Lately, my shoulders hurt only if I get sloppy on the technique *and* I overwork (e.g., paddle hard with poor technique). If I paddle hard with good technique, I just get tired and need to recover over the next day or two.
Last week there was some wind forecasted and I took both my wing paddle and my single-bladed paddle with me and my Epic V10 Sport surf ski. Downwind I used the wing, upwind - the single blade. For similar effort I am about 1 mph slower with the single blade compared to the wing on the ski (5mph vs. 6mph) and of course, can't reach the same top speed with the single blade as I can with the double. But with the single blade I feel it is easier on the shoulders. Plus it works quite well against the wind (as long as the wind is not as strong to require a double blade to overcome).
The ski is somewhat tippy in very bumpy conditions so there I use 2-blade, but for flat water or mild conditions I like switching. With the single blade I can paddle with lots of rotation (like a one-sided double-blade) or with more of a abdominal crunch or a combination. That uses different muscle groups for a change.
I've used the single blade on a short and maneuverable sea kayak, but there it is not fun - too much correction required to go straight without a rudder.
Touring Kayak Paddles
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