Thursday, July 23, 2009

(I've waiting so long to be able to say this):
Mine Is Bigger Than Yours
A while back I posted on finding the right paddle length and how the trend was toward shorter ones. After testing several different lengths (thanks, Doug) I decided that the 220 paddle (which every site and paddle rep recommended) didn't feel as good as the 230 Doug had loaned me. So, I ordered a carbon, core foamed low angle paddle pictured above. And, it is wonderful.

I no longer find myself leaning too far forward to capture water but, instead, sit erect and gain inches from the shear length of the paddle. More over, I have come to grips with my tendency to carry the blade a bit past my hip. Now, I let it go there because I barely have to do anything to recover the blade. Instead, the blade pops up virtually on its own. All that, combined with its light swing weight makes this a great paddle for me.

Yes, it has taken a little adjustment in doing braces and draw strokes. I find that I no longer reach to brace as the little extra length places the blade far enough abeam to feel comfortable. This, in turn, allows me to keep my elbows in during most maneuvers, and I find that comforting.

So, if you are sure you have the perfect paddle, try a longer/shorter one and see how it feels. You may discover, as I did, that size does matter.

Paddle safe...


Michael said...

Keep us posted on this interesting thread Silbs. I'm curious how it works out in the long term, especially as you've seemed to move against the trend on this one.

Silbs said...

Long term: good point. I am aware that the longer paddle creates a longer lever and, thus, more effort. On the other hand, I decide how much force to apply. Besides, a larger blade on a shorter paddle would create the same effort. I think the benefit here (for me) is the longer reach forward and, thus, a longer stroke in the power area" which for me is from capture up near my foot to my hip.

Alex said...

Should I be having paddle length envy now? :) We have to paddle what feels right to us and our own paddling style. I'm a big proponent of short paddles but I'm also influenced (biased?) by the fact that I'm a playboater and my stroke evolved from whitewater. Did you go with the Kalliste?

Silbs said...

Yes, the Kalliste. Lighter than air :)

JohnB said...

As an instructor good modeling of all strokes is important. While the 230 may be good for you when paddling the forward stroke and executing a sweep stroke, it will be difficult to accurately model, and perform, the draw strokes, bow rudder, side-slip/hanging draw.

Yes, your paddle is longer than mine, but my . . . belt is longer than yours!

my $0.02 worth!