Tuesday, May 12, 2009

All's Well
That Ends Well

The lessons have been going well, and I've me some awfully nice folks on the water. Not to belabor the point of paddle length (he said, tongue in cheek), but I had some helpful suggestions and experiences while in Madison to teach.

Brian Day, former owner of my Romany, took the time to lay out several paddles with different shaped blades and various lengths. turns out that because of blade shape, shaft length varies for different models of the same over all length. It became obvious that some 215 paddles have shafts about as long as 220 ones, especially with higher angle blades. (more on that later...or another time; but I digress).

During the lesson this past Sunday, one lady was just not getting her blade well into the water. She was shorter, about 5'5", and using a 210 paddle. I traded her for my 220, and we both did better. Contrary to some schemes, shorter folks sometimes need longer paddles to help reach the water yes, (she was in a sea kayak).

Bottom line: I believe that there will be a trend toward shorter paddles over all, especially for those using 220 paddles. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, one has to try the paddle in their boat. Different blades feel differently and can change the apparent length of the over all paddle.

Possible future posting: High angle v. low angle blade. Scientific difference or industry hype? And this is supposed to be a simple sport.

Paddle safe...
DS

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1 comment:

JohnB said...

Before sea kayaking was a sport it was simple: build boat, carve paddle, hunt and fish from kayak, take bounty home to family, eat the catch, "tan" the hides, make clothing, and repeat. Life was great!

Now we fret about the perfect boat, the perfect paddle, the perfect pfd, the perfect . . . and we drive to our launch site, paddle for awhile then go for coffee. Life is great!