paddles to contact the kayak and you don't want to bent over to one side to make sure it doesn't happen when you use a shorter one.

JCOOLEY
Site Admin
Posts: 983
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 2:46 pm
Location: Benicia, CA

Post by JCOOLEY » Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:39 am

6'2" and prefer a paddle anywhere between 230 and 240 cm.

Jeremy

User avatar
MDO
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:38 am
Location: Peterborough, Ontario

LaPro

Post by MDO » Sun Sep 06, 2009 1:27 pm

I just tested a LaPro 'Trout Lake ('Touladi')' paddle. Eventhough it's aluminum shatft, it's only 32 oz and has the narrow blade for a long, low, lazy paddle (perfect for me). What is REALLY neat about it is that you can choose between 220 and 230.... It has an adjustable shaft..... (It can also be feathered or non). For $89, I think I'm going to get it! They are difficult to 'google' though... There website is somewhat bilingual, but only comes up when you serach for a 'pagaie'!

http://www.kayaklpaservice.com/page/7/Pagaies.html

John
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2009 11:33 am
Location: Glasgow Scotland

Post by John » Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:08 am

Hi

I'm really thinking of buying a quality paddle (or two as it is for the convertible). I've used the TNP paddles. They are fine. They are aluminium and solid. However, the weight does tell after a while. They are also 230cm.

I tried at the weekend a lendal 215cm cranked. The weight of course was excellent - like a feather. The length also seemed fine to me. Over here in Scotland it is hard to get a quality paddle at 230cm. I am now seriously wondering if this length is necessary. Both my wife and I tried the shorter paddle. She is about 5'4" and I am 6'2/3". We both tend to be high rather than low paddlers. The 215 seemed fine with no need to move arm from side to side to compensate for shorter length.

Any comments. Anyone else with 215

lee johnson
Posts: 106
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 2:51 pm
Location: vancouver canada

Post by lee johnson » Sun Sep 20, 2009 9:02 am

John -

For me, the "swing weight" of the paddle - how heavy or light it feels as one is actually using it - is much more significant than its "dead weight" or even its length. In other words, a lightweight paddle could have a clunky, unbalanced feel to it - and thus become wearisome over thousands of strokes. If a somewhat heavier paddle - say, in the 32 -42 ounce range - has great balance and thus a great "swing weight," it will feel like a feather, even after hours of use. Of course, getting a paddle with both an excellent "dead weight" and an excellent "swing weight" would be ideal - but this, plus a really durable design, would be too expensive for most of us.

So, to sum up: for me, paddle length takes a secondary or tertiary position after "swing weight." I am currently favouring Cannon's tough carbon/fibre "Wave" (230 cm - see my review of it at paddling.net) and AE's indestructible 2015 four-piece (231 cm - made by Cannnon for AE with an aluminum shaft - actually a Cannon "Escape" blade, which is a bit smaller than the "Wave" blade). I would like to see a poll on how kayakers feel about the "swing weight" of their paddles.

Lee ("The rain in Vancouver/ Falls mainly all over")

John
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2009 11:33 am
Location: Glasgow Scotland

Post by John » Sun Sep 20, 2009 9:36 am

Very helpful Lee. Thankyou. We don't have cannon over here. Any comment on cranked as opposed to straight shafts?

lee johnson
Posts: 106
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 2:51 pm
Location: vancouver canada

Straight-Shaft vs. Bent-Shaft Paddles

Post by lee johnson » Sun Sep 20, 2009 5:11 pm

John -

Whether to go for a straight or a bent shaft on one's kayak paddles is really a personal preference. There is no "right answer" to this issue. The idea behind the bent shaft is mainly, I think, to nudge the kayaker's hands into the best place on the paddle to get a good angle for some power in one's stroke while lessening stress on the wrists. The downside of a bent shaft is that it limits versatility. For example, say you are experiencing some weathercocking in active seas or waves on a lake. On that occasion, I like to slide my hands asymmetrically lower or higher on either side of the shaft to change the length of the shaft and the consequent "bite" of the paddle in the water, thus automatically adjusting for the weathercocking and restoring the tracking I want. A bent shaft simply would get in the way of such a maneuver and resist the change of position in my hands. Rolling a kayak is also easier with a straight shaft if you do so, in part, by changing hand positions along the shaft. The other point that comes to mind immediately is that touring paddling should be done with a certain amount of torso-rotation, hands held fairly fair apart, arms fairly straight out, and the use of the top hand to push forward on the shaft as the bottom hand is pulling back. If you do this, you will not stress your wrists or need the "training wheels" of a bent shaft. Of course, others will immediately demur and defend the superiority of the bent shaft; and that is just fine - whatever works, well, it is justified.

Lee of the Straight Answer

John
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2009 11:33 am
Location: Glasgow Scotland

Post by John » Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:06 am

Thanks Lee. Well thought out.

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