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paddle selection

4585 Views 10 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  JB

I'm very interested in changing my paddle to a newer, lighter version to make the longer trips easier. We have a heap of info on what kayak is good in what conditions but the paddle matching doesn't seem to figure?

I know all those fizz boat owners get down to matching prop's with engines and hull hsape and size - it's an exact art and makes a heap of difference to the fuel consumption and effectiveness. I'm sure its the same for us and our paddle/blade selection.

So which paddle and why?
- weight,
- lenght,
- blade shape,
- angle of blade,
- surface area of blade,
- two piece or 1 piece
- carbon fibre, plastic or ali shaft..


My use is generally off shore, paddling 6-10ks in the fishing sessionm but up to 20ks' in the day.
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Gday JB, I am far from being anywhere near an expert on this but the shape definatly does make a differance. Hold the index of your paddle in your left hand so the paddle is effectivly upside down and you notice a difference straight away. Not sure of the exact design specifics behind this but there will be some somewhere.

I use a one piece fibreglass handle paddle, just the inhouse brand from my local kayak shop.

Cheers dave

PS I know you can get paddles were you adjust an lock the angle of the blade in but i think this is more to suit your paddleing style
JB, I can only tell you what works for me the best on my P15. I have tried quite a few and by far the best of them has been the Canoe Sports 1pce full graphite one I am currently using. I will have a look at the exact model number when I get home tonight. It is also available in 2 pce. Very lightweight and generates a lot of power. I was originally a bit dubious about having composite blades but these are tough as. I have used them for rapid busting, as well as pushing off the ocean rocks ect.

Catch ya Scott
Hi JB,

I use one of these:

http://www.jervisbaykayaks.com/PADDLES_ ... OURING.htm

I bought it from my local yak guy here in Byron. Great paddle.

I love it because it's easy to use in all conditions for hours on the water.

Those expensive kevlar deep scoop racing paddles are great if you can maintain a constant rythm. Yak fishing is a stop/start business so a quality touring paddle is more practical for my purposes.

From recommendations on the forum I got a Perception Waikato paddle with glass shaft 222cms OA about $130 [for swing], and months later an almost identical Canoe Sports paddle for the espri for $109...and happy with both and really appreciate the lighter shaft over a day and not at all fragile.

Suspect the blades on both are some sort of plastic
I have a Canoe Sports paddle, carbon shaft with nylon blades.......same as Scott I think.

Far better than my old Perception Paddle, more power from each stroke, and lighter and easier to handle.

That reminds me, I must remember to scratch off the Canoe Sports logo 8)
Make a list of key characteristics of your paddle stroke and your paddling requirements and talk to a reputable paddle shop. The best paddle shops will carry multiple brands and models and will let you test paddle different types. It might take a little searching, but finding a full service paddle shop like this will pay dividends in your level of satisfaction with your purchase. If you plan on 20K trips, you will want to make sure that you are very comfortable with the paddle before you buy. Either that or make sure they have a very good return policy.

When listing stroke features and requirements take into account:
1)Level of fitness:eek:verall strength and joint health (wrists, elbow, shoulder). Wider/larger blades require more strength and put more stress on joints.
2)Height: I know there is a general rule for paddle length vs height. It doesn't always hold true for fishing kayaks. The broader beam of most fishing kayaks calls for a longer shaft.
3)Paddling angle: At what angle are you most comfortable holding your paddle. Shallow angle=greater endurance/higher angle=greater power. This will determine if you want a narrow touring blade or a wider blade that provides more bite.
4) Straight vs bent shaft. Some people find that the bent shaft is more comfortable and easier on the wrists. I don't think that there is any conclusive evidence for or against; it is strictly a personal preference. You must paddle with a bent shaft for a while to decide if it is right for you.
5) Straight or feathered shaft: Is the wind a significant factor when you paddle? Are you already using a feathered shaft. Do you paddle with a high or low angle paddle stroke?
6) One or two piece shaft: Do you want/need an adjustable feather angle? Do you have room to transport a single piece paddle. Obviously, a one-piece shaft will be stronger. Carefully check the fit of a two-piece shaft. A loose fit will only get worse.
7) Where will you be paddling: If you have to launch and land in the surf, you might want a more aggressive blade that will give you the power for dashes between sets. You'll want a nice strong shaft/blade if you will be bracing with the paddle.
8 ) Paddle weight: A lighter paddle is a joy on those longer trips. Carbon fiber shafts can't be beat for weight and strength.
9) Shaft/blade material: Will you be paddling amongst rocks and piers, or sand and mud. Get a paddle that can handle the conditions that you normally experience.

I'm sure that there are some things that I am forgetting. Take your time and try as many paddles as you can. On a long trip, a bad paddle will remind you how much it sucks with every stroke.

When I bought my first kayak I got a paddle thrown in as part of the deal. It sucked. I was new to kayaking and had no idea what I should look for in a paddle. I quickly learned a valuable lesson; the paddle is just as important as the yak. Since then I've gone through three different paddles. As I've gained experience paddling, I've refined my requirements for my paddle. I am extremely fortunate in that I have a full service kayak shop close to where I work. I've been able to try out new kayaks and paddles before making the decision to buy. The owner lent me his own paddle for a week when I told him that I was interested in trying out a bent shaft. I had a chance to paddle it on a flat-calm bay and also take it out in some snotty conditions offshore before making a decision. You can't beat that. If you can't find a good paddle shop that will let you try out the products, see if you can borrow one from a friend. Paddles, kayaks and PFDs really do need to be tested for comfort before buying.
Here are some links to paddle manufacturers that you might find helpful.
http://wernerpaddles.com/touring.html I'm a fan of Werner Paddles. I've got two carbon fiber Werner paddles that are just awesome.
I just got a new Ikelos
Paddlesports Australia is a Werner dealer
NZ dealer http://www.nzkayakschool.com/sales.html
Here are two smaller paddle makers in the US. I don't know about availability in Australia, but they have interesting websites that provide some useful info
I think that Holy Mackerel uses one of these. You might PM him for his opinion. They have dealers in Australia and NZ
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Thanks for taking the time to reply (and all others as well). Exactly some of the info I was after. I wanted to get the low down before popping down to the shop and taking it through - bascially so I knew what they were talking about. Ian fergussons shop is only a few km's away (2 or 3 time gold medal olympic -the good old days when NZ could win a gold in something). Plus I pop into the team at johnson NZ retail shop regularly.

Some damn good stuff in that post douglas - I hope this is going to be use to some of the others on this site as well as what I got from it. Yeap - done a few 20k days with a "cheap ass" package paddle - thus the need for a new one. It finally got up my nose after doing around 13ks in the day then getting caught 2ks offshore in a 20-25knot offshore squall. Lucky all that pint lifting strenghtened my upper body to handle it :D

I'll let you know the outcome on my choice - but its going to be lighter, with a slightly smaller blade than my current "weight bar"

Here's a "profile" od use /user
6 foot and topping out at 100kg - more muscle than fat :lol:
offshore use
can handle a 1 piece but 2 piece mush easier
not tried a bent shaft
have a reasonably high stroke
sometimes need that "quick out of the hole" requirement for beach launching but 8outof 10 launches aren't in the surf
Have a bad back sometimes to changing the pitch would be good as sometimes can't rotate upper body as much to one side

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Hello J.B

I'm also looking to upgrade my very reliable and affordable pop rivet flat panelled paddle to something that will race me through the chop on a windy day in my dagger ventura which is 4.5m long and, an older model once manufactured in the USA.

Unfortunately, due to the change in ownership of this web site and the lack of response by the owners to my requests to remove my email address from all administrative-level notifications and functionality, I have decided to remove my posts on AKFF. Thank you for the great times, the fantastic learning experiences and the many many fish. If you are desperate for the old content of this particular post, it is available below base64 encoded and bzip2 compressed.



Ended up trialling a few and have selected the canoesports polar 2000 series with 175 sizing. Found the 165 too small and the 175 just right. Have got in lenght of 216.

Was sold after the weekends extended paddle, one of those things you just know its right when you start out with it.

thanks for all the advice all - much appreciated
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