paddling the Wackey shaft verses a double bend

FNG here(new guy) I just moved to the bay area and from surf ski to OC1, I bought a Zepher from oceanohana (thanks Chris)Lisa likes her Fuze as well!!. I am now an addict. I paddle to work, afternoon down hills weekends, etc.. lots of miles. The question, I am a skinny bas$%d and am getting a litle wrist fatigue.
I have read the old threads and thanks Rambo I have lightened up the grip!! Shawn, you speak of the wackey shaft several months ago. Still use that, I know you jumped in with both feet as well.
Thanks all for the awesome videos and advice.

Submitted by xtremchf on Wed, 10/01/2008 - 5:17pm

I use a wackey shaft with a lanikai blade and I absolutely love the paddle....I never was that crazy about my canoe but I think that paddle it is ergonomically perfect and if you spend a month with one you will really really like it. The problem come if you want to do 6 man team stuff others will not like it. It is pretty clear that it does not "make you faster" but I think your hands and wrist will stay happy being prefectly alligned and I feel like this solid connection to the paddle really lets you crank without tensing your hands. I would rather you take the thoughts of accompished paddlers here who have the wackey in their collection.

#1 Wed, 10/01/2008 - 9:19pm

I use a wackey shaft with a pono blade (the more little blade from kialoa)... I like this paddle, she's comfortable for long time paddling. I use this paddle for one man paddling and i prefer use it in flatwater. I want to try the same blade with a wood shaft for downwind runs...
But this wackey shaft is comfortable with a good flex !

#2 Thu, 11/20/2008 - 10:32am

This thread is about paaaadles, silly me I thought it was about somethings else.

#3 Thu, 11/20/2008 - 11:01am

xtremchf take note that you are getting info from people who are making jokes about shafts, these forums are great for almost everything butt serious questions. If you have a serious interest then you shouldn't be posting a question but rather PMing an individual who knows what he is talking about.

Shawn the avid paddler, complete TOOL Michael is not one of them. Asking a question for Tool to answer is like asking a blind man to shoot an apple off your head. Again think about what your asking then, if you have read a lot of these posts, think about the answers your going to get in return.

If you Don't DO then You Can't Know.

#4 Thu, 11/20/2008 - 4:26pm

Here's my 2 cents, when learning how to paddle, don't use a wacky shaft, especially if you'd like to paddle w/ a team someday. The wrist pain will go away w/ time, as you acquire better technique and endurance. Maybe mix in some surfski to alleviate the problems of overuse. I notice most of the people who like the wacky are rookies-not trying to be slanderous, just an observation. Also, try to use a wood paddle for the majority of your miles, this will also eliminate some of the injuries you may receive from too many miles w. carbon fiber (too stiff for many).

#5 Thu, 11/20/2008 - 4:51pm

I agree with Jim. About six months after I started paddling I had some wrist irritation. Never got really bad and it eventually went away. Years later and my wrists have never bothered me again. Make an effort to keep your hands and wrists relaxed through the stroke.

#6 Thu, 11/20/2008 - 5:20pm

my wrists have never bothered me and my hands never blister....

go figure.

#7 Thu, 11/20/2008 - 6:59pm

Come on ipaddleharder--- Shawn posted an honest opinion to the question and even went so far as to humbly defer the question to those more experienced by saying "I would rather you take the thoughts of accompished paddlers here who have the wackey in their collection." I really don't see why it was necessary to call him a tool.
And why does everyone keep saying that the forum is no good for serious questions? I feel like i learn something new everyday on here. The worst thing that can happen to this forum is if people started PMing only the more experienced paddlers for their opinions. For one, none of us would be able to read the answers, and two, nobody wants to know only one persons opinion. The whole point of the forum is to get everyone's input-- even that of someone who only recently started paddling.
And of course there are going to be some not so serious comments... but they'd come along with any conversation that involved shafts and wrist fatigue.

#8 Thu, 11/20/2008 - 9:07pm

Ditto Luke, very well put!

Enjoy the ride!

#9 Thu, 11/20/2008 - 10:12pm

my wrists have never bothered me and my hands never blister….


#10 Thu, 11/20/2008 - 10:21pm

actually, axlegrease.

#11 Thu, 11/20/2008 - 10:31pm

Second post for Ipaddleharder and have nothing to contribute. You are a pussy without a name. I paddle out of redondo with my white fusion and funny paddle. Come talk to me. I dont post here anymore so dont bother.

#12 Thu, 11/20/2008 - 10:51pm

Doesn't Shawn go about 270 or so? Ipaddleharder may have to do so just to get away from him. Put that prick in a prison guard chokehold and keep posting, Shawn!

#13 Fri, 11/21/2008 - 3:16am

All power to you Shawn & Jim...........Shawn epitomises the paddler who unashamedly asks th equestions others are too proud (or stuck-up) to ask..........keep up the rage Shawn, dont go away..............Fat guys like us Rule!!

#14 Fri, 11/21/2008 - 3:30am

Shawn as always thanks for the replys and info, I did contact a couple of folks, bought one and use it once in a while.
I have put more miles on my Hybrid and am getting used to it.
Jim, thanks for the info and the honesty, I don't mind the silliness, I will continue to ask the questions as they come up.
Best to you all and remember to be SAFE out there


#15 Fri, 11/21/2008 - 5:30am

Don't ever feed the trolls !

#16 Fri, 11/21/2008 - 6:50am

i paddlelikeascrub. Why don't you bless us all with your paddling knowledge and until you posted it was a serious thread. YOU ARE AN IDIOT.

#17 Fri, 11/21/2008 - 7:14am

even though Ipaddleharder may have changed the tone in this thread, I've noticed that sometimes asinine comments like his seem to get the most responses on this forum. It's like everyone comes out of the woodworks to bash assholes and to spread the love. To be's quite entertaining. It certainly is fun to read good arguments amidst the paddling knowledge and BS!

#18 Fri, 11/21/2008 - 8:32am

I like the wackey shaft and i m not a rookie paddler (17 years paddling), When i was competing in slalom whitewater kayak i used a ergonomic shaft too (like the tops slaloms paddlers at the moment).
Tahitians paddlers uses doublebend ergo shafts and I think they are a good reference in outrigger paddling...I ' m wrong?

I'm new in this forum, sorry for my poor english ...

#19 Fri, 11/21/2008 - 9:06am

Consider to use a medicine ball like Everlast ( 28 lbs, leather ) for gymnastics/cross training.

Throw and catch, high reps, strengthen your hands, wrist, forearms that way. That requires coordination and will exercise muscle groups that may be out of balance/weakened. It should prevent/help with wrist problems under normal circumstances.

#20 Fri, 11/21/2008 - 1:57pm

...welcome Rems. Never apologize for poor english. As you read more threads it'll become apparent that good english is absolutely not a requirement for this forum, however poetry has been picking up lately.
Being thread-aware I have to say I like my whacky paddle (second year of use), especially on the OC1. My wrist issues result from surgery and are permanent, so a little ergonomy helps. FNG go with Eckharts advice, if you still have problems go whacky. I switch to regular during 9man season for team reasons. In the long run ergonomics is easier on the body.

... everything relates to paddling.

#21 Fri, 11/21/2008 - 2:55pm

Good point, Rems. Maybe Dave will make a composite based on the Tahitian design someday.

#22 Fri, 11/21/2008 - 4:51pm

I have tried the wacky shaft and I can see how it can help people with preexisting wrist issues.

However I feel if you develop wrist issue because of paddling you are squeezing the paddle too hard on the recovery and the catch of the stroke. The paddle can be held with 3 fingers at the catch of the stroke under full pressure.

I dislike the wacky paddle because I feel that I lose reach on the catch. I spent a lot of time learning to have a good reach. I would be upset if I lost some because of my paddle.

Again if you like the wacky paddle I understand. You're probably going to go a lot faster if when you paddle your thinking about paddling and not about your wrist hurting.

#23 Fri, 11/21/2008 - 5:29pm

Maybe Dave will make a composite based on the Tahitian design someday.

It's already benn made.check viper va'a website. Matairea Hoe use their blades.

#24 Fri, 11/21/2008 - 9:00pm

this paddle from viper look good...
And teh kev/carbon model too!
Hiro , do you use it ?

#25 Sat, 11/22/2008 - 2:56am

I noticed Manny paddling a double bend Hybrid in the kaiwi Championship video, anyone know who makes that paddle? is it available?
Also if any of the Hawaii paddlers have an in with Maui I have been sending Kia Kaha e-mails since sept to have a paddle made. I used one of his paddles this summer and loved it, just can't seem to get on the list.


#26 Sat, 11/22/2008 - 5:08am

BeI don't use it. I've tried it, it's absolutely lightweight, has a great grip on the water, can maintain high stroke rates for longer... but I don't want a carbon blade for I hit my canoe to often, an carbon digs holes in my polyester canoe... ;-)

#27 Sat, 11/22/2008 - 7:23am

OK, Hiro, I understand, maybe this kev/carb paddle is great for OC1 (wih rudder) paddling.
What about the size of the blade ?
I like kev/carb shaft for is good flex

This paddle is avaible in tahiti ?

#28 Sat, 11/22/2008 - 8:04am

Tried one for an hour.. It took 15 min to get a feel for the changes. GPS said I was slower.. so I gave it back to my friend and that was that...

Not the best scientific experiment but slower is slower...

Misery is Optional.....

#29 Sat, 11/22/2008 - 2:11pm

Slower ? Matairea Hoe was 3rd using those blades during Hawaiki Nui !
You got to get the right feeling for the catch... for the blade is thick, just like wooden paddle, not like the thin kialoa blade I've tried?
They are available in Tahiti, you can contact the manufacturer at

#30 Sat, 11/22/2008 - 5:56pm

What model of the viper would be best for an OC1?

#31 Sat, 11/22/2008 - 8:04pm

Theyhave two models : Faahoro & Aito. Same shape, same blade, same dimensions, same weight. Only difference is Faahoro has more flex in the shaft.
For long distance V1 or V6, I would take the small blade 2347cm. For sprints, I would take the bigger one 2548cm.

#32 Sat, 11/22/2008 - 9:52pm

Danny's comments about loosing reach at the catch is the reason in the past why i suggested paddlers order a longer paddle shaft when using the Whacky. You can always have it cut down to suit later. The alternative to this, is to order the "Lanikai" blade shape rather than the "Axel", as it is longer in blade length. Just be aware it is also slightly wider and will aid a solid catch, also is the reason Tahitian paddles are also wide.

Strangling the shaft of ANY paddle, is the main cause of novice paddlers experiencing wrist pain. The fingers are very strong and help spread the load, if you squeeze the shaft with your whole hand you tension more of the wrist and therefore increase the friction, loosen up and paddle with the arms as a extension of the paddle, not the main driver.

Shawn, you always ask valid questions on this forum and in turn extract good advice from the experienced paddlers, so keep doing what you do.

Cheers Rambo

#33 Sat, 11/22/2008 - 10:53pm

As I said it was slower for me.. .

The rest of the experiment would have been 99 other paddlers of similar levels, in same canoes with same conditions. Give them a month to learn all about the catch with it and then we would really know..

But I am willing to try the Aito when I ever get the chance..

Misery is Optional.....

#34 Sun, 11/23/2008 - 7:18am

What does 29'000 xfp translate to in US dollars? That is the price of the Viper Aito paddle. thanks.......

#35 Sun, 11/23/2008 - 5:13pm

Latest Currency Rate Monday, November 24, 2008

1 CFP Franc = 0.01071 US Dollar

1 US Dollar (USD) = 93.38000 CFP Franc (XPF)

29,000 CFP Franc (XPF) = 310.559 US Dollar (USD)

#36 Sun, 11/23/2008 - 6:25pm

Bernd Somner who paddles in MeanDNA also makes a wacky hybrid. He has used a wacky from day one and has won many NZ tiles...sprints and Marathon...rudderless too.

Actually I think MeanDNA use the wacky shaft as a crew.

#37 Sun, 11/23/2008 - 7:23pm

do you have a pic of this hybrid? and is it a wackey or jus a double bend?

thanks guys,

#38 Sun, 11/23/2008 - 11:02pm

while you guys are talking of paddles...

have you seen Steve's ihe paddle?, it looks pretty cool....

#39 Mon, 11/24/2008 - 10:28am

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