High volume paddles

Just wondering ....I note that a lot of paddlers...oc1 and oc6 are using the larger volume paddles...ie Broadreach and Kialoa has their Teva and of course there are the Tahitian paddles. 17"-18" long at the blade and 10- 10 1/2" wide. What difference does that kind of extra volume mean? It makes sense that with a smaller volume paddle one can go through the water faster...easier to get higher stroke rates...but it seems that the higher volume paddles are more efficient when the paddlers are fit enough to swing them. For us mortals...swinging a larger volume blade..with correct technique of course...it would seem that we could pull the canoe forward more efficiently at a lower stroke rate then using a smaller volume paddle...even at a higher stroke rate. I like the more volume paddles that are coming out...since they are light, designed with a dihedral and a concave. The smaller blades pull through the water faster but is the canoe getting pulled through the water faster ?

Submitted by poidog on Fri, 01/21/2011 - 7:40pm

high volume means high stress on your joints.
Shoulders, elbows ...
bicycle runners upgraded from slow rate to very high rate for the very same reasons.

IMHO, you could try a large blade for training purpose, just like you would do with pumping iron, going over range at a precise moment, and not for a very long time, and go back to your standard blade when training on the long run.

As for the tech. issue, I saw the maths somewhere, can't remember where, so you'll have to believe me or search for yourself : fast rate is much more efficient, as counter-intuitive as it seems (something to do with the force growing with the square of the velocity while only with the first power of displaced water mass).

Hope it's understandable, I learned maths in French a loooooong time ago, it's not quite easy for me to translate the whole thing.

#1 Wed, 02/16/2011 - 11:14pm

From what I've seen, it helps to be a young Tahitian bull when imitating the Tahitian stroke and equipment. These paddles and stroke rates etc. that work great for the Tahitians are useful for elite paddlers at high boat speeds, for the rest of us...not so much. Most crews who are in that 8 minute per mile average speed range would be much better off maximizing performance using perfect teamwork and technique w/ smaller paddles and slower stroke rates.

#2 Thu, 02/17/2011 - 12:02am

to really tweak your noodle, think about this. some of the best up and comers are using paddles that are 8 3/8" wide.

maybe the boat and the paddle don't matter... i say use whatever is most comfortable to you. i've used all size and shape paddles. to me the most comfortable one i ever used was a 50.5" double bend with a 9.25" x 19" teardrop blade with a pretty significant dihedral and some moderate scoop at the tip. i'm 6' tall and weigh 185-205 pounds depending on whether i'm training or fathering.

#3 Thu, 02/17/2011 - 12:33am

185-205??? I'd say that's a pretty big range haha

#4 Thu, 02/17/2011 - 1:11am

I read an interesting article on Al Ching's Mubdbrook site concerning blade size. W/ Danny as the paddler, it seemed that speed would increase for a short time w/ the bigger blade, but then fall back to an average speed. They did this w/ several blade sizes and each time the speed eventually went back a certain range. I checked the site but the article was no longer there, but I'm pretty sure that was the gist of it.

#5 Thu, 02/17/2011 - 1:56am

thanks Nate! not something i'm proud of, that's for sure...

yeah i remember reading something about that too jaymbes. i also remember hearing about someone switching to smaller paddles later in long races. that might have been on there too.

#6 Thu, 02/17/2011 - 6:44am

Jc9 O,

You should be proud as your weight gain is, IMHO, a sign of being a good dad : )

I know I'm a good Dad ... LOL.

Lots or marathon canoe guys UNDER 8" now.


#7 Thu, 02/17/2011 - 7:57am

I must be a really good dad then. I went from about 185 and top shape after Molos in 99 to about 240 when my daughter was born in 01. It took a total commitment to drinking lots of beer and not paddling at all.

#8 Thu, 02/17/2011 - 9:08am

I wonder what would happen if you could combine big-ass paddles w/super-high stroke rates...? Maybe you could win the Channel 5x in a row.

#9 Thu, 02/17/2011 - 9:46am

poidog, remember we are not pulling the paddle through the water, we are planting the paddle and pulling the boat forward. With that in mind it seems the best width/volume to use is the smallest you can get away with without losing 'traction'. The 'bulls' may need the bigger volume as they may be yanking harder.

#10 Thu, 02/17/2011 - 10:56am

Some of that Danny Ching article is here http://rambos-locker.blogspot.com/search?q=ching

Second article, scroll down.

Might be interesting to know also that Karel Jr paddles with an old Carbon fiber Black Bart custom made with a timber shaft. Basic teardrop shape and only 81/4 inches wide.

BTW Mr Black Bart (Bud Moll) died in 2004 when he collided with a black bear while riding his motorcycle in Michigan.


#11 Thu, 02/17/2011 - 11:46am

LOL 2X See what I mean ? Das wat i'm talkin' ' bout Jim. : )

Now I've gotta work extra hard to be a 'worse' Dad now cause pretty soon I won't be able to keep up.

Good point too Goto !


No shit captcha addition to this post >>> inflamma size

#12 Thu, 02/17/2011 - 12:38pm

I am currently paddling a 'vented' Black Bart.

The initial idea is from Dale Adams - he is one of the three? kayakers that did the very first Molokai Solo Crossing in the mid 70ies.

I placed my vents in a different area compared to Dale's thoughts. The idea is

to reduce cavitation - the vents allow water to pass and collect quicker behind the blade.
to have less resistance in the water just below the surface and use more energy/resistance in the deeper layers

the paddle is also a bit longer, 53 1/2, to allow more variation, that is to go deep or shallow, as needed.

The placement of the vents was influenced by design of vented fins for diving. There is also a surface contour to divert flow. The blade has now about 2 square inch less surface area.

My working title for this paddle is 'Hyperlink' - don't ask me too many details about why it works; it does work:

on my 100 yards test course I need 10 - 15 % more strokes/distance
my average long distance stroke rate went up by about ?10 % - just a guess

During our recent 10.5 mile race, 1- 2 ft waves, 5 - 10 knots wind, triangle course with tight turns, my average pace using that paddle was 6.9 mph at race intensity, 90 min race time. The bumps were small, but due to the higher rpms
I caught most of what I saw.
With a regular 9.5 inch wide Kialoa I will get a higher average pace for a while in similar conditions, but I do not think that I could easily average the same pace over that time.

The main difference: I can react much better to minimal changes in the water conditions and can chase tiny bumps with high rpms without getting burnt out at all - just like using a smaller gear in biking.

What I am trying to say: my blade should be smaller than let's say Karel's, because he is younger, stronger and trains up to threefold/week as much.
Kern changed from Lanikai long distance Kialoa to a smaller Black Bart that he had forgotten about, and now he enjoys paddling again.
We should use paddles that fit our conditioning and also the length of the course.

Karel paddles to the best of my knowledge a Black Bart 9.5 - we just compared the different Black Bart designs.

#13 Thu, 02/17/2011 - 2:23pm

Ok...I will keep my wimpy 9" QB Kanaha....was interested in the response because I was trying to talk myself into a Broadreach. Geez....saved myself around $300 thanks to this forum...now I can take a couple days off !!!

#14 Thu, 02/17/2011 - 2:25pm

My "one cent" (not quite worth 2 cents)...

In many places in paddles are ordered with four measurements:

1: shaft length... this rarely changes for a full-grown person. Possibly in certain conditions, or in different types of wa'a.
2. Blade length (bottom of shaft to tip of blade)
3. blade width
4. blade angle

A paddler might know their preferred shaft length (feel free to start a funny thread on that one).
Then, based on different conditions, order different blade widths and lengths.

That BIG tear drop blade that Tahitians use isn't all about surface area. To get more surface area the best thing to do is order a wide blade. I've ordered blades for people that were 10, 10.5 and even 12 inches wide.

The length of the blade has some to do with torque (over surface area). The top part of a tear drop blade rarely gets pressure from the water. If it does get wet, its usually at the end of the stroke where power isn't or shouldn't be applied. One thing it does is to push the surface area of the blade lower, away from the bottom hand. There are several ramifications to this that other people can comment more on. It is a small difference, but to compare a Makana Alii to a tear drop blade you are looking at 1-2 inches of difference in the distance of the working part of the blade to your lower hand.

Just my one cent...


#15 Thu, 02/17/2011 - 2:55pm

can you post a pic of your vented "hyperlink"?

#16 Thu, 02/17/2011 - 3:00pm

Ecky, i only know of the one he had in OZ for the Doctor race, most likely he has others, but this particular one was a favorite and had wood shaft. It was 1'' narrower than the Kialoa i had with me.

Yes pic please of the vented one.

POG my capture for this post was WISHES RAWSEA .....go figure

#17 Thu, 02/17/2011 - 3:53pm

Not sure about displaying a jpeg - I attach the file.

This is my first version. It attempts to create lift. The paddle works well, so I am a little lazy to build another one to compare, but it may happen.

#18 Thu, 02/17/2011 - 5:28pm

vents first version.

I did not extend the vents into the lower parts of the blade because that area has a longer lever arm and I didn't want to reduce the mass that the paddle can move with that longer lever arm. That keeps a higher torque, possibly. So, same reasoning as Kapono.

#19 Thu, 02/17/2011 - 5:56pm

sorry, not very impressive pics. I exported the pics from a movie, first time I used the software; I hope you get the idea

on the paddle_ski picture you can see the contour of the paddling surface directed upwards; it mimics a (two) wing shape to create differing flow velocities and thus, hopefully, some lift.

I am fully aware that the paddle may work for the simple reason that it has a little less surface area.

On the other hand, there are some aspects to it that should actually make a real difference, probably a small one though. I have another design in mind where it will make a big difference.

#20 Thu, 02/17/2011 - 5:43pm

Rambo _ I am glad Black Bart doesn't know about this ... the paddle was actually broken and was given to me for experimental use. I wouldn't dare to touch my original Black Bart - even though I am not using that one anymore, because the new one just works better for me - you know, it's in the (deserved) name - 'Hyperlink'.

#21 Thu, 02/17/2011 - 5:57pm

No offense, eck, but guys have tried everything under the sun w/ regards to vents. They simply do not work. Do you also customize your pant length? It will have a similar effect on boat speed.

#22 Thu, 02/17/2011 - 5:58pm

Thanks, Jim, come out for paddle, we will race with regular pant length and then with modified. I will wait for you at the finish line with a fresh beer for you.
If you really want to challenge me, then I will have to build my second version - and I guarantee you that the demand will be high - - I actually mean that, not just as a joke returned.

#23 Thu, 02/17/2011 - 6:13pm

Maybe you can also reinvent the NFL football for us LOL! There is a reason that these perfect forms have been made. 20k years of paddling performance is far more telling than a Jim vs. Eck time trial. I'll give you a ring next time I'm there!

#24 Thu, 02/17/2011 - 7:17pm

I don't use mine much either Ecky, it's sits on the wall as a relic now, must have been one of the very early ones. I've had it 15 years and it was 2nd hand when i bought it. Fine woven carbon blade and a spun spindle shaft. Big guys using them in outriggers break them fairly easily, they were made for flat water, but a cool blade and way before it's time.

#25 Thu, 02/17/2011 - 7:28pm

Goto, is it the big paddles and the high stroke rates that win the channels? If so, your SSPO boys should be getting theirs soon!

#26 Thu, 02/17/2011 - 9:11pm

kaiwiki said : "poidog, remember we are not pulling the paddle through the water, we are planting the paddle and pulling the boat forward"
Nope, sorry, I don't buy it !
I heard it so many times in the kayak world, but still this doesn't make it a truth.

You feel like you're planting your paddle. Right.
Actually, you do push water, Sir Newton's first law is still accurate, fortunately.
Your paddle needs the most draft possible.
Without that, you wouldn't move at all.
That's precisely why it's more efficient to push less water fast and frequently.(see my former answer).
The vents act as a draft reducer, therefore less water pushed, eventually leading to a higher stroke rate.
You could use a low surface paddle with the same result, I guess.

#27 Thu, 02/17/2011 - 9:16pm

@Jim - 20k years - didn't know that you were that old. ;-) I hope you will, when you are here.

A kayak wing paddle is not an innovation ? Before it came to the market, you would have denied that it could exist, wouldn't you ?
Hydrofoils would also fall into a similar category of innovation, not possible over 20k years; and if, then long forgotten.

The least we can claim is that a vented paddle will have the water flow, around it/ and through the vents, faster.
The foils also should reduce flutter/ oscillations. The wings should direct flow and thus position the paddle without effort.

I definitely agree with you that a common paddle has a 'perfect' shape. But some of that shape may exist due to reasons such as materials used, tools available, cost, time to manufacture, convenience etc. That 'perfect' shape may therefore not be the hemodynamically best.

I doubt that much experimentation has been done with new materials, vents and foil shapes on a paddle surface.

With regards to your improving the NFL ball: I have not given any thought to it; I can right off the bet say, that an egg has an asymmetrical silhouette, and so do most other flying objects - maybe you are up to something valid there.
So I assume that you are right: the shape of the current ball is likely not ideal. :)

#28 Thu, 02/17/2011 - 9:30pm

@fabrice - yes small surface would be similar. However, the vent allows you to keep the volume of the blade towards the tip high, ie you don't have to make it narrower there to reduce resistance; thus where you have the longest lever and where you have the highest torque you do not sacrifice.

@kaiwiki - the 'slip' of the paddle is the distance the paddle travels back without creating the reaction that pushes the boat forward.
It's like a man climbing up a rope and sliding down a bit all the time - best example I read about it. I have to admit that I do not understand slip perfectly well. It must be that you have to compress the water molecules sufficiently before you get a full reaction.
Anyway, the slip is about 25 % in a prop for example, even up to 50 % in some scenarios. To propel a boat forward requires more work than pulling a boat forward with a rope for that reason.

#29 Thu, 02/17/2011 - 9:43pm

eckhart, I agree that innovation comes from a new point of view, new need, new material. Discussing on innovation vs tradition leads to nowhere.
Just experiment and have fun. Should be enough to fullfill a man's life !

nevertheless, I fail to understand the relation between upper vents and tip volume.
I do agree that you'll want to add volume at the tip, where you can push in deep and stiff waters, but I don't see the reason why vents are more efficient than just narrowing the shoulders and sending the surface down.
In my opinion, the "perfect" paddle is flat and square, though aesthetics and hull clearing ask for something less radical.

You might also design a paddle with a lot of other constraints in mind, than just power.
My son's first paddle was featherlike with a small surface : He was only 12, and I was concerned with a conservative approach regarding his muscles and joints.
The feather shape with a bit of shoulder is the contrary of a "competitor's paddle" :
It has a smooth progressive entry, is very well balanced and easy to handle (less push in stiff waters, the most in middle waters, and a bit of extra near the surface).
One season and he was done with it, but it was worth it : beautifull wall feature by now, it helped him gain confidence.
Now I made a teardrop, with just a bit of surface extra.

That long explanation to state that there is no "perfect" design ... just something you need, something you want to try, etc ...

#30 Thu, 02/17/2011 - 10:53pm

fabrice, agree, maybe giving the lower shaft a wing profile, should have a quite similar effect.
This would move your hand relatively further away from the max effort, less efficient ?

The very first version had a longer blade, broke at the neck right away.

#31 Thu, 02/17/2011 - 11:36pm

Arrrright Eckhart,

"If you really want to challenge me, then I will have to build my second version - and I guarantee you that the demand will be high - - I actually mean that, not just as a joke returned."

Time to put your money where your mouth is.
I challenge you to do it.

Lets see it and you selling it.


#32 Fri, 02/18/2011 - 12:09am

Eh! I remember them Black Bart paddles of years ago when Keoni sold me one from his Waialae store. At first, I thought it was a joke because the blade was only 8 inches wide and according to Keoni, that was the only size they made. So us guys were forced to stretch em out wider to just over 9 inches wide with no slots, pukas or vents. Even though, we made them wider, us guys still no can beat Wally World and his stock 8 inch wide Black Bart. It wasn't until the mid 90's that Black Bart started making 9.5 inch blades for the outrigger market. By then, the Zaveral pizza blades were the rage.

#33 Fri, 02/18/2011 - 1:29am

@onnopaddle - as you are making paddles already ...
to sell it, I would have to make it - I would need to outsource, not sure how profitable that is.

#34 Fri, 02/18/2011 - 8:55am

When we race, eck, you have to use a paddle w/ really large vents, maybe 4" in diameter in each side of the blade face : )

#35 Fri, 02/18/2011 - 10:17am

Let me know when this race happens and where. I would like to be there to see thiis and then put my name down on the buy list. I'll probably get this blade before my Makana Alii or Pueo are ready.

#36 Fri, 02/18/2011 - 2:12pm

Jim, I thought that the race was about the adapted paddle pants now.

For those interested in playing around with boats:

I placed a 'one-way-valve' into my foot well, covering my drain, works ok. Too lazy to build a spray skirt.

#37 Sat, 02/19/2011 - 10:58am

Whatever you're doing it must work, Eckhart. Great result in the recent race my friend!

#38 Sat, 02/19/2011 - 12:04pm

Yeahl...I get the point we are pulling the canoe through the water....so we do want slippage. If the paddle was three inches wide we could do an incredible stroke rate..never get tired...but the canoe would not go anywhere. After this post I was able to try a new Makana Alii 10" double bend...then I went back to my 9" paddle. I can definitely say that the plant was a lot firmer....there was no slippage. I can see how it would take more effort over the long run but with that short time experience ...I know I was more efficient. I guess it may be a matter of fitness, strength, technique...but it does seem reasonable that a higher volume paddle allows a better plant with less slip ( correct angle, shaft length a given ) Getting higher stroke rates may mean a quicker release.and a faster return with the larger blade allowing full grip at the front. I am still pondering what Kapono said about surface area....interesting about the tear drop.
Waiting to see a "vented" paddle.

#39 Sun, 02/20/2011 - 3:48pm


every prop or paddle has 'slip', up to 50 %, it seems to have to do with a lot of factors, hull speed, speed of current, etc..
According to some old study, the ideal ratio length to width is 1: 0.4; for 20 inch that would be 8 inch.

With a bigger blade you feel more 'bite' - as you are trying to move a higher mass. That 'bite' is what you feel and it will differ from paddler to paddler and according to ability. I do not think that this is 'slip'.

To demonstrate what I mean: imagine you don't paddle in water, but in air. A bigger paddle would feel to have more 'bite', but would still have a huge 'slip'.
As mention earlier: pull a boat with a rope, paddle a boat. The difference in energy needed - higher with paddling - is the 'slip'.

A bigger blade is good for sprint, a smaller balde for longer distances. Not too different from road biking or weight lifting.

You do not need a big blade to catch bumps, it's more a questin of 'how to' get on bumps. My guess is that anything above 8 inch will work.

The navy tested diver's fins, divers felt that stiffer fins where more effective. The test results, however, proved that the softer fins were more effective.

#40 Mon, 02/21/2011 - 12:39pm

so a soft flexible paddle would be better than a stiff paddle?

#41 Mon, 02/21/2011 - 2:06pm

Serious answer Jc9_0

Parts of it, yes.

........ More to come.


#42 Mon, 02/21/2011 - 7:06pm

From OutriggerCanoe Design

Here the blade surface

#43 Tue, 02/22/2011 - 12:56am

From OutriggerCanoe Design

Here with vents

#44 Tue, 02/22/2011 - 12:52am

@Jc0_9 - probably, if not, a bird's wing would likely be stiff.

#45 Tue, 02/22/2011 - 1:06am

Isn't the propulsion mechanism for a bird, diver, or most other aquatic organisms using "paddles" different than what we perform as paddlers?

I'm honestly having a hard time coming up with something that mimics the mechanism we use to move a canoe. Parallel to that, is there anyplace in nature where a vented surface is used for propulsion? It seems like something would have evolved that mechanism if it were more efficient.

#46 Tue, 02/22/2011 - 5:21am

probably the nearest natural paddler would be the duck : vertical paddling, with something that really, really looks like a paddle (or the other way round indeed).
The reason why ducks "use" soft paddles might be that they also walk on them.
Therefore it's difficult to build a straigth comparison. ;-)

#47 Tue, 02/22/2011 - 5:59am

That's actually pretty good Fabrice. Check out videos on youtube and its fairly interesting to watch. The flexibility comes into play because the foot isn't removed from the water in the recovery. Rather, it collapses to minimize drag moving forward and then spreads out again for the power phase. Kind of cool.

I'd have to do more digging to see if the foot flexes during the power phase other than as an artifact of the forces on it.

#48 Tue, 02/22/2011 - 7:16am

Ducks, .... maybe those leg paddlers in the other thread know something we don't, I say we sit astride our Oc1's with flippers on and paddle like a duck ..... except for Duck season, you know what those Rednecks are like.when they get on the Moonshine.


#49 Tue, 02/22/2011 - 9:45am

The comparisons to ducks, birds, divers all don't really apply to the recovery phase. As Ecky pointed out ducks feet recover in the propulsion medium. As for birds and divers... They achieve thrust/lift in both phases of their propulsion so their isn't any true "recovery".

#50 Tue, 02/22/2011 - 10:21am

Just suggesting that nature doesn't have anything stiff for propulsion.

We could also paddle with a 'duck foot' paddle without pulling the paddle blade out of the water ?? :)
The blade under water flips into 'horizontal' during forward 'recovery', then deploy again with the catch ...

@anowara : the analogy could be a hand/fingers - could a swimmer's hand be a bit more effective with the fingers not super tight ?

#51 Tue, 02/22/2011 - 11:47am


The optimum finger spacing in human swimming

For me that is proof enough that a 'vented' paddle works - I am not saying that my version fulfills valid criteria, but in principle it works.

I paddled average 6.9 mph over 90 min in the open ocean, triangle course with turns, with generally modest training volume. Towards the end I was not burnt out and was able to increase my stroke rate at will just to catch some mini bumps that Walli next to me did not get unto. As I said, the effect could be based on lower blade volume only, but this was a rather calm day and a bigger paddle should have done well, because the cadence was quite regular.
I am certainly surprised about that average speed.

#52 Tue, 02/22/2011 - 11:58am

This one is really good. ... Check out his fingers / flippers here.


#53 Tue, 02/22/2011 - 12:20pm

You know they just paved the street where I live, so it is very smooth and ideal for skateboarding. But instead of using my legs to propel myself, I lay prone on a long board (Kahuna Board/Paris Truck Co wheels) and propelled myself, swimming style, reaching out and using my hands. You're right Eck, I get a better grip on the pavement spreading my fingers apart and swimming up and down the street on my fat opu. There is absolutely no slippage as I fling myself past my hand, with spread fingers grasping the pavement (recommend gloves), and perfecting my early vertical forearm (EVF) technique at the same time. Had to give my opu a break, so I stood up and used the kid's Kahuna Big Stick with round rubber bumper at the (blade) end for grip the pavement. Again, no slippage as I used the Kauhna Big Stick like a paddle and pivoted past the rubber bumper pushing against the pavement. Perhaps that's what it is all about: no slippage? No slippage is what elite swimmers and paddlers have in common, for actually, the elite swimmers hand and the elite paddlers blade exit ahead of where they entered the water. Now that's real propulsion!

#54 Wed, 02/23/2011 - 4:13am

When were we were younger we would make big blades 12 inch on 48 inch paddles and have a fast stroke rate (90 stokes a min) with a jab like stroke. I found it hard on the wind. and for younger paddlerers. but when using the big blade there is great grip but the wrist would wobble around from side to side if you tried to pull regular style ( 60 stroke a min). As we got older we went down to the 10 inch then 9 . where its been for 20 years. I tried a 8 1/4 Zre and could make it work for distance but found it easy to slip. I have bad form. I have seen Australian paddle that looks like a half pipe and a fiji paddle that is curved in the opposite direction. for slippage or more. On a side note. where we swim there is this ladder horizontally under water that we pull our selves to go a greater distance with one breath. that I would say is the best for no slippage.
The idea was. My father made a 50 foot potlatch canoe that is 5 feet wide ( out of a solid log) and has 1 1/2 inch little chandelles that go the length of the canoe, they remind me of the coragated fiberglass sundeck roofing material. As he put it the little bubbles go in there and make the canoe lighter and faster. I thought it channels the water better than a flat surface. Thus faster. but in any case its renowned for its speed beauty and comfort


I wondered if you applied them channels to a paddle how it would react . I think there would be less slippage. and hold the water. and maybe chanell it downward.

#55 Wed, 02/23/2011 - 10:19am

^ This looks like some of the tribal boats in Washinton or Canada.

#56 Wed, 02/23/2011 - 12:52pm

Vancouver Canada

#57 Wed, 02/23/2011 - 4:14pm

Back on the topic of the "high volume blade."

This week I had the opportunity to test out a couple of double bend paddles from Pure Paddles. On Monday I first tried out the Pure Paddles 9" blade. On the 9" blade, I had a nice, even stroke rate, great catch and pull, and a very clean release. I was making my V1 move with a pretty decent overall average speed, and the boat really responded with small adjustments with the 9" blade, I was getting into the bumps easier, and at the end of the day my shoulders and back were still intact and didn't feel over-stressed.

I took out a Pure Paddles 10" double bend yesterday in my V1 and let me tell you that it was one of the toughest sessions that I've had in a very long time. Now don't get me wrong, the paddle is actually very good, (clean catch, light swing weight, comfortable angles on the double-bend, etc.) but, the blade was simply too big. I got off the water yesterday with a sore back and shoulders, and the session just wasn't good in my opinion.

So what worked for me was a blade with a smaller overall surface area. Greater speed was maintained over the same distance and while my stroke rate was higher with the smaller volume paddle, I felt that I could have maintained it for much longer than going with a slower rate and a high volume paddle.

#58 Thu, 02/24/2011 - 4:32am

Less is more.

#59 Thu, 02/24/2011 - 8:55am

More or less...

#60 Thu, 02/24/2011 - 10:22am

less is better for the joints

#61 Thu, 02/24/2011 - 12:56pm

Is it easier on the body if you go from a 400lb boat to a 200lb boat still using the Teva Hoe blade (big blade)? My thinking is that using a big blade on a light better designed boat (easier to move through the water) boat is equilivent to using a small blade on a 400lb (harder to move through water) boat.

I am trying to figure out what the best paddle would be for paddling a 200lb boat basically.

#62 Thu, 02/24/2011 - 12:58pm

im 160 lbs and paddle a fuze. i noticed that i can get the boat moving a lot faster when i use my quick blade kanaha hybrid, rather than one of my big ass double bend paddles. the big paddle helps me get on bumps sometimes, but the quickblade keeps me moving all the time.

#63 Thu, 02/24/2011 - 2:12pm

upon further thought should these be high area paddles?

#64 Thu, 02/24/2011 - 5:19pm


#65 Thu, 02/24/2011 - 8:03pm

Who are the 'up and comers' with 8 3/8th wide blades mentioned higher up in the thread ?
What brand paddle is that ?

What do you think - if 8.5 wide paddles were available would people use them ? My guess is yes.

#66 Thu, 02/24/2011 - 9:15pm

when i switched from my 9" blade to my 9 3/4" blade, it was hard at first, but after a few weeks i got use to the feel of the blade and everything went back to normal, stroke rate, shoulders. to me it takes time, you cant just try something once and judge it from there, try it for a week and if it doesnt work for you then it doesnt work.

#67 Thu, 02/24/2011 - 9:08pm

thespear - what was he effect ? why did you upgrade, did you get faster; short courses versus long course etc. ?

#68 Thu, 02/24/2011 - 9:13pm

sorry Eckhart, i've been sworn to secrecy. i can't tell you who they are. you'll just have to wait and see.

i can tell you that guinness has made my shoulders feel great tonight. the cans of guinness are 6.25" tall. perhaps this means something? there is only one hole in the can through which fluid seems to flow amazingly well. hmmmmm.


doQuench lim,

#69 Thu, 02/24/2011 - 9:24pm

Funny thing is that the most popular paddle aboard my canoe doing the Molokai is my 8 3/4 inch wide Gillespie Double Bend Ultralite. I only get to use it once at the start, and then I never see it again until we hit the beach. At least I get to use my paddle more often when I bring the 9 1/2 inch Double Bend Ultralite instead.

#70 Fri, 02/25/2011 - 2:18am

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