-- Last Updated: Jan-30-13 5:13 PM EST --
All you really want to know is how long it took your boat to get from Point A to Point B, while paddling as straight as practical.
If two cars drove the same course in exactly the same amount of time but one of them had a bent wheel (thus it wobbled a little the whole time), would you say that the car with the bent wheel had traveled faster? Why bother? Each car covered the same distance in the same time, and delivered its passengers in the same amount of time, so by any definition that matters, they both went the same speed. Same goes for a boat for which every last bit of wig-wag can't be eliminated. Just worry about how long it took the boat make the trip and be done with it.
If the little wig-wags are due to poor technique, the paddler can effectively go a little faster by learning to go straighter (or in this case, deploying the skeg in windy conditions might make you faster for the same reason). After all, in a race that's what would matter. You couldn't take second place and then argue that you really should be awarded with first place because you unintentionally zig-zagged slightly more than the other guy.
Bent Shaft Canoe Paddles
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