Tahitian Paddle Question

I have enjoyed trying different paddles and seeing charatcteristics....the zre powersurge blade seems to slip into the water so well and when you pull it is stable, while other paddles want to zig zag a bit. The large surface area paddles are really torque the smaller ones easy to turn over fast. Longer shaft feels better I have been warned it will screw up my shoulders.

I think I am doomed to collect a few paddles. Looking for a paddle with a really large blade face (like 125si) with a double recurve like you see in the new zeland and tahitian boats. Are any paddles like this available?

Anyone in california cut a custom blade? Fun stuff.

Thank you for any reply.

Submitted by Shawn Michael on Thu, 03/27/2008 - 11:16am



I did look through google for a while and didnt have any luck. Thanks!


#1 Thu, 03/27/2008 - 11:17am


Malama Chun can make any kind of paddle you want. Check out his website: http://www.malamapaddles.com/


#2 Thu, 03/27/2008 - 11:27am


Shawn In someways I am very sorry I talked you out of buying new paddles, I would have made a pretty penny from all the paddles you are buying. However I do think you are spending money on something that at this point may only be confusing you on what you think you need. You have provided this forum a much needed breath of fresh air, And you have had many great questions I know many people would have liked to ask but would never open themselves up to the pessimism and sarcasm.
One thing is certain, what is going to make you a better paddler is time on the water, and coaching. You are part of a new group of OC-1 paddlers. The ones that have never and will never paddle OC-6, All of us that came into OC-1 paddling through OC-6 got several years of coaching before the first OC-1. The stroke and principals were etched into our heads. You do not have that benefit, The best paddle in the world (whichever that is) will not make you better. Instead of buying another paddle my advice would be to Hire Chris Stolba or Danny Ching on a private lesson, I am sure for 200 bucks they will be more than happy to take you out, watch, video and critique what you are doing. The knowledge gained will be priceless. Or come out to Catalina island this weekend and get a free clinic with Jim and John Foti. Clinic starts at 11:00 No boat needed. (yes that was a plug)
As we move into this new world of OC-1 paddlers with little or no OC-6 experience there is a huge void of teaching. My advice to anybody that thinks they have what it takes to coach, get something going, You all shot down the OC-1 club idea, But it really is needed to have somewhere that new paddlers with no paddling experience can go to learn, Shawn is one example, my guess is that 20% of my OC-1 sales are to inexperienced paddlers. Remember 20 years ago when the thought of Surf Instructors seemed ridiculous?


#3 Thu, 03/27/2008 - 12:36pm


Well spoken Chris


#4 Thu, 03/27/2008 - 1:32pm


"Remember 20 years ago when the thought of Surf Instructors seemed ridiculous?"

and they are not today ? :)


#5 Thu, 03/27/2008 - 3:37pm


A single session with anyone won't get you much, I don't care if it's with Knute Rockne. Coach or no Coach, it takes many years to learn to paddle efficiently. Video can help tremendously, IMO, when trying to learn technique. Visualize someone w/ good technique while you are paddling. Be patient and stop looking for the miracle paddle-it doesn't exist. You already have all you need. Just paddle. And, yes, surf instructors are still absolutely ridiculous.


#6 Thu, 03/27/2008 - 4:08pm


Jim you are right, a single session is not going to make anyone a pro paddler, But when you have never been coached, and are trying to figure it out all on your own, any time spent with a knowledgeable paddler is going to make you better. It is all fine to say visualize, But most people have a hard time doing this, If they didn't we would have a lot more great paddlers. and would not need coaching, Tiger Woods would not be as good as he is without a great coach. (the juice also helps)

To say "just paddle" is also not the answer, You need the tools. One of which is just fundamentals, Walter Guild put out a video several years back, It was the basics and it was done very well, Unfortunately the distributer stopped producing the video. Our sport needs coaches and Instructional video's for those paddlers looking to learn.

And a little reality check try googling surf instructors, you will get 241,000 results, Then google OC-1 paddling, Oc-2 paddling, Outrigger canoe paddling, and Outrigger canoe clubs, Your still not over 170,000 combined,

And a quick check shows those ridiculous instructors are making 50-100 per hour.\

These ridiculous instructors make up a pretty good part of the web and have helped put surfing where it is today, (good or bad)


#7 Thu, 03/27/2008 - 5:15pm


"Tiger Woods would not be as good as he is without a great coach. (the juice also helps)"

Is this the sort of the modern generalization that any athlete that dominates his or her sport is automatically on the juice ?

oh and google hits and all, they are still ridiculous except for select few.


#8 Thu, 03/27/2008 - 5:40pm


Surf instructors have made surfing what it is today? That's almost like saying guys who sell boats and paddles have made paddling what it it is today. More oppurtunists than pioneers, methinks. And I never said anything against coaching, or coaching videos, for that matter. Like I said in the previous post, video is an excellent tool for learning/teaching technique. I'm just not going to tell anyone to shell out 200$ for a single paddling or surfing lesson. The fundamentals of paddling technique are readily available on the intraweb, just use "the Google". After that, just go paddling.


#9 Thu, 03/27/2008 - 6:01pm


And, unless you're talkin' 'bout Rabbit Kekai or someone like that, surf instructors are still ridiculous.


#10 Thu, 03/27/2008 - 6:05pm


I am going to get some lessons for sure, but what is the harm in picking up a few paddles?

Buying paddles is part of the fun and enjoyment of my new hobbie. I used to spend a lot of money with other pastimes and now I am collecting a few paddles. Like a snap-on rachet, a sig sauer, wusthor knife, there is something about picking up the paddles that I love, far beyond my boat. Even though I am a novice my observations about different paddles are valid for me. While I am not taking the most direct point a to point b route to getting fast, I am really enjoying the journey. The two days I am off, I am doing 12 miles, 24 miles a week, getting closer to that 6mph mark around naples. I am pretty happy. I feel like I learn a little something each time. I finally figued out how to rig the ama so my hip doesnt ache till 90 mintues in.

rather than getting a lesson I could stop lifting and eating and lose 50lbs, then I would start moving! (But I would probably get killed in my line of work)

I still have a long way to go. Praise, it is a beautiful road.

With so many cerebral aspects to my work and business life, the balance of going by feel out on the water with my much maligned wacky shaft and putting a new topic into the search on ocpaddler puts a smile on my face. Points well taken and much appreciation for all the help.

Still, looking for that fat Tahitian blade with the recurve shaft, will make a nice peice of art in the garage when I wise up.


#11 Fri, 03/28/2008 - 12:21am


dmehling, thanks for the link. Sweet stuff.


#12 Fri, 03/28/2008 - 12:31am


A single lesson by a good paddler who is also a good instructor will provide crucial info to the new (and old) paddler. Repetitive activities build new neuromuscular pathways. Once built these pathways are difficult to change. Good paddling technique comes from methodically practicing good technique.

But I also agree with enough time on water eventually you'll figure out how to make a boat go fast....but alot of that time is spent changing bad strokes into good strokes.


#13 Fri, 03/28/2008 - 4:21am


Roger that, Chine. I was mostly objecting to the 200$ per lesson fee. I guess I'm just from the old school, when knowledge was passed around freely with Aloha among those who share our passion. Speaking of which, I like the price on that clinic by the Fotis! Imagine that, free, and given by guys who have had tremendous success in this sport. I know it says free for competitors only or something like that, but I'm quite sure Jim and John wouldn't mind others attending. Tell 'em Jim sent ya!


#14 Fri, 03/28/2008 - 4:33am


First of all nobody has charged $200 for a lesson yet. I have taken a lesson from Chris Stolba and Danny Ching. That included: food, a thorough land session with all aspects of stroke, paddle, paddle size, the physics involved, etc.
That was followed by a paddle out with an escort boat where we got video-taped and got more instructions. Several hours were spent. The price: $80/person.
Results for me: PRICELESS
I'm still and hopefully always will be a work in progress, but to hear your technique analyzed by an authority on the matter, makes it stick. It definitely helped last weekend during the Malibu to Marina Championship race. I smoked a couple of guys which I never thought I could beat, because I knew where my weakness is and I kept focusing on making that my strongest feature.
Now if you are not in a club or at least loosely affiliated with one, you wouldn't have known about this class.
Noodling around with all kinds of paddles (I own three) is certainly fun, but it doesn't make you a better paddler if you don't know what to do with them.
Be part of the local ohana and your learning curve is less steep.


#15 Fri, 03/28/2008 - 6:12am


There is also the timing of when you are comfortable enough in the boat and have enough of the basic ideas that you are somewhere in the ball park and can hone things from there. I watch juile wolfe's paddling clinic video over and over and focus on one point each time I go out. I have had one experienced guy help me and I could learn to be more efficient, so I am ready for some advice.

Before reading this post I was thinking 150-200$ an hour is pretty spot on to what you pay a lot of trainers at the top of their sport, not to mention a lot of other professionals. At this point I could learn for anyone but as OC winnings probably dont pay the bills I am glad to support redondo beach in any small way, glad to have the nice facility


#16 Fri, 03/28/2008 - 10:27am


Yeah, getting instruction from the Foti's would be awesome.


#17 Fri, 03/28/2008 - 11:40am


As far as fundamentals go, just google paddling technique. Even the most pedestrian explanation you'll find offers good advice. Just the description of the stroke on the Vasa-trainer website was as sound as any I've seen or heard described anywhere. It's not exactly rocket science.


#18 Fri, 03/28/2008 - 12:24pm


it ain't rocket science, but if it was so simple, then all those times when you're in a boat with someone who doesn't get it would disappear... it's pretty simple except there's infinite ways that people screw it up. coaching is always good, paid or not.


#19 Fri, 03/28/2008 - 12:41pm


On top o' that, half the time when someone's stroke get's critiqued they take it all personal and shit. And I never pull back too far or drop my top hand too much, dammit!


#20 Fri, 03/28/2008 - 12:44pm


Video. Though I dunno why every time I try and get video'd they always film the wrong guy...some kook who looks nothing like I do!


#21 Fri, 03/28/2008 - 6:56pm


I don’t know about taking a class. It would take a bit moor than that to separate me from two Benjamins .

Paddles I’m a paddle collector to, and those that don’t collect are just jealous.


#22 Sun, 03/30/2008 - 7:50am


I have also been paddling for only about 8 months. I have had a lesson with George Abood, Ian Foo, Steve Blythe, Thibert, countless hours with Eddie Hayward, and comments and pointers from too many others to mention. This is how I learned to paddle, or should I say, am learning to paddle. I have never paid a dime for any of it but looking back at the knowledge I gained from it I wold have gladly parted with the money. And NO, dont ask for it now! I have been on a paddle kick from the beginning and still am kind of but after buying 4 paddles thus far I have only stuck with one. Funny thing is that I am now being told that im ready for an upgrade to a different style paddle and a bit bigger. It must be different in hawaii because we cant train by comparing times and overall speeds. Its a feeling, period. I understand the love for new equipment but it all comes down to the motor. Could you beat the top guy if he was on plywood with a girl scout paddle? Doubtful so keep practicing, and try the lesson. About the same price as your new paddle and youll probably make more gains from the lesson than a fancy new paddle.


#23 Mon, 03/31/2008 - 10:07pm


Im curious how long these guys have been paddling who laugh at the lesson idea? My guess is a lot of years. Its not easy to break into the oc1 scene in Hawaii. I got lucky but if I had to try it all on my own I dont know if I would have stuck with it. Not because I wouldnt have wanted to but there are alot of risks and safety issues to take into account trying to do it on your own. Im paddling with a real solid core group of guys now but I think oc1 clinics would be a good thing here on the Big Island as well as the others. With the sport poised for an explosion in popularity, they could really help grow the sport the right way as well as possibly prevent something bad from happening to the person trying it out on their own. Just a thought.


#24 Mon, 03/31/2008 - 10:14pm


Im not laughing at the idea . I'm surprized moor accedents dont happen if you think about it. and some would feel comfortable learning in a clinic situation.


#25 Tue, 04/01/2008 - 5:12am


...Johnny Puakea will be here in Seattle doing a clinic this Saturday, April 5. PM me for more info.


#26 Tue, 04/01/2008 - 6:05am


I totally agree with jpi92109 on the paddling lesson issue .

New paddlers who have any hope of racing well any time soon will need instruction to avoid developing technically bad habits.

Crumby technique is a hard thing to get rid of , so I`ve heard.

Even non racers would benefit fron taking a lesson from an expert paddler.

It`s good to pay someone to teach you and also good to get coaching for free .

Lots of paddlers don`t even know how to train to reach a peak properly.
If I had to guess many of us here can probably train for maximum results as though there was nothing to it.

I always use the following general analogy when talking to brand new paddlers :

Training is like building a fire , you start with little sticks and gradually a little at a time add slightly bigger and bigger sticks until after a while you have a raging inferno going.

The sticks here represent your workouts , you will need to add them gradually because the rest interval between your workouts is when your body becomes stronger.

Also , I never tell paddlers simply to go out and train hard .
Paddlers need to train to thier optimum level to achieve thier own optimum results.

No one can be fast all the time all year long , pick a time of year when you want to be good and aim at a specific date and let loose your raging inferno when it will gain you the the best performance you`ve ever had.

http://maineoutriggerchampionships.blogspot.com/


#27 Tue, 04/01/2008 - 7:03am


I pay Goto 500$ for each practice I attend! Nah, nah just kidding! I don't laugh at lessons, I just thought 200$ per sounded a little steep. The lesson that Painteur describes above sounds quite reasonable and effective, I'd totally pay for that. One more thing, I heard there's a certain canoe seller whose name rhymes w/ Piss ButtKweef wants to "kill that guy Jim". I say a little verbal tomfoolery is never worth "killing over", but I'll be sure that Fuze is the only rep guy I joke around with from now on! I should just be glad that You know Hoo isn't after me, too! Cheee-Haaaaa!!!


#28 Tue, 04/01/2008 - 2:23pm


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