P2 Paddles (low shoulder, pineapple blade, etc.), better?

I would like to know some of your opinions on P2 Paddles and are they really better the our standard run of the mill size paddle?

The debate about which is the best paddle seems to be a bigger one than that of choosing the best golf clubs.

I listen to advice from some paddlers who say "just stick with the standard," however some say that the P2 is the way to go.

I hear that the theory behind the P2 is that is has an advantage over the standard because it has a smaller blade, but despite the smaller blade it still pulls the same amount of water. The advantage is that the P2 is lighter and easier to paddle.

Well this seems to make sense to me if this is true.

Is this the case?

Maybe someone can shine some light on this subject.

Another thing that I don't understand is that some say that the P2 is better to use on a OC1. Why would this be?

Don't get me wrong I am all for the P2 if it is what it is made out to be, but I see lots of paddlers out there with big blades, small blades, and S bends. Personally before I spend my hard earned cash on the latest gizmo I like to know I am getting a good product that does the job it is supposed to do, as opposed to getting my trousers pulled down by a salesperson.

Oh and one more thing. Is there an advantage for everybody in the same crew to use the same paddle?


For those wondering what a P2 Paddle is, see this [picture]. P2 is a style made by xylobladz. Similar shaped blades are made by many manufacturers. Please share your experiences with them!

Posted by thelfcreport on Wed, 03/12/2003 - 2:08pm


Picking a paddle is in a way, similar to picking out a golf club. One paddle might might have advantages in a certain seat of a six-man and another paddle might be better suited for oc1 paddling. You have to consider all the factors that go into a paddle, including shape, strength, weight, and length. And of course you should consider the shape of the shaft and handle and make sure you and your hands are happy with it.

I havn't seen any hard science on the resistance of a small blade vs a big blade, but I would predict that a larger blade would hold more water simply because it is larger. That does not really mean a smaller blade will be less effective in the long run though. With a smaller blade it may be easier to handle and prevent cavitation which could make up for any additional slipping of the smaller blade.

Also a small blade doesn't necessarily mean a lighter paddle because the material difference between a low shoulder blade and regular shaped paddle is relatively small. Weight & strength primarily come from the materials used. So you might use a part balsa paddle in the oc1 for its light weight, but you probably wouldn't use it for turns in a oc6 regatta.

Ultimatly you should pick a paddle that you are most comfortable with. You might try borrowing several different paddles and giving them a test run to see which feels best.

As for using the same paddle as the rest of your crew? I always think it looks better. :-)

Just my 2 cents, others may have more to say

#1 Thu, 03/13/2003 - 8:22pm

there was recently quite a bit of discussion on the outirigger list about this. Mike Roberts provide this document as his response to the paddle size dilemma.

#2 Wed, 04/02/2003 - 8:12pm

some very interesting pictures were also linked on the list:
[STROKE PICTURES (paddle as a lever)]

#3 Wed, 04/02/2003 - 8:23pm

My answer to the question, "Which is better, the standard shape paddle (tear drop) or the low shoulder (P2 or surge) type"? Well first I have made and used both types of paddles and in my opinion, the low shoulder paddle is more efficeint. My reason is that during the power phase of the stroke the paddle is placed in front and planted deep into the water where the water is heavier which provides a solid anchor for your blade so when you rotate and pull back you are almost pulled off the seat or the canoe is launched forward. If you scatch the surface of the water where the water is less dense or lighter, you are going no where. That brings me to the conclusion that a full shouldered paddle is not as efficeint. The top third of this paddle is near the surface of the water and in my opinion is not pulling any water that would make a difference in performance.
Your paddle may be an ounce or so lighter if you choose a low shoulder paddle but more importantly you will not have that added resistance of pulling a full shouldered paddle through the water.
This is just my opinion.

Aloha, pal

#4 Tue, 04/08/2003 - 5:21pm

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