Posted by: ret603 on Dec-13-12 10:39 AM (EST)
Americans seem to be pre-programed to find the ONE SOLUTION and then try to apply it to all. There are always a number of solutions that apply to different people or different situations or different points in their life. To Bob-d's list of possible causes of aching after using a stiff paddle he should add age.
I'm 67. At that age and utilizing my paddle testing unit (shoulder reconstruction requiring 3 hours of surgery) I can state that stiff shafts do increase MY post paddling aching.
I cannot use a wing as the position of moving my hand wide from my hip causes pain in that shoulder and sometimes swelling-the wing paddle is damaging to me. It is a fine paddle for Bob-d and numerous others and is the fastest as proven by race results. There is no single "best paddle" for all paddlers.
A narrow Greenland or Aleutian paddle, used with a trunk rotation stroke, allows me to paddle for 4-6 hours with little or no aching. A stiff shaft or wider blades or "arm paddling" increases my aching. If you have aching in your shoulders or arms try a Greenland or Aleutian paddle.
If you have no aching with whatever paddle you use, continue using that paddle. Greenland and Aleutian paddles are also not the ONE SOLUTION for all and are somewhat less desirable in surf or white water.