Sitting inside waiting out winter, I spend a good deal of time looking at kayak and paddle broucheres. What I really want to do is try other paddles. I'm not particularly interested in bent shafts or expensive carbon products. My needs and thoughts are much more basic in nature.
One of the bagaboos aobut selecting a paddle is proper length. There are all sorts of ways to about this such as standing with the hand extended to see if the fingers just curl over the blade. There are even programs into which you plg your hieight, style, boat width, etc. and you get a recommendation for a suitable paddle length. None of them, however, beat actually using the thing and seeing what works best for you.
I want to try a shorter paddle. I want to try a high angle blade and see how it feels on my shoulders. I want to roll with a shorter blade and see how well it braces and sculls. Most of all, I want to see if my forward stroke becomes a tad more efficient with a different paddle. The way things are going, however, it will be months before I get to do any of that. Actually, two things will need to happen first.
It needs to get a bit warmer so that I can get out on the pound behind Rutabaga. There they are, my 2 needs. The weather and a supply of paddles to try. I am hoping that the symposiums will have vendors with shiny new blades for testing. You see, I know all the theories, but until I actually try the thing out in my own boat I won't know what suits me best. Now, where's that magazine ad from Werner that I was just checking out?