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  Too little, too much . . .
  Posted by: water_walker on Dec-12-12 5:03 PM (EST)

-- Last Updated: Dec-12-12 5:04 PM EST --

Flex can come from the blade, the shaft, or both.

Too little flex and you may begin to feel it in your bands, wrist, and shoulders. When switching to a paddle with less flex, you may notice that the paddle feels stiff and a little bit "dead" in your hands. A stiffer paddle is more efficient and therefore well-suited for anyone looking to get a boost in speed or power.

A moderate amount of flex gives a paddle a lively feel. The paddle provides a crisp little "snap" at the end of the stroke. It can be more forgiving on the joints and is well-suited for long-distance touring.

Too much flex results in a loss of power and efficiency. No one wants to propel their boat with a noodly paddle -- but there are some of these paddles out there. These paddles are usually in the less expensive -- and that is probably their only asset.

I don't know of any manufacturer using a rating system for paddle flex -- but it's a good idea.

 Great Products from the Buyers' Guide:

Paddling Jackets

Dry Bags

Electric Kayak Motor

Paddling Accessories

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