Something Good Came of ItLots of paddlers go nuts looking for the perfect boat, and I've written about that before. I realized another obsession (of mine) this past week when (for the second year in a row) lightening terminated the REI demo day. In spite of the weather, Greg and I did manage a little time on the lagoon. But, you ask, what about the obsession?
Well, while everyone else is looking for the perfect boat, I am obsessed in my search for the perfect paddle. I have a 220 Werner with a low angle blade and have always felt it was a wee bit too long for me.. So, I have gone to different sites where you punch in your height, boat length, style, etc., and every last one says, "Thou shalt use a 220 paddle." Danny Mongo, Ph.D. in paddling, told me the same thing. Then I had a little conversation with the Irish man.
Turns out, Sam Crowley uses a 215. AHA! "...Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout." He told me that it just felt right. This past week, I asked Greg what he was using, and it turned out to be a 210 Shuma, a high angle paddle (so a shorter paddle). But I never evaluated Greg's style as being all that high angle. I asked, and he let me try it.
I used it low angle, medium angle and high angle, and it felt more natural than my 220. How's about that? More over, the additional blade area gave me a better bite in the water.
I will be teaching in Madison this weekend and will make every effort to try some different combinations while there. Who knows? I may end up with a paddle like Greg's. If I do, I will have to find some way to get those silly bends out of the shaft.